Epilogue – A Journey Into the Past

Post by Pierre Lagacé

Clarence Simonsen has done an incredible research using Gordon Hill’s photos.

This is probably the most interesting photograph in the hundreds of photos in Gordon McKenzie Hill’s collection.

At least in my own humble opinion…

This is what Clarence wrote about it.

Gordon Hill was sent to the RCAF Release Deport in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and met up with an old High School friend who was graduating from the University of Manitoba. Gordon became her escort for the evening, and had his photo taken after the dinner. The other males at his table have spent the past four years studying at University, while Gordon was flying around the world, fighting for Canada. I wonder if they had any idea what he had seen and done for them.

“I wonder if they had any idea what he had seen and done for them.”

I don’t know if these people had any idea what he had seen and done for them, because I did not ask Clarence if Gordon Hill had talked that much about that photo.

I don’t know also if he had talked that much about the war with his relatives before he met Clarence. But I glad he did talk to Clarence because I have learned so much about many 416 Squadron pilots and especially about the French Connection who were “damn good pilots” according to Gordon Hill.

“Lou” Nault, “Pic” Picard, “Jack” Menard and “Lou” Brouillard now will always be remembered on Preserving the Past thanks to “Gord”.

“Lou” Jean, another French-Canadian Spitfire pilot, will also be remembered.

On the left is F/O M. R. “Mush” Sharun. On the wing is F/L D. W. Harling. Below is F/O W.F. Bridgman, then F/O W.D. “Wally” Hill and F/O Gordon “Gord” Hill, W/O L. J. “Lou” Jean, F/L W. R. “Webb” Harten, F/O J. Leyland and F/O R.W. “Tap” Tapley.

W/O L. J. “Lou” Jean

This is one of the reasons I colorised that picture. W/O L. J. “Lou” Jean was a “damn good pilot”.

I colorised it also to pay homage  to the three pilots who never came back from the war.

Their stories are here on Preserving the Past.

Use the search button to look for them…

F/L D. W. Harling…


F/O W.F. Bridgman…

F/L W. R. “Webb” Harten…

I wonder if some of the French Connection pilots shared what they did during the war with their relatives.


5 thoughts on “Epilogue – A Journey Into the Past

    1. Pierre Lagacé Post author

      Will do.
      Clarence is working on another story.
      Talk about preserving the past.
      A Mexican pilot who met Charles Lindbergh…
      Yes GP we have pictures.

      It never stops!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. arrow

    Allo Pierre You did a bang up job, Thank you. For Clarence, please send along my kind regards.
    Clarence has once again presented a wonderfully researched and written article chronicling a young Canadian from a small prairie town in Saskatchewan, to the dusty airstrips in Normandy and beyond. Had Clarence been a school teacher of social studies / history, and was my teacher, I damn well would have showed up every day ! I, you, me, we need to see more of this. For this is a more up close and personal look at the bigger picture of our history. Over eleven hundred thousand Canadian men and women heard the pipe and drum echo off the Verdun, and they answered the call. I think about the many who did not come home, as I think of the many who did come home. I remember, I remember everyday. To F/O Gordon McKenzie Hill Thank You.
    P.S. Pierre, on any given day Canadian pilots / aircrew were the finest.
    They were all damn good pilots. I would expect nothing less.
    Cheers Arrow.



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