Harold A. Benson

Picture of Harold Benson Harold A. Benson, born January 23, 1917 and raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Upon graduating from High School he worked for the Department of Highways in Regina until September, 1940, when he was sworn into the RCAF Manning Depot, Brandon; guard duty Dafoe; No. 2 ITS, and No. 15 EFTS, Regina; No. 32 SFTS, Moose Jaw graduating in July, 1941.

He took the instructors course at CFS, Trenton, then to Bombing and Gunnery School, Dafoe, until posted to England, August, 1942. After operational training on Spitfire II's joined 401 R.C.A.F. Squadron flying Spitfire V's in Yorkshire. April, 1943 saw the Squadron at Redhill, Surrey.

Operations consisted of scrambles, escorting Mitchell bombers on short diversionary raids across the channel and wing fighter sweeps. July and August spent in North Africa for Sicilian campaign, then posted to India in September. October, 1943 joined 146 R.A.F. Squadron flying Hurricane II's along the Arakan front, India-Burma border, later on the defense of Calcutta and Madras.

June, 1944 at Yelahanka, near Bangalore, the Hurricanes were traded for P-47's. From September, 1944 to April, 1945, Benson flew 94 missions out of the Imphal Valley bombing and strafing air fields, supply depots, headquarters, bridges, provided close army support and escort to Dakotas dropping supplies to front line troops in the jungle.

He was then sent to Burma as a duty officer in the operations room of 221 R.A.F. Group and 14th Army Headquarters until July, 1945, when he returned to England. Arrived back in Canada in September and released in October, 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. The next year he entered the University of Saskatchewan graduating in 1950 with B.Sc. in Civil Engineering.

On graduation he joined Mannix Co., Calgary, now known as the Loram Group of Companies and has remained with them. The Loram Group is one of Canada's largest resource development companies engaged in all types of heavy construction, coal mining, oil and gas production, pipelines and engineering. He has been associated with most of the larger construction projects in Canada over the last thirty years.

In 1950 while building a highway north of Whitehorse, Yukon, he met 'Tommi' Tomilson, a nurse from Stanley, New Brunswick. They were married in 1952 and have four children, Jim, Bob, Frances and Kathryn.

List of all P47 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
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