War Diaries 1940

Thanks to Master Corporal Graham Humphrey for all his hard work at transcribing these diaries and adding photographs and routine orders in the appropriate places!

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TORONTO PRE-MOBILIZATION

3rd Sept. Great Britain declared war against Germany. 10th Sept. Canada declares war against Germany. All ranks eagerly awaited the call to mobilize. The composition of the 1st and 2nd Divisions was announced from Ottawa. The officers were given to understand that it was intended the QOR together with the GGFG of Ottawa and the GG of Montreal, were form a brigade to be sent to BC. The change of attitude by Japan caused the abandonment of this idea. Disappointed but undaunted the Regiment settled down to a winter’s work. All uniforms were turned in. The officers alone parade in uniform. On Sept 30th the annual classification shoot was held at Long Branch. A Regimental School, under Capt WT Barnard, was started for partial qualification to the rank of Lieutenant and Sergeant. Some twenty officers and forty-five Other Ranks attended three nights a week until March. During the winter and spring a great many men transferred to mobilized units of the CASF by efficient organization and intensified recruiting however, the Regiment maintained its strength. The direction given by the OC, LCol I M Macdonell MBE, VD, and the adjutant, Major ER Purvis, DSO, deserves the highest praise.

SCN_0042
Training at University Armouries 1940 – QOR Museum Photo
Training at University Armouries - QOR Museum Photo
Training at University Armouries 1940 – QOR Museum Photo
QOR Armband Worn when Uniforms of the Regiment were taken away - QOR Museum Photo
QOR Armband Worn when Uniforms of the Regiment were taken away – QOR Museum Photo

Toronto 5th June 1940

By authority TS 20-3 dated 5th June, 1940, the QOR of C was mobilized as The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, CASF.. The last parade of the QOR, NPAM, was held this evening; 450 all ranks on parade. LCol Macdonell took the parade. On account of medical unfitness he was unable to command the CASF regiment. In an informal manner, at Mess, this was explained to the Officers, and Major HC MacKendrick, ED, QOR of C, for the past nine months FSO2 at HQ, MD#2, was introduced as the new CO. The slate of officers for CASF unit was announced.

Toronto 6th June 1940

Preliminary organization and the medical boarding of officers and orderly room personnel.

Toronto 7th June 1940

Medical boarding of NPAM commenced with A Company. Progress slow as extra typewriters did not arrive until late in the afternoon, and some twenty clerks and orderlies had to document themselves before starting in on general documentation.

Toronto 8th June 1940

First Regimental Orders, CASF issued.

Toronto 9th June 1940

Sunday, No orders issued. Orderly Room open for general routine.

Toronto 10th June 1940

Italy declared war on Great Britain and France. Hon. Normal Rogers, Minister of National Defense, killed in RCAF aeroplane crash at Newtonville. By midnight Canada at war with italy. Telegram sent to the Col-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Mary. First issue made by QM of battle dress: due to shortages at Ordnance of khaki caps (FS) the men were issued with the green FS caps, the property of the Regiment. The latter has been the authorized head dress for eighty years. All officers commence firing six rounds (revolver) daily.

Wedge Cap 1 - Graham
Green Regimental FS cap – QOR Museum Photo

Toronto 11th June 1940

Training schedules drawn for the balance of the week. Most of NPAM personnel now through Medical Board.

Toronto 12th June 1940

Recruiting thrown open: response good.

Toronto 13th June 1940

Dry canteen opened under general supervision of Lt WA Robertson. No capital outlay.

Toronto 14th June 1940

Two trucks donated for the use of the Regiment by The Robert Simpson CO. Ltd. Painted a service khaki and immediately put into service trade-testing. Drives IC.

Toronto 15th June 1940

X-Ray results slow. The personnel of Christie St. Hospital refuse to work on Saturday afternoon. First pay day for all ranks taken on strength up to DO5.

Toronto 16th June 1940

Sunday: no untoward incident reported after first pay day. CO’s speech to the troops evidently bore effect. Word received from DAAD to finish recruiting by the end of the week. Report received that WO3’s are to be abolished. No DO’s issued.

Toronto 17th June 1940

Extra typists secured to assist in documentation. QM outfitting some fifty to sixty men daily. Troops appear very smart in their green caps and are endeavouring to live up to the tradition of the Regiment. Nine NCO’s report back to unit after six months service with #1&2 CI(R)TC: a valuable addition to our strength. All officers to fire six rounds (revolver) daily with left hand during the following week. Syllabus of training for week.

Toronto 18th June 1940

A typical sample of the recruiting situation is shown in today’s analysis:

Total strength as of Part 2 Orders…….456

Recruits documented today…………….164

X-Rayed today……………………………..86

Awaiting Medical Board………………..165

Medical boarded today…………………..85

X-Rayed but no results obtainable……150

Waiting for X-ray…………………………..29

interviewing of recruits is being done by Major WL Bryan and Major VA Gianelli. Lt AV Malone generally supervises documentation and 2LT WE Fess handles the trucks going to Christie St. Hospital where the X-rays are taken. Reply received from Pte Secretary, Her Majesty Queen Mary, to our telegram of the 10th.

Toronto 19th June 1940

Mr. WC Harris offered to pay the expenses at The Toronto Men’s Hostel of homeless recruits until they could be paid.

Toronto 20th June 1940

Liquor permit arrived. All officers may now legally have a drink in the Mess. A special detail under 2Lt RD Medland brought in some nine hundred rifles and swords of ancient vintage from King, Ont. The weapons were stored in the Armouries. Recruiting practically stopped as we are nearly at War Establishment 934 other ranks.

Toronto 21th June 1940

A few specialists only taken on strength. The bugle band is beginning to round out. Route march held in the downtown district with some six hundred men on parade.

Toronto 22 June 1940

Documentation staff working to catch up with recruiting rush of last week. Training carried on of fully documented personnel on North Campus, University of Toronto. Training stopped at noon for weekend.

Toronto 23 June 1940

Orderly Room staff endeavouring to catch up with Attesting Officers so Part 2 Orders issued today, Sunday. Syllabus of Training for coming week.

Toronto 24 June 1940

Sixty five Other Ranks taken on strength. This will be the last large strength increase. Today’s parade stats 901 Other Ranks. Foul weather all indoor training. Officers revolver marksmanship shows marked improvement. Meeting of CASF and NPAM Officers at 2000 hrs to deal with the disposition of Regimental Funds in accordance with Mobilization Instructions. Final documentation slowed up as no MFM5s available. In addition Paymaster is unable to obtain stationery. France signs armistice with Germany and italy.

Toronto 25 June 1940

Trade testing of drivers IC commenced. Otis Group Intelligence Tests to be administered to all ranks. Material supplied and advice given by Dr. Line, Dept of Psychology, University of Toronto. The tests will be used to provide a select group which to select NCO material. Company route marches begun.

Toronto 26 June 1940

Word received during morning that Regiment is to proceed to Camp Borden on Monday, July 1st. Web equipment drawn, checked, made ready for issue, and immediately ordered by to Ordnance. Preparations went ahead for advance party, etc. At night word received that Regiment was to proceed to Borden on Saturday, 29th June. Great difficulty owing to fact that men have nothing issued. Large sandbags suggested as kti bags. Major EO King struck off strength to 2 District Dept. – to be QM of German prisoner internment camp. Old great coats and large sand bags in lieu of kit bags issued.

Toronto 27 June 1940

Pay parade for Advance Party, Movement Orders No 41 and 42 received. Available equipment issued to Advance Party. Company commanders and others commence clearing rooms occupied since 1901 when the armouries were built. It was understood that the reserve officers would be permitted to use the Officer’s mess, the Sgts mess, the Orderly Room, and the Tailor Shop, as long as possible.

Toronto 28 June 1940

Advance party formed at 0815 hr. Left armouries at 0900 hrs arrived Union Station 0830 hrs arrived at Camp Borden 1245hrs. Weather very inclement; rain, and strong wind which blew down some tents in the lines of other units. Day spent in drawing stores and making camp for advance party. In Toronto remainder of unit occupied in packing and shipping stores and equipment. Inspections of rooms vacated was made by DS&T officer disclosing 14 broken or cracked windows. Unit was complimented on condition in which quarters were being left. Paymaster completed paying the main party during the course of the day, for month of June. Documentation of dependent allowance claim proceeding gradually. Cooperation by officers & men in producing marriage certificates and children’s birth certificates has facilitated in making prompt payment of allowances for DA by Ottawa possible. Sufficient forms MFM #16G not yet available from DPM.

Camp Borden 29 June 1940

Regiment formed up at 0830 hrs, Great coats and equipment were carried in sand bags slung from shoulder by means of heavy cord. Left armouries 0910 hrs arrived at Union Station at 0930 hrs. Entrainment was orderly and expeditious, with no untoward incidents. One broken train window was discovered to have been broken by railway staff. Regiment occupied 15 cars. Actual entraining took 7 minutes. Left Union Station 0958 hrs arrived at Camp Borden 1235 hrs. Detraining was orderly and head of column moved off in less than four minutes from time train stopped as mentioned in Glove and Mail, Toronto 1st July 1940. Advance party had spent morning laying out lines and pitching tents. All guy ropes had been pegged instead of usual four. So that regiment had only to tell off men to tents then march them to cook houses. Blankets, groundsheets, paliasses and bolsters were issued as far as they would go. There were some shortages, particularly in ground sheets. Men showed excellent spirit. During afternoon parade OC deservedly complimented Advance party and the Quartermaster, LT AG Carrier, Majors Bryan and Hudson, reported to RMC for refresher course.

Newspaper Article of the QORofC at Camp Borden - QOR Museum Photo
Newspaper Article of the QORofC at Camp Borden – QOR Museum Photo

Camp Borden 30 June 1940

Organization of camp was continued. Heavy scattered showers were a hindrance. Excerpts from Camp Borden Standing Orders dealing with danger areas and places out of bounds, fire alarm, safety precautions, etcetera, were read out on parade by Company commanders. Cooking staff continued to supply excellent meals under difficulties. Men were advised of RC mass parade. Voluntary Protestant Church service in afternoon was cut short by rain. One man, Rfn Comrie sent to School of Cookery at Camp Borden. Weather continues cold and squally.

Camp Borden 1 July 1940

Regular training carried out in morning. Camp sports held in afternoon. In spite of short time in camp, teams made good showings in Soccer, Softball and Tug of War. Entries were also made in Track Sports and Boxing but lack of training was rather evident.

Camp Borden 2 July 1940

Weather clear and warm. Rear party arrived in camp. Pronounced difficulty in feeding due to lack of men’s mess tents, and insufficient table utensils.

Camp Borden 3 July 1940

Weather hot. Severe cases of sunburn reported due to lack of sun helmets.

Camp Borden 4 July 1940

Weather still hot. Canvas shoes issued to some men but sizes away out of line – four instance – 125 prs size 5; 210 prs size 6; 165 prs size 11. Necessities issued but short on blacking brushes. Three Officers and 13 OR proceeded on Command to CSAS at 1530 hrs.

Camp Borden 5 July 1940

Routine training as per training syllabus. Quartermaster and Paymaster working very hard in their respective departments.

Camp Borden 6 July 1940

First weekend leaves granted to half the unit.

Camp Borden 7 July 1940

First Church Parade held at 0930 hrs. Moved “D” Coy’s lines to make way for new position of ablution rooms and huts.

Camp Borden 8 July 1940

Lt AV Malone and 2 OR proceeded to Camp School or Signals Camp Borden. Toxoiding commended by the MO “D” Coy were finished in the morning and “C” Coy in the afternoon. The issue of denim battle dress was commenced. It all is much too large but apparently is expected to shrink considerably when washed. Only about 200 men can be outfitted because of the large sizes we received. Moved all remaining lines. One ablution room moved and work on huts commenced.

Camp Borden 9 July 1940

Fitting of Officers and NCO’s respirators carried out.

