Flight Sergeant William Holowaty’s Last Words

Flight Sergeant William Holowaty’s Last Words

I’d like to talk to you once again about Flight Sergeant Holowaty on Souvenirs de guerre.

Azores, June 16, 1945. Lancaster KW-I is preparing to return to Canada. In front of the Lancaster is a Liberator bomber. Flight Sergeant William Holowaty is in his rear turret.

Suddenly the pilot heard his rear gunner screaming….

Pull up, pull up…

These words were repeated by Flight Lieutenant Chappel in the accident report. These two photos of Flight Sergeant Holowaty are from Archives Canada.

This one comes from the collection of Adjutant Réal St-Amour. Note that the caption is wrong, Holowaty is in the first row on the right.

My friend Clarence Simonsen pointed out to me last week that Flight Sergeant Holowaty was the last airman of No. 6 [RCAF] Group to die in the Second World War.

He became the very last casuality of No. 6 [RCAF] Group, and forgotten by time.

He had commented when I sent him the link to a text on 425 Alouette written by Rénald Fortier, Ottawa Aviation Museum’s curator.

https://ingeniumcanada.org/channel/articles/a-somewhat-forgotten-aspect-of-the-history-of-no-425-squadron-alouette-part-1

Clarence had been impressed by the curator’s research.

Just amazing research, and the first I have seen to mention the incident on 15 June 45 at the airfield at Terceira Island, Azores. That was Lancaster KW-I, [KB934] which had the tail cut off by KB936 code KW-G and took the life of F/Sgt. William Holowaty, from Rochester, Alberta. He was buried Monday 18 June 45, in a small cemetery beside the airfield. He became the very last casuality of No. 6 [RCAF] Group, and forgotten by time.

Now that would make a good memorial nose art panel. Must do some research. Can’t recall if it had art?

Really enjoyed that history, thanks.

Clarence

Clarence is passionate about history, aviation and nose art. I created two blogs for him so that he could publish the results of his research and nose art reproductions.

50 years of research!

https://clarencesimonsen.wordpress.com/

https://clarencesimonsen745590793.wordpress.com/

His latest research is on the last remaining Lancasters currently in Canadian museums. Nearly 200 pages. Click on the link below.

The Death of Daisy

Death of Daisy

His outspokenness is evident in this short excerpt.

Aircraft restoration refers to the treatment procedures which will return an aircraft into a known or assumed original state, often using non-original material as replacement for damaged or missing parts. I am happy to report Canadian Lancaster restoration has today reached its highest peak, after sixty-five years of neglect and improper care of our eight surviving Canadian built Mk, X bombers. The second and clearly most important part of aircraft restoration is conservation, the profession devoted to the preservation of our “Canadian” cultural property for all future Canadians to see and become educated in our RCAF past.

Conservation also includes stabilization, examination, and treatment intended to maintain the integrity of an original aircraft and prevent deterioration of the airframe body. Canada’s most famous surviving veteran WWII Lancaster Mk. X, “DAISY” KB839, remains out in the rain and snow at CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia, a military operated RCAF museum, where she was painted replica as a British RAF Lancaster Mk. III. How can these members wear a poppy on 11 November?

You would think [expect] one or two Senior RCAF Officers in Ottawa would want to save, and correctly paint this rare part of ‘their’ own roots, heritage, and veteran combat Lancaster which flew 26 combat operations in World War Two. No, silence of the lambs. While the RCAF in Nova Scotia have done an excellent job in destroying our last rare RCAF WWII Lancaster “Daisy” and not preserved Canadian culture history, the exact opposite is taking place on the west coast of Canada.

