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While researching my uncles Sabre crash, I was looking at the Grostenquin.org website (now defunct which is really too bad as it had some great photos and stories) and I came across the name Bill Slaughter, living in Ottawa. Bill was a Red Indian in the late 50s and early 60s. One of the women I work with is Cori Slaughter. I asked her if she was related to Bill and she said that Bill was her father. We got to chatting and she extended the opportunity for me to meet her dad and talk about his days at 2 Wing. I accepted. One fine morning a couple of years ago, I met Bill and we had a great conversation. It was difficult as Bill was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a number of years ago and speaking can be very difficult for him. Anyway, we had a great chat and I learned that Bill had crashed Sabre 23374 at Homburg. The engine crapped out due to fuel starvation. He ejected safely but was in the hospital for quite some time recovering fomr a back injury. I also found out that he been the Red Knight in 1964.

From Canadian Wings.com, "In the fall of 1963 Winnipeg native Bill Slaughter, a new Portage la Prairie Instructor and former F-86 pilot, volunteered for the role of Alternate Red Knight for the remainder of the season. All together the four pilots who participated in the Red Knight program made 90 performances, in 1963.

In 1964, the Red Knight program regrouped, reorganized and recovered from the traumas of the previous year. After Bud Morin's accident, there had been some discussion about canceling the program. In the end, it was decided that the Red Knight needed additional support while on the road. A new position, Red Knight Officer Commanding (OC) was created. The OC was to travel with the team and look after all the organizational details, allowing the pilots to concentrate on their shows. The first Red Knight OC was Jack Desbrisay.

The Canadian Government made significant cuts to Defense budget in the 1964. This forced the RCAF to reduce spending. The most notable actions taken were to disband the Golden Hawks and lay-off hundreds of pilots. Wayne MacLellan, who probably would have continued as Red Knight in 1964, was one of these unfortunate pilots. As a result, Bill Slaughter became the Red Knight. The Alternate for 1964 was D.C. "Tex" Deagnon. Paul Boucher returned as Crew Chief, along with newcomer Ellis Gauthro. With the budget cuts, the team's schedule of performances was dramatically reduced. Bill Slaughter completed only twenty-six air shows that season. Tex Deagnon performed four additional shows as Alternate. In September of 1964, the Red Knight Program moved once again, this time to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan."

In 1967, Bill was selected to be a member of the Golden Centennaires, predecessors of the Snowbirds. As a matter of fact, the Snowbirds are flying the same Tutors that were used by the Golden Centennaires. Bill flew Tutor 175 and was one of the solo pilots.

I've built three models and presented them to Bill. This first was an Academy T-33 done up as the Red Knight. The second was a Hobbycraft Tutor done up as Golden Centennaire 175 and the third was Sabre 23374. A wonderful man to chat with and as humble as the day is long. Here they are.




Bill Slaughter (front row, 2nd from right) in front of Sabre 23374 that he put into the rhubarb on 18 April 1961




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A wonderful story and a great tribute by you, Mike. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I was really into modelling when I was a kid (in the '50's) and probably did at least one of every WWII aircraft that ever flew. I did my last model when I was about 12 and then I discovered the guitar, rock ' roll and chicks and that was the end of that, lol. Fast forward to Xmas 2009 when my lovely wife gave me a 1/72nd Hasegawa Lancaster kit after hearing me talk about how much I enjoyed modelling as a kid. Well, it languished in the box on a shelf in the basement until last March when, going to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 18 with my dad, I met a crusty, witty old fellow by the name of Sam Dunseith at the "Bull's" table (where all the old vets sit). Sam was a rear gunner on a Lanc and was shot down over France. I have always had tremendous regard and respect for vets, but especially for the bomber boys and when he told me about being shot down, my jaw dropped and I blurted out, "You mean you baled out of a burning bomber???" He looked at me with a straight face and said, "Well, they didn't come with a staircase, sonny." After I finally stopped laughing, I tried to get more information out of him, but all he would say was that he flew with the 3oo RAF (Polish) Sqn, that his Lanc, LM179, was called U-Uncle and that they were shot down on July 24/25th, 1944.

My interest was really piqued so, when I got home, I hit the net and started looking for anything I could find about Sam's last op. In fact, it became my mission to find out everything and build a replica of Sam's Lanc. I joined several different Lancaster and WWII forums (ARC included), googled 300 Sqn, Sam's name, everything. I started getting bits of information from WWII historians in Poland, England and Australia, found out the name of the German ace that shot them down from a WW2 forum, and finally, had a Polish fellow send me copies of the RAF loss report (filed by Sam when he returned to England) and the Evasion Report from the French resistance who harbored him for 4 weeks. When it is all put together it tells yet another amazing story of courage, determination and the will to survive.

Sam's crew was made up entirely of RCAF boys, F.O. W.W. Robinson (pilot), F/O C.M. "Joe" Forman (navigator), Sgt. J. Rheubottom (mid-Upper gunner), Sgt. E. Morter (flight engineer), Sgt. L. Page (wireless op) and, filling in for their sick bomb aimer, replacement P.O. James Duguid. They were all on their 18th mission, except for Jimmy Duguid, who was on his third op. The entire crew, as well as Duguid's, had been transferred in to 300 (Polish) Sqn in June to bolster their numbers after heavy losses in the spring. They were some of the first non-Polish crews to join 300 Sqn and had already flown 8 missions of their eighteen with 626 Sqn.

Sam recalls meeting James Duguid. "I was sitting in my turret preparing for the mission when Joe (Forman) came around the tail with a young guy behind him. He said, "Sam, meet our bomb aimer for the night, Jimmy Duguid." I said, "Pleased to meet you, Jimmy!" and reached through the turret (Sam had removed the center section of Perspex) to shake his hand. That was the last time I ever saw the guy."

