Intermission – North American AT-6 (Harvard) The plane that won the war

This photo is most probably taken at No.2 SFTS Uplands, Ontario.

Don’t ask how I know because the explanation could be quite long.

Most of Allied WWII pilots trained on the North American AT-6 (Harvard in the RCAF). The Harvard is somewhat special in my stash even if I bought it more than 20 years ago.

I could make you believe I own one, but I can’t tell a lie on my blogs…

My fascination for aviation started in 1958. Writing blogs about WWII started with writing about a ship, a Canadian destroyer which I knew nothing about before my wife’s uncle told us in a family reunion in July 2009 that he was a stoker aboard HMCS Athabaskan. I just had to write about it since my wife’s uncle did not want to tell us more. Little by little I wrote about HMCS Athabaskan both in the two Canadian official languages, French and English.

I don’t monetise my blogs. There is something more precious in life like people who read my blogs and sometimes comment on what I wrote. The first WWII veteran who wrote a comment on a blog was a rear gunner with 425 Alouette Squadron. Curiously for someone who thought he knew a lot about WWII, I knew nothing about 425 Alouette Squadron the only French-Canadian RCAF squadron who flew Vickers Wellingtons and then Handley-Page Halifaxes. Through this veteran I met a man whose hero when he was young was a Mosquito pilot who history had forgotten.

His name was Eugène Gagnon the trainee seen here in front of a Harvard.

My research led me to find all about Eugène Gagnon and his days of training first on a Fleet Finch, then on a Harvard in Dunnville, Ontario where he earned his wings.

Eugène became a staff pilot in Paulson, Manitoba before he was sent overseas. In December 1944 he became a part of RAF 23 Squadron flying de Havilland Mosquito Mk VI. From December 1944 to May 1945 Flight Lieutenant Eugène Gagnon flew 33 operations most of them in the dark of night, in all-weather conditions, and often around German airfields stalking German nighfighters.

Night bandits they were called…

But I am digressing.

To be continued…