Pilots of No. 442 Squadron RCAF

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Click on the image to enlarge Pilots of No. 442 Squadron RCAF in front of the Spitfire Mk. IX. Standing in the middle (with ...

Click on the image to enlarge

Pilots of No. 442 Squadron RCAF in front of the Spitfire Mk. IX. Standing in the middle (with the visible striped T-Shirt) is Sqn/Ldr Blair Dalzell “Dal” Russel. The exact time and location of this photograph could not be established, but Russel was commanding this squadron between 1 May to 15 July ’44, which gives a hint about the time frame. Under his command the unit flew in support of the D-Day landings, being among the first units to move to the provisional B-3 landing ground in Normandy on June 10,1944.

Dal Russel was one of the most accomplished Canadian fighter pilots of the war. He enlisted already in September 1939 and arrived in England in June 1940 just in time to take active part in the Battle of Britain, for which he was awarded a DFC. Later in the war, he was promoted to W/Cdr and actually took a cut in rank to return to perational duties as a commander of No.442 Squadron. Russel was also famous for his luck: during the 286 operational sorties during the war he was never wounded, which gained him a nickname “Deadeye Dick”.

F/L Arnold Roseland of Y2-K Spitfire fame is at far right. [Pat Murphy coll.]

2 Comments

By Vern McClung – Killed « RCAF No. 403 Squadron  |  2012-01-15 at 09:05  |  permalink

[…] More on 442 Squadron.  […]

By peter  |  2012-03-09 at 13:06  |  permalink

we had this and a wing photo
seems like posed for in UK probably just before the invasion

far left is Larry Robillard of Ottawa
fifth from left is my father John Garn “Gary” Wright also of Ottawa

both went to Navy after war

Larry was shot down at some point and evaded capture getting to Spain and had a DFM

my Dad’s first tour was in the middle east on Kittyhawks with 112
squadron where he got a DFC

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