The history of Lancaster FM104 can be found on many websites and need not be repeated, most of all the City of Toronto rejection of their Lancaster Mk. X bomber. Thanks to the City of Toronto, a rare RCAF cultural gem has been saved and will be restored to flying condition by the B.C. Aviation Museum at North Saanich, British Columbia. Please go online and enjoy what is being preserved for all Canadians, and a very first for Canada. FM104 is the oldest surviving Canadian built Lancaster from the “FM” series, but much more important is the fact FM104 will become the only “ORIGINAL” flying Lancaster Mk. 10MR in the world, when restoration is completed. The B.C. Aviation Museum [volunteer civilians again] are restoring, preserving, and saving an RCAF cultural aircraft, which flew from CFB Comox, B.C., for twenty years. If you want to make a wise donation to save CANADIAN CULTURE, send a cheque to North Saanich, B.C., they know what they are doing.

At present time [2019] not one of our surviving other seven Canadian Lancaster aircraft are preserved and painted correctly in their ‘original’ RCAF markings, in fact the other seven bombers are all replica aircraft. I have no problem with painting replica aircraft provided they are painted correctly, and preserve “Canadian” culture. At present Canadians have four Lancaster Mk. X aircraft on display in Canada, and not one is correctly painted as a true replica aircraft. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. Their National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world and each one is painted in 100% correct markings. If our Canadian Museums want to become the best, you must please attempt to meet the standards set by the American Smithsonian Institution. Canadian museums still have a long, long, way to go in learning and painting their Lancaster aircraft correctly.

Flight Sergeant Holowaty’s 90-page military file is available on the Ancestry website.

Ancestry Holowaty

There are photos of the accident and also the report.

Holowaty 1

We now know everything that happened on June 16, 1945 at 1:15 in the morning.

Les dernières paroles du Flight Sergeant William Holowaty

Les dernières paroles du Flight Sergeant William Holowaty

J’aimerais vous reparler du Flight Sergeant Holowaty sur Souvenirs de guerre.

Nous sommes aux Açores le 16 juin 1945. Le Lancaster KW-I se prépare à revenir au Canada. Devant le Lancaster se trouve un bombardier Liberator. Le Flight Sergeant William Holowaty est dans sa tourelle arrière.

Tout à coup le pilote entend son mitrailleur arrière crier…

Pull up, pull up…

Ces paroles, le Flight Lieutenant Chappel les a répétées dans le rapport d’accident. Ces deux photos du Flight Sergeant Holowaty proviennent d’Archives Canada.

Celle-ci vient de la collection de l’adjudant Réal St-Amour. Notez que Holowaty est à droite dans le première rangée et non au centre.

Mon ami Clarence Simonsen m’avait fait remarquer la semaine dernière que le Flight Sergeant Holowaty fut le dernier aviateur du No. 6 [RCAF] Group a trouvé la mort durant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale.

He became the very last casuality of No. 6 [RCAF] Group, and forgotten by time.

Il avait réagi quand je lui avais envoyé le lien vers un texte sur le 425 Alouette écrit par Rénald Fortier, le conservateur du musée de l’aviation à Ottawa.

https://ingeniumcanada.org/fr/le-reseau/articles/un-aspect-quelque-peu-oublie-de-lhistoire-de-la-425e-escadrille-alouette-partie

Clarence avait été impressionné par la recherche du conservateur.

Just amazing research, and the first I have seen to mention the incident on 15 June 45 at the airfield at Terceira Island, Azores. That was Lancaster KW-I, [KB934] which had the tail cut off by KB936 code KW-G and took the life of F/Sgt. William Holowaty, from Rochester, Alberta. He was buried Monday 18 June 45, in a small cemetery beside the airfield. He became the very last casuality of No. 6 [RCAF] Group, and forgotten by time.

Now that would make a good memorial nose art panel. Must do some research. Can’t recall if it had art?

Really enjoyed that history, thanks.

Clarence

Clarence est un passionné d’histoire, d’aviation et de nose art. Je lui ai créé deux blogues pour qu’il puisse publier le fruit de ses recherches et ses reproductions de nose art.

