550 Squadron Photos
P/O V J Bouchard DFC and Crew
P/O Bouchard and crew were posted to 550 Sqdn on squadron start-up from 100 Sqdn "C" Flight w.e.f. 25/11/43:
- P/O V J Bouchard DFC RCAF (P)
- Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
- W/O D H Knight RCAF (Nav)
- Sgt J M Knox (RCAF) (A/B)
- Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
- Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
- Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)
The picture below shows the P/O Bouchard crew.
|P/O Bouchard crew, 11/43
L-to-R: Dave Knight (Nav) Jack Galvin (R/AG), Ron Binney (F/Eng), Bud Bouchard (P), Rick(Eric?) Baker (W/Op), John Knox (B/A), C A Rann (MU/AG)
The rear of the photo is annotated: "First to complete full tour on 550 May 44"
This same crew flew all of the ops of the tour with the following minor exceptions:
- the W/Op was replaced by a stand-in for two ops
- the MU/AG likewise on one op
- F/Lt Cornwall, the Squadron Senior Flight Engineer, flew one of the ops in the place of the regular F/Eng.
The Sqdn CO, W/Cmdr Bennett, flew one op with the crew the regular pilot, P/O Bouchard, playing "second dickey" on this occasion. The crew also had two ops where another pilot (Milburn and Sgt Taylor) was doing his "second dickey" flight.
The crew were regular early fliers of EE139, after it was transferred from 100 Sqdn to 550 Sqdn, completing 14 of their ops in this aircraft.
The crew transferred out of 550 Sqdn on 28.5.44 (split out over a number of training units - see individual records for details).
P/O V J Bouchard DFC
On transfer in to 550 Sqdn Vernon John "Bud" Bouchard was listed as F/Sgt with service number R.51217; on transfer out he was listed as P/O with service number listed as J.85054. At some point early/mid-March 1944 his rank changed to P/O.
P/O Bouchard was awarded DFC (Gazetted 2 June 1944: london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36550/supplements/2702.
Sadly P/O Bouchard was killed on 22 Dec 1944: he is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetary, Surrey: http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2761919/BOUCHARD,%20VERNON%20JOHN. Currently it is not known what unit or operations he was flying at the time of his death, nor has it been possible to find if any of his 550 crew were still flying with him at that time, but none are listed on the CWGC site with the same date of death.
The government of Saskatchewan began naming lakes after their WWII fallen in the 1950's: Saskatchewan branches use geography to honour war dead.
Accordingly the following link is to that named for Vernon John Bouchard: http://svwm.ca/svwm-pages/pdf_cas_details.php?id=A000006827. You can find the lake on Google maps here. (Bouchard Lake, Division No. 18, Unorganized, SK S0J Canada)