Camp Borden 10 July 1940

Toxoiding continued with “HQ” Coy done in the morning and “B” Coy in the afternoon. Efficient organization under Mjr HJ Nesbitt, RCAMC, allowed this to proceed rapidly. Formation of 2nd Bn The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada announced under the command of LCol Baptist Johnston, VD, with Mjr ER Purvis, DSO, as 2ic. The CO addressed a meeting of the QOR Association in Toronto. Pictures of men taken for War Records Library.

Camp Borden 11 July 1940

Weather cold and rainy. Parades outside had to be cancelled but lectures were carried on for all companies in the dining tents. “A” Coy was toxoided in the morning. Unit notified to supply 250 men for Train Guard for Troop Movement of Essex Scottish on 14 July.

Camp Borden 12 July 1940

Received orders that the unit was to be attached to 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade for administration and training. Discovered that Denim Battle Dress which had been issued by Ordnance as Summer Dress was meant to be worn over Serge Battle Dress and not as summer kit at all.

Camp Borden 13 July 1940

Brig CB Topp DSO, MC commanding 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade made an informal inspection of the battalion. Received 6 Bren Guns from Essex Scottish.

Camp Borden 14 July 1940

Church Parade held at 0930 hrs. Service conducted by H/Capt CW Cline, Chaplain attached to the regiment. Many visitors to camp in afternoon. Unit provided Train Guard for departure of Essex Scottish at 2030 hrs and 2130 hrs.

Camp Borden 15 July 1940

Hutments are rapidly being completed. Course for Regimental Bren Gun Instructors commenced – 42 NCOs from 1645 hrs to 1745 hrs and all officers from 1900 hrs to 2000 hrs. All officers went out on Map reading Scheme from 1630 hrs to 1800 hrs.

Camp Borden 16 July 1940

Second inoculation of TAB given to “D” and “C” Coys. The MO Major JH Nesbitt, RCAMC, inoculated 134 men in 16 minutes. “HQ” & “B” Coys given second inoculation of TAB.

Camp Borden 17 July 1940

Ordered to move into hutments as soon as they were completed. For the purpose of this order hutments are considered completed when the roof, walls and floor are completed whether doors, windows or electric light are installed or not.

Camp Borden 18 July 1940

Move into huts commences; tents struck and returned to Ordnance by two companies. Rain made the completion of this task impossible. Training as per syllabus.

Camp Borden 19 July 1940

Movement into huts continued; as fast as roofs are on, huts are occupied. Even though doorless and windowless the men appreciate the added comfort. The incidence of coughing shows a decline.

Camp Borden 20 July 1940

Saturday: training ceased at 1200 hrs. Order received from 4th Infantry Brigade to provide train guard for RHLI who are en training tonight. RHLI officers invited by our Mess to dinner. Certain home made articles e.g. Dannert Concertina wire machine donated to us by RHLI. Raining heavily and very humid. Some fifty per cent of all ranks of QOR on weekend pass.

Camp Borden 21 July 1940

Church parade at 0930 hrs, followed by Hut inspection. Kit laid out as per Regimental Standing Orders. Great influx of friends and relatives of men in afternoon.

Camp Borden 22 July 1940

Extremely humid. Training syllabus altered to permit three quarters of an hour PT in morning for all ranks. Word received that unit should begin to prepare for a possible move. Warning order received that Mjr Gen Alexander, DOC would inspect the unit at 0900 hrs, 23 July.

Camp Borden 23 July 1940

Regiment inspected at 0900 hrs, by Mjr Gen Alexander, DOC. He thoroughly inspected troops, lines, canteen, mess huts, etc. At 1430 hrs LCol AE Nash, AA & QMG inspected the Orderly Room and Regimental Accounts. Most of battalion given third inoculation of TAB. The MO Mjr JH Nesbitt, RCAMC performed 211 inoculations in 30 minutes.

Camp Borden 24 July 1940

“D” Coy and ¼ “HQ” Coy started on 4 days draft leave. Irish Regt moved into camp in lines immediately north of us.

Camp Borden 25 July 1940

Training as per syllabus.

Camp Borden 26 July 1940

Training as per syllabus.

Camp Borden 27 July 1940

17 men of Brass Band reported to unit.

Camp Borden 28 July 1940

Brass band played for concert at Alexander Field tonight.

Camp Borden 29 July 1940

“D” Coy and ¼ “HQ” Coy returned from draft leave. Quartermaster commenced issuing new greatcoats, web, rifles, boots, shirts, holdalls, first field dressing, respirators, underwear and extra socks. CO proceeded to NDHQ to obtain particulars of movement.

Rfn posing while on Leave in Toronto - QOR Museum Photo
Rfn posing while on Leave in Toronto – QOR Museum Photo
Rfn posing while on Leave in Toronto - QOR Museum Photo
Rfn posing while on Leave in Toronto – QOR Museum Photo

Camp Borden 30 July 1940

“D” Coy completed firing of rifle and Bren Gun on 30 yd ranges. Respirators tested in gas hut.

Camp Borden 31 July 1940

Commenced making up Pay Books which have just arrived. “C” Coy, and ¼ “HQ” Coy returned from draft leave. “C” Coy drawing equipment and firing on 30 yd range.

Camp Borden 1 August 1940

Training as per syllabus. Part I & II Orders

Larger part of equipment now issued; difficulty in securing packing cases from Ordnance who think 10 are a sufficient number.

Camp Borden 2 August 1940

Lt. Cherrier and all 2nd Lt took qualifying examination for Quartermaster and Lt’s rank respectively. More equipment for tradesmen arrived from Ordnance. Major Godfrey, RCOC visited us to see if our requirements were being filled.

Camp Borden 3 August 1940

Capt. D H MacDonald and 3 Other Ranks attached to unit from CDC. Shoemaker attached from Ordnance. More trucks of equipment from Toronto.

Camp Borden 4 August 1940

Church Parade, at 0930 hrs, conducted by Capt. CW Cline. Unit given an advance of pay. Large number of relatives motored up from Toronto to spend the afternoon; all over by 1900 hrs. Band enlivened proceedings considerably. Movement Order B. 35 received from Camp HQ.

Unit movement order prepared.

Advance Party consisting of Officer Commanding, 4 other officers, and 20 other ranks left Camp Borden at 0500 hrs; arrived Allandale 0545 hrs; train 40 minutes late. Fire broke out in town. Advance Party acted as traffic control. Left Allandale 0700 hrs. Mjr Purvis and Sankey of 2nd Bn. QOR of C saw party off. Arrived Montreal 1815 hrs.

Camp Borden 5 August 1940

All back from embarkation leave. All pay records checked by Camp Paymaster and found correct. All ranks warned of impending move; No passes of any kind granted. 1 Armourer and 3 Fitters attached to unit from Ordnance. 72 Other Ranks and 1 Officer struck off strength to No.2 District Depot; reasons – in hospital, medically unfit, undesirable and absent without leave.

Advance Party arrived Truro, NS 2000 hrs.

Camp Borden 6 August 1940

Paymaster closed Bank Account and gave cheque for unexpended advances to Camp Paymaster. District Treasury Officer, Mr. GJ Cameron, present and complimented Paymaster on efficient accounting. Kit bags properly marked piled by Coys on Bn Parade Ground by 1400 hrs; taken to baggage cars to T.O. Tea at 1600 hrs. The Perth Regiment very kindly gave tea to the officers. Visited during the day by 4th Bde and Camp HQ Staff. Last part I and Part II Orders issued in Canada.

Duchess of Richmond 7 August 1940

Train arrived at 1100 hrs. Troops embarked promptly with the exception of a 50 man fatigue party. Baggage including 550,000 rounds of ammunition loaded by 1230 hrs. Ship under command of Capt. W Coyle, cast off immediately.

Ship Routine complied by Adjt. And printed by Purser. Boat drill at 1700 hrs. Quebec passed at 2200 hrs Pilots changed.

Embarkation Strength

Officers WO & Sgts Cpl & Rfn Total

HQ 15 23 298 336

“A” 6 5 140 151

“B” 5 4 121 130

“C” 5 4 129 138

“D” 7 5 136 148

Totals 38 41 824 903

Advance party disembarked Port aux Basques Nfld at 0730 hrs; arrived Bishop’s Falls 2230 hrs. Mjr Spragge, Lt Green and 8 other ranks detrained to continue on to Botwood. Remainder of Party arrived Nfld Airport at 0500 hrs – 4 hrs late.

Duchess of Richmond 8 August 1940

Boatdrill at 1015 hrs. Ship inspection at 1030 hrs Destroyer H60 arrived alongside at 1140 hrs. Duchess of Richmond hove to for approximately 20 minutes, and sent boat alongside destroyer. Admiralty instructions received. Muster parade held of HQ Coy. Troops full of enthusiasm and enjoying the trip and meals very much. Weather warm and Sea smooth. Pilot dropped at Father Point at 0730 hrs. Bugle Band gave an impromptu concert. Brass Band’s music locked in hold so activities curtailed. Identification discs and eye shields, anti gas, issued on board.

Advance Party made tour of posts and an appreciation of local conditions.

Duchess of Richmond 9 August 1940

Boat drill at 1015 hrs. Ship inspection at 1030 hrs. Minor damages but nothing compared with the usual. Commander well pleased. Aeroplane 753 sighted on escort duty at 1200 hrs. Ship now well in Straits of Belle isle. Warning given that disembarkation will probably start at 0900 hrs tomorrow. Destroyer preceding ship most of the time. Arrangements made for 24 hr rations to be carried by all ranks on disembarkation. Weather turned colder at 1530 hrs Icebergs sighted at 1715 hrs, high winds developed suddenly; lasted for four or five hours.

AM left for Botwood to look into question of supplies etc. CO left for Botwood after making arrangements for take over at Airport when QORofC arrived.

Botwood 10 August 1940

Ship docked at 0800 hrs. All troops and baggage removed by tender; slow and tedious. “A” and “B” Companies and a detachment from “HQ” Coy left at Botwood, “C”, “D” and remainder of HQ Coy proceeded to Nfld Airport. 1st train pulled at 1030 hrs; arrived at 1350 hrs. Took over outposts from Black Watch at 1450 hrs. 2nd train arrived 1700 hrs. Took over remainder of positions. Black Watch left immediately. Very cold at night temp. 36 degrees F.

Nfld Airport 11 Aug 1940

Survey of positions made; sorting out of stores begun. Weather fine. As the Black Watch had started from nothing but 6 weeks ago much remains to be done.

Botwood Detachment 11 Aug 1940

Work continued all day unloading Duchess of Richmond. Men worked for hours without relief to unload ship, so that Black Watch could get away quickly. Ship left at 1330 hrs SS Clyde left port at 1920 hrs.

Nfld Airport 12 Aug 1940

1st Pt. I and Pt II Orders issued. Camp Standing Orders made up and issued. Complimentary letter received from Bdr Topp DSO MC.

C Coy now on Outpost Duty, D Coy as Airport Coy and HQ Coy as Training Coy. The great amount of work to be done kept the training Coy on various fatigues for the remainder of the week. Two deserts from Black Watch apprehended.

Botwood Detachment 12 Aug 1940

Labour Day in Botwood. Bugle Band led Parade of local longshoremen about the village. SS Lake Traverse of Panama entered harbour in ballast. Ship searched by Intelligence Section.

Nfld Airport 13 Aug 1940

Camp improvements begun: kitchen stoves smoked, no hot water for men, no proper garbage disposal; etc. This work is imperative for the well being of the troops. Quartermaster still has an immense amount of work to do in arranging his stores; accommodation inadequate. Beginning made on Emergency dispositions of Training coy.

Botwood Detachment 13 Aug 1940

CO arrived at Botwood and went over dispositions here. Conference of 2ic and Company Commanders held. Certain changes in dispositions decided on.

Nfld Airport 14 Aug 1940

Camp improvements continue; changes made by CO in outpost siting, etc. QM issuing second pair of boots and underwear to each man. First formal Mess in Administration Bldg. RCAF Regimental concert held at night.

Botwood Detachment 14 Aug 1940

Changed dispositions of troops and location of posts. New plan has one company on duty for one week and other company in camp training.

