Missing since September 3rd 1942

Missing but never forgotten

Courtesy https://www.facebook.com/color.praeterita/

About the artist

Hi, I’m Harry and I’ve created this page to showcase my efforts in colouring old black/white photographs. Just for fun!

Biography
I’ve long been interested in history, especially that of WW2 aviation, so after coming across the likes of communities like Colourising History and a variety of very talented artists, I decided I’d like to try my hand at this.
I do this for fun: I get a sense of satisfaction when I finally complete an image, but what I really like is how a coloured image can make the history it shows somehow more real… or perhaps more ‘relevant’ would be a better term as I find it makes said history easier to connect with. A colourised photo can remind us that the portrayed person isn’t just some distant, long dead curiosity but was once a living, breathing human being just like you and I.

Collection Gérard Pelletier

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27 thoughts on “Missing since September 3rd 1942

  1. His pilot…

    https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=1535

    Missing while on air to sea firing practice.
    Fl/Sgt. Joseph Pelletier was classed as ‘missing, believed killed’ along with his pilot on the 03rd September 1942. Defiant N1804 had been on an air to sea firing practice which failed to return. The Royal Observer Corps reported the aircraft crossing the coast at the south end of Druridge Bay, Northumberland (south of Amble) at 15:53 hrs. A search was instigated but apart from a patch of oil on the sea no wreckage trace of the crew were found. Fl/Sgt. Joseph Alphonse Jean Gerard Pelletier R/53763 RCAF – air gunner and Polish pilot, 32 year old, F/O. Stanisław Józef Sowiński P-0151 from Nowy Sacz, Poland missing – believed killed.

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    1. Thanks, Pierre. A colourised image is certainly evocative but the stark tale itself brings it all home more.

      At the risk of sounding maudlin, faces from the past might also be faces from the future. We’ll never learn, will we? (Would a “war to end all wars” really be worth the bother?)

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  2. Although colorizing vintage photography and cinematography remains controversial, I have a deep appreciation for it. I think that early photographers would have preferred color fillm over black and white had it been readily available. Color in photographs brings the subject a distinct realism and relateability. This is important in preserving important historical images. Thanks for the painstaking work that you enjoy.

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  3. You might be interested in my uncle Wilfred Banks from Canada who was in WW11 and flew a Spitfire.
    In his retirement he built an aircraft in his basement.
    Leslie

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      1. BANKS Wilfred John (F/L) RCAF J12311

        Distinguished Flying Cross 22 September 1944

        This officer has completed many sorties. He has invariably displayed a high degree of skill and courage and is a keen and resolute pilot. Flying Officer Banks has destroyed six enemy aircraft, three of them in one sortie.

        Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross 19 February 1945

        Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has taken part in many more operational sorties. In September 1944 he participated in the Arnhem paratroop landings and in one combat against a superior force he destroyed two enemy aircraft. On the following day he destroyed another two in air combat bringing his total victories to at least ten enemy aircraft destroyed. On another occasion the propeller of this officer’s aircraft was hit by fire from the enemy’s defences and half of one blade was knocked off but with great skill he brought his aircraft safely back to base. At all times Flight Lieutenant Banks has set a fine example of courage, efficiency and leadership.

        BANKS, F/O Wilfred John (J12311) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.412 Squadron – Award effective 22 September 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2274/44 dated 20 October 1944. Born at Hazenmore, Saskatchewan, 21 January 1920 (birth date in obiruary notiice); home in Leaside, Ontario (ex-Royal Canadian Artillery). Enlisted in Toronto, 3 July 1941. Trained at No.5 ITS (13 October to 5 December 1941) , No.17 EFTS (8 December 1941 to 13 February 1942) and No.8 SFTS (2 March to 19 June 1942). Commissioned 1942. Instructed in Canada (No.1 SFTS, 9 September 1942 to 16 September 1943). Further trained at No.1 OTU, Bagotville. Arrived in UK, 31 January 1944. Attended No.53 OTU, 14 March to 2 June 1944. Joined No.42 Squadron, 24 June 1944. Victories as follows: 28 June 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed; 7 July 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed; 12 July 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed; 24 July 1944, one FW.190 and two Bf.109s destroyed; 26 September 1944, two FW.190s destroyed; 27 September 1944, one Bf.109 probably destroyed and one FW.190 damaged; 5 December 1944, two Bf.109s probably destroyed; 1 January 1945, one Ju.88 destroyed. For additional details see Chris Shores, Aces High. Died in Ottawa, 12 January 1997. Photos PL-30911 and 30912 shows F/O Aleck Whiting of Toronto (left) and F/O W.J.Banks, the former having won a pool when Banks destroyed the 100th enemy aircraft credited to Dal Russel\’s wing. This officer has completed many sorties. He has invariably displayed a high degree of skill and courage and is a keen and resolute pilot. Flying Officer Banks has destroyed six enemy aircraft, three of them in one sortie. NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/9159 has recommendation drafted 26 July 1944 when he had flown 39 sortie (45 hours five minutes). \”This officer has shown exceptional ability to destroy the enemy. On one sortie on 24th July 1944, a formation of four, in which he was No.4, engaged 40-plus enemy aircraft in the Lisieux area, and he himself destroyed three of them, all going down in flames. In 39 operational sorties, he has destroyed a total of six enemy aircraft.\” BANKS, F/L Wilfred John, DFC (J12311) – Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross – No.412 Squadron – Award effective 19 February 1945 as per London Gazette dated 27 February 1945 and AFRO 721/45 dated 27 April 1945. Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has taken part in many more operational sorties. In September 1944 he participated in the Arnhem paratroop landings and in one combat against a superior force he destroyed two enemy aircraft. On the following day he destroyed another two in air combat bringing his total victories to at least ten enemy aircraft destroyed. On another occasion the propeller of this officer\’s aircraft was hit by fire from the enemy\’s defences and half of one blade was knocked off but with great skill he brought his aircraft safely back to base. At all times Flight Lieutenant Banks has set a fine example of courage, efficiency and leadership.

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