DAY, Albert David Flight Sergeant, No.77 Squadron, Can 10263A Mention in Despatches RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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DAY, FS Albert David (Can 10263A) - Mention in Despatches - No.77 Squadron (AFRO gives unit only as \"Attached to RAF\") - Award effective 2 September 1942 as per London Gazette of 5 September 1942 and AFRO 1653/42 dated 16 October 1942. NOTE - DHist card says 1 June 1942 as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1942 and AFRO 1653/42 dated 16 October 1942. Born 24 November 1920. Home in Hamilton, Ontario; enlisted there 16 September 1939 for General Duties. To No.1 Equipment Depot, 26 January 1940. Promoted AC1, 19 February 1940. To AFHQ, 15 April 1940. Promoted LAC, 29 May 1940 Remustered to aircrew and posted to No.2 ITS, 26 August 1940, reverting to AC2 as of 1 September 1940; promoted LAC, 12 October 1940 when posted to No.12 EFTS; to No.4 SFTS, 19 December 1940. Graduated and promoted Sergeant, 21 February 1941. To Embarkation Depot, 12 March 1941. To RAF overseas, date uncertain. Missing 6 August 1941. Reported Safe (interned in Madrid), March 1942. Attained rank of WO1, 1 March 1942. To RCAF Overseas Headquarters, 6 May 1942. To Canada, 31 May 1942. To “Y” Depot, 27 July 1942. To RAF overseas again, 6 August 1942. To RCAF Overseas Headquarters, 27 September 1943. Commissioned 22 June 1944 (J87090). Promoted Flying Officer, 22 December 1944. Demobilized (apparently still in Britain), 24 June 1946. RCAF photo PL-44430 (ex UK-22015 dated 7 June 1945) is captioned as follows: “It has been three years and nine months since these crew-mates met. When WO 1 M.C. Delaney of Quebec City last saw his pilot, F/O A.D. Day, of Hamilton, Ontario, when their Whitley was shot down raiding Frankfurt. Delaney was captured while Day evaded and escaped back to England. Day is now a Service Advisor to the repatriated prisoners. He and his former wireless air gunner had a great reunion when they met at the RCAF Returned Prisoner of War Centre at Bournemouth.” No citation in AFRO. Public Records Office Air 2/5684 has recommendation and gives unit; Sergeant at time. This airman was a member of the crew of an aircraft which was shot down when returning from a bombing attack on Frankfurt on 7th August 1941. He baled out in Northern Belgium and, showing great coolness, evaded capture, ultimately making his way through France into Spain from where he was repatriated. Public Record Office WO 208/3308 has report of his evasion. It gives his profession as ?Student?, home address as being in Cleveland, Ohio, date of departure from Gibraltar on 4 March 1942 and arrival at Gourock on 10 March 1942. Interviewed by MI.9 on 13 March 1942. On 7 August 1941 we were sent to bomb Frankfurt-on-Main but as the weather was very bad we did not reach our target. Near Coblenz on the return journey we were hit by anti-aircraft fire. Fire broke out repeatedly and the plane lost height. We had to bale out at 5,000 feet. I do not know what happened to the aircraft. The rest of the crew were:- Pilot Officer Baber, Pilot Officer Kane, Sergeant Thuell and a Canadian. I do not know what happened to them after abandoning the aircraft. I came down at Loochristy near Ghent at 0200 hours. I buried my parachute and walked towards Ghent. I hid near the town during the day and on the following night walked through Ghent to Deynze. Though I passed Germans in the town they must have taken me for a German soldier as I was in uniform. I hid again that day and travelled at night to Thielt. I had had no food since landing so that day I spoke to a farmhand. I was given food, shelter and clothes and taken on a bicycle to Pitthem. From there I walked to Lichtervede and then to Thourout where I saw a sign in a caf?, ?English spoken?. I went in and spoke to the waitress who took me into the back room. There I was given food and was advised to make for Holland as being friendlier than the district in the North. I decided, however, to carry on to Ostend. At Leffinghe I crossed the Canal Bridge. I was on the bridge before I saw that there were German guards checking papers. I walked straight on and was the only one not stopped. All the roads were patrolled by cyclists. I reached Ostend on 15 August but saw that I could not get a boat as I had hoped. I stopped a gendarme in the town who was wearing service ribbons, and he advised me to go inland again. I returned by the same route but swam the Canal. In Ghistelle a man spoke to me and took me to a caf?. From thetre a man came from Ostend and took my photo. I left Ghistelle on 11 September and cycled to Bruges accompanied by a Belgian. From there we went by train to Brussels. There I was met by the man from Ostend and given an identity card. I was taken to a house in Brussels where I lived for two weeks. The man with whom I was staying was arrested by the Gestapo and I was taken to another house where I met Sergeant Newton (S/P.G.-649), Sergeant Bork (S/P.G.-695), Sergeant Copley, RAF and Fligth Lieutenant Langoise. The last two were later captured. At this time I got the organisation to provide me with false papers. I was unable to accompany Sergeant Newton when he left for Spain as I had pneumonia. I stayed at the house of one of the members for a month and then on 21 December was taken to the station where I met Sergeant Warburton (S/P.C.-687), Sergeant Hutton (S/P.G.-688) and Sergeant Cox (S/P.G.-694). Then the rest of my journey corresponds with that of Sergeant Warburton.