50 ans de recherche!

https://clarencesimonsen.wordpress.com/

https://clarencesimonsen745590793.wordpress.com/

Sa toute dernière recherche est sur les derniers Lancaster qui se trouvent présentement dans les musées canadiens.

Un petit texte de près de 200 pages. Cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous.

The Death of Daisy

Death of Daisy

Son franc-parler est évident dans ce court extrait.

Aircraft restoration refers to the treatment procedures which will return an aircraft into a known or assumed original state, often using non-original material as replacement for damaged or missing parts. I am happy to report Canadian Lancaster restoration has today reached its highest peak, after sixty-five years of neglect and improper care of our eight surviving Canadian built Mk, X bombers. The second and clearly most important part of aircraft restoration is conservation, the profession devoted to the preservation of our “Canadian” cultural property for all future Canadians to see and become educated in our RCAF past.

Conservation also includes stabilization, examination, and treatment intended to maintain the integrity of an original aircraft and prevent deterioration of the airframe body. Canada’s most famous surviving veteran WWII Lancaster Mk. X, “DAISY” KB839, remains out in the rain and snow at CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia, a military operated RCAF museum, where she was painted replica as a British RAF Lancaster Mk. III. How can these members wear a poppy on 11 November?

You would think [expect] one or two Senior RCAF Officers in Ottawa would want to save, and correctly paint this rare part of ‘their’ own roots, heritage, and veteran combat Lancaster which flew 26 combat operations in World War Two. No, silence of the lambs. While the RCAF in Nova Scotia have done an excellent job in destroying our last rare RCAF WWII Lancaster “Daisy” and not preserved Canadian culture history, the exact opposite is taking place on the west coast of Canada.

The history of Lancaster FM104 can be found on many websites and need not be repeated, most of all the City of Toronto rejection of their Lancaster Mk. X bomber. Thanks to the City of Toronto, a rare RCAF cultural gem has been saved and will be restored to flying condition by the B.C. Aviation Museum at North Saanich, British Columbia. Please go online and enjoy what is being preserved for all Canadians, and a very first for Canada. FM104 is the oldest surviving Canadian built Lancaster from the “FM” series, but much more important is the fact FM104 will become the only “ORIGINAL” flying Lancaster Mk. 10MR in the world, when restoration is completed. The B.C. Aviation Museum [volunteer civilians again] are restoring, preserving, and saving an RCAF cultural aircraft, which flew from CFB Comox, B.C., for twenty years. If you want to make a wise donation to save CANADIAN CULTURE, send a cheque to North Saanich, B.C., they know what they are doing.

At present time [2019] not one of our surviving other seven Canadian Lancaster aircraft are preserved and painted correctly in their ‘original’ RCAF markings, in fact the other seven bombers are all replica aircraft. I have no problem with painting replica aircraft provided they are painted correctly, and preserve “Canadian” culture. At present Canadians have four Lancaster Mk. X aircraft on display in Canada, and not one is correctly painted as a true replica aircraft. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. Their National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world and each one is painted in 100% correct markings. If our Canadian Museums want to become the best, you must please attempt to meet the standards set by the American Smithsonian Institution. Canadian museums still have a long, long, way to go in learning and painting their Lancaster aircraft correctly.

Le dossier militaire de 90 pages du Flight Sergeant Holowaty est disponible sur le site Ancestry.

Ancestry Holowaty

On y retrouve des photos de l’accident et aussi le rapport.

Holowaty 1

On sait maintenant tout ce qui s’est passé le 16 juin 1945 à 1h15 sur matin.

 

Lest We Forget – Flight Sergeant William Holowaty

I probably would never have written about Flight Sergeant Holowaty who flew with 425 Alouette Squadron. I probably would never have written Souvenirs de guerre if my wife’s uncle had never told the secret he had kept from his family since April 29, 1944.

I no longer make any effort to stop writing on Souvenirs de guerre. The duty to remember remains an imperative duty.

