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Trivia | Bagatelle

Who am I?

commander_ae_ross-1.JPGI was born 18th March 1907, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. After graduating from the Royal Military College in Kingston, I served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

My wife’s name was Marguerite. In 1941, I was the officer commanding No. 3 Service Flying Training School (SFTS), at Currie Field, Calgary. On Thursday August 14, 1941 a two-engine Avro Anson set out from (SFTS) for a training flight. Although the pilot was supposed to fly over relatively tranquil terrain northwest of Calgary; the Avro Anson had flown up Canyon Creek towards Mt. McDougall. Since the boulders below should have torn the aircraft to shreds, the pilot stalled the aircraft into the trees, to soften the blow. When the aircraft was due back but had not returned, there was much to be concerned about. Despite an intense aerial search, there still was no sign of the missing aircraft.

Although Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Sandy McGruther, age 20, survived Flight Officer (F/O) Sutherland Brown, age 21, and Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Greenfleld, age 22, were killed upon impact. I commanded the ground search party of the area including Canyon Creek and Prairie Creek. The search was hindered, however, by bad weather and very rough terrain. At the time, there was nothing more than a trail west of the Bragg Creek hamlet, more or less following the Elbow River. Splints were made from wing parts for Sandy’s right leg, badly broken just above the knee and a stretcher was put together for a difficulty 30 hour trip – five to six miles to the base camp; followed by 15 miles to a waiting Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) ambulance. On Sunday morning, while I left the base camp on a saddle horse to summon more help and to report on the casualties, the ambulance took five hours to travel the roughly 50 miles to the Colonel Belcher Military Hospital in Calgary. On Sunday morning, a small party left the base camp with packhorses to retrieve the two bodies that still remained in the downed aircraft.

I served as an Air Commodore during World War II. On 28th June 1944, at a Royal Air Force Station in Tholthorpe, Yorkshire I lost an arm when I rescued the pilot and air gunner of a burning bomber in which the bombs were exploding as I worked. The London Gazette reported that I was awarded the George Cross on 27th October 1944:

Citation: “The KING has been graciously to approve the following awards of the George Cross, the George Medal and the British Empire Medal (Military Division) to the undermentioned:”

My George Cross medal is displayed at the Royal Military College of
Canada museum.

An air cadet squadron bears my name.

 

Who am I?

a) 2364 Air Commodore Leonard J Birchall (RMC 1937)
b) 1780 Air Commodore Martin M Costello (RMC 1928)
c) 1815 Air Commodore Arthur Dwight Ross (RMC 1928)
d) 1109 Air Commodore DFW Verner (RMC 1919)

a_d_ross_air_cadet_squadron-1.JPGAnswer: c) 1815 Air Commodore Arthur Dwight Ross (RMC 1924) GC, CBE, CD and Two Bars. The air cadet squadron in Kingston, Ontario was named in his honour: No. 58 Air Commodore A. Dwight Ross, GC, CD, CBE Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron.

Sources: one two

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