The pilot who strafed Rommel

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pbfoot, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Today I was fortunate enough to meet Charlie Fox who was the pilot of a SpitIX of 412 squadron
    that strafed and wounded Rommel on 17th July 44 also claims to be the last RCAF pilot to fly an operational mission in WW2 as tail end charlie in the last RCAF mission of the war at 90 he was going home to grab his girlfriend and go out dancing quite the character will see him again in a couple of weeks if anyone has a question:D
     
  2. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Good on ye mate and at 90 too!!
     
  3. amrit

    amrit Member

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    Sweet. 8)

    When did he find out who his illustrious victim had been? Was it during the war or after?

    I hope you don't mind me saying but he was a member of the last RCAF mission in the European War. I only mention it because I currently reading about the Canadian bomber squadrons in Burma.
     
  4. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    From what I understand a P47 also laid claim but Rommel stated it was a Spit so I would guess it was confirmed after they read or had intelligence on Rommels statement . What RCAF bomber sqn in the Burma I'm aware 435-437 transprt squadrons and 413 was in Ceylon and detected the japanese fleet near Ceylon by AVM Birchell VC he lived about 10 miles away from me
     
  5. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Neil if you are going to see him please ask how many missions flown in his sq. in the ETO. All with Spits and what marks in 44-45. Any aerial kills in the ETO and or pacific ?

    E ~
     
  6. amrit

    amrit Member

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    Sorry, PB, my sloppy typing is really going to get me into trouble one day. I was talking about the RCAF in the Liberator Squadrons in SEAC.

    I'm currently reading the first volume of "Burma Liberators: RCAF in SEAC".

    Is there an emoticon for slapped wrist? :oops:
     
  7. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Sure will he's quite the character we got him to be the announcer at our airshow:)
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    There are couple of survivors of B24 maybe 360 sqn SEAC my Dad plays cards with and Ju88 radar operator
     
  9. amrit

    amrit Member

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    Just came across this at the IWM site:

     

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  10. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Rommel near death.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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  12. amrit

    amrit Member

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    Yes, we do seem to have one:

    602 Squadron RAF

    World War II Sites - St-Germain-de-Montgommery (Calvados, France)

    And the summary of "Lions Rampant - The Story of 602 Spitfire Squadron" by McRoberts:

     
  13. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    "We took off late in the afternoon," recalls Mr. Fox, 84, who lives in London, Ont., and is to be installed as honorary colonel of his old wartime unit, 412 Squadron, at a ceremony this week in Ottawa.
    and his story

    "As soon as we got airborne at Bernieres-sur-mer, we started heading towards Caen and we split up into three sections of four, and we were to look for 'targets of opportunity' -- anything that was moving. It was the other side of Caen, and I saw this staff car coming along between a line of trees on a main road," says Mr. Fox. "I made no motion until it was just about 9 o'clock, and I did a diving, curving attack down and I probably started firing at about 300 yards. I saw hits on it and I saw it start to curve and go off the road -- and by then I'm on my way."

    Mr. Fox says the incident remains "very clear in my mind." And the July 17 entry in his own wartime log book records

    "1 staff car damaged" along with the destruction of a mechanical transport vehicle. At the end of the entry, Mr. Fox had written:

    However, in the case of the Rommel shooting, (first) it was rommels own report that disallowed the American pilots claim that a P-47 had shot him. His statement, which is in the official German records clearly state that it was Spitfires that had fired on them. there was another squadron of Spits flying near the same area but the very accurate squadron logs also disallowed them as well because they had already landed by the time of the incident. Logs don't lie. And they were already written up and entered well before any sure knowledge of the shooting of Rommel had come out. Quite an easy task to verify, once a thorough researcher like Mr. Lavigne had found the official squadron logs of each squadron that was claiming it. Once he had proven what Squadron had done the shooting, thats when he looked up the pilots involved with the mission that day and that eventually led him to Charley Fox. Mr. Lavigne had already found out that Charley was leading the flight and did the shooting. All verified by official flying records of the second world war.
    and besides paintings never lie:lol:
     

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  14. amrit

    amrit Member

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    It is interesting, isn't it?

    I did wonder what the 602 Association had to say about these new developments and have just emailed their museum. Should be interesting, if I get a reply. I'd quite like to read Mr Lavigne's book or complete article on this, if it's available - do you happen to know PB?

    This is why I like history - it's always so fluid.
     
  15. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    if you go to the second link the History News I gave it might help
     
  16. amrit

    amrit Member

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    Cheers PB. Unfortunately, it only reports that Michel Lavigne has stated this from his reseach. There's no reference to the original report/book from which this information came from. The last book I can find by him was published in 2002, and not related to this matter.

    I'm also intrigued about the statement that he researched the controversy "at Library and Archives Canada" - I hope he checked the ORBs for all the squadrons under consideration at the National Archives, London too.

    Oh well, I look around for futher references to him - I'm sure he's written more than is indicated in the newspaper article.

    The comments are interesting, especially:

     
  17. My Father was flight Commander in 602 during 1944/45
    Chris Leroux landed at 1655 dbst (Double British Summer Time - this was the standard in use at the time in UK). Rommel did not start his journey until 1600 et (European Time) i.e. 1700 dbst. My dad doesn't think that 602 had access to Starship Enterprise's Transporter room, therefore he doesn't think 602 got Rommel! But.... he doesn't know who did. The best way to find out is through reading all the ORBs of the RAF for that day. These are archived at the National Archives at Kew, England. If some one will pay foer my time, I will go there and find out the definitive answer - if I live that long!

    Remember the Heroes!
     
  18. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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  19. The confusion about 602vs 412 was caused by the fact that during 1944, in the UK they were using Double British Summer Time (DBST) i.e two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), In Europe they were using West Europe Time (WET) which is one hour ahead of GMT. Please try to stay with me, it's important! Chris Leroux and 602 Squadron landed at 1655 DBST. Rommel did not start his car journey until 1600 WET i.e. 1700 DBST. Therefore 602 could not have clobbered Rommel. My Dad was "B" Flight Commander 602, and has researched this quite thoroughly.
     
  20. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    so what the times indicate was that 412 sqn was based in Normandy .So were 602 and and 308 sqns still in the Uk? \
    I was fortunate enough to drive Charlie Fox around at our airshow this year still pretty spry and a fountain of knowledge in his endeavours to teach the young kids about the sacrifices made by all in the war's
     
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