SS Nashaba, American, was inspected, cleared, and left port at 2315 hrs. Bound for Houston, Texas with cargo of concentrates.

Nfld Airport 15 Aug 1940

Routine work proceeded. Small moving picture show seating 50 men attended for first time tonight. Censorship of letters home becomes a considerable part of the Company Officers daily routine.

Botwood Detachment 15 Aug 1940

British flying boat Clare, Capt Kirton, commanding landed here at 0950 hrs from Foynes, Ireland passengers including Capt the Hon Harold Balfour, British Under Secretary of State for Air, his Parliamentary Secretary, WW Wakfield, Sir Henry Tizard, chairman of the Aeronautical research Committee and Group Captain FL Pearce, RAF.

Plane left at 1210 hrs for Montreal. SS Lake Traverse inspected, found correct and cleared port at 1630 hrs.

Nfld Airport 16 Aug 1940

Camp now shows considerable improvement with regard to sanitation and general accommodation. A large number of officers have recce flights through the cooperation of the local detachment, RCAF.

Botwood Detachment 16 Aug 1940

OC Detachment, Major WL Bryan and Capt. JM Milne proceeded on cutter, Point May to Lewisporte to inspect the report upon possible defense of that port.

SS Hav-Moy, Norwegian, inspected and left harbour for Alabama, at 0130 hrs.

SS Etua, Swedish arrived in port at 1254 hrs. After being inspected by Examination Vessel Point May. Checked again in harbour and report of presence of 3 enemy (2 Danes, 1 German) aliens aboard confirmed. Guard placed on ship to prevent these men landing.

SS Ungava, Nfld inspected and entered harbour at 2208 hrs.

Nfld Airport 17 Aug 1940

Saturday: First leave party of some 100 other ranks left for Grand Falls under general direction of Mr. Peters, Auxiliary Services. They were given hospitality by the local people. The troops were loud in their praise of the manner in which they had been treated. Routine work proceeded. C Coy becomes Training Coy. D takes on Outposts, and HQ becomes the Airport Coy.

Botwood Detachment 17 Aug 1940

SS Etna inspected and crew found all present. Left port at 1915 hrs.

Nfld Airport 18 Aug 1940

Divine Service held at 0930 hrs. Slight drizzle falling. Nights not so cold as when we first arrived. Inspection of lines. Brass Band adds much colour to the camp life in general.

Botwood Detachment 18 Aug 1940

Church parade to United Church.

Nfld Airport 19 Aug 1940

General routine: Training coy now able to work on a full schedule of Training. Specialists attached now well organized. Capt D MacDonald, CDC working steadily as only emergency dental work was done in Canada. Fitters (MV) and Armourer, though without proper kits, are doing all they can.

Botwood Detachment 19 Aug 1940

“B” Coy took over defensive positions with “A” Coy carrying out training. Flying boat Clare landed eastbound from Montreal at 1530 hrs. Passengers included 6 American pilots proceeding to England and Mr. Lii of Norway. Passengers given lunch and plane took off for England at 1900 hrs.

Two amphibians of RCAF landed at 2005 hrs carrying Associate Minister of Nation Defense, CR Power on tour of inspection. Party included Maj. General WHP Elkins, GOC in C Atlantic Command, Air Vice-Marshal L Breadner, CAS Commodore, WE Reid, CO Atlantic Coast and Air Commodore, Armstrong, Air Officer Commanding EAC. Party stayed night in Officers quarters, officers spending night in tents to accommodate them.

Nfld Airport 20 Aug 1940

Major General WHP Elkins, CBE DSO Air Minister CG Power, Air Vice Marshal LS Breadner with staff arrived in two amphibian planes from Botwood on a tour of inspection. Major General Elkin expressed satisfaction with the progress made. A section was ordered to Lewisporte; concrete pill boxes to replace section posts around the air port, and a reduction of the outposts to anti sabotage posts. The party left in the afternoon.

Botwood Detachment 20 Aug 1940

Party made tour of inspection of defence positions. Planes left at 1146 hrs for Airports.

Nfld Airport 21 Aug 1940

Routine Trng. Some rain in morning; sky overcast. CO left on reconnaissance to Lewisport; later proceeded to St. John’s Nfld. To interview authorities with regard to providing help in training Newfoundland Militia.

More perishable foodstuffs condemned by MO. The spoiling is occasioned by the highly irregular train service. Meat is thrown off the train at three o’clock in the morning. Work on the near hutments is proceeding apace. Paymaster returned from Botwood. Lt Lett now almost finished dynamiting a proper garbage pit.

Botwood Detachment 21 Aug 1940

SS Falsterbo, Swedish, inspected, found correct and left port at 1717 hrs with cargo of pulp.

Nfld Airport 22 Aug 1940

Sgt Hazzard and six men left for Lewisport. They will give warning of any emergency that may arise there. Lewisport would provide a strategic landing place as it is connected by railroad. On the 22nd 300,000 gallons of gas and oil were stored there. Weather turned very cold this afternoon. Emergency drill held.

Botwood Detachment 22 Aug 1940

Routine.

Nfld Airport 23 Aug 1940

Bn Parade at 915 hrs. Routine Training. Weather continues cold though sunny. Incidence of sickness remains low though tents are not very comfortable due to the extreme variability of the weather. Nfld railway reduced railway fares to return fare for one single.

Botwood Detachment 23 Aug 1940

SS Clyde arrived on regular weekly trip at 1515 hrs.

Nfld Airport 24 Aug 1940

Change over of duties; HQ now on outpost “C” Airport; and D Training coy. Leave party of approx 100 left for Grand Falls. The continued hospitality of this small community is remarkable. All of these men are given their meals free, and most of them sleep in private homes. Weather turned cold and squally. Rfn French sent to St. John’s at 2359 hrs appendicitis; facilities here and hospital at Grand Falls full.

Botwood Detachment 24 Aug 1940

Routine.

Nfld Airport 25 Aug 1940

Church Parade at 0930 hrs followed by inspection of lines. Weather continuing cold.

Botwood Detachment 25 Aug 1940

SS Dordecki, Polish, in ballast, arrived in port, inspected, found correct, and docked at 0705 hrs. Church parade to C of E Church. Father Hinchey of Bishop’s Falls said mass for RCs in paper shed of A.N.D. Co.

Nfld Airport 26 Aug 1940

CO returned early this morning after a visit to St. John’s to establish liaison with various authorities. Training Coy working on syllabus. The breakfast bacon arrived at 0930 hrs. This occurs continually resulting in disruption of meals and spoiling of perishable foods.

Botwood Detachment 26 Aug 1940

A Coy took over defensive positions with B coy doing training for this week. Regimental PT Course began with 3 men from each coy under 2Lt NR Pilcher. Course to last for 1 week.

Nfld Airport 27 Aug 1940

Routine training; indents for barbed wire etc prepared; hospital marquee erected to accommodate overflow from small hut service as RAP; no water bottles, sheets, etc. Appeal sent to Red Cross.

Botwood Detachment 27 Aug 1940

Routine.

Nfld Airport 28 Aug 1940

Lt Col Westmoreland, DS TO with two officers arrived by plane from Halifax. Problems of supplies and routing discussed with CO Formal Mess in evening.

Botwood Detachment 28 Aug 1940

Routine

Nfld Airport 29 Aug 1940

Routine Training; short visit by International Defense Commission.

Botwood Detachment 29 Aug 1940

Party under Capt JM Milne commenced construction of 30 yd Rifle Range.

Nfld Airport 30 Aug 1940

Routine Training.

Botwood Detachment 30 Aug 1940

SS Clyde arrived on regular weekly voyage at 1625 hrs.

SS Ungava of Newfoundland arrived was inspected and docked at 2155 hrs.

Nfld Airport 31 Aug 1940

Usual leave party of 100 to Grand Falls. In addition Brass Band attended; Bugle Band from Botwood met at station and leave party played into town by both bands.

Botwood Detachment 31 Aug 1940

Flying boat Clare, Capt Kelly-Rogers in command arrived from Foynes, Ireland at 0714 hrs.

Passengers included Major Mayo, Mr. Pearce and Mr. Catt. Passengers given breakfast and plane left at 1014 hrs.

Regimental PT course concluded and candidates examined by 2Lt NR Pilcher.

Nfld Airport 1 Sept 1940

Divine Service held: Anglican Communion celebrated by Rev. Mr Bishop of Grand Falls. Brass and Bugle Bands gave concert on Sunday afternoon at Grand Falls, large crowd present.

Botwood Detachment 1 Sept 1940

Divine service at 1100 hrs. Detachment paraded to United Church. SS Carreta, registered Republic of Panama in ballast to load concentrates, docket at 1217 hrs. Inspected by Intelligence Section and cleared.

Nfld Airport 2 Sept 1940

Routine Training

2Lt MacLeod, RCE attached to “W” Force

Botwood Detachment 2 Sept 1940

SS Northon, Canadian with coal docked at 1130 hrs. Examined and cleared by Intelligence section. “B” Coy took over as duty Coy from “A” Coy.

Nfld Airport 3 Sept 1940

On account of drawing in of nights, times of retreat, etc put back. 10 other ranks returned to QOR wing, No. 2 District Depot, medically unfit.

Botwood Detachment 3 Sept 1940

SS Uregava of Nfld cleared at 1157 hrs for Sydney. Checked by Intelligence Section.

Nfld Airport 4 Sept 1940

Training Instructions issued by CO.

“A” Coy will be moved from Botwood to Airport: “C” Coy from Airport to Botwood.

Movement Orders.

Special patrol sent out to search for suspicious stranger lurking near Airport. Weather wet and chilly. Ladies of officials at Airport donated sheets for our RAP.

Botwood Detachment 4 Sept 1940

SS Toledo, Norwegian, in ballast to load paper for South America, docked at 1130 hrs and was examined and cleared by Intelligence Section.

Nfld Airport 5 Sept 1940

Maj Gen WHP Elkins, CBE, DSO and Cpl Goodeve arrived on tour of inspection. Met by Lt Col HC MacKendrick. Inspected Airport posts and outposts. Expressed satisfaction of defenses. Emphasis laid on defense against parachutists.

Officers taken on strength.

First movie was shown in Legion Hall run by Mr. Marsh Peters Auxiliary Services Officer.

Botwood Detachment 5 Sept 1940

SS Carreta cleared by Intelligence Section. Sailed at 0050 hrs with all crew aboard. Flying boat Clare landed at 1130 hrs from Montreal bound for Foynes. Passengers, who were given lunch, included Capt HH Balfour, British Under Secretary of State for Air, his Parliamentary private secretary, WW Wakefield, and 3 American pilots. Clare took off at 1430 hrs for Foynes. SS William Hansen, Norwegian, with coal docked at 1158 hrs and was inspected and cleared by Intelligence Section.

Nfld Airport 6 Sept 1940

Major Gen WHP Elkins, Col Goodeve and Lt Col HC MacKendrick left Airport by Buda car to visit Lewisporte and Botwood Detachments 0900 hrs. 6 RCAMC Orderlies arrived.

Botwood Detachment 6 Sept 1940

SS Clyde called in on regular weekly trip at 1245 hrs and left 1530 hrs.

Nfld Airport 7 Sept 1940

“A” Coy arrived from Botwood by special train 1145 hrs relieving “C” Coy which entrained at 1215 hrs for Botwood. Maj Gen Elkins, Col Goodeve and Lt Col MacKendrick reconnoitered positions for field batteries and for a submarine net.

Botwood Detachment 7 Sept 1940

“A” Coy entrained for Airport at 0900 hrs. “C” Coy arrived from Aiport at 1700 hrs. Maj Gen Elkins, Col Goodeve and Lt Col MacKendrick went by Air Base boat to make reconnaissance of head overlooking Sand Point with a view to its suitability for gun emplacements.

Nfld Airport 8 Sept 1940

Holy communion held at 0745 hrs with Brass Band parade for Divine Service at 0930 hrs.

