12.02.1942 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3131 YO-X P/O. Levesque
Date: 12th February 1942 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 401 Squadron (The Rams)
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: RAF Biggin Hill
Location: North west France.
Pilot: P/O. Joseph Auguste Omer Levesque J/15188 RCAF Age 22. PoW No: 15 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Operation Fuller - the so called ‘Channel dash’ of the 'Scharnhorst’, ‘Gneisenau’ and ‘Prinz Eugen’ as well as protection vessels that left Brest at 21:14 hrs on the 11th February leaving Brest to move into Norway. They moved undetected for some 12 hours before they were sighted within the Strait of Dover.
The RAF, Fleet Air Arm and the Navy organised massive attacks on the convoy but the Luftwaffe had huge air cover as they undertook Unternehmen Donnerkeil (Operation Thunderbolt) which proved very costly to the Allies.
P/O. Levesque was one of many shot down - he survived as a PