Neil Conner served in Bomber Command as a navigator with 415 Squadron, 6 Group, RCAF. He was assigned to F/O McFadden's crew, which flew 13 operational missions before being shot down on 05 January 1945 during a night raid on Hannover. Of the seven member crew, only four members successfully parachuted. They were all captured but only F/O Conner made it home. This interview, taped shortly before Neil passed away on June 10, 2012 describes how he was injured and lost his leg below the knee after his Halifax bomber was shot down over Germany. After the war, he devoted many years of service to the Ottawa Branch of The War Amps. Watch The Interview
Veteran - Passing of Douglas Arthur Stallard
He will be remembered
REMEMBERING EARL GOSKI
Earl Goski passed away on 3 August 2015. He served two tours on 415 Squadron and was an inaugural member of the 415 Squadron Association, as well as a member of its Executive for the past ten years. At the Association’s recent General Meeting, Earl was named the Swordfish of the Year for his many contributions to the Association. (see obituary)
Earl was a soft spoken, kind and generous individual, who was always ready to lend a helping hand. It was wonderful to see him at the General Meeting on 6 June 2015. Although he was frail, he had a big smile and shared warm greetings with all those in attendance. He was honoured to be named Swordfish of the Year and he received a well deserved standing ovation. Later in June, I visited Earl at home. He was just returning from his daily morning walk and although tired he wanted to talk about one of the Association projects he had led. Earl told me that he was looking forward to up coming visits from his grandchildren, who subsequently visited him in July.
There are a few special people you meet during your lifetime and Earl was one of them. I was fortunate to have him on the first Aurora crew I joined in 1981. A seasoned Argus navigator, he helped me make my transition to a large crew and life as a long range patrol aviator. He never missed a crew activity and we often shared a beverage together. Later as we formed the 415 Squadron Association, Earl readily volunteered to be part of the Executive. He was a constant contributor and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed his company over the past years. His presence will be missed at future meetings and social activities. We were all very fortunate to have him as a friend and fellow Swordfish.
GOSKI, Earl Eugene Goski aged 76 of Kingston passed away Monday, August 3, 2015 at home. Born June 3, 1939, in Section 25, TP 9, RG 11. W 2nd meridan, near Creelman, Saskatchewan, he was a son of the late Frank and Agnes (nee Mus) Goski. Earl was a graduate of Royal Roads, Royal Military College and the University of Saskatchewan, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Capt. Goski (retired) spent 28 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force (Canadian Forces) as a navigational officer, trainer, instructor, and administrator. Following the military, Earl was a navigational software programmer and mechanical engineer for 14 years at Litton Systems. Earl loved outdoor photography, global travelling and adventures with his grandchildren. He was a dedicated community volunteer and gave of his time freely to help others. Through the years, Earl was Chairman of the Greenwood Credit Union, a member of the board of directors for the Valley Credit Union and Central Credit Union, and active in the Wilmot and Area Neighborhood Watch, Annapolis County Citizens on Patrol. He was on the board for the East End Area Advisory Committee for Annapolis County. Earl is a past president of Synchro Nova Scotia. He was a long standing member of VP International, 415 Squadron Association, and educational volunteer for the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum. For many years Earl was a member and mentor for the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Anna (Greene) Goski , Kingston, NS and daughters Tara Maszczakiewicz of Sault Ste. Marie, ON and Dr. Dana Goski (Keith Souchereau) of Upper Arlington, OH, USA, as well as three grandchildren Stephanya &, Lucas Maszczakiewicz, and Reid Souchereau. He leaves behind Greg and Deena McNeil, who were loved like his children, and their two daughters, Shawna and Raven, Kingston, NS, and his brother Ed (Mary) Goski of Comox, BC. Earl was predeceased by his parents and infant sister, Mary. In keeping with Earl’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Visitation will be held 6:00Pm to 8:00PM, Thursday, August 6, 2015 in the Middleton Funeral Home, 398 Main Street (902) 825-3448 where a Memorial Service will be held 11:00AM Friday, August 7, 2015, with Rev. Patty Beals officiating, followed by a reception for family and friends. Interment will be in the Nictaux Cemetery. Donations in Earl’s memory may be made to Mid-Valley Palliative Care, c/o Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Box 730, Middleton, NS, B0S 1P0. By request, family flowers only please. Online guest book may be signed by visiting: www.middletonfuneralhome.com
Greetings fellow Swordfish
It is official. On the 5 June 2015 under sunny skies and with a large assembly of Swordfish proudly watching, the 415 Standard was unfurled and flown once again. On parade Lieutenant-Colonel Jeff Davis assumed command and the Squadron commenced a new era as a Long Range Patrol Force Development Squadron.