Botwood Detachment 8 Sept 1940

SS Victoria of Greece from Bilbao Spain in ballast to load concentrates for England arrived was inspected by Intelligence Section and docked at 1530 hrs. Crew included Nationals of Greece, Belgium, England, Denmark, Egypt, Brazil, Uruguay, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Cape Verde Islands and Italy. The Italian and 4 stowaways from Spain were not allowed to land.

Nfld Airport 9 Sept 1940

Lt Col HC MacKendrick returned from tour of inspection with Maj Gen WHP Elkins and Col Goodeve who continued to Corner Brook. CO & Adjutant toured Airport section posts. Posts loopholes changed to allround traverse. Permanent Ration Board for Airport set up with Capt GFC Pangman, President and Capt Lawson RCAMC and Lt RC Clarkson members.

Botwood Detachment 9 Sept 1940

Training according to syllabus.

Nfld Airport 10 Sept 1940

Routine training in accordance with instructions issued by CO. Emergency communication system installed between Airport and Botwood in cooperation with S/L Pattison ACO Airport. Work on improvement of Airport posts both from point of view of defense and accommodation started.

Gander Airport
Gander Airport defenses

Botwood Detachment 10 Sept 1940

SS Ungava, Newfoundland, arrived with coal from Sydney. Inspected by Intelligence Section and docked at 1950 hrs.

Nfld Airport 11 Sept 1940

Routine training in accordance with syllabus. New Recce of Notre Dame Jct area ordered by CO. His Excellency the Governor of Nfld Sir Humphrey T. Walwyn KC, SI, KCMG, CB, DSO greeted by CO at Airport Station as he passed through. US civilian pilots landed a Lockheed Hudson bomber on a trial flight from Montreal. Capt Ross pilots Barr and Williams and two radio men comprised the crew.

Botwood Detachment 11 Sept 1940

Training according to syllabus.

Nfld Airport 12 Sept 1940

Routine training. Recce made of Notre Dame Jct with idea of establishing a Defensive Position for one platoon less one section. Sketch map attached.

Botwood Detachment 12 Sept 1940

SS Victoria inspected by Intelligence Section. All crew including the four stowaways she brought in were found aboard and ship sailed at 1030 hrs. SS Toledo inspected by Intelligence Section, all crew found aboard and ship sailed at 2130 hrs.

Nfld Airport 13 Sept 1940

Aerial recce made of NOTRE DAME JCN – LEWISPORTE RR LINE and INDIAN ARM on NOTRE DAME – AIRPORT RR LINE.

2Lt D Keith #17 Pl “D” Coy completed 100 yd rifle range at Receiver Post. All work was done by men in Plt.

Botwood Detachment 13 Sept 1940

SS Northton, Canadian, sailed at 1430 hrs Capt said all men were aboard.

Nfld Airport 14 Sept 1940

Routine training as per syllabus.

Discussion between CO QORofC and CO RCAF re defense scheme.

Leave train left for Grand Falls 1300 hrs. CO went down to Botwood re Anti-aircraft defenses.

Botwood Detachment 14 Sept 1940

Lt EPT Green proceeded by motorcycle from Botwood to Point Leamington to reconnoitre that village with a view to having a warning given of any unidentified ships docking, etc.

See…

Lt Col MacKendrick arrived Bishop’s Falls on leave train from Airport.

Nfld Airport 15 Sept 1940

Divine Service 0930 hrs in new partly finished hut due to inclement weather. Governor of Nfld advised by telegraph that he had to proceed directly to St John’s and accordingly his tour of inspection would be postponed.

Telegram received from Maj Gen Constantine DOC MD6 advising of his arrival at Botwood 16 Sept.

Botwood Detachment 15 Sept 1940

SS Rothermere, owned by Anglo Newfoundland Development CO arrived was inspected by Intelligence Section and docked at 1401 hrs carrying 7 passengers from Liverpool.

Nfld Airport 16 Sept 1940

Routine training in accordance with syllabus. Rehearsal for inspection for guard of honour and march past for Governor, followed by practice alarm. Commencement of new series of lectures for Officers in Officers Mess.

Botwood Detachment 16 Sept 1940

General alarm (practice) called at 0616 hrs. Detachment all out, extra ammunition and iron rations issued in 20 minutes. All clear sounded at 0655 hrs. RMA Clare from Foynes, Ireland landed at 0952 hrs. Three passengers and crew took breakfast in officers Mess & plane took off for Montreal at 1131 hrs.

Lt Col MacKendrick, Lt TE Sisson and 2Lt RD Medland left at 1300 hrs in Air Base launch for Twillingate. Arrived back at 2100 hrs.

Nfld Airport 17 Sept 1940

Telegram arrived from MD6 stating that Maj Gen CF Constantine will not arrive for a couple of days. Hurricane warnings broadcast by Meteorological Service. Routine training in accordance with syllabus. Auxiliary Services Officer Mr. Peters held 1st movie in new hut.

Botwood Detachment 17 Sept 1940

SS Ungava inspected by Intelligence Section, all crew found aboard and sailed at 0825 hrs.

Nfld Airport 18 Sept 1940

Due to inclement weather lectures were held in partially finished huts in lieu of training laid down in syllabus. Dummy grenade range completed by Pioneer Plt under Lt S Lett. Pioneer Plt also finished improvements to camp drainage and sewerage system in very rocky ground.

Botwood Detachment 18 Sept 1940

SS Rothermere, sailed with all crew aboard to Sydney, NS to load steel.

Nfld Airport 19 Sept 1940

Six US Navy seaplanes arrived at Gander lake 1030 hrs from USS St. Louis commanded by Ad JW Greenslade USN, Gen JW Devers, Capt RS Crenshaw, USN, Lt Col OT Pfeffer USA, Capt DW Rose, Commanders C. Durgin, KB Bragg, H Blesemeier, USN, Lt Cols HJ Malony, JD Arthur USA.

One US Army bomber arrived at 1530 hrs from Moncton NB reconnoitring bases. Officers met by CO situation discussed. Party including Maj JE Upson, Maj Townsend Griffis, War Dept RF Stearley, Dr. Brooks.

Telegram received advising that Maj Gen CF Constantine DOC MD6 would arrive 20 Sept by plane.

Botwood Detachment 19 Sept 1940

Six American Navy planes – 2 Consolidated PB-/s (54P7 and 54) and 4 small planes from USS St.Louis (9CS9, 9CS19, 9CS11, and 9CS12) – circled over Botwood. Two of small planes landed but did not come ashore and took off again in about 10 minutes. SS Nidarnes, Norwegian, arrived, was inspected by Intelligence Section and docked at 1420 hrs. Col CS Craig, RCA and Commander Gow, RCN arrived to reconnoitre gun positions accompanied by Lt TW Sisson, Intelligence Officer, they inspected Philips Head and Sandy Point Head.

Nfld Airport 20 Sept 1940

Confirmation received from Col Goodeve CSO 1 Atlantic Command regarding defense plans for Nfld Airport, Botwood, Lewisporte and NOTRE DAME JUNCTION. Maj Gen CF Constantine, DOC MD6 arrived by RCAF plane at 1405 hrs from Halifax and made tour of inspection with CO. His party included Col Campbell, DMO and Maj Dawson, DDO.

US Navy seaplanes returned to USS St. Louis.

After general discussion Maj Gen Constantine and CO left by train for St. John’s.

Botwood Detachment 20 Sept 1940

SS Clyde, Nfld, docked at 1500 hrs and sailed again at 1935 hrs. Col Craig, Commander Gow and Lt Sisson made further reconnaissance of Philip’s Head and Sandy Head.

SS Nidarnes inspected by Intelligence section, all crew found aboard and sailed at 1913 hrs.

Nfld Airport 21 Sept 1940

Advice received that one officer and 87 Other Ranks first reinforcements arriving St John’s 25 Sept on SS Belle Isle.

Lt Col Campbell, Major Dawson visited Botwood and came back to Airport with Commander Gow RCN and Col Craig RCA Anti-aircraft.

Botwood Detachment 21 Sept 1940

Col Craig and Commander Gow reconnoitered docks and harbour and left for Airport 1700 hrs.

Nfld Airport 22 Sept 1940

Divine Service was held at 0930 hrs. Major Barnard took Col Craig on tour of inspection of posts and Anti-aircraft situation discussed. Col Craig left for St. John’s.

Botwood Detachment 22 Sept 1940

RMA Clare Eastbound from Montreal to Foynes Ireland landed at 1223 hrs. Passengers included Air Vice-Marshal W. Bishop, VC and M. Jan Masaryk, Czecho-Slovak Minister to London.

Plane left at 1520 hrs.

Nfld Airport 23 Sept 1940

Maj Gen Constantine and CO continued their inspection, going to Botwood, severe storm hit Airport damaging some old tents. Capt Geo Pangman gave a lecture on “range finding.”

First six NCO’s left on furlough having completed six months service in the CASF.

Botwood Detachment 23 Sept 1940

Maj Gen CF Constantine DOC MD6 and Lt Col HC MacKendrick arrived at 1100 hrs. The DOC inspected all positions and lines.

Nfld Airport 24 Sept 1940

DOC MD6 and CO returned from Botwood by plane. Maj Gen Constantine being held up here due to weather. Training continued in accordance with syllabus.

Botwood Detachment 24 Sept 1940

Two Sections of No 15 Platoon under Lt EA Dunlop left via Air Base launch for Brown’s Arm to make reconnaissance of route from that point to Lewisporte.

RCAF plane landed 1230 hrs and took off at 1345 hrs for Gander, taking Maj Gen Constantine and Lt Col MacKendrick.

SS City of Joliet, American, in ballast from Montreal to load zinc concentrates, inspected by Intelligence Section and docked at 1445 hrs. SS Rothermere, British, with steel from Sydney to load newsprint, inspected and docked at 1845 hrs.

Nfld Airport 25 Sept 1940

Warning issued of imminent water shortage.

Maj Gen Constantine again held up due to storm.

RAP moved to hutment, stove and plumbing improvised by Pioneer Platoon.

Training continued in accordance with syllabus.

Abridged summary of meteorological conditions at Nfld Airport for month of August received from P. McTaggert-Cowan Esq. Officer-in charge Met Div Air Services Dept. & transport Commander.

Botwood Detachment 25 Sept 1940

SS Frank Seamans, Norwegian, inspected by Intelligence Section. All crew aboard cleared and sailed at 1130 hrs.

Nfld Airport 26 Sept 1940

Maj Gen CF Constantine returned to Halifax by plane with Lt Col Campbell DMO at 1400 hrs.

Training in accordance with syllabus with continuance of officers lectures.

86 reinforcements arrived from Toronto via SS Belle Isle under Lt TW McMonagle, Veterans Guard of Canada, conducting officer, who returned to Canada.

Orderly room moved to old RAP hut.

Botwood Detachment 26 Sept 1940

“C” Coy took over as duty Coy from “B” Coy at 1000 hrs.

Nfld Airport 27 Sept 1940

Reinforcements paraded with regiment for first time.

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Botwood Detachment 27 Sept 1940

“B” Coy less 1 platoon, went on route march of about 15 miles along Botwood-Point Leamington Road, taking rations for noon meal with them.

RCAF plane with Squadron Leader DG Price in Command landed at Air Base to refuel.

Bound from St John’s to Canada Bay.

Nfld Airport 28 Sept 1940

40 of reinforcements went on by train to Botwood to join Companies there.

Change made in quarter guard reducing number to 12 other ranks commanded by a Sgt.

Botwood Detachment 28 Sept 1940

SS City of Joliet cleared by IO all crew aboard and left at 0650 hrs bound for New Orleans with cargo of zinc concentrates.

Draft of recruits arrived from Airport, 17 men for “B” Coy and 24 for “C” Coy.

Nfld Airport 29 Sept 1940

Divine Service held in hutment at 0930 hrs.

Telegrams exchanged with Capt Schwerd ADC of St John’s checking rumoured submarine attacks off Nfld coast.

Botwood Detachment 29 Sept 1940

RCAF plane #QNG 909 flew over Botwood taking photographs and landed at 1257 hrs.

Flight Lt Archambeau called Airport and plane took off for Cornerbrook at 1433 hrs.

