Memorial Unveiled in Pennfield

Memorial unveiled in Pennfield
by Barb Rayner/ Transcribed by G. Christian Larsen

Minister of Veterans Affairs Greg Thompson (right) assisted by Morris Harris of the Charlotte Fundy Kin Club unveil the memorial in the provincial park in Pennfield Sunday in honour of those who served at Pennfield air base and Camp Utopia.

PENNFIELD - When the British needed a place to train the pilots of their coastal defense aircraft they were looking for somewhere that was cold, foggy and isolated - and they choose Pennfield as a location.

    The area lived up to its reputation Sunday when veterans, family and friends gathered in the fog and rain at the provincial park for the unveiling of a memorial honouring the two major military bases established here during the Second World War - the Pennfield air base and the Camp Utopia army base.

    People sheltered under umbrellas and under the trees for the short ceremony which opened with the National Anthem played by members of the Royal Canadian Air Cadet 101 Squadron from Saint John. Prayers were offered by Rev. Keith Osbourne and Rev. Lorne McLeod.

    Local historian Jason Gaudet then read the names of the 60 men1 who died at the air force base during training exercises. He said these men gave their lives before they ever went overseas and, in most of the cases, the accidents were caused by fog so the weather paid a very important part.

    "When I woke up this morning to see the fog and rain, I thought today is quite a memorial day," he said.

    The last post was played by Bombardier Steven Brittain followed by two minutes silence then Piper Bill Dalzell played the lament Flowers of the Forest which was followed by Reveille.

    The monument2 was unveiled by Minister of Veteran Affairs Greg Thompson assisted by Kin Club member Morris Harris, then wreaths were laid on behalf of the nations who sustained casualties at the base - Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    The outdoor proceedings wrapped up with the playing of God Save The Queen then everyone moved off to the Kin Club.

    Among those in attendance was 84-year-old Ross Down who travelled from Stratford, P.E.I., to attend the ceremony.

    He said he was a Canadian pilot attached to the RAF who flew out of Pennfield for a year.

    "There are not too many of us left. I am the only one left that I know of in the Atlantic region. I served in the Middle East in the western desert then came home to Pennfield then back to the India/Burma theatre and ended up in the Pacific."

    As he sheltered under the trees from the rain he added, "My recollections of Pennfield was that it was always this way."

    It was the Charlotte Fundy Kin Club in conjunction with the Air Force Association of Canada, Saint John 250 Wing, who organized the event and Mark Pedersen, who gave a brief history of the bases, paid tribute to them for making the memorial happen.

    He said it was probably two or three years ago when David Stewart3, who had served in Pennfield and had seen the documentary Pedersen and others made for cable television about the bases, went to Kin Club member Morris Harris suggesting a memorial. Smet Monuments donated more than three-quarters of the cost with the club and the local service district picking up the rest.

    Pedersen said that when they were researching information on the bases they also put an advertisement in the Saint Croix Courier looking for people who had either served or worked at the bases and they received a huge response.

    The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was announced in December 1939.

    They needed a place to train air crew which was a relatively safe environment out of the theatre of war, explained Pedersen.

    Pennfield was ideal as there was lots of space, it was central and it provided many different training opportunities. Construction crews built the base with its three big runways in less than a year and it was opened as No.2 Air Navigation School of the Royal Canadian Air Force July 21, 1941.

    The following year, it became a Royal Air Force base - No.34 Operational Training Unit where hundreds of crew members were taught to fly bombers and other aircraft. There were also many crashes and until now there was no memorial to the 60 men who died.

    In order to really appreciate the base, said Peterson, you need to see it from the air. He said the three runways are twice as long as any other runways in New Brunswick and there were four giant hangars.

    Air crews from Canada, Britain, New Zealand and Australia trained at Pennfield, and there were representatives from all these nations at Sundayís ceremony.

    Training took place on several planes but the main one, said Pedersen, was the Lockheed Ventura. The British decided to use the Ventura as a coastal defense aircraft capable of bombing and strafing U-boats and other enemy ships. They bought hundreds of the aircraft from Lockheed.

    They needed somewhere cold, foggy and isolated to train, he said, and they found that spot at Pennfield.

    The Ventura was a big, squat, burly medium bomber that was difficult to fly and very unforgiving so the trainers and recruits often paid a price, said Pedersen.

    "Testament to that is the long list of fatalities for crew. Many crashes occurred at the airport, many on land in forest areas and many at sea. The accident reports are still in the National Archives with details of what happened."

    There was one crash that occurred right on the runway, said Pedersen, and everybody on board was killed. For the documentary, he said they interviewed a witness to the crash who cried when he recalled how the men inside were calling out and no one could get near enough to save them. Some of those who perished are buried in the St. George Cemetery, and their graves are maintained by St. George Legion members.4

    The air base operated until 19445, and was eventually closed as the war moved away from Britain and on to the continent. Pedersen said there was a big push on the part of Charlotte County to make that Saint John airport, but it didnít happen, although immediately after the war it was used by Trans-Canada Airlines for a bit.6

    Camp Utopia was about a year behind Pennfield airbase. By early 1942, most of Europe was over run by the Germans and the Canadian Army was committed to the strategic invasion of Europe. They needed bases to train assault troops and in the spring of 1942 founded a site in southern New Brunswick - hundreds of acres of rugged blueberry fields near Lake Utopia and St. George.

    The main body of engineers and construction troops moved in Aug. 2, 1942 and, under canvas, began work on water lines, cook houses and showers. The infrastructure went in with the first buildings rising then a harsh winter closed in, said Pedersen, with temperatures of minus 34 degrees below one night.7

   "ďIn the cook shacks, food froze to the plates. The utensils, unless warmed up, were full of frost, and removed the skin from the lips of the unwary," he read from an account at that time.

    Eventually the camp was ready in 1943 - barracks with central heating, a supply depot, bake shop, two cookhouses with capacity for 500 men each, a drill hall, canteen, barber shop, carpenter shop, dental clinic, fire station, a new modern hospital and sports facilities - a track and baseball diamonds. It was the largest military facility in New Brunswick before Base Gagetown was established in the 1950s, said Pedersen.

    The working site of Camp Utopia included vast training fields and woods, two field rifle ranges with butts, a model village named Ortona for door-to-door assaults, a field artillery range, a battle inoculation range, two Sten gun ranges, a piet range for a gun that was mainly used against enemy tanks, a modern grenade range, a six- pounder range, a skeet range, a mortar range, a cross-country obstacle course, a bayonet assault course, mine fields and a booby trap hut.

    Pedersen said the official history of Camp Utopia says it quickly gained a reputation for turning out thoroughly trained and fighting fit assault troops.

    Two of New Brunswickís most famous regiments spent time at Camp Utopia - the Carleton and York, which was thrown into the invasion of Sicily and the boot of Italy, and the New Brunswick Rangers who fought through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. As much as could be taught to be ready for the horrors of war, they learned here.

    The facility was used for training regular troops, militia and army cadets right up until 1957. Now it is largely reclaimed by the woods although the foundations and firing ranges can still be seen.

    Col. Perry Matte, of 14 Wing Greenwood8, said that by the end of the Second World War, there were over 150 training schools across Canada and 131,000 air crew had been trained with over 50 per cent of them Canadians. The remainder were mostly from Britain, Australia and New Zealand. He said 856 died in crashes in Canada.

    The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan had an important and lasting impact in Canada, said Col. Matte, as there was a major economic impact with construction jobs etc. Many of the countryís aerodromes can be traced back to the plan, he said.

   "We must always remember our boys, for the efforts and sacrifices made by Canadians both at home and abroad are directly linked to the freedoms we enjoy today. To all the veterans - thank you for your service and dedication to your peers to ensure their services and sacrifice is never forgotten."

    Capt. George Wallace, naval and air attache in the British High Commission in Ottawa, said it was a distinct honour to take part in the ceremonies and it was particularly poignant as a week ago they remembered the Battle of Britain.

    He said Pennfield played an important role in training air crews for the Second World War and the memorial commemorates the determination of those crews who played their part and ultimately paid the highest price.

    Unfortunately, said Capt. Wallace, the peace they had hoped for has not been sustained and they are now engaged in a rather different struggle. He quoted Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has said that our freedom today did not happen by accident, and he said that is why Britains and Canadians are committed to fighting in Afghanistan.

   "We thank you and salute those who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend these values."

    Flight Lieutenant Stefan Plazier of the Royal Australian Air Force9, thanked the Kin Club as well as Smet Monuments for the memorial and Sgt. Major Damon Mitchell of the Royal New Zealand Artillery 10thanked both Canada and the community for its construction.

    "For those families back home in New Zealand to know there is a memorial here is a privilege. I will pass this on to them back home."

    Thompson said that as Minister of Veteran Affairs it was particularly important for him to be in his own home county for this event and he thanked those involved for the work they had done.

    The freedom that Canadians enjoy today, he said, is thanks to the veterans and their comrades and Canadian troops are now involved in a struggle against the same kind of tyranny that they saw in the Second World War.

    "It is a different type of struggle but, believe me, it is a struggle and it is going to test the resolve of all Canadians in the civilized world to bring this mission to completion."

    "We, as a government, are committed to that mission and to the veterans as we have always been because we cannot take these freedoms we enjoy for granted."

    The Prime Minister has said the military calling is the highest calling in terms of public service, said Thompson, and it is because of the sacrifices made in the past that people in office, such as himself, are able to serve.

    "We truly have the best country in the world and we want to keep it like that. Thank you for your contribution today. It is very much appreciated by the government of Canada and the people of Canada."

    Charlotte-The Isles MLA Rick Doucet told the representatives from the different nations and the veterans that they were certainly owed a lot.

    He said the weather that day was typical of the kind that the aviators were used to at Pennfield and they often used markers such as certain trees and buildings to find their way back to the base. Doucet saluted the Kin Club for the memorial and said he was very proud of the efforts the club has put forward over the years.

    Blacks Harbour Mayor Terry James offered her appreciation and that of the village to the club for recognizing the need for the memorial which will be a lasting monument to those who served on the bases.

    Former Saint John MP and Veterans Affairs critic Lt-Col. Dr. Elsie Wayne said it was wonderful to have members of the military from all over the world in attendance and she was honoured to receive an invitation.

    She said that when she was one of the only two Conservative MPs elected in 1993, Jean Charest asked her what portfolios she would like, and one of the ones she chose was veterans affairs because she didnít feel the veterans were treated as well as they should have been.

    She spoke of a visit she made to Vimy Ridge and added, "To all you vets, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the sacrifices you made for us...Our future is here because of you and the cadets are the future for us now."

    Phil Connell11, past national president of the Air Force Association of Canada who helped with the organization of the event, said they had been remiss in not having any recognition of Pennfield before and thanked everyone who was involved.

    "I am 87 and was a member of the Air Force Association and I donít expect to ever have a prouder moment than today. We are much better off than that list Jason read off today. I cannot begin to thank everyone. I flew with the RAF myself. I donít think I will ever be able to top this experience - nor do I want to."

SOURCE: The Saint Croix Courier (St. Stephen, NB) - September 26, 2006.

Transcriber's Notes:

1 In regards to the sixty (60) names read by Jason Gaudet, the following errors and/or omissions were made:

  1. AC1 G.J. Eliott was listed as RAF instead of RCAF;

  2. AC1 G.J. Eliott was listed as casualty of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a casualty of No.2 ANS, Pennfield Ridge;

  3. F/L W.S.L. Smallman was listed as F/L W.S. Smallman;

  4. F/L W.S.L. Smallman was listed as a casualty of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a casualty of No.2 ANS, Pennfield Ridge;

  5. Sgt. S. Street was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  6. Sgt. S. Street was listed as a casualty of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a casualty of No.2 ANS, Pennfield Ridge;

  7. Sgt. G.T.J. Woodhams' trade was listed as (OB) whereas it should have been listed as (AO);

  8. Sgt. G.T.J. Woodhams was listed as a casualty of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a casualty of No.2 ANS, Pennfield Ridge;

  9. LAC J.A. Hoople was listed as A. Hoople;

  10. LAC J.A. Hoople had no trade listed whereas the other RCAF causalities did;

  11. LAC J.A. Hoople was listed as a casualty of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a casualty of No.2 ANS, Pennfield Ridge;

  12. Sgt. H.J. Austin  was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  13. P/O H.O. Male was listed as Sgt. H.O. Male;

  14. P/O H.O. Male  was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  15. P/O H.O. Male was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  16. AC1 T.F. Sargeant was listed as AC2 C.F. Sargeant;

  17. AC1 T.F. Sargeant  was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  18. AC1 T.F. Sargeant was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  19. F/O S.E. Sutherland's trade was listed as (WAG) whereas it should have been listed as (Wop/AG);

  20. F/O S.E. Sutherland was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  21. Sgt. G.St.G. Putt was listed as Sgt. G.S. Putt;

  22. Sgt. D. Smith  was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  23. LAC William Henry Dyason was listed as F/L William Dyson;

  24. LAC William Henry Dyason was listed as RCAF instead of RAFVR;

  25. 10 September 2006 Mr. Gaudet posts the following query on Rootsweb "...currently have 58 men that lost their lives while training at Pennfield but have come across 2 more airmen over they last year or so that are buried with several former Pennfield airmen at the local St. George Cemetery, in St. George New Brunswick. These two men where with the Royal Air Force...1137087 Frank L. Senciall - 9 June 1943 1186005 William H. Dyason - 5 January 1943...does anyone have any resources or connections to find out about these two airmen?! I have tons of documents on Pennfield but nothing offers info on these men." It is strange to think that between 1998 and 2006 an individual doing research on the Pennfield Ridge Air Station would only discover "... 2 more airmen over they last year or so that are buried with several former Pennfield airmen at the local St. George Cemetery...". At the St. George Rural Cemetery there are ten (10) servicemen (4 RAF, 1 RCAF, 2 RAAF and 3 RNZAF) buried in a common plot and the most obvious place to began research on the former Air Station would be with these ten (10) service personnel. Conducting research however fourteen (14) days before the dedication service and then, after failing to ascertain for certainty they were causalities from Pennfield Ridge, including them in the "Honor Roll" any ways is poor research ethics. A comprehensive search of all available records, not presumption of facts, should always prevail. This is especially true when information on at least one (1) of these two (2) individuals was readily available from the Provincial Archives in Fredericton, NB.

  26. P/O P.W. McCarthy's service numbers where listed in reverse order (ie: commissioned number first and then non-commissioned number second);

  27. P/O P.W. McCarthy's trade was listed as (AG) whereas it should have been listed as (Wop/AG);

  28. P/O G.A. Norriss was listed as P/O G.A. Norris;

  29. P/O Bayden Bala Williams was listed as P/O Baydon Bala Williams;

  30. P/O Bayden Bala Williams' service numbers where listed in reverse order (ie: commissioned number first and then non-commissioned number second);

  31. Sgt. P.L. Edmond was listed as LAC P.L. Edmond;

  32. Sgt. Pilot H.J. Burnham was listed as Sgt. H.J. Burnham;

  33. Sgt. Pilot H.J. Burnham was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  34. Sgt. P.L. Edmond was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  35. Sgt. J.E. Hogan was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  36. P/O N.C. Harris was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  37. F/S D.A. Cannon was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  38. P/O T.A. Corr was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  39. P/O T.A. Corr was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  40. P/O Fintan Howard Lalor was listed as P/O Finton Howard Lalor;

  41. P/O Fintan Howard Lalor's non-commissioned service was listed as R142255 whereas it should have been listed as R140855. Also P/O Fintan Howard Lalor's service numbers where listed in reverse order (ie: commissioned number first and then non-commissioned number second);

