In the early 1940's Newfoundland was not a part of Canada, Selby a native of Corner Brook was looking for more
than his job as a test technician in the local Pulp and Paper company could offer. The chance of learning to fly
was strong in the nineteen year old, leaving his three brothers and his sister he headed off for Canada.
At No.16 Recruiting Center in Halifax he enlisted on April of 1943. Requesting aircrew and he selected being a pilot.
Having past the physical for aircrew recruits the air force sent him on two courses that would properly prepare him
academically for the aircrew position he applied for.
After a few days at No. 5 Manning Depot in Lacine Quebec, Tulk was bound for the University of Montreal and academic training.
Completion of the education upgrading he was posted to No.1 Manning Depot followed by No.1 ITS in Toronto. At No.1 ITS he was on his
first step to becoming a pilot. A series of evaluations to see if he was pilot material, testing in the Link Trainer then
a very through medical exam.
Tulk passed all the testing and was next posted to No. 4 EFTS at Windsor Mills Quebec to begin flight training. He completed
40 hours solo flying and another 27 hours dual training. His Ground School marks were good but the instructors felt he
was not a natural flyer, that his actions were mechanical rather then coming automatically.
It must have been shock to him as it was to others who had a slight grasp of flying but not enough to continue with
the training. He still wanted to be with air crew and was offered training either as a Bomb Aimer or an Air Gunner.
He choose to be an Air Gunner.
He completed his gunnery training at No. 1 B&G at Jarvis Ontario, where the instructors found him to be a confident individual who
learned quickly. A change from the quiet and unassuming comments from his EFTS instructors. Tulk had found himself.
Three months after his twentieth birthday he arrived at No. 3 PRC Bournemouth.
The next steps on his way to operational postings were No. 22 OTU, No. 1666 HCU then No.76 Base and finally to
419 Squadron on March 19th 1945, thirteen days after his twenty first birthday. He arrived with the crew of F/O R.J. Hughes.
Hughes as did other pilots needed to complete two sorties as 2nd. Pilot. His first sortie was on March 24th, the pilot he
flew with was by some chance or arrangement was the squadron's other Tulk. F/L Tulk had been with 419 for sometime and this
sortie with Hughes would be his 23rd.
A Chance To Get In The Action
F/S Selby Tulk seemed to be anxious to get into the action, his pilot needed to complete one more sortie as 2nd. Pilot
before the crew were ready for operations. When F/L Metivier's rear gunner F/S J.L.Grierson was unable to go on the day operation to Hamburg,
Tulk volunteered to take his place. It was Metivier's seventeenth operation as he took
Lancaster KB761 off the runway at 0629.
It was the last anyone would see of the crew. Suspected of having been lost to the attacks of Me262 jet fighters that caused
so much trouble during the daylight attack. Most resources actually list the Luftwaffe fighter as the probable cause of
the crews loss. When in fact it was not.
A Package Sent Home
F/S Selby Tulk, later commissioned in Pilot Officer Tulk had only been with the squadron for a few weeks before he was lost on
his first sortie. The usual letters from the 419 Squadron Commanding Officer and others from Ottawa were sent to his
family in Corner Brook Newfoundland. But two letters from officialdom stand out to me. One young man summed up by a list
of articles, and a tiny check for his mother, sad.
One other crucial letter came to Mrs. Tulk and the rest of the Tulk family that opened a new version of what happened to
her son Selby Tulk.What Happened to KB761