They had been assigned LM178 (not LM179 as Sam recalled), "Luck of the Irish", for this operation. It was the Sqn Leader's regular a/c and had arrived at Faldingwoth in June at the same time as Sam's crew.

They took off from Faldingworth at 2130 hours. Their target was Stuttgart. They were carrying one 2000 lb H.E. "cookie" and incendiaries. It was a clear but hazy night with no moon. As they were passing over Chateaudun region shortly after midnight, they were suddenly attacked from the starboard rear quarter by a JU88, flown by Major Paul Semerau, of NJGII. Sam got off one long burst before his turret was disabled. The German nightfighter's 20mm cannons and machine guns raked the Lanc from tail to nose and also struck the starboard fuel tanks. It is thought that the mid upper turret may have returned fire briefly before it was struck and the gunner killed.

The starboard wing was blazing as well as the fuselage behind the main spar, where it is likely that the photoflash had been ignited. The pilot signalled the crew to bale out. Joe Forman handed the pilot his chute and prepared to exit through the front escape hatch. Sam's turret had been disabled at the worst possible angle. He couldn't open the doors and fall out backwards as he would have liked and had barely enough room to squeeze back into the fuselage, activating his Mae West as he did so. He then had to crawl forward towards the starboard escape hatch, back into the burning fuselage, open the door and jump out. As he did so, the door slammed on his leg and left him dangling in the burning slipstream. He managed to wriggle out of his flying boot and fall away from the aircraft. As he did so, the starboard fuel tanks exploded, blowing P/O Robinson and Navigator Forman out of the stricken bomber. LM178 dove into the ground 2 miles north of St. Laurent-des-Bois taking the rest of her crew with her.

Sam, blinded from his burns, and Joe Forman, unhurt, landed in the same field. It was 0015 hours on July 25th. They hid in a nearby forest all night and, in the morning decided that Sam needed to get medical attention. Joe helped him to the nearby farmhouse of Francine LeSerre, where they agreed that Sam would count to 100 before knocking on the door, while Joe made his escape. She hid him in her barn while she went for a doctor. A member of the Maquis (French resistance) then took him to a forest near Marchenoir. He was hidden from the Germans, still blind from his badly infected burns, until August 15th when he was liberated by American troops and returned to England 3 days later. He was in hospital until September 21st.

Sam recalled an incident while he was hiding out in the forest of Marchenoir; "We used to go down to this stream in the woods where we could wash up. So they led me down there, took my clothes off and helped me wash myself and clean up my burns. It was a sunny day so they laid me on my back in the grass to dry off in the sun, jaybird naked. Well, son of a *****, but didn't they put me right on top off an ant-hill!"

On July 27th, 2012, almost 68 years to the day that LM178, BH-U "Uncle" and four of her crew were lost, I presented this to Sam. There were a few toasts, a few beers and a few tears.




Edited by Big Daddy
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Outstanding background history for your build, Don. And that's a fine looking model you completed. And Sam's appreciation seems very evident. Well done on all three counts sir.

Nice job and thanks for your kind words.


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Wow, I just realized this thread was available.

My father crewed and painted this racecar in 1972 when I was 6 years old. This car had an enormous effect on my entire life, my passion for cars and racing.

BTW I still have the original of this photo that I have had since 1972.


I started this model technically when I was probaly about 14, it stayed stashed in my model junk. It went to Florida while I was in the Air Force, and traveled back at my separation from active duty. It survived many many moves, children, and a divorce. It started as a kit bash of the Monogram 55 Chevy body and the Revell 55 Chevy frame and engine. I had trimmed the frame and cut down the body, and thats where it had stalled. About 10 years ago I had a stint of model building so I dug it out. My parents had dug out their Super 8 movies and we played them while I would tape them with a VCR CamCorder. There is footage of me playing in the car in 1972 and before and after my father had painted it as well as some racing footage. Here is the video.

Oh and thats me at the beginning climbing out of the racecar.

With the new found evidence from the movie footage, I now had enough info to finally finish the model. Here are photos of the model I just took, even though it was completed 10 years ago. Its surviving pretty well. Its all painted by hand.





Thanks for indulging me....

Edited by xmh53wrench
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  • 2 months later...

I received this 1:32nd scale Kinetic F-86 Sabre kit for Christmas 2011 from my sister-in-law and this has been the first kit I have started since I was about 12 years old. My wife and her sister lost their father over 2 years ago and I built this as a tribute to him. He flew Mk5 and 6 Sabres with the RCAF in Europe from 1956-58 with 434 Sqn, No. 3(F) Wing based in Zweibrucken. On Sept. 19, 1957, he was "flying Number Four in a four-plane section" in A/C No. 534, cruising at 35000 feet when he experienced an "electrical failure & flameout". He performed a textbook forced landing at Spangdahlem and walked away from it. His account of this was published in the Nov/Dec issue of Flight Comment, entitled "Heads-Up Flying". After many starts and stops, I finally finished this project today. I gave away the original decal sheet that came with the kit, thinking I would not need them as I was getting the Leading Edge sheet. However, I found to my dismay that it did not include many of the small access door and other decals that were on the OEM sheet. I will add these later when I track some down. Also, I haven't been able to pry off the port gun-bay door which is hiding quite a bit of detail. Hopefully I can get the panel off and will post another pic of it later. Hope you like it!!

Here's a pic of Larry and an F-86 from 1957...


And here is my finished build.






Thanks for looking!


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