F/L Donald George Hall, DFC, MiD joined the RCAF in July 1940. He was originally a member of ground crew
but re-mustered to aircrew and was posted to 419 Squadron at Middleton St. George in Dec. 1942.
He flew with the Squadron Commanding Officer, W/C Merv. Fleming from
Dec 1942 to later in 1943 as Sgt. Hall one of the few RCAF Flight Engineers with the Squadron.
By 1943 the Squadron was completely converted to Halifax bombers. DT 689 VR-N, which apparently was
known as "Fleming's Kite", ( Also known as "Moose After Hitler") was used in most of Hall's with this crew.
Some of the other Fleming crew members in 1943 were
F/O C.H. Parker Nav.
F/S O.D. Mclean Air bomber
F/O A.P. Smith, wireless op/gunner
Sgt. J.A. Duff, Mid-upper gunner
Sgt. F.G. Clarke, Rear gunner
Fleming as with other Commanding Officers flew less operations than the other pilots. During these times
his crew would perform other duties including filling in crews of other pilots.
When W/C Fleming left the Squadron. It opened a new opportunity for future F/L Hall.
Squadron Engineering Officer
After W/C Fleming was posted from the Squadron, Hall became the Squadron Engineering
Officer a post he held until the duration in 1945 when he returned to Canada.
F/L Hall spent considerable training time in the conversion from the Halifax to the Lancaster as part
of his duties as Squadron Engineer.
The additional time spent getting to know the new bomber for the Squadron provided the background
Hall would need to train the existing ground crews right at the Base.
As Squadron Engineering Officer he was second from the top in the Engineering Department. Reporting directly to the Base
Engineering Officer. In turn the flow upward to him began with the Sergeant in charge of ground crew of each individual
aircraft. They would report to their Flight Sergeant who reported to the Flight Engineering Officer. ( not to be confused with the
trade Flight Engineer).
Men like my father, Sgt. Logan would report to his Flight Sergeant, Fred Sinclair who then reported to the Flight
level Officer. The reporting would give details on repairs, maintenance carried out and most importantly the
availability of the aircraft for operations.
The availability was of great importance to RCAF HQ, to determine which and how many aircraft were available at anyone
time. This was passed on to Bomber Command HQ.
Part of Hall's duties were to get all aircraft on the available list. His knowledge and contacts and position
Engineering Officer often sped up the repairs or "scourging" of parts needed.
As the Engineering Officer he often took part in operations flying with different crews.
Some of these pilots included S/L John D. Pattison, F/S R.K. Metheral, F/O B.D. Walker, F/O CDF Williams,
F/L H. Cave, P/O L. McDonald, F/O W. Osborne, W/C Stewart.