  42. P/O F. H. Lalor's trade was listed as (Nav.) whereas it should have been listed as (Nav.B);

  43. P/O F.H. Lalor was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  44. Although F/S D.A. Cannon, P/O T.A. Corr and P/O F.H. Lalor were listed on the "Honour Roll", another causality aboard the aircraft was omitted. This individual was O/S Ronald Herbert Faulkner, Royal Navy, who was a passenger aboard Ventura AJ173 when it crashed;

  45. Sgt. Kenneth George Calvert was listed as Sgt. George Kenneth Calvert;

  46. Sgt. K.G. Calvert was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU. Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  47. Sgt. Pilot J.E. Franckeiss was listed as Sgt. J.E. Frankeiss;

  48. Sgt. Pilot J.E. Franckeiss was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  49. Sgt. Pilot J.E. Franckeiss was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU. Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  50. Sgt. K.R. Self was listed as Sgt. K. Self;

  51. Sgt. K.R. Self was listed as a causality of No.34 OTU. Pennfield Ridge whereas he should have been listed as a causality of No.34 OTU Detachment, Yarmouth, NS;

  52. Sgt. Pilot A.E.E. Rogers was listed as Sgt. A.E. Rogers;

  53. Sgt. F.J. Stiles' trade was listed as (WAG) whereas it should have been listed as (AG);

  54. AC1 F.L. Senciall was listed as AC1 F.L. Senciaall;

  55. AC1 F.L. Senciall was listed as a RAF instead of RAFVR;

  56. 10 September 2006 Mr. Gaudet posts the following query on Rootsweb "...currently have 58 men that lost their lives while training at Pennfield but have come across 2 more airmen over they last year or so that are buried with several former Pennfield airmen at the local St. George Cemetery, in St. George New Brunswick. These two men where with the Royal Air Force...1137087 Frank L. Senciall - 9 June 1943 1186005 William H. Dyason - 5 January 1943...does anyone have any resources or connections to find out about these two airmen?! I have tons of documents on Pennfield but nothing offers info on these men." It is strange to think that between 1998 and 2006 an individual doing research on the Pennfield Ridge Air Station would only discover "... 2 more airmen over they last year or so that are buried with several former Pennfield airmen at the local St. George Cemetery...". At the St. George Rural Cemetery there are ten (10) servicemen (4 RAF, 1 RCAF, 2 RAAF and 3 RNZAF) buried in a common plot and the most obvious place to began research on the former Air Station would be with these ten (10) service personnel. Conducting research however fourteen (14) days before the dedication service and then, after failing to ascertain for certainty they were causalities from Pennfield Ridge, including them in the "Honor Roll" any ways is poor research ethics. A comprehensive search of all available records, not presumption of facts, should always prevail. This is especially true when information on at least one (1) of these two (2) individuals was readily available from the Provincial Archives in Fredericton, NB.

  57. WO1 Herbert Thomas Campbell Burley was listed as WO1 Thomas Herbert Campbell Burley;

  58. WO1 H.T.C. Burley's trade was listed as (P) whereas it should have been listed as (Wop/AG);

  59. Sgt. A.C. Mulcahy was listed as RNZAF instead of RAAF;

  60. P/O M.H. Hansen's service numbers where listed in reverse order (ie: commissioned number first and then non-commissioned number second);

  61. P/O H.E. Jasmin's trade was listed as (WAG) whereas it should have been listed as (Wop/AG);

  62. Sgt. H.L. Anderson's trade was listed as (N) whereas it should have been listed as (Wop/AG);

  63. P/O R.A. Ledingham's trade was listed as (N) whereas it should have been listed as (Nav.B);

  64. Sgt. R.J. Barts' trade was listed as (OB) whereas it should have been listed as (Nav.B);

  65. Sgt. G.R. Somers' trade was listed as (WAG) whereas it should have been listed as (Wop/AG)

  66. P/O F.W. Thompson's trade was listed as (N) whereas it should have been listed as (Nav.B);

  67. Sgt. R.L. Bouch's trade was listed as (N) whereas it should have been listed as (Nav.B);

  68. Sgt. R.L. Bouch was listed as casualties from No.34 OTU whereas he should have been listed as casualties from RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge;

  69. Sgt. R.E. Bough's trade was listed as (WAG) whereas it should have been listed as (Wop/AG);

  70. Sgt. R.W. Bough was listed as casualties from No.34 OTU whereas he should have been listed as casualties from RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge;

  71. F/S W.G. Davidson was listed as casualties from No.34 OTU whereas he should have been listed as casualties from RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge; and

  72. F/O S.M. Harju was listed as casualties from No.34 OTU whereas he should have been listed as casualties from RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge.

