Walter Loucks from Beaverton Ontario (he himself referred to as "grew up on the Hiawatha First Nation Reserve near
Peterborough" ). In February 1941, he came to Toronto where he enlisted in the RCAF on February 28.
Posted to No. 1 Manning Depot which happened to be in Toronto. After completing the training there
he was assigned to guard duty at No. 1 Equipment Depot. During these early RCAF WW2 days it was not unusual for there to be
long delays between postings. And for many it ended up being a turn at guard duty.
Eventually he was posted to No. 4 Wireless School located in Guelph where his training as a Wireless Operator took place.
His training as an Air Gunner took him to Manitoba.
At No. 7 B & Gunnery School in Paulson Manitoba LAC Loucks completed his WAG training on June 8th 1942.
As with all RCAF personnel sent to Britain he reported to No. 3 Reception at Bournemouth England. This was
September 5th 1943.
His next step was training in Course #18 at No. 32 O.T.U. . This was discontinued, the reason
given was "surplus to Requirements caused by High Pilot Wastage and transfers from course number 17".
(Kind of weird word choice "pilot wastage")
Eventually Loucks became part of Course #19 at No. 82 OTU.
In an earlier interview many years later Mr. Loucks was asked what was his most memorable Op.
Here in my words are what he answered:
His most memorable was his first Op. which occurred while at The Heavy Conversion Unit. The target was the German HQ at
Caen. They were to drop leaflets, normally coded as a Nickel" op., The aircraft had wound up off course by seven or eight miles.
It was decided to stay on this course rather then rejoin the main bomber stream.
A enemy night fighter followed them from above for about 5 minutes, it then attacked the bomber knocking out the
two engines on the same wing. The result was that they lost lights (which would only have been used by the Navigator) and all electrical power.
In the following interview Wally gives an account of that night.
Loucks Experience at HCU
In his own Words
We were supposed to be on a diversion trip over France to drop leaflets. But we were called back and we developed
a hydraulic leak in our port right engine. And we could not feather the prop.* And because we could not feather
it, it started to windmill** and go faster and faster as we were returning back to England.
When we got to, back over near Nottingham [England], the plane was shaking so badly the aluminium was falling
like snow all over my arms. And my arms were white in the airplane and the plane was whining, groaning, moaning,
and just making the weirdest noises. And the pilot was struggling to keep it in the air. Finally, he said,
So the Bomb Aimer went first, Peel. And then the navigator went next, and then I went. And the navigator,
we must have had a drop, the plane must have dropped a bit because as he was going out when the plane dropped
his head come back up through the hole in the front of the Halifax*** and I thought he’d changed his mind.
But he didn’t.
I then went to the hole in bottom of the nose and jumped out and when the tail light went over my head I
pulled my chute because I knew I was quite low. I landed in Stockbridge [England], I think. I forget the name.
And I just swung twice before I hit the ground. And the plane crashed about a mile and a half away, and
the pilot was rescued. Two Englishmen got the George Medal**** for pulling the boys out of the plane.
We lost the engineer and the mid-upper gunner. And the rear gunner died of shock from a broken leg in
I ended up in, on a hill and if I’d walked any other way I would have been lost. I started away from the
crash because I couldn’t bear to look at the flames. But it was uphill so I only went a few steps.
I had a sore, sore back and knee. And then I came down the hill, and I crossed two fences. Followed
one fence along, jumped over it and there was a lane there and I finally found a house. I have a picture
of the house. I went over in 1985. Took a picture of the old house and then I was directed down to the
end of the lane where there was a Home Guard.† And the Home Guard was a man about 80 and he had an old
Ross rifle†† that was older than he was. And he says, "Who goes there?" And he wouldn’t believe me I
was Canadian. Thought I was German.
Then he says, "This has never happened to me before. What’ll I do?" So I said, "Call the air force," and
he couldn’t call the air force. So I said, "Well, call the police," and the police came out and got me.
Took me in and I went to a hospital in Mansfield [England], I think. And I woke up the next morning with
the mumps, and was sent to a convalescent hospital and recuperated.
F/S Loucks First Oper. With 419
He began his operational missions on July 9th. with an established crew captained by F/O Jack Bell, who had been
posted to 419 squadron on June 18th 1944 and were already flying operations when WO Loucks joined them as
their new WAG.
Bell's original crew were:
Pilot F/O Jack F. Bell
Navigator P/O Richard E. W. Barrett
Bomb Aimer P/O Donald C. Barron
Wireless Op. WO J. E. Beaudin
F/E Sgt. Jim Priest
A/G M/U Sgt. Charles E. Murphy
A/G R/G Sgt. R. Harold Strain
During a raid on September 15th Wireless Operator Loucks over heard a female voice directing fighters to
the bomber stream. There is an account of an Me410 flying along side of KB722 but there are no Combat Reports
for this date.
to complete his Tour. By March 21, 1945
he was transferred to Reserve Class "E"
Mr. Loucks began his own business in wholesale hardware sales to heavy industries. He married with three children.
He later became paralyzed and has confined to a wheelchair. In his last few years he lived at Sunnybrook Hospital.
He passed away in 2019.