et sinon sur cette page facebook, https://www.facebook.com/InternationalB ... 2018864040
, son neveu de son cousin lui rend hommage :
In this day January 27 th 1944 my Uncle Henrys cousin Roy Cook pilot officer on Lancaster III ND 461crashed in France
Here is his story,
ROY JAMES COOK DFM k/a Roy Cook left Victoria, B.C. in June of 1941, along with four other chaps, all intent on joining the Royal Air Force on their arrival in England.They were helped in their intention by Captain Henry Seymour-Biggs . The full story regarding this can be found on the website at the bottom of Roy's story.
A news item in the Victoria Daily Colonist at that time read as follows: "Five young men from British Columbia Coast points, recently completed what must have been, to date at least, the most thrilling chapter of their lives. Four of them traveled from Victoria by steamer, train and plane to England via Montreal, Bermuda and Lisbon, while a fifth flew to Montreal from the Coast, made the steamer trip to Hamilton, (Bermuda) and there boarded a plane flying directly to the Old Country. Here is how the journey came to pass.
"Messrs. James Maloney, Albert Moorehouse, "Tommy" Westinghouse, Roy Cook and Richard Slee, all of whom had sought Captain H. Seymour-Biggs' advice and help in their desire to reach England and join the Royal Air Force, had their passages booked across Canada to Halifax, as well as steamer accommodation alloted them on a ship sailing for England from the Nova Scotia port, when they were notified that their space had been requisitioned for urgent military reasons, and furthermore it could not be determined definitely when they would be able to be accommodated for the Atlantic crossing.
"The plight of the lads became known to a member of a well-known United States family at present residing on Vancouver Island. Admiring their determination to proceed to England and don the uniform of the Royal Air Force and train as pilots, he offered to purchase accommodation on a Pan American Airways plane from La Guardia Field, New York, to London, via Bermuda and Lisbon, provided Captain Seymour-Biggs could arrange to assure accommodation between Lisbon and England, Pan American making its European terminus at Lisbon..." (from where the British Airways flew to the British Isles).
"Cabling the Air Ministry in London that a number of potential pilots from British Columbia would fly the Atlantic to Lisbon if it were possible to get space aboard the British plane out of the Portuguese capital, the Air Ministry replied to Captain Biggs, stating that "priority in passage space would be available from Lisbon to England provided the air officer of the Royal Air Force in Lisbon was notified in time. Things began to look rosy for the boys until notified their visas for Portugal could not be issued by the Portugese Consul for Canada but would have to go to New York. The Consul for Portugal at New York, when (he was) approached by wire, stated that the visas would have to be authenticated by the International Police at Lisbon before they could be okayed with the New York office, otherwise it would be useless to start the journey.
"It would require from 10 to 14 days to get this sanction from the International Police, he added, but undoubtedly the air officer, who had been advised of the circumstances, would see that the police in Lisbon dispatched the business of the visas as quickly as possible.
"In the belief that these would be put through by the air officer, the party decided there was no advantage in waiting in Victoria for their passports to be forwarded here, and wiring instructions for these to be forwarded to Bermuda, they set out, deciding to travel east by train to Montreal and go by boat from the St. Lawrence port to Bermuda, arriving there to take the Pan-American Clipper on a certain date allowing ample time for the delivery of the passports properly visad.
"The party didn't get away on the clipper by which it had been originally booked, but spending a week in Bermuda was no hardship, although the members were eager to be on their way.
"The passports arrived in time for them to leave by the next clipper departing, and they went aboard on the last day of May, arriving in Lisbon on Monday, June 2, (1941) where they had to wait for the British Airways plane until Monday of this week. Tuesday of this week Captain Seymour-Biggs received a cable from England stating the boys had landed, all well.
"To achieve their ambitions and be enrolled in the Royal Air Force the boys traveled by Canadian Pacific train to Montreal, "LADY" ship of the Canadian National Steamships from Montreal to Bermuda, Pan-American clipper from Bermuda to Lisbon and British Airways plane from Lisbon to England." (See Jim Maloney story).
The following information regarding the service of ROY JAMES COOK, has been obtained from the Public Records Office, Kew, London, England:
AIR OP 27/21433 - 625 Squadron - October 13, 1943 posted to 625 Squadron, 1392381 Sgt. Cook R.J., and crew from 100 Squadron. Base - Kelstern.
October 18, 1943 - Lancaster 1 AD 317 - pilot Sgt. Cook R.J. - Time up 17:40 Time down 22:15 - Target - Hanover.
Target successfully bombed at 20:19 hrs. from a height of 20,000 feet. Large explosions seen in target area. Glow of fires visible 130 miles.
October 20, l943 - Time up 17:45 Time down 00:10 - Target - Leipzig. Attacked at 20:58 hrs. from height of 25,000 feet. Glow of fires seen from 50 miles away.
November 3, 1943 - Time up 17:10 Time down 22:10 - Target -Dusseldorf. Target bombed. Fires well concentrated. A representative trip.
