Category Archives: Roland Olivier Brouillard

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.


Intermission Six – More from Gordon

Clarence had coffee yesterday morning with Gordon who is sharing these new group pictures.

From left to right: Gordon, Lou Brouillard, unknown pilot, P/O Cliff Haines, Pic Picard, Doug Douglas, and Cliff Preston.

Jack Leyland is on the Spitfire engine.


From left to right: F/O Ken Williams, unknown pilot, F/L “Doug” Douglas, F/Sgt. McGregor, P/O Chuck Darrow, and Gord.


Left, reading a magazine is Larry Spurr. Commanding Officer F/L Jack Mitchner, DFC., hands in his pockets, is standing in front of the “Joint” which was the operations hut.


From left to right: F/O G. Scott who arrived 24 March 1945, bald pilot is unknown, reading book is F/O W. L. McCullum J37906, from 127 Squadron who arrived 3 February 1945. A new pilot who had just arrived and hit his head on his own fighter gun sight, name unknown.


Left is the other Hill,  W. D. “Wally” Hill, posted to 443 Squadron 5 April 1945, in the center is Squadron Adjutant  F/L R. J. Howe, posted out October 1945, and right is F/L Dagwood Phillips.

The pilots left 1500 hrs, 2 Aug. 45.
The pilots departed B.174 Germany for a two week air firing course at No. 13 P.T.C. Warmwell, England. They stopped for fuel at B. 78 Eindhoven, Belgium, and F/O Brouillard, Ken Williams, Lyons and Collins had engine trouble and had to remain on base. The other arrived at Warmwell at 19:00 hrs. The course began on 4 August 45, and Gordon took two photos of Pic Picard and Larry Spurr.

F/L F. G. “Pic” Picard J22883, was posted out in November 45.


The Making of a Spitfire pilot Part Four should be posted soon.

Intermission Four – Crazy Frenchies

Intermission post by Pierre Lagacé

Crazy Frenchies is something I found in a book last week as I was desperately searching for more information about Flying Officer R.O. Brouillard who was part of the French Connection.

Sur la route de Vaudreuil is where I stumbled upon Roland Brouillard’s name seen here at B.78 Eindhoven, in Holland….

B.78 Eindhoven, Holland

That picture was taken by Gordon Hill between 31 March and 12 April 1945.

Roland Brouillard’s full name was Roland Olivier Brouillard, born 21 December 1918, 40 days after 11 November 1918…

This information is in the book.


Roland’s mother died suddenly when he was two years-old.

In 1998, Marcel Brouillard recounted in a book his big brother’s war years with the RCAF. I suppose that Roland Brouillard had shared his wartime reminiscences with him since there is a whole chapter in the book.

This is how I learned so much more about Flying Officer R.O. Brouillard by reading excerpts from the book. At first, the only thing I had to go on was Flying Officer R.O. Brouillard’s initials.


This photo of Flying Officer R.O. Brouillard is now much more meaningful than before.

Collection Gordon Hill

I feel I was very lucky to find Sur la route de Vaudreuil

I am now able to let Clarence Simonsen share what I found with Gordon Hill whom he will meet next Tuesday. Gord had such an admiration for those “damn good pilots”.

Collection Clarence Simonsen

This is where I found the book. You can read the excerpts if you read French.

On this next photo, Roland Brouillard is on the right of this photo op.


Collection Gordon Hill

A pilot describes for posterity his aerial dogfight.

The pilot’s name is Jacques “Jack” Ménard, from Cartierville, Quebec. That information about Ménard was also found in the book

Here is Roland once again at B.78 Eindhoven, in Holland.

Collection Gordon Hill

Roland’s nickname was Lou, like Lou Brouillard, a former world middleweight boxing champion.

That information was taken also from the book…

Also in the book, Marcel Brouillard wrote that Jack and Lou were also called the “Crazy Frenchies” and became inseparable.

We are in Holland. The date is between 31 March and 12 April 1945. “Lou” Brouillard, born 21 December 1918, is 26 years-old.

He looks more like a 40 year-old man…



Intermission Three – “Damn good pilots!”

Intermission post by Pierre Lagacé

Damn good pilots!

That’s how Gordon Hill, who is 94 years-old, calls the French Connection.

When Clarence Simonsen asked more information last week about French-Canadian Spitfire pilots flying with 416 Squadron, that was how he called them…

Damn good pilots!

After 72 years!

You won’t find this in history books.

Damn good pilots!

Posing for an official RCAF photographer, Louis Nault stands on the left, next to Henri “Pic” Picard who is watching Jacques Ménard, while Roland Brouillard is looking on.

Louis Jean was also part of the French Connection.

Louis Jean, that the tall guy on the extreme left in the first row. “Pic” Picard is the fifth one from the left. Gordon Hill is on the wing, in the centre. Brouillard and Ménard are not on that group picture.

I wonder why…

Gordon Hill is now so easy to spot on pictures scanned by Clarence.

This is another photo where we see Gordon Hill and Roland Brouillard…


Haines is on the left. Brouillard is next, then Gordon Hill in the centre, smiling. Next are Preston and Leyland.

The pilot who is kneeling is Douglas who was killed accidentally by a shotgun blast in the face on May 14, 1945.

The war had been over just a week before. 

Lest We Forget

Next time, I will tell you more about Brouillard whose nickname I have just learned was Lou.
B.78, Eindhoven