  73. SOURCE: Information taken the "Honour Roll" contained within the hand-out pamphlet from the 24 September 2006 dedication service. The "Honour Roll" was contrived from work of "The Pennfield Ridge Research Project" (Jason Gaudet) based upon eight (8) years of research. This was further explained in an e-mail from Mr. Gaudet dated 30 January 2009 in which he states: "My participation in the project was in terms of the historic data, in particular the names of the training causalities."

          Missing from the "Roll of Honour", after eight (8) years of research, were the following names:-

    1) O/S R.H. Faulkner D/JX366668) (never stationed at Pennfield Ridge but aboard Ventura AJ173 when it crashed). The other three causalities aboard the a/c, namely F/S D.A. Cannon (R/103962), P/O T.A. Corr (GB138491) and P/O F.H. Lalor (J/22229), were however included in the hand-out pamphlet.  His name, along with the other three names, was added to Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society's "Roll of Honour" 26 January 2007 and then this oversight (?) was corrected with O/S R.H. Faulkner's name being read into the "Roll of Honour" at the second memorial service 23 September 2007;

    2) LAC J.A. Nelson (R/1678872). Added to Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society's Roll of Honour 22 February 2008 and then finally read into "The Roll of Honour" at the third memorial service 21 September 2008;

    3) F/L K.A. Walker (F/5863). Added to Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society's Roll of Honour 9 February 2007 and then read into the "Roll of Honour" at second memorial service 23 September 2007;

    4) F/O H.C.B. Reynolds (J/16971) & F/L A.S. White, DFC (J/23795) who were both killed 6 December 1944. Their respective names were read into "The Roll of Honour" at the second memorial service held 23 September 2007. They were not added to Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society's Roll of Honour until 25 January 2008;

    5) LAC R.E. Levesque. Added to Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society's Roll of Honour 26 January 2007 and then read into the "Roll of Honour" at second memorial service 23 September 2007;

    6) F/S A.E. Balderston; (R/257476) F/O L.P. Gravel (J/25273); Sgt. D.H. MacNeill (R/271794) and WO2 J.P. McQuarrie (R/219160) who were all killed 22 June 1945. Added to Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society's Roll of Honour 26 January 2007 and then read into the "Roll of Honour" at second memorial service 23 September 2007;

    7) No civilian causalities from Pennfield Ridge Air Station were listed. Three names, namely Louis Lloyd, Allan John McCullough and John James McCarthy, were readily available on the Pennfield Parish website since 26 March 2004. Three additional names were added to Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society's "Roll of Honour" from 16 January 2008 until 28 November 2008. It was not until Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society took over hosting duties of the "Pennfield Ridge War Memorial Service" that all six civilians were finally read into the "Roll of Honour".

    8) No causalities were listed from Camp Utopia. Two names, namely Cpl. J.C. McCarty and Pte. F.G. Burford, were added 23 September 2007 even though their names, along with their respective notice of deaths, were readily available on the Pennfield Parish website since 26 March 2004. Three additional names, namely Maj. A.D. Waterson, Capt. J.L. Hickey and Pte. J.A. Ryan, were added 21 September 2008 (S/Sgt. C.L. Nicholson was brought to Gaudet's attention 25 January 2008 but somehow got omitted from being read into the "Roll of Honour" 21 September 2008). S/Sgt. Nicholson was finally added 27 September 2009 by Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society and three (3) additional names were also read into the "Roll of Honour" 26 September 2010.