November 18, 1943 - Time up 17:10 Time down 01:10 - Target - Berlin. On target at 21:03 hrs. but no T.I.'s (target indicators) to be seen. Ran through and took wide orbit northwards and back again to green T.I.'s seen at 21:05 hrs. Bombed at 21:11 hrs. from height of 20,000 feet. Glow of fires visible on leaving target.
November 22, 1943 - Time up 17:04 Time down 00:08 Target - Berlin. Large explosion at 20:22 hrs. seen ahead on approach to target. Target bombed from height of 19,000 feet at 20:31 hrs. Glow of fires seen through clouds. Late on target.
December 2, 1943 - (no up or down time listed)
Conditions - high dense cloud and ground haze. In his special (unreadable) report, the captain (Cook) reports the speed of (unreadable) in evidence and considerable concentration of incendiaries visible around marked points. A large area of fires visible on return leg. Searchlights normal but ineffective due to cloud and ground haze.
At 20:29 hrs. target bombed at height of 18,000 feet. Target appeared to be well alight in three distinct areas.
At 23:04 hrs. at 20,000 feet, a Lancaster heading southwest crossed underneath and its mid-upper turret hit our tail wheel and broke it. Slight damage in VA (viewing?)panel of fuselage between MU turret and rear turret area. Good prang.
December 16, 1943 - Time up 17:10 Time down 00:40 - Target -Berlin. Target bombed at 20:25 hrs. at height of 18,000 feet in conditions 10/10 cloud. A mass of fires still visible from 80 to 100 miles away. Landed at Ludford.
December 20, 1943 - Weather today fair to fine becoming cloudy in afternoon. Visibility moderate. Night fair to cloudy. Stratus at 1,000 feet at midnight. Visibility moderate. Winds SW at 18 to 25 mph - gusty. Flying training nil.
Time up 16:33 Time down 22:52 Target - Frankfurt.
Operations: Target chosen for tonight was Frankfurt, southwest Germany's commercial centre, with a population equivalent to Leeds. Thirteen (13) Lancaster aircraft from this squadron (625) were detailed to bomb the centre, necessitating the deployment by the enemy of large numbers of fighters. Of the aircraft detailed CED 938 was cancelled - compressor failed. JW 4833 abandoned task over base, owing to starboard engine trouble.
Aircraft QLM 21 abandoned task owing to technical failure in the oxygen pipeline. Aircraft LW 4263 and DDB 364 abandoned task owing to engine failure. Aircraft FDB 194 abandoned task, rear turret being frozen up. Aircraft ZW 5009 abandoned task, as S gear could not be engaged and compressor gone.
The remaining six aircraft successfully bombed the target in conditions of 5/10th thin cloud leaving some good fires and it was obvious that the "spoof" attack on Mannheim drew away the main fighter defence from the target. Target bombed at 19:48 hrs. from height of 17,000 feet. Well concentrated attack.
WED 317 was in trouble from the start. The captain and pilot Sgt. Cook R.J. had a port outer engine losing power, resulting in a severe swing to port on take-off. Sgt. Cook managed to turn down a runway not in use, taxi around to take-off position again and then took off successfully. This engine was still only giving partial power and flames started coming out of the exhaust manifold when the enemy coast was crossed on the way to the target. Despite this, and the fact that the aircraft could not be made to fly satisfactorily, Sgt. Cook persisted with his sortie, and bombed the target from a height considerably lower than the main force.
Throughout the return flight the faulty engine was still giving off flames and had to be carefully nursed until a safe landing was made at base. It was then, and not until then, that Sgt. Cook reported that the engine was faulty - proved faulty to the extent of an engine change being ordered. The high example set by Sgt. Cook, his determination and bravery in completing his task, knowing full well, even before take-off that the engine was faulty, which meant the attack would have to be made from a relatively low height, and for bringing his aircraft and crew safely home, this N.C.O. was recommended for, and subsequently awarded an immediate D.F.M. December 29, 1943 - Lancaster IED 317 - Sgt. Cook R.J. D.F.M Time up 16:41 Time down 23:43 Target - Berlin. Berlin bombed at 20:07 hrs. from a height of 20,000 feet in conditions of some 10/10th cloud with top at 10,000 feet. The aircraft was hit by heavy flak on approaching the target (unreadable) causing damage to fuselage, wings, tailplane and elevator.
January 2, 1944
- Lancaster III AD A14 - Pilot Officer R.J. Cook DFM. Time up 0010 Time down 02:20 Target - Berlin. Task abandoned at Dutch coast owing to high (unreadable) 11,000 feet bombs jettisoned to gain height. Rear turret defective and motors over-heated. Landed at Coltishall.
January 5, 1944 - Lancaster III LM 317 Pilot Officer R.J. Cook DFM. Time up 23:55 Time down 09:25 Target - Stetton.
