415 Squadron Association
On the 7th of December 2000, Stan Wilson took part in the Canadian War Museum Oral History Project. He was one of fifty World War Two veterans who were interviewed in 2000. The interview recounts what prompted him to join the RCAF, how he became a navigator, how his crew was formed and their assignment to 415 Squadron.
Arriving in England during the summer of 1944, Stan became the navigator on the Minkler Halifax Crew. During his interview he discussed the many challenges that his crew faced whist conducting 28 operational missions, which were flown between mid-January and mid-April 1945. In August 1945, he returned to Ottawa eventually building a home, in which he resided until 2010. He maintained contact with a number of his wartime crew members, often meeting them throughout the years.
Stan died peacefully in hospital surrounded by his family on 30 June 2016, at the age of 91. He is remembered as homebody who supported his children's and grandchildren's endeavours and adventures wherever they wanted to explore. He loved sports, music, books, chatting with family, and spending time with both old and new friends.
To read a text of Stan’s Oral History interview please click here:
CALL FOR ASSISTANCE – ARGUS CREW LIST PROJECT
In 2016 the 415 Squadron Association decided to compile a complete list of 415 Argus crews. Initial study to further this project highlighted a lack of available reference material. Using Squadron Historical reports and reviewing historical artefacts held on the Squadron, some crew information has been uncovered and also a few crew photographs.
To further this project, it has been decided to work in two phases: Phase1 1961-1969 and Phase2 1970-1981. An initial compilation for Phase1 has been developed and can be viewed at Phase1. Line crews are listed for each year and if available the crew commander’s name is provided.
The ultimate objective is to list all crew members and include a crew photograph. The listing is incomplete and will be updated as related crew information becomes available.
Members of the Swordfish Alumni and visitors to this website are encouraged to forward information as well as crew photographs, which will assist in making the Argus Crew lists complete and accurate.
Work on ARGUS CREWS Phase 2 is now underway. Crew lists and photographs for Phase 2 (70-81) would also be gratefully accepted.
Members of 415 (Long Range Patrol Force Development) Squadron gather at the unveiling of the Squadron’s ‘Inspiration Stone’ on 28 September 2017. Four members of the 415 Squadron Association, Al Harvey, Serge Parisien, Jim Lambie and Chris Henneberry, joined the Squadron for the celebration. The stone had been on display at the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum from 2005 to 2017.
The Honourable Laurie Hawn, former Member of Parliament for Edmonton North and Commanding Officer of a Hornet Squadron, contacted our Association to advise that he had seen a headstone for F/O W. L. MacKay in of all places Tamsui, Taiwan. F/O Mackay and the rest of his 415 Crew were killed in a training accident near RAF Station Thorney Island on 12 March 1942.
MORE THAN MEMORIES – Swordfish will walk past ‘Inspiration Stone’ every day
Sara Keddy, Managing editor of the “Aurora”
Published 09 October 2017
Many roles, many missions, changing names and history – but the focus at the current incarnation of 415 (Long Range Patrol Force Development) Squadron seems to be on the future. As a physical reminder of the foundations of the Squadron, each time personnel report for duty they will pass a cairn that had been on display at the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum since 2005. Reclaimed by 415 on the 28th of September, the cairn now sets at the front entrance of the Squadron. “This stone was never meant to be in some memorial garden,” said former Commanding Offi cer Colonel (retired) Chris Henneberry. “The sacrifice and devotion to freedom that formed this unit is an inspiration to ‘those who follow.’ That’s meant for you.” Henneberry detailed the stone’s significance: granite for strength and endurance, red stone, representing sacrifice and the colour of 415; and its three sides, locating the squadron in Britain, Summerside and Greenwood. In 1997 it marked the 40th anniversary of 415 Squadron; it now captures 60-plus years of service.
The former Commanding Officer of 415 Squadron, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffry Davis, shares a few thoughts concerning his time in Command and in particular how the Squadron has successfully emerged from a ten year hiatus. Lieutenant-Colonel Davis is currently deployed on Operation IMPACT, where he serves as Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff of the Air Task Force.
The 415 Squadron Association maintains its links with the Veteran's Wing at Soldiers Memorial Hospital. In collaboration with 415 Squadron, an annual Christmas visit to the Veteran's Wing took place in December 2016. A joint gift was presented to the veterans care coordinator, which was happily received on behalf of the resident veterans. Those participating in the visit included Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, Master Warrant Officer Bull and Sergeant Smith from 415 Squadron and Al Harvey from the 415 Squadron Association.
415 (Long Range Patrol Force Development) Squadron reclaimed an artefact that serves as an inspiration to today’s Swordfish. On the 28th of September, the 40th anniversary cairn first presented to the Squadron in 1997 and now known as “Inspiration Stone” was relocated from the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum to the front entrance of 415 Squadron. From left are Chief Warrant Officer Denis Flamand and Deputy Wing Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Bruno Baker, 415 Squadron Master Warrant Officer Jean Plamondon, 415 Squadron Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Bernie Thorne, and three former squadron commanding officers: Major Serge Parisien, Colonel (retired) Chris Henneberry and Colonel (retired) Jim Lambie.
“If people take a close look at this stone, it gives a complete and precise history of who the Swordfish are.” 415 Squadron Commanding Offi cer Lieutenant-Colonel Bernie Thorne said the stone represents a link between the past and the present: “it’s ours, and I’m quite pleased to have it back here. We’re not the same as the former 415 crews who walked past ‘Inspiration Stone’ every day from years ago. Our mission has evolved and today the aircraft is very different. What we share is an identity as members of 415 Squadron: we are the folks who build, fix and fl y the aircraft that operates over the waves. We’re going to do the best that can be done.” Prior to the unveiling ceremony, Squadron members fi lled their day with a range of professional development, including a 415 history quiz that was sprung on them by Henneberry and Colonel (retired) Jim Lambie. “I’m a competitive guy, and I think it’s important to feel your squadron is the best,” Henneberry said. Having a good understanding of the Squadron’s history is an important ingredient in growing the best. From the squadron’s Second World War formation date, to the number of battle honours, to the heritage behind a memorial stained glass window at 14 Wing’s St. Mark’s chapel, Henneberry said “it’s interesting to know about the people: what they did, and the sacrifices they made”.