Over the past two years, under the leadership of the 14 Wing Commander, Colonel Iain Huddleston, himself a Swordfish, and a small group worked tirelessly to bring about this transformation, which has now introduced the first tactical level force development Squadron in the RCAF. The concept to amalgamate 14 Software Engineering Squadron (SES) and the Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit (MP&EU) to form a 400 series Squadron was not new, however as the Block III CP140M modernized aircraft entered service, the conditions were right to advance a new proposal. As we have witnessed, with RCAF endorsement, the opportunity to re-activate 415 Squadron was possible.
Despite the short notice of approval (less than two weeks), 14 Wing organized a first-rate event to welcome 415 Squadron back to active duty. VPI hosted a casual Meet and Greet BBQ on Thursday 4 June 2015. The relaxed atmosphere in familiar surroundings was an ideal venue for old friends to gather and reacquaint. The Change of Command Parade was unique and exceptionally well executed. The 14 Wing Commander led the parade which included 404 Squadron, 14 SES, MPEU and 405 Squadron. The soon to be amalgamated units took center stage and once the transfer of command had been executed, the personnel were re-organized into a single unit - 415 LRPFD Squadron. Following the Parade, a reception was held at the Annapolis Mess. In the early afternoon Colonel Huddleston addressed the 415 Squadron Association providing an update on the LRP Force and in particular, outlining the role of an RCAF Tactical Force Development Squadron. He talked with passion about the need to build understanding of the Force and to provide timely and concrete results, as new capabilities are introduced. He stated that 415 Squadron will play a key role in building LRP Force credibility. That evening a formal Squadron Mixed Dining-In was held. Over 140 people attended this function enjoying the camaraderie, excellent food and good music. A heartfelt address by Major-General Derek Joyce was well received. So to were the introductory remarks of Colonel Huddleston. Of note the new Commanding Officer was quick off the mark. Employing good cheer and humorous antics, he rekindled old rivalries between LRP Squadrons. Everyone in attendance was happy with the outcome of the days' events.
The 415 Squadron Association used this happy occasion to hold a General Meeting. Over 20 members of the Alumni were in attendance at which time an updated Constitution was approved - the revised Constitution is now posted on the Association Website:www.415sqn.com Reports were provided on membership, finance, kit shop and projects sponsored by the Association. As well, those in attendance were provided updates on the 2015 East Moor Remembrance Ceremony and the Association's charitable affiliation with the Veteran's Wing at Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Middleton. It was also announced that the Swordfish of the Year was Earl Goski. This recognition was richly deserved and I can say for a fact that for over ten years, as a volunteer on the Association Executive, Earl has constantly displayed the Swordfish spirit that is well known to those who have served on the Squadron. This announcement was well received by all of those in attendance.
Over the next few months the Association Executive will meet with the Squadron to determine how we can best work together. Following consultation with the new Commanding Officer, it can be expected that the outcome of these meetings will be shared with the entire Alumni. One thing that is certain is that we all look forward to seeing the Swordfish crest being worn by the next generation of RCAF personnel.
415 Squadron re-established at 14 Wing Greenwood following a decade’s absence
“The deed is done,” said Colonel Iain Huddleston, commander of 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia. He repeated the phrase on several occasions on June 5, 2015, as a series of significant shifts for the long-range patrol community were signed into effect.
A ceremonial parade before the base museum’s air park witnessed the disbandment of 14 Software Engineering Squadron, the merging of its members with those of the Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit (MP&EU), and the renaming of MP&EU as 415 Long Range Patrol Force Development Squadron.
Memories of an Argus Patrol
Ken Wright was a member of 415 Squadron from 1964 to 1967 and during his military career flew over 3000 hours on the Argus. In this story, Ken takes the reader through the conduct of an 18 hour Argus flight over the North Atlantic. Crew 3, led by Captain Leslie Shumka, has been tasked to complete an open ocean surveillance search followed by a submarine exercise against a Canadian "Oberon" class submarine. Take-off was at 0400 and landing was at 2200.
Starting with the early
morning briefing through the post-flight informal de-brief at the
Officer's Mess, Ken provides a crew member's perspective of an Argus
mission. He shares insights on the crew dynamics, equipment and mission
execution, which were essential to build and maintain a "good" and
An Argus Tour Remembered
story Peter Rowland shares his experience as a Swordfish from 1964 to
1968. He recounts the training, mentoring and the special events that
occurred during his tour on 415 Squadron. As you read his story, it is
obvious that he enjoyed his time as an RCAF Maritime Patrol Pilot
particularly when he recalls, with some humour, the Swordfish with whom
he served on crew 1 and crew 3. On a Short Service Engagement, he
decided to move to “civy” street after one operational tour. For many
this will be a familiar story - one which no doubt is shared regardless
of the era in which you flew the Argus or Aurora. The 415 Squadron
Association thanks Peter for sharing and thereby adding to the recorded
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