I was unaware of the very existence of the Alouette Squadron in 2010 before a meeting with a veteran rear gunner. This meeting was the start of another blog that I had dedicated mainly to the Alouettes. Little by little, more stories and images were shared. Due to space constraints, a second blog was created, especially with photos of Réal St-Amour, 425 Alouette squadron’s Adjutant.

Adjutant St-Amour fought long and hard to have the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum repaint Lancaster KW-K in the original colours.

It all started in 1991, I think….

They did the go around to someone to him… Then in 2012, the museum finally decided to build a 1/24 scale model of the original KW_K at a cost of $300, then put up interpretation panels.

The names of the KW-K aviators were mentioned. The panels were removed in 2015, then others were put back at the insistence of Réal St-Amour’s daughter last year.

There is no longer any mention of the French-Canadian character of the squadron. As for the Lancaster, it is still painted in the colours of 428 Squadron.

The reasons for this administrative feet dragging in paying tribute to the only French-Canadian Royal Canadian Air Force squadron can be anything. I have my own idea, but I’ll keep it to myself…

Perhaps a politician should get involved and make a photo-op event out of it or we should raise funds to restore it to its original state…

Roland Beaudoin flew King of the Air when he returned to Canada. William Holowaty never returned to Canada. Death was beside him in his rear gun turret in the Azores in the early morning of the 16th June 1945 at approx. 1.15 am.

Lest We Forget…

To be continued on the 3rd blog dedicated to 425 Alouette squadron.

Je me souviens – Flight Sergeant William Holowaty

Je n’aurais probablement jamais écrit sur le Flight Sergeant Holowaty de l’escadrille 425 Alouette. Je n’aurais probablement jamais écrit Souvenirs de guerre si l’oncle de ma femme avait amené dans sa tombe le secret qu’il avait caché à sa famille depuis le 29 avril 1944.

Je ne fais plus d’effort pour arrêter d’écrire sur Souvenirs de guerre. Le devoir de mémoire reste un devoir impérieux.

J’ignorais l’existence même de l’escadrille Alouette en 2010 avant une rencontre avec un vétéran mitrailleur arrière. Cette rencontre fut le départ d’un autre blogue que j’avais dédié essentiellement aux Alouettes. Petit à petit, histoires et images se sont bousculées. Faute de place, un deuxième blogue fut créé surtout avec les photos de l’adjudant Réal St-Amour.

L’adjudant St-Amour s’est battu longtemps pour que le musée de l’aviation à Ottawa fasse repeindre le Lancaster aux couleurs originales du KW-K.

Le tout avait commencé en 1991 je crois…

On lui a fait le fameux coup du go around someone… Puis en 2012, le musée a finalement décidé de faire construire une maquette à l’échelle 1/24 au coût de 300$, puis de mettre des panneaux d’interprétation.

On mentionnait les noms des aviateurs du KW-K. Les panneaux furent enlevés en 2015, puis d’autres furent placés sur l’insistance de la fille de Réal St-Amour l’an dernier.

On ne fait plus aucune mention du caractère canadien-français de l’escadrille. Quant au Lancaster, il est toujours aux couleurs de l’escadron 428.

On pourra chercher longtemps les raisons de cette lenteur administrative à rendre hommage à la seule escadrille canadienne-française de l’Aviation royale canadienne. J’ai bien ma petite idée, mais je vais la garder pour moi…

Il faudrait peut-être qu’un politicien s’en mêle et s’en fasse du capital politique ou bien qu’on fasse une levée de fonds pour le remettre dans son état original…

C’est Roland Beaudoin qui pilota le Roi des airs lors de son retour au Canada. William Holowaty lui n’est jamais revenu au Canada. La mort était à ses côtés dans sa tourelle de mitrailleur arrière aux Açores la nuit du 16 juin 1945.

Je me souviens…

À suivre sur le 3e blogue dédié au 425 Alouette.