Target bombed at 03:49 hrs. from a height of 21,000 feet. On the entire wheel to the target the port outer engine was giving trouble due to (unreadable) fluctuations, but the Flight Engineer nursed it and stopped it from quitting. PFF (pathfinder) were good and a good glow of fires was visible 100 miles away on return from target. Coming up on Sweden on the way back the starboard outer engine had to be feathered for lack of oil pressure, the ASI became iced up on two occasions in cloud and the port outer engine was still giving trouble. Landed on three engines.
January 14, 1944 - Lancaster III LM 384 - Pilot Officer R.J. Cook DFM Time up 16:15 Time down 21:55 Target - Brunswick. Target bombed at 19:16 hrs. from height of 22,000 feet. Red T.I.'s were seen to go down into the cloud on approaching run-up and a red glow of fires seen increasing on leaving target.
January 20, 1944 - Lancaster II ND 461 - Pilot Officer R.J. Cook DFM Time up 16:29 Time down 20:39 Target - Berlin. Navigation lights would not switch off. Switch U/S. An incorrect fuse removed due to duplication of fuse numbers. Last resort target on Heligoland Island. Bombed at 18:23 hrs. from a height of 22,000 feet. Intense heavy flak from about 20 guns reached a height of 20,000 feet. Fighter flares seen in vicinity of Heligoland.
January 27, 1944 - Lancaster III ND 461 - Pilot Officer R.J. Cook DFM Time up 17:08 Target - Berlin.
Aircraft missing, though following 'fixes' suggest task was completed. S.O.S. 50 17 N 0014 W at 00:33 hrs. from Southampton. Subsequently cancelled. Later fixed 10 minutes fuel - position 49 35 N 01 50 E 01:17 hrs. from Abbeville, France - Crashed at Bezancourt, France.
VANCOUVER DAILY PROVINCE - March 4, 1944 - "Missing on active service with the R.A.F. is Pilot Officer R.J. Cook, DFM, son of Lce.-Cpl. W.W.Cook, C.M.S.C., and Mrs. Cook, 938 Howe, Vancouver, B.C., who have two other sons and two daughters in uniform and a third daughter engaged in defense work.
"P.O. Cook, 22, whose family's peacetime residence is at Kisber Ave., R.R.4, Victoria, B.C., is one of the group of boys who flew from Bermuda to Lisbon and on to England with T. Westinghouse to join the R.A.F. in 1941. He trained at Carberry, Manitoba in 1942, receiving his wings in November of that year.
"Returning to England Pilot Officer Cook was commissioned in December, 1943, and reported missing in January.
"The January,1944 issue of "Pennyfare," the London Transport staff news ran a photo with the following report: "Pilot Officer Cook at the controls of his Lancaster, W. for William, which bears a cartoon portrait of Billy Brown, the "Tutor of Travel" made famous in England by David Langdon.
"The plane carries the record of 15 bombing missions and is specified to have been over Berlin at least three times. Except for its Canadian skipper(Cook, Roy), its crew is British."
"The following is a post-war letter from the Ministry of Defence, London, England, to Mrs. Eva Berry, sister of Roy James Cook:
Dear Mrs. Berry:
Thank you for your letter concerning your brother, Flying Officer Roy James Cook D.F.M. (168676) who sadly lost his life during wartime operations whilst flying with the Royal Air Force.
I have examined our casualty records and from these I can provide the following information.On his final mission your brother was the pilot of a Lancaster aircraft, serial number ND 461 of No 625 Squadron, based at Royal Air Force Kelstern, Lincolnshire.
Together with his six companions he was airborne at 17:08 hours on the 27th of January, 1944 for an operational flight to Berlin. At approximately 01:17 hours on the 28th January the last message received stated that the aircraft was in difficulties whilst flying 35 miles south of Abbeville in France.
Information received subsequently established that the aircraft had been severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire and eventually crashed at Bezancourt in France.
Your brother is at rest in Grave No. 209 in Marissel French National Cemetery*. Marissel is a suburb situated east of the town of Beauvais and the cemetery is on the northeast side of the Beauvais to Amiens road.
The name of Flying Officer Roy James Cook, D.F.M. is also commemorated here in London among the gallant company whose names are inscribed in the Royal Air Force Book of Remembrance in St. Clement Danes Church in the Strand.
I do realize that one never fully recovers from the loss of those closest to them but I do hope that it will be of some comfort to you to know that your brother will be remembered with pride.
Yours sincerely, Mrs. P. J. Elderfield
Roy James Cook
January 28, 1944
Force .Air Force
Unit: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Division: 625 Sqdn.
Citation: Distinguished Flying Medal - awarded as per London Gazette 7 January 1944.
Date and Place of Birth:
January 1, 1921 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Son of William Wood and Dorothy May Cook of Vancouver, British Columbia. The Province of British Columbia honoured Flying Officer Cook by naming Cook Point for him. It is located at the North East side of Nelson Island, Jervis Inlet, New Westminster Land District. Although his home is recorded as being Toronto, there is a Memorial Window dedicated to him in St.Luke's Anglican Church, Victoria, British Columbia.
MARISSEL FRENCH NATIONAL CEMETERY; Pas de Calais, France
Commemorated on Page 278 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance.