by D. Logan Sr. former Sgt. "D" for Dog groundcrew
and J. Darnley
Ottawa born F/O Daly had flown on a variety of heavy bombers Wellingtons, Halifax and Lancasters
during his recorded 33 sorties. F/O Daly and his pilot F/O Byford also of Ottawa were part of a crew
that was first listed together in 419's Operations Log on an mission to Stuttgart on the
night of 26/27 November 1943 flying in Halifax JD456. The crew which stayed together
until July 1944 consisted of F/O Byford as pilot,F/O Daly as Navigator, Sgt. Fraser Air Gunner,
Sgt. Prentice later W/O as Bomb Aimer, Sgt. Tenny as Wireless Op., Sgt. Holder as F/E,
Sgt. Darnley as Rear Gunner. Sgt. Tenny suffered what was thought to be the "Bends" on one mission on May 24th 1944
and the aircraft returned home, he was replaced Sgt. McConnachie
for the rest of the crews missions together.
F/O Daly received his DFC for many missions over enemy territory and his contribution to the safe return of crew and aircraft after not one but two separate attacks by night fighters on the same night. On this particular operation to Leipzip on the night of February 19th. on board Halifax "E", while on the way to the target Sgt. Fraser in the tail gunner position noticed the fighter about a 1,000 yds off and below his aircraft. At approximately 500 yards both the enemy aircraft posibly a JU-88, and Fraser opened fire, while the Halifax went into a corkscrew evasive manoeuver . The aircraft recived damage from cannon shell hits. For navigator Daly the enemy fire had destroyed or damaged much of his navigation instruments and aides. F/O Daly still managed to keep the Halifax on course to the target and on a course which would safely take them home. (It must be rememered that the bombers could not simply fly in a straight line to any place they wanted to go to. Concentrations of enemy flak and highly guarded air space made for dog leg approaches or in some cases multiple dog leg paths to their goals.) The Halifax was again attacked as it was headed for home and more made manouvers were needed to shake off the attacker, since not only the navigation gear was lost so was use of the rear turret and it's guns. With all this going on F/O Daly's navigation skills brought them home to base. If you think about what it must be like for the Navigator, Flight Engineer and the Wireless Operator to manage to keep a cool head when all hell is breaking out around them and basically there is little they can do but keep to thier posts to help get the crew home. This is not meant to taking anything away from the men who manned the plastic turrets, just sitting out there exposed with tracer bullets coming at you. The abilty to shoot back must have at least given them some relieve during those moments. Daly was posted to #86 OTU on July 12th 1944. He stayed on in the post war RCAF as a navigation instrutor.