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Thread: Americans who flew in the Canadian Royal Airforce

  1. #1
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    Default American men who joined the Canadian forces before the U.S.

    I need some help and this looks like a good place to ask a question

    My father was first in the U.S. Calvary. He got out of the services for a while and when WWII started joined the Canadian Air Force. He had his own personal radar and spent his time in Trinidad, Tabago, Aruba and Latin and South America. They flew cover for troop ships and also looked for Uboats. From what little he told me it was a very disorganized effort and very informal.

    He never told me how he made the change from the CAF to the USAF but I'm thinking it was pretty seamless. He was in Europe and Africa after the US got into the war.

    What I'd like to know is how did he do it? Did he have to change his citizenship for a time or did we have an agreement with Canada?

  2. #2
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    I'd look at the Eagal sqdn history for an example as prior to Hitlers decleration of war against the USA we ( comonwealth forces) were prepared to take any voluntees. Many Anericans crossed the boarder to volunteer having recognised the threat that Nazi Gemany posed and regardless of yor fathers ultimate posting it is to his credit that he was prepared to put his balls on the block, well done that man.

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    It would appear that either in 40 or 41 that President Roosevelt signed a secret order allowing US military personnel to resign their post to join anti-axis military's. I couldnt nail down exactly when or what. Most likely your dad found out about it or was approached by someone for recruitment. So thats probably how he got in. They would have been asked to return when the US got involved in the war. Anyhow maybe this will get you started.

    101st Airborne

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    We have a few Canadians posting in this forum. Hopefully they'll see it.

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    LargeBrew and Gen. Sandworm, thank you for your replies. They do give me a direction to go. I'm proud of my father's service and I did ask while he was alive but he would only talk about the funny things and rarely gave us a glimpse of the serious side. There were memories that he just couldn't speak of and I loved him too much to press him.

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    I dont know off the top of my head, but I can check my books I have here, I'll get back to you on it.

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    Americans in the RCAF
    The US did not enter the war until December 1941, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Many Americans did not wait for this declaration of war and instead opted to join the Allied Forces.

    One story is that of P/O Claud Weaver III, DFC, DFM, an American, born at Oklahoma City, Okla., on August 18, 1922. He came to Canada to enlist in the RCAF at Windsor, ONT., on February 13, 1941. He earned his wings in October 1941, went overseas at once, and after a brief period with a fighter squadron in Britain was posted to Malta. There he flew with No. 185 Squadron from July to September, 1942.

    In August, Sgt Weaver was decorated with the DFM, for destroying five enemy fighters and participating in a bomber kill within a period of one week. He ran his Malta score up to ten before being shot down over Sicily and taken prisoner on September 9, 1942. A year later he escaped from the Prisoner of War (POW) camp and walked 300 miles to freedom. Appointed to a commission, he immediately returned to operations with No. 403 (RCAF) Squadron in Western Europe, late October 1943. He won two more victories before he was shot down and killed in air combat while on a "ranger" mission in the Amiens area on January 28, 1944. March 1944, the award of the DFC was published and P/O Weaver also was mentioned in dispatches in June 1944.
    Source

    Edited: 15000 Americans joined RAF and RCAF prior to starting of WW2 for USA (according to http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/prewwii/es.htm )

    Second edit:
    Many American pilots served in the Royal Air Force and in order to circumvent the US Neutrality Act they assumed Canadian or South African nationality. They formed the Eagle Squadrons, approved by the British Air Ministry in September, 1940, and operated within the RAF Fighter Command. The first Eagle Squadron was No. 71 Squadron, formed with Hurricanes at RAF Station, Kirton-in-Lindsay, Lincolnshire. The ultimate total of US pilots thus serving numbered 243 with additional squadrons Nos.121 and 133 operating from Kirton-in-Lindsay and Coltishall respectively. After the US entry into the war the Eagle Squadrons were transferred into the US 8th Air Force.
    My bold. Source
    Regimentul 38 "Neagoe Basarab"
    Divizia 10 Infanterie


    101st Airborne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gen. Sandworm View Post
    It would appear that either in 40 or 41 that President Roosevelt signed a secret order allowing US military personnel to resign their post to join anti-axis military's. .
    In the case of the Eagle squadrons in the RAF, the US insisted that the British could not enroll ex US servicemen, as this would breach the Neutrality Act.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
    In the case of the Eagle squadrons in the RAF, the US insisted that the British could not enroll ex US servicemen, as this would breach the Neutrality Act.

    Im sure they found ways around this..........as there are numerous stories of US volenteers.