2 The monument was brought about the hard work and dedication of "The Charlotte County War Memorial Committee (2005)". The committee members were: J. David Stuart, Mark Pedersen, Charlotte Fundy Kin Club and 250 RCAF (Saint John) Wing. Smet Monuments of St. Stephen donated the stone itself with Fundy Charlotte Kin Club covering the cost of the sale taxes.

3 David Stewart should be J. David Stuart. Mr. Stuart was the first Non-Commissioned Officer to arrive at No.2 Air Navigation School. When he arrived there it was a brand new station soon to be commanded by W/C F.R. Miller. Mr. Stuart was in charge of all of the administrative service operations for No.2 ANS, including the publication and distribution of Daily Routine Orders. When No.2 A.N.S. was being closed and amalgamated with No.1 C.N.S. in Rivers, Manitoba Mr. Stuart was in the process of being transferred there. However, as he was heading out the gate, S/L. E.L. OLeary stopped him and re-assigned him to No.2 Operational Training Unit that was being established at Pennfield Ridge. He again the first N.C.O. at No.2 O.T.U. with the same duties and responsibilities as before. However this time the station was now under RAF command due to No.34 OTU being the primary school occupying the base. Due to various problems in acquiring equipment, shortage of housing, etc. No.2 OTU was closed 19 August 1942. Mr. Stuart was then posted to RCAF Station, Yarmouth.

4 There are actually ten (10) airmen buried at the St. George Rural Cemetery in a common plot that is maintained by The Royal Canadian Legion (Branch #40), St. George. There is also another airmen, a St. George native, who is buried in another part of the cemetery within his own family plot.

5 The Air Base actually continued to operate until 1 October 1945. When No.34 Operational Training Unit disbanded 19 May 1944 it was taken over by the RCAF on the 20th of May 1944 under the command of W/C W.W.S. Ross. The Station consisted of an Operational Training Squadron with F/L Van Elslande as Squadron Commander, and a Transport Conversion Squadron with F/L L.B. Stevenson as Unit Commander. A smaller training unit in the form of the Eastern Air Command School of Survival was organized in May of 1945 under command of F/L G. Durrell. This school gave an extensive course in survival measures for those heading to the far East.

6 The inaugural flight by TCA from the field was made on April 15, 1947, with a plane following a route from North Sydney to Moncton, Pennfield, and finally, on to Boston. By December 31, 1951 TCA moved its staff from Pennfield over to the new airport in Saint John.

7 This reference was actually taken from "The Saint Croix Courier" newspaper article dated 12 August 1943. A portion of the article states: "During the early weeks of December the temperature dropped steadily until on the 19th it touched the lowest point recorded in this district in years - 34 below zero at 5 o'clock in the morning."

8 Colonel Perry Matte, was Wing Commander, 14 Wing CFB Greenwood. Colonel Matte completed his basic air navigator course in 1981 and began his military career at CFB Greenwood with 405 Squadron. He served for three years as the senior avionics engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, from 1990 to 1993. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in July 1995 and was posted to Maritime Group Headquarters in Halifax as Director of Air Operations Atlantic, then as Chief of Staff and Director of Operations for the Maritime Air Component (Atlantic). He was promoted to Colonel in July of 2002 and was posted to Winnipeg as A3 Force Employment, then A3 Force Generation. He assumed command of 14 Wing Greenwood in July of 2004.

9 Flight Lieutenant Stefan Plazier was a member of No.11 Squadron of the RAAF that was attached to 405 Squadron, CFB Greenwood.

10 Sgt. Major Damon Mitchell was a member of the Royal New Zealand Artillery that was the attached to the Artillery School at CFB Gagetown.

11 Phil Connell is Phillip F. Connell, DFM. Mr. Connell was a veteran of World War II, serving with the Bomber Command 83 Squadron of the R.C.A.F., and later was stationed at Pennfield Ridge from 1944-1945. He served as National President of the Air Force Association of Canada from 1962-1963 and was a member of the 250 RCAF (Saint John) Wing, Air Force Association of Canada.

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