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.
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 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!
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
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  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.
There are photos of the accident and also the report.
We now know everything that happened on June 16, 1945 at 1:15 in the morning.