    101st Airborne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gen. Sandworm View Post
    Im sure they found ways around this..........as there are numerous stories of US volenteers.
    It may well also have been a thinly veiled attempt at maintaining some sense of neutrality, and in fact may well have been unenforced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    It may well also have been a thinly veiled attempt at maintaining some sense of neutrality, and in fact may well have been unenforced.
    No ex-USAAF or ex-USN pilots served in any of the 3 RAF Eagle squadrons.

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    Interesting, I know American ex-military pilots were allowed, and even recruited by the US gov't, to fly in the Nationalist Chinese air force as the Flying Tigers.

    It was a silly double standered.
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 10-02-2006 at 03:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
    No ex-USAAF or ex-USN pilots served in any of the 3 RAF Eagle squadrons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dani
    Americans in the RCAF
    The US did not enter the war until December 1941, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Many Americans did not wait for this declaration of war and instead opted to join the Allied Forces.

    One story is that of P/O Claud Weaver III, DFC, DFM, an American, born at Oklahoma City, Okla., on August 18, 1922. He came to Canada to enlist in the RCAF at Windsor, ONT., on February 13, 1941. He earned his wings in October 1941, went overseas at once, and after a brief period with a fighter squadron in Britain was posted to Malta. There he flew with No. 185 Squadron from July to September, 1942.

    In August, Sgt Weaver was decorated with the DFM, for destroying five enemy fighters and participating in a bomber kill within a period of one week. He ran his Malta score up to ten before being shot down over Sicily and taken prisoner on September 9, 1942. A year later he escaped from the Prisoner of War (POW) camp and walked 300 miles to freedom. Appointed to a commission, he immediately returned to operations with No. 403 (RCAF) Squadron in Western Europe, late October 1943. He won two more victories before he was shot down and killed in air combat while on a "ranger" mission in the Amiens area on January 28, 1944. March 1944, the award of the DFC was published and P/O Weaver also was mentioned in dispatches in June 1944.

    Source

    Edited: 15000 Americans joined RAF and RCAF prior to starting of WW2 for USA (according to http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/prewwii/es.htm )

    Second edit:
    Many American pilots served in the Royal Air Force and in order to circumvent the US Neutrality Act they assumed Canadian or South African nationality. They formed the Eagle Squadrons, approved by the British Air Ministry in September, 1940, and operated within the RAF Fighter Command. The first Eagle Squadron was No. 71 Squadron, formed with Hurricanes at RAF Station, Kirton-in-Lindsay, Lincolnshire. The ultimate total of US pilots thus serving numbered 243 with additional squadrons Nos.121 and 133 operating from Kirton-in-Lindsay and Coltishall respectively. After the US entry into the war the Eagle Squadrons were transferred into the US 8th Air Force.
    My bold. Source
    Did you miss this one by Dani? Do you have any sources? Maybe I missed something.

    Do you think these pilots were trained by the UK????? So that way they didnt violate the Neutrality Act?

    101st Airborne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gen. Sandworm View Post
    Did you miss this one by Dani? Do you have any sources? Maybe I missed something.

    Do you think these pilots were trained by the UK????? So that way they didnt violate the Neutrality Act?
    It states quite clearly that this brave man was trained, and earned his wings while a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

    A number of Americans who were civilian pilots in the USA did join the Eagle squadrons, even one or two who had attempted to become USAAF pilots but had 'washed out' of basic flying school, but nobody who had earned their wings with the USAAF.

    There was a big stink over on this side of the pond when the Hollywood film 'Pearl Habor!' came out. It showed USAAF pilots being 'volunteered' by the USAAF high command for service in the RAF, a total falsehood, which many thought offensive to the the the memory of the real people who did volunteer, in the true meaning of the word
    Last edited by redcoat; 10-03-2006 at 05:37 AM.

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    Default Americans who flew in the Canadian Royal Airforce

    Hello, I am referencing a thread I found here which is closed- I can't post the link because I have to have five posts first.


    My dad passed away last December but he flew for the RCAF doing reconnaissance missions around Iceland during WW II. He says there was a plane issue and he bailed out but his wingman did not make it. He was found by a man and a woman with a sled of dogs. His name was Nicolas Stam. Afterwards, he came back and served in the US military (he is a US Citizen). He said he regreted never contacting the family of his flying partner. Sometimes I wonder if there was more to the story. Is there any way I can find his name in a list of those who served with the RCAF or maybe he flew under their command as a US soldier? There are so many things I wish I had asked him.

    Can anyone help me? I will scan his picture in and upload it later.

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