Nfld Airport 30 Sept 1940

Iinstructionsissued re alternative positions all Airport posts.

Recce of Gander River made by boat to sea.

Botwood Detachment 30 Sept 1940

Routine training according to syllabus.

Nfld Airport 1 Oct 1940

Men moved to hutments from tents, officers remaining in tents.

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Botwood Detachment 1 Oct 1940

Training in accordance with Syllabus.

Nfld Airport 2 Oct 1940

Canvas struck in men’s lines. Read Admiral Boham-Carter, RN visited Airport leaving for St. John’s by train. CO “W” Force left for St. John’s to arrange accommodation for Victoria Rifles at request of DOC with view of obtaining Report of temporary Quarters.

Recce of GANDER RIVER.

Botwood Detachment 2 Oct 1940

SS Rothermere with all crew aboard, sailed at 0700 hrs. Bound of Great Britain with cargo of news pring.

Nfld Airport 3 Oct 1940

Two officers arrived from MD6 to act as Judge Advocate and President of Court martial convening 4 Oct.

Botwood Detachment 3 Oct 1940

SS San Andres, Norwegian, arrived, inspected by intelligence Section and docked at 0850 hrs.

In ballast to pick up newsprint for US Ports.

Nfld Airport 4 Oct 1940

Training conducted in accordance with Syllabus.

Botwood Detachment 4 Oct 1940

RMA Clyde, commanded by Capt J Kelly-Rogers from Foynes, Ireland arrived at 0707 hrs.

Among the passengers were Air M WA Bishop, VC returning from England and a Major of the US Army took off at 0850hrs.

Nfld Airport 5 Oct 1940

Maj JW MacMahon, President of the Court Martial complimented 2Lt DA Keith and LT IRF Wilson, Defending Officer on the manner in which they conducted their tasks.

Botwood Detachment 5 Oct 1940

US Navy plane 54-P-S arrived at 1605 hrs. Plane commanded by Lt Com AJ Isbell, USN Commanding 54th Squadron and accompanied by Ensign Hogan. Came to make arrangements for refuelling at Botwood of two planes which were coming up to do survey at Argentia for US naval Base.

Nfld Airport 6 Oct 1940

Voluntary Divine service was held in what will be Quartermasters Hutment.

Botwood Detachment 6 Oct 1940

SS San Andres, inspected, all crew aboard and sailed at 0610 hrs. SS Kirsten B reported at 1155 hrs by Point May. Boarded at 1230 hrs. Norwegian from new York with general cargo for Buchans Mines. Inspected by intelligence Section and docked at 1510 hrs.

Mjr GW McMahon, 2ic The Halifax Rifles and Capt CW Clark, DAPM MD #6 visited Botwood.

Nfld Airport 7 Oct 1940

Mens Mess moved to hutments. Court Martials completed.

Botwood Detachment 7 Oct 1940

US Navy plane took off at 0730 hrs for Argentia.

Nfld Airport 8 Oct 1940

Col Earnshaw appointed OC “W” Force arrived by plane from Halifax. The general as well as the local situation was discussed by Col Earnshaw and Lt Col MacKendrick.

Botwood Detachment 8 Oct 1940

SS Evenelza, Latvian, arrived in ballast to load concentrates. Was inspected and docked at 0730 hrs. SS Esmond owned by AND Co reported sighted by Point May at 1720 hrs. Arrived was inspected and docked at 2030 hrs.

Nfld Airport 9 Oct 1940

Col P Earnshaw, and Lt Col MacKendrick left on tour of inspection to Botwood and thence to St. John’s.

Botwood Detachment 9 Oct 1940

Col P Earnshaw, Officer Commanding “W” Force and Lt Col HC MacKendrick arrived from Norris Arm at 1130 hrs Col Earnshaw left at 1500 hrs.

Nfld Airport 10 Oct 1940

Training carried out in accordance with Syllabus. Squadron Leader Paul arrived from Ottawa to make arrangements for accommodation of Trans Atlantic civilian flyers for CPR Group Capt. Murply landed from Halifax.

Botwood Detachment 10 Oct 1940

SS Evenelza inspected by Intelligence Officer, all crew aboard and sailed at 0715 hrs with concentrates to New Orleans.

RMA Clyde landed at 1445 hrs eastbound from Montreal to Foynes. Passengers given lunch in Officers Mess. Passengers included Maj Gen RP Pakenham-Walsh, Capt HW Faulkner, RN and Major RV Mayo.

Nfld Airport 11 Oct 1940

CO Returned from Botwood. Battalion parade inspected by CO Col P Earnshaw returned from St. John’s and inspected partially finished hutments with CO before returning by plane to Halifax.

Botwood Detachment 11 Oct 1940

Training in accordance with Syllabus.

Nfld Airport 12 Oct 1940

Training conducted in accordance with syllabus. Instructions issued for Rifle Range.

SCN_0017 - Copy (4)
QOR Museum Photo
SCN_0021 - Copy
QOR Museum Photo

Botwood Detachment 12 Oct 1940

SS Havmoy, Norwegian sighted by Point May at 0907 hrs. Inspected and docked at 1130 hrs. In ballast to load paper.

Nfld Airport 13 Oct 1940

Anglican Communion by Rev. Mr Bishop of Grand Falls in Recreation Hut 0745 hrs.

Divine service by Regt Chaplain at 0930 & 1030 hrs.

Bn gave concert at Grand Falls to people who have entertained troops on their weekend leaves.

CO expressed the thanks of the Bn. Programme.

Botwood Detachment 13 Oct 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 14 Oct 1940

Examination in Map reading given NCO’s by Training Officer.

Appreciation made responsibility of Training Coy in Defence of Airport by Capt FGC Pangman.

Standing orders of “D” Coy

and Hints to NCO.

Botwood Detachment 14 Oct 1940

SS Northton, Canadian from Toronto sighted by Point May at 0917 hrs. Inspected and docked at 1245 hrs. Cargo of coal from Sydney NS to load paper for Toronto.

US navy plane 54-P-3 landed, refueled and left at 1530 hrs.

Nfld Airport 15 Oct 1940

Movement orders for “B” Coy to come to AIRPORT and BOTWOOD relieving “D” Coy and “D” Coy to proceed to BOTWOOD.

Sketches show Western Defense Position. And Defenses of AIRPORT drawn.

Weekly programmes of movies, company shows, boxing and wrestling shows, fairs drawn up by Entertainment Officer and Sports Officer in conjunction with Coy in training. Posts warned of Telegram received re escape of 2 German internees from St. John’s.

Botwood Detachment 15 Oct 1940

USN Plane 54-P-3 refuelled at 1500 hrs.

“B” Coy moved into new hutments. No water available and no latrines. Beds had not arrived making huts overcrowded.

15 Oct 1940 Botwood

Nfld Airport 16 Oct 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus. RAP moved to new RAP building.

Lt Lee RCASC arrived by plane from HALIFAX with regard to establishing food depots at BOTWOOD, AIRPORT, and ST. JOHN’s.

Botwood Detachment 16 Oct 1940

SS Esmond inspected, all crew found aboard and sailed at 0345 hrs carrying newsprint for Great Britain.

Nfld Airport 17 Oct 1940

Coy representatives on Mens Canteen Committee voted to increase amount for Mens Extra Messing.

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Botwood Detachment 17 Oct 1940

USN plane 54-P-5 refuelled at Botwood at 1500 hrs.

SS Havmoy inspected, all crew found aboard and sailed at 1840 hrs.

Nfld Airport 18 Oct 1940

Lt Col HC MacKendrick having been granted leave on compassionate grounds left by train for TORONTO. Maj WL Bryan being left in command.

Due to snow storm, lectures were given in hutments.

Botwood Detachment 18 Oct 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 19 Oct 1940

“B” Coy and Signal detachment arrived by train from BOTWOOD, relieving “D” Coy which then took special train to BOTWOOD to replace “B” Coy there.

Botwood Detachment 19 Oct 1940

“B” Coy left for Airport at 0904 hrs. “D” Coy arrived from Airport at 1640 hrs.

Col CS Craig, Fortress Commander, Halifax, arrived to make further general reconnaissance for gun positions in Bay of Exploits.

Nfld Airport 20 Oct 1940

Voluntary Divine service held at 0930 hrs.

Bn Orderly Room moved to new building which was nearly completed.

US Army plane arrived, commanded by Major Clark, USA Air Corps.

Botwood Detachment 20 Oct 1940

Col Craig and Lt EA Dunlop made reconnaissance around Bay of Exploits.

Nfld Airport 21 Oct 1940

US Army and civilian engineers. Maj Clark and Mr Merrick arrived by plane for aerial survey of district.

Training conducted inside hutments in morning due to severe storm. Several section posts flooded. Training outside in afternoon.

Botwood Detachment 21 Oct 1940

USN Plane 54-P-3 refuelled at Botwood at 1530 hrs.

Nfld Airport 22 Oct 1940

Training out of doors in accordance with syllabus.

Meteorological summary of Nfld Airport received for month of Sept 1940.

Pipes leading to men’s temporary showers burst as there is no water in hutments men are unable to wash. Drinking water is obtained from tap in open, over 100 yards from nearest hutment.

Miss Wilson, Canadian Red Cross Commissioner for Nfld visited the hutments and was taken over them by the Adjutant, Maj WT Barnard.

Training in huts due to inclement weather.

Botwood Detachment 22 Oct 1940

Col Craig left for Halifax at 2000 hrs. Former US Plane (Consolidated PBY) landed on way to England.

Nfld Airport 23 Oct 1940

Men still without water for washing. Arrangements being rushed to put in covered pipe line to shower room.

Due to snow storm and gale, training in hutments in morning. Resumed outside in afternoon.

The Battalion now completely housed in hutments.

Botwood Detachment 23 Oct 1940

Maj WL Bryan, OC Botwood Detachment left for airport.

Nfld Airport 24 Oct 1940

Transatlantic flyers housed in Nfld Rly cars on siding by hutments.

Training in accordance with syllabus.

First show held in new Recreation Hut.

Botwood Detachment 24 Oct 1940

Training according to syllabus.

Nfld Airport 25 Oct 1940

Transatlantic flyers returned to Montreal after arranging administrative details at AIRPORT.

Crew former imperial Airways flyers.

Arrangements drawn up for inspection by the Governor Sir Humphrey Walwyn on Tuesday 29 Oct. Work being rushed with regard to drains in kitchen and pipes for showers. Work also being done on Officers Mess which is unfinished and has no heating arrangements.

Mess Hall Routine drawn up by 2Lt AJ Greathed, Unit Messing officer.

Botwood Detachment 25 Oct 1940

Former US Plane now bearing British markings took off for England at 1730 hrs.

Nfld Airport 26 Oct 1940

Fourteen Second Lieutenants Serial 753 received Certificates of Qualification as Lieutenants.

Lt AG Cherrier qualified as Quartermaster.

Instructions issued for visit of His Excellency the Governor of NEWFOUNDLAND.

Improvised showers are nearly completed and work being rushed on drains on drains for kitchens. Lack of water facilities has necessitated large fatigues, interfering with training.

Botwood Detachment 26 Oct 1940

Practice Fire Alarm held at 0725 hrs. Snowed heavily at night – approximately 4 inches.

Nfld Airport 27 Oct 1940

Parade to Divine Service 0930 hrs Service held in New Recreation Hut.

Snow storm kept US Army flyers grounded at Airport.

Botwood Detachment 27 Oct 1940

SS Kronoborg, Finnish, in ballast, arrived, was inspected by intelligence Section and landed at 0710 hrs.

Nfld Airport 28 Oct 1940

Blizzard caused training to be continued indoors. Snow several feet deep. Some trucks stuck. Extra rations sent to Outposts. Men on Airport posts now service 4 hours on and 8 off instead of 24 hour tour of duty necessitating sleeping out at posts.

All land telephone and telegraph lines out of commission. Trains 6 to 12 hours late.

Botwood Detachment 28 Oct 1940

Train 5 hours late owing to snow. Maj WL Bryan arrived back from Airport. Orderly room moved in afternoon from Follies Camp to new hutments.

Nfld Airport 29 Oct 1940

Snow continued changing to rain. Slush over one foot deep. Only a portion of men have rubber boots. Earth ditch latrines flooded. The temporary showers were put in operation for the first time.

Sir Wilfred Woods, Commissioner of Public Utilities, who arrived 28 Oct and stayed on Railway cars here for Transatlantic flyers left for GRAND FALLS. Sir Wilfred provided temporary solution for supplies held up by Nfld Customs due to lack of documents.

His Excellency the GOVERNOR of Nfld Sir Humphrey Walwyn and Lady Walwyn arrived at 1145 hrs were received by the officers, had lunch, inspected the hutments and were entertained by the band concert put on by the other ranks.

His Excellency spoke complimenting the regiment on its showing.

The first Hudson bound for England landed at the AIRPORT. It was held up two days at Montreal by bad weather.

Information received regarding advance party of Victoria Rifles proceeding to St. Johns.

Botwood Detachment 29 Oct 1940

Officers quarters and Officers Mess moved into new hutments.

Nfld Airport 30 Oct 1940

Second and third transatlantic Hudson Bombers arrived at AIRPORT from Montreal.

US Navy flying boat landed at GANDER LAKE from ARGENTIA, returning in a very short time to its base. US Army plane left after being storm bound several days.

Sir Wilfred Woods Nfld Commissioner of Public Utilities inspected hutments with CO.

Water for washing only turned on in officers quarters.

Slush and lack of rubber boots hampered training.

Botwood Detachment 30 Oct 1940

His Excellency, Sir Humphrey Walwyn, KCSI, HCMG, CB, DSO, Governor of Newfoundland, accompanied by Lady Walwyn inspected the Detachment. The Guard of Honour was furnished by “D” Coy under command of Capt. GFC Pangman. The Governor complimented the Guard on their smartness and spoke to them for a few minutes.

Later they took lunch with the officers in the officers’ mess and spoke to the officers.

They left at 1430 hrs for Bishop’s Falls.

Nfld Airport 31 Oct 1940

Telegram sent to MD 6 regarding unsatisfactory situation existing due to fact we have not a Medical Officer of our own for 600 men, but have to use the RCAF’s MO.

“CANADA” Badges received.

Telegraph line to St.John’s repaired after being out of commission for four days.

Outdoor training still hampered due to fact several hundred pairs of men’s shoes not yet repaired and there is snow and slush on ground.

Botwood Detachment 31 Oct 1940

Training according to syllabus.

Nfld Airport 1 Nov 1940

Telegram received regarding movement of one Company Victoria Rifles to St. John’s.

Showers in officers quarters in operation for first time.

Squadron Leader Carscallen RCAF, OC AIRPORT Detachment transferred to HALIFAX.

Training still hampered by lack of facilities to repair worn boots. Mens’ feet get wet in slush in a very short time.

Botwood Detachment 1 Nov 1940

Schooner STEWART LAWSON, cargo of timber, arrived at PAPER DOCK at 1331 hrs.

Nfld Airport 2 Nov 1940

Officers Mess ante room opened 1200 hrs for first time. Fire place built by Pioneer Pl.

First meal evening dinner served in mess. Officers will no longer eat at AIRPORT Administration bldg.

Botwood Detachment 2 Nov 1940

American patrol bomber (USN) landed at air base to refueled, 1044 hrs.

1535 hrs – Hudson bomber (RCAF) reported over head.

2133 hrs – “POINT MAY” reported party aboard steamer 1.5 miles off SANDY POINT.

2137 hrs – LT communication with HQ having broken down CANNING MOUNTAIN fired three signal cartridges on seeing the above steamer, thus giving a “general alarm.” Duty Coy assembled ready to move by 2142 hrs. Dock platoon in positions by 2144 hrs.

2225 hrs – “POINT MAY” gave steamer the “all clear”. 2250 hrs steamer anchored off ORE DOCK.

2300 hrs – “all clear” given duty coy.

Nfld Airport 3 Nov 1940

Divine service 0930 hrs. Communion 1030 hrs in Recreation Hut.

One runway partially clear of snow for landing planes.

Telegraph communication with ST. JOHN’s still only possible by round about route. Lines to EAST down for eight days.

Change made for second hour of NEWFOUNDLAND daylight saving time to standard time.

Fourth transatlantic Locheed Hudson arrived from Montreal. Three more expected 4 Nov. Weather permitting.

Botwood Detachment 3 Nov 1940

0755 hrs Intelligence Section reported two seamen missing from crew of SS HEL, and held up her clearance.

0845 hrs – Steamer, identified as SS EVERELDA, tied up at ORE DOCK. Latvian, in ballast, to load ore concentrates.

1730 hrs – SS HEL, cleared by Intelligence section, for GALVESTON, TEXAS.

Nfld Airport 4 Nov 1940

With snow storms threatening, large fatigues cleaned up ground around hutments and improved ground drainage ditches.

Shortage of coal and firewood experienced.

Moderate epidemic of colds of a fairly mild type. Impossible to keep men’s feet dry and hutments are not sufficiently heated.

Botwood Detachment 4 Nov 1940

1830 hrs – SS CLYDE arrives at GOVERNMENT WHARF.

Nfld Airport 5 Nov 1940

RC service held by Rev. Fr. WT Cullen employed as part of the RC Chaplain.

Digby arrived from HALIFAX and HUDSON from MONTREAL.

Botwood Detachment 5 Nov 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 6 Nov 1940

Road building commenced around hutments with gravel surfacing and ditches.

Digby returned to HALIFAX.

Raider believed to be Admiral Von Scheer reported 400-800 miles from here pursuing convoy.

Three RCAF Digby bombers flew out on recce for it, without sighting.

Roads built by unit around hutments to main AIRPORT roads. Drainage also built. Three days program involving 100 men.

Botwood Detachment 6 Nov 1940

0725 hrs – SS EVERELDA, having been cleared by Intelligence section, loaded with ore concentrates.

0945 hrs – AIRPORT advised report from merchant steamer stating she was being chased by a German warship approx 350 miles off ST. JOHN’S.

1000 hrs Steps taken to insure ammunition, ration and transport situation ready to meet any emergency.

Nfld Airport 7 Nov 1940

Lt MK Gordon RCAMC MO Serial 753 at AIRPORT to board Other Ranks.

No further news of raider – Only direct information received being from Naval Officer in charge ST. JOHN’S.

Another Hudson came in from MONTREAL. One which cam in from MONTREAL on 5th still held up due to generator trouble.

Transatlantic flyers given privileges of mess.

Road building continued though hampered by wet weather.

Botwood Detachment 7 Nov 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 8 Nov 1940

Weather permitted outdoor training again for first time in several days.

Major portion of road building program completed.

Botwood Detachment 8 Nov 1940

AIRPORT telephone worked intermittently only. This condition continued till AIRPORT signal officer repaired line 12 Nov.

Nfld Airport 9 Nov 1940

Works program continued.

Botwood Detachment 9 Nov 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 10 Nov 1940

Divine Service in Recreation Hut at 0930 hrs.

Seven Hudson Bombers took off for England at 1900 hrs. This is the first time planes have been delivered by air.

Botwood Detachment 10 Nov 1940

Lt Col MacKendrick arrived from NORRIS ARM 1600 hrs left for GRAND FALLS 1800 hrs.

Nfld Airport 11 Nov 1940

Memorial service and two minute silence at 1100 hrs.

Pipes supplying camp with water, froze during night. New pipes and insulated, laid under supervision of Lt SM Lett works Officer who is acting as Engineer Officer.

Word received that all seven Hudson bombers arrived safely in England.

Unit advised that it will return to Canada after being relieved here.

Botwood Detachment 11 Nov 1940

1100 hrs – Detachment paraded to war memorial, to pay tribute to the fallen of the War 1914-1918.

1200 hrs – Patrol bomber USN landed to refuel.

Nfld Airport 12 Nov 1940

Fire broke out in Number 7 AIRPORT post completely gutting it and its stores. First try out of new fire fighting equipment by fire picquet.

Work almost finished re insulating water pipes from AIRPORT Administration Bldg. To hutments.

Botwood Detachment 12 Nov 1940

0452 hrs SS CLYDE docked at GOVERNMENT WHARF. 0750 hrs SS CLYDE left.

Nfld Airport 13 Nov 1940

Two Hudson Bombers arrived from MONTREAL as part of second Transatlantic flight.

Due to warning letter re sabotage received by Montreal Officer of CPR Transatlantic Flying Service AIRPORT guard at hanger increased.

Work of covering water pipes completed.

Botwood Detachment 13 Nov 1940

2200 hrs SS LAGOS cleared with a cargo of paper for NEW ORLEANS.

Nfld Airport 14 Nov 1940

Continuing wet and cold weather and lack of heating facilities has resulted in moderate epidemic of colds and influenza. Several hundred pairs of boots need repair, most men having only one pair that can be used.

Botwood Detachment 14 Nov 1940

0744 hrs “POINT MAY” reported she is boarding SS NORTHTON cargo of coal and cement.

1227 hrs – Schooer “EASTER LILLY” cargo of timber, docked at PAPER WHARF.

Nfld Airport 15 Nov 1940

With RCE officer on sick leave and with Pioneer Officer in RAP Lt JN Gordon was appointed Works Officer.

Additional stoves arrived for heating. Showers still half a mile distant due to lack of water supply. Drains being completed.

Two inch mortar arrived.

Botwood Detachment 15 Nov 1940

1333 hrs – Aeroplane recognized as a “DIGBY” sighted.

Nfld Airport 16 Nov 1940

81 Other Ranks transferred to No 2 District Depot QOR Wing.

Due to thick fog RCAF plane tried for two hours before finally having to go towards MONTREAL. Plane not heard from again after dropping its bombs 3 miles EAST of camp.

Officers finally were able to move to own quarters.

Direct line connection made to Administration Bldg hooking up with BOTWOOD DETACHMENT.

RAF Group Captain Pearce, guest of mess at dinner.

Botwood Detachment 16 Nov 1940

1600 hrs “POINT MAY” reports boarding SS WILLIAM HANSEN. 1640 hrs SS WILLIAM HANSEN docks at PAPER WHARF, in ballast, checked by Intelligence section. Norwegian Vessel.

Nfld Airport 17 Nov 1940

Still no report on missing plane though believed down in New Brunswick.

Divine Service at 0930 hrs under padre. Also Communion at same time according to Anglican rite by Rev. Mr. Bishop.

Botwood Detachment 17 Nov 1940

1430 hrs – American patrol bomber landed to refuel at air base, taking off at 1510 hrs.

Nfld Airport 18 Nov 1940

As power lines too small to conduct sufficient power to camp area from Power House, the signal Plt under Lt AV Malone constructed a three line system using number 4 wire.

Power is now sufficient for first time for light pumps and all other purposes.

Training Syllabus.

Preparations being made to hand over to incoming unit Serial 1042.

RCAF Bomber reported down 40 miles from Quebec City and one officer found. No other details known.

Botwood Detachment 18 Nov 1940

“POINT MAY” reported party boarding SS RAMO. SS RAMO from Quebec, docked at ORE DOCK.

Norwegian vessel, in ballast.

“POINT MAY” reported boarding SS FALSTERBO.

1430 hrs a special parade was held for all ranks in full marching order including Packs & Kit bags completely packed.

Nfld Airport 19 Nov 1940

Fourth Hudson Bomber arrived from Montreal.

A large portion of QM Stores already packed on board freight car.

Botwood Detachment 19 Nov 1940

SS FALSTERBO finally docked at ORE DOCK. Swedish vessel, in ballast.

SS RAMO, loaded with concentrates, clears for GALVESTON, TEXAS.

1410 hrs – Patrol vessel “MA RVITTA” 105 ft overall, arrived to take over duties of the “POINT MAY”

Nfld Airport 20 Nov 1940

Summary of Meteorological conditions for Oct at NEWFOUNDLAND AIRPORT received from P. McTaggart-Cowan, Officer-in-charge.

Total Hudsons awaiting flight to England now seven.

Farewell mess to ACO CO RCAF, O i/c Meteorological Division, Sq. LD. Powel of CPR Transatlantic Flights, Group Capt. Pearce RAF and Major AS Dawes MC of firm constructing RCAF hangers.

Botwood Detachment 20 Nov 1940

1245 hrs SS WM HANSEN cleared with cargo of paper for CARLESTON, NC.

SS HAVMOY docked at ORE DOCK, cargo of sulphur. HAVMOY’S third arrived in BOTWOOD.

Nfld Airport 21 Nov 1940

Demonstration given of 3” Mortar by Mortar Plt under Lt HE Dalton.

QM left for BOTWOOD in connection with hand over Serial 1042 the relieving unit.

Botwood Detachment 21 Nov 1940

2325 hrs owing to very poor radio contact, “MARVITTA” comes in. Repaired overnight.

Nfld Airport 22 Nov 1940

Advance party consisting of Capt Murray Milne and two Other Ranks left by train for SUSSEX, NB.

Unconfirmed radio account that four of five missing RCAF flyers located near EAST LAKE, QUE.

Eighty percent of ablution facilities for men installed.

RCAF plane left for HALIFAX and Transatlantic Hudson left for MONTREAL.

Lt SM Lett nominated for ski course at OTTAWA.

Weather permitting eight Hudsons will fly tonight for England.

Botwood Detachment 22 Nov 1940

SS CLYDE docks at GOVERNMENT WHARF with cargo of paper.

2245 hrs – Advance party of the Royal Rifles of Canada (CASF) Serial 1042 arrived at Bishop’s Falls – 40 Officers and 46 Ors and brought to BOTWOOD, also 1 RCOC officer and 1 Other rank.

Nfld Airport 23 Nov 1940

Advance party Serial 1042 relieving unit arrived, three officers and 44 Ors going to BOTWOOD, one officer and 2 Ors to AIRPORT. Capt EE Dennison in charge.

RCOC officer arrived BOTWOOD in connection with taking over.

First leave to ST. JOHN’S under auspices NFLD GWVA arranged 32 Other Ranks going from AIRPORT.

Transatlantic flyers held up by weather.

Storm warnings broadcast on all NEWFOUNDLAND coasts.

CO and Adjutant left for BOTWOOD regarding embarking of first section serial 753 and arrival of first section 1042.

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QOR Museum Photo
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QOR Museum Photo
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QOR Museum Photo
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QOR Museum Photo
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QOR Museum Photo
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QOR Museum Photo

Botwood Detachment 23 Nov 1940

CO Serial 753 and Major Barnard arrived at BOTWOOD.

Nfld Airport 24 Nov 1940

Divine service at 0930 hrs in Recreation Hut.

Officers of Advance Party Serial 1042 shown over AIRPORT posts and Outposts.

Squadron Leader Norton MC DFC RCAF guest at lunch and spoke about clearance of runways in winter.

Lt SM Lett leaving 25 Nov “On Command” ski course, Ottawa.

Second flight of 7 Hudson Bombers due to leave for ENGLAND 2100 hrs delayed as engines couldn’t start in intense cold.

CO and Adjutant remained in BOTWOOD.

SS NEW NORTHLAND carrying first section Serial 1042 arrived BOTWOOD.

Botwood Detachment 24 Nov 1940

0100 hrs Fire alarm sounded. Changing rooms and part of fence around football field on fire.

A number of our men helped to break down fences on both sides of fire area to prevent fire from spreading. 0130 hrs Fire under control. 0140 hrs “All Clear” sounded.

1825 hrs “MARVITTA” reported Troopship SS NEW NORTHLAND passing by with proper signal lights showing.

2100 hrs SS NEW NORTHLAND anchors in stream off ORE DOCK. Reported to be docking at ORE DOCK at 0600 hrs tomorrow.

Nfld Airport 25 Nov 1940

Temperature 5 below zero. Sir Wilfred Wood, Nfld Commissioner of Public Utilities arrived from ST. JOHN’S.

First section serial 753 embarked at BOTWOOD 0600 hrs but due to blizzard SS NEW NORTHLAND remained at dock all day.

Botwood Detachment 25 Nov 1940

Nfld Airport 26 Nov 1940

SS NEW NORHTLAND storm bound at dock at BOTWOOD till 1000 hrs.

OC and Adjutant Serial 753 returned to AIRPORT by BUDA car through severe clizzard.

Brigadier P Earnshaw Commanding “W” Force advised he was delayed in ST. JOHN’S due to arrival Hon Colin Gibson Canadian Minister of National Revenue.

Blizzard held Transatlantic planes here. Road blocked for several hours.

Mail held up by Base Post Office.

Botwood Detachment 26 Nov 1940

BOTWOOD Detachment less one Plt from “D” Coy on board SS NEW NORTHLAND held at Dock BOTWOOD due to severe blizzard until 1000 hrs storm warnings on all NEWFOUNDLAND coasts.

Serial 1042 Det which relieved Serial 753 and one Plt “D” Coy Serial 753 quarantined for measles.

No. 16 Plt Serial 753 route march and close order drill.

Nfld Airport 27 Nov 1940

RCAF worked all night and day with new tractors, plows, rollers and rotary blowers getting runways in shape. Fatigue from Serial 753 aided RCAF during day.

Blizzard abated and one Hudson bomber arrived from MONTREAL. RCAF Dibgy arrived from HALIFAX with Hon Col Colin Gibson, Canadian Minister of Nation Revenue accompanied by Capt Dyde and Mr. Davis of his staff. RCAF Court of Inquiry also on baord.

Lt Col WA Jones, DADMS “W” Force arrived on tour of inspection.

Hone Colin Gibson, Capt Dyde and Mr. Davis guests of Mess and later saw seven Hudson bombers leave for ENGLAND.

Due to lateness of train Hon Colin Gibson and his staff were put up in Officers quarters.

Colonel Jones to remain till Friday.

Lt WE Bawden, QM Serial 753, Lt A Woodside Serial 1042 and Lt TH Haddon RCOC continued checking of stores preparatory to handing over.

Lt SC Heyes, on command to carrier course, CAMP BORDEN, 2 Dec.

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RCAF tractor clearing Airfield – QOR Museum Photo

Botwood Detachment 27 Nov 1940

Lt Col Home Serial 1042 left by train for AIRPORT.

Close order drill and route march for 16 Plt Serial 753.

Nfld Airport 28 Nov 1940

Word received that all 7 Transatlantic planes arrived in ENGLAND making trip in 9 hrs 13 mins.

Hon Colin Gibson and staff left by train for ST. JOHN’S.

Lt Col Jones left by freight train for BOTWOOD,

OC Serial 753 and 1042 made tour of inspection of posts.

Botwood Detachment 28 Nov 1940

Quarantine except for ten men lifted by DA DMS.

Training close order drill and route march.

Nfld Airport 29 Nov 1940

Three Hudson bombers arrived from Montreal for 3rd transatlantic flight.

OC Serial 753 and OC Serial 1042 completed tour of AIRPORT.

Adjutant left for ST. JOHN’S to complete rail arrangements on move.

Advice received from 8th Bde re 6 months, 2 weeks leave and furlough.

Movement order Serial 753.

QM Serial 753, RCOC officer and officer Serial 1042 completed hand over of stores.

Blizzard continued, train seven hours late.

Ground very slippery and many men fell on route marches in high wind.

Botwood Detachment 29 Nov 1940

Training close order drill and route march.

Nfld Airport 30 Nov 1940

All advance preparations for handing over to serial 1042 completed.

Conference with Resident Newfoundland Ranger requested civil action to stamp out bootlegging and petty thieving.

Official mail and telegrams received here for Commanding “W” Force, ST. JOHN’S.

Arrangements made for special train 4 Dec for 2nd flight serial 1042 and serial 753.

Arrangements also made to return serial 753 at Lewisporte.

Botwood Detachment 30 Nov 1940

Route march. Favourable comment by OC Det Serial 1042 after hut inspection.

Nfld Airport 1 Dec 1940

Church Parade 0930 hrs.

Hut Inspection by OC Serial 753 and Serial 1042, 1030 hrs.

LEWISPORTE Detachment relieved by Serial 1042. Detachment less NCO in command who stayed at LEWISPORTE to hand over to relieving unit entrained for AIRPORT.

Serial 753 providing quarters but no messing for 10 OR’s RCAF.

Hon Col Colin Gibson, Canadian Minister Internal Reveue unable to return to AIRPORT.

Cable received advising arrival first flight at HALIFAX.

First Flight 1 Dec 1940

One platoon of “C” Coy cleaned the ship and one platoon of “D” Coy loaded the baggage into the freight cars after breakfast on board. This work was finished by 1130 hrs and we marched to the Dock station in the pouring rain. We entrained and the special train left at 1200 hrs. Lunch and dinner on the train. Arrival at SUSSEX MILITARY CAMP siding at 2000 hrs and marched to the quarters allotted to us by the RRC. One platoon of “D” Coy unloaded the baggage.

Found on arrival that a large number of RRC’s ORC’s were isolated due to measles.

Botwood Det. 1 Dec 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 2 Dec 1940

One officer and 33 OR’s Serial 1042 arrived from BOTWOOD.

6 OR’s LEWISPORTE DET. Arrived.

Adjutant returned from ST.JOHN’S after visiting “W” Force Staff and Victoria Rifles.

RCOC Officer left after completion of hand over.

RCE Officer, Lt D MacLeod returned from Sick Leave.

Capt Dickson new Field Cashier “W” Force arrived to take over from Maj W Taylor Serial 753.

Unit advised second flight may be delayed.

Mail held up by Base Post Officer for 10 days arrived amounting to 97 bags. Detail of four to help unit and Departmental post masters worked from 0200 hrs to 1300 hrs sorting mail.

RCAF Plane with Wind Comdr Carefoot took off for HALIFAX.

Mass 0700 hrs by Part Time RC Padre.

Weather cold but clear.

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Meteorological report received for NFLD AIRPORT for Nov. 1940.

Official cable and letter address announced for Commanding Force “W” ST.JOHN’S, NFLD.

First Flight Camp Sussex N.B. 2 Dec 1940

First parade at 0900 hrs. “C” Coy Duty Coy. 1.5 hrs route march through Village of Sussex Platoon training as per syllabus in afternoon.

Botwood Det. 2 Dec 1940

Training lectures and route march.

Nfld Airport 3 Dec 1940

Information received 2nd Flight delayed until 7 Dec from 4 Dec.

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Camp Sussex N.B. 3 Dec 1940

Parade at 0800 hrs. “C” Coy again duty Coy having taken over duties from RRC at 1700 hrs previous day. Platoon training as per syllabus in morning.

2 hour route march in afternoon to Sussex Corners. Men issued with winter caps and overshoes.

Medical inspection of all Other Ranks by RRC MO.

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New Winter Hats and overboots – QOR Museum Photo
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New Winter Hats and overboots – QOR Museum Photo
Enlisted Mens Quarters Sussex NB
Enlisted Men’s Quarters Sussex NB – QOR Museum Photo
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Officers Quarters Sussex NB – QOR Museum Photo

Botwood Det. 3 Dec 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 4 Dec 1940

Maj Taylor and new Field Cashier Capt Dixon left for BOTWOOD.

Blizzard with drop in temperature to 5 below.

Route march by training Coy.

Men taken off posts at night except Hanger Guard and RR posts due to blizzard.

Camp Sussex N.B. 4 Dec 1940

Routine training in accordance with syllabus “D” Coy duty Coy.

Route march in afternoon for all ranks having overshoes.

Botwood Det. 4 Dec 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 5 Dec 1940

Advised SS NEW NORTHLAND to arrive 7 Dec.

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Several cases of sore throats, colds and flue.

Camp Sussex N.B. 5 Dec 1940

Route march in morning.

Visit of GOC 3 Cdn Div, CASF secheduled for 1500 hrs.

Due to rain and bad conditions underfoot. Detachment not paraded on Parade Ground, but held lectures in huts. GOC accompanied by Brigadier Col Foulkes, GSO1 and staff called at Det. Orderly Room, but no inspection of the men was held.

Maj Bryan, OC Det attended luncheon served in Officers Mess, HQ 8 Inf Bde.

Botwood Det. 5 Dec 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Nfld Airport 6 Dec 1940

This HQ advised 0845 hrs SS NEW NORTHLAND sighted 13 miles off BOTWOOD HARBOUR.

Training ordered for 1100 hrs at BOTWOOD. Second Flight Serial 753 ready to move 1120 hrs.

Command passed to Serial 1042 at 1930 hrs.

Second Flight Serial 1042 arrived 1930 hrs in 4 minutes. Flight included OC, 10 other officers, 249 Other Ranks HQ Coy. 1 officer and 41 Other ranks to be picked up at BOTWOOD.

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SS New Northland – QOR Museum Photo

Camp Sussex N.B. 6 Dec 1940

Routine training in accordance with syllabus “C” Coy Duty Coy.

Route march in afternoon.

Botwood Det. 6 Dec 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus.

Detachment – 16 Plt “D” Coy packed and cleaned lines, Mess Hall and Kitchen.

0845 hrs SS NEW NORTHLAND sighted.

1100 hrs 2nd Flight Royal Rifles landed.

16 Plt under Lt WA Robertson transferred 2 carloads of freight to ship and embarked 2400 hrs.

Camp Sussex N.B. 7 Dec 1940

Arrangements made and furlough forms issued to all going on furlough. Tickets sold to the men. Replacement battle dress in and “D” Coy Duty Coy.

Second Flight 7 Dec 1940

Second Flight arrived BOTWOOD 0200 hrs embarked by 0300 hrs after receiving berth, messing and boat station cards. Loading parties under Lt HE Dalton and Lt RC Clarkson unloaded 2 freight cars and transferred freight to hold. No stevedores except on donkey engine. Loading completed by 0600 hrs. Weather very cold with high wind. SS NEW NORTHLAND Sailed 0620 hrs. Heavy swell as soon as harbour left.

Boat Drill was held 1445 hrs, fifty per cent of strength sea sick.

Capt Malcolm RCAMC Ship’s Medical Officer. Quarter guard for day set. 4 LMG’s crews picked. Black out sentries set for each deck. No lights allowed to show, nor smoking on deck. Cape Bauld passed 2400 hrs.

Ships Orders issued.

Special ship orders as of 26 Nov brought into effect.

Nfld Airport 7 Dec 1940

A and B Coys undertook duties and fatigues. B Coy on imposts and outposts. RCAF plane from Halifax arrived with Governor of Greenland. First Daily Orders Serial 1042.

Camp Sussex N.B. 8 Dec 1940

Coys move to other huts. Men going on furlough entrained 1246 hrs at Sussex Station; 6 Officers 128 Ors.

Second Flight 8 Dec 1940

Wind abated but there was a very heavy ground swell. Bow was often submerged and propeller exposed.

Many officers and men still sea sick.

Ship inspection by OC QOR of C and ships Purser 1015 hrs. Rifle inspection 1100 hrs.

Boat drill 1500 hrs.

Nfld Airport 8 Dec 1940

A and B Coys continued to provide all fatigues.

Camp Sussex N.B. 9 Dec 1940

Routine training in accordance with syllabus “C” Coy Duty Coy. Route march for all men not otherwise employed in afternoon.

Second Flight 9 Dec 1940

Wind lessened and slight fog set in. Light house on Magdalene Islands sighted 1600 hrs.

Port Tapper in Straits of Canso, passed 2030 hrs. Entered Atlantic Ocean 2330 hrs.

Nfld Airport 9 Dec 1940

Inposts outposts and fatigues still not taken over by Serial 1042.

Camp Sussex N.B. 10 Dec 1940

All those not on specific duty put to cleaning up D coy Duty Coy. RRC MT Vs (8 trucks and 5 MC) taken to Ordn. St John and turned in. Our MTVs issued to us and driven back (1 stn Wagon, 3-8 cwts, 8-15 cwts and 2-3 cwts)

Second Flight 10 Dec 1940

Entrance to HALIFAX HARBOUR sighted 0845 hrs SS NEW NORTHLAND dropped anchor 100 hrs.

Convoy of 16 Merchant vessels left harbour 1130 hrs. HMS ROYAL SOVEREIGN (Cruiser) entered harbour 1200 hrs. SS NEW NORTHLAND docked DARTMOUTH 1800 hrs as HALIFAX docks full. Docked HALIFAX 2130 hrs ESO Maj Keating and Capt Mallea together with RCAMC disembarkation officers came on board 2145 hrs. One other rank taken to Cogswell St. Military Hospital – influenza. Unloading party under Lt EPT Green unloaded ship and loaded 2 baggage cars 2300 hrs finishing in 2 hrs.

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Docked at Dartmouth – QOR Museum photo
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Docked at Dartmouth – QOR Museum photo

Nfld Airport 10 Dec 1940

Continued bad weather caused quite a few men cases of flu.

Camp Sussex N.B. 11 Dec 1940

RRC 3rd Flight left at 0800 hrs. Those not on specific duty put to cleaning up. “C” Coy Duty Coy. Command passed to OC QOR of C.

Second Flight 11 Dec 1940

Reveille 0600 hrs. Breakfast 0700 hrs (2 sittings) Disembarked 0815 hrs after cleaning ship.

Train inspected by Lt WE Bawden, QM QOR of C Capt Mallea and CNR representative found dirty. Special train pulled out 0915 hrs 15 minutes late. Contingent of Regina Rifles met at Truro NS during 15 minute stop. Special train of 3rd Flight Royal Rifles of Canada passed near Debert Camp. Arrived Camp Sussex 1630 hrs. Met by Brig Archambault 8th Bde Bde Maj, Staff Captain, and officers of First Flight QOR of C.

Nfld Airport 11 Dec 1940

A & B coy Serial 753 turned over duties to serial 1042 at 1200 hrs.

Camp Sussex N.B. 12 Dec 1940

OC and Adjutant visited 8th Bde in morning and also made Recce. Training for members of second flight principally route marches after 6 day trip.

Nfld Airport 12 Dec 1940

Word received to be prepared to move 2330 hrs 13 Dec.

Camp Sussex N.B. 13 Dec 1940

Seven officers and 110 other ranks on leave and furlough 8 Dec to 28 Dec. OC advised of inspection 17 Dec by Inspector General. OC, Adjutant, QM and Messing officer went to St. John to visit DOC MD7.

Nfld Airport 13 Dec 1940

Final A & B concert. Train arrived on time 2330 hrs. Serial 753 took on rations for Morning Meal. Third flight left Airport 12 Officers 282 other ranks.

Camp Sussex N.B. 14 Dec 1940

Sketch map showing log of Second Flight attached. App D.

War Diary covering BOTWOOD DET. FIRST FLIGHT 25 NOV TO 30 NOV 40.

Seven officers and 165 other ranks left 1331 hrs on leave and/or furlough. Unit advised Maj Gen Trimblay Inspector General would call 17 Dec.

Third Flight 14 Dec 1940

Arrived Cornerbrook 1145 hrs. SS NEW NORTHLAND docked, Third Flight RRofC disembarked QOR of C had to remain on train one hour. Ship delayed by bad weather A & B Coy went for a route march through Cornerbrook.

Camp Sussex N.B. 15 Dec 1940

Divine service 0930 hrs Salvation Army Chapel. Telegram received from Cornerbrook re third flight. Advised Maj Gen Trimblay had returned to Quebec and visit postponed.

Third Flight 15 Dec 1940

Ships Daily orders.

The ship still being tied up by weather. Third flight went on another route march. SS New Northland sailed at 1500 hrs. Weather turned bad and ship anchored in lee of Governor Island.

Camp Sussex N.B. 16 Dec 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus. Brig Nash met by L Col MacKendrick acting for Brig Archambault. OC officially opened Salvation Army hut 2000 hrs. Arrangements made for Christmas party for men not on leave.

Third Flight 16 Dec 1940

SS New Northland weighed anchor again at 0645 hrs, seas heavy two thirds of men and three quarters of officers sea sick. At 1300 hrs sea dropped to a land swell. At 2200 hrs weather again became bad with heavy snow storm.

Camp Sussex N.B. 17 Dec 1940

Weather clear, roads very icy. Difficulty experienced in obtaining boots and repairs for boots. Many men with boots completely worn out.

Third Flight 17 Dec 1940

At 0130 hrs weather turned definitely bad. Ship made little headway. Ship turned about and made for Sydney NS 0700 hrs. Coast defence batteries fired over ship as captain of SS New Northland thought a pilot unnecessary. Storm signals out; took on water ballast.

Camp Sussex N.B. 18 Dec 1940

Training in accordance with syllabus. App F Work ”exercising the trained soldier” prior to re-examination TO ET.

Third Flight 18 Dec 1940

Left 1115 hrs weather clearing.

Camp Sussex N.B. 19 Dec 1940

Training confined to individual training. Third Flight arrived 2045 hrs train running 1 hr and 45 min late. Twelve officers and 282 other ranks under Maj JG Spragge.

Third Flight 19 Dec 1940

Arrived Halifax 0915 hrs disembarked 1015 hrs entrained. Arrived Camp Sussex 2140 hrs.

Camp Sussex N.B. 20 Dec 1940

3rd Flight paid and equipped with new battle dress where old uniform condemned.

Camp Sussex N.B. 21 Dec 1940

Twelve officers and 263 other ranks left on leave or furlough. OC guest of DOC MD 7 in St. John.

Camp Sussex N.B. 22 Dec 1940

Divine service 1930 hrs Salvation Army Hut. Hon Capt Markham appointed to fill post of unit Chaplain during Chaplain’s leave. Weather very clear compared to that encountered in Nfld. Officers guest of Officers 12th Regt RCA at Tea.

Maj MacKay Q 3rd Div guest of mess.

Camp Sussex N.B. 23 Dec 1940

Training restricted as almost 2/3rd of Bn on furlough. Mostly repetition Fatigues, taking over 1/3 of men in camp. Number of flu cases cause by change in climate decreasing.

Decided fire hazard with tar papered huts and wood and coal stoves which create creosote deposits on pipes. Orders for tending wood and coal stoves attached as App to Part I Orders.

Camp Sussex N.B. 24 Dec 1940

Training in morning only. Voluntary fatigues decorated Men’s Mess halls. Christmas Eve party given for Men in Mess hut. Professional entertainers engaged and Ladies of St. John Chapter IODE drove out to dance with men. Officers gave a late supper for IODE members afterwards.

Camp Sussex N.B. 25 Dec 1940

Christmas Day. Church service 1000hrs YMCA Hut for Protestants. RC faith had service in KofC Hut. Officers carved and NCOs serviced at Men’s Christmas dinner.

Formal mess for Officers at noon. Telegram sent Her Majesty Queen Mary Colonel in Chief.

No Training.

Camp Sussex N.B. 26 Dec 1940

Training resumed with route marches. Telegram received from Her Majesty Queen Mary.

Duties of Orderly Officer App G.

Unit Fire Orders App H

Quarter Guard App I

Dining Room Service App L

Camp Duty Unit K

Camp Sussex N.B. 27 Dec 1940

Maj JG Spragge nominated for Field Officers course RMC 5 Jan. Training at ranges firing 15 rounds per man.

Camp Sussex N.B. 28 Dec 1940

Five Officers and 125 other ranks returned from leave and furlough arriving 1600 hrs; 1830 hrs 2000 hrs all trains running late.

Camp Sussex N.B. 29 Dec 1940

Five officers and 195 other ranks left on 20 day leave or furlough.

Camp Sussex N.B. 30 Dec 1940

Camp Duty Unit 30-12-40 to 6-1-41. Maj Hudson Camp FO Guard Mounted; Rifle drill: Buglers at Mounting of guard.

Camp Sussex N.B. 31 Dec 1940

No training due to Camp Fatigues and great number on leave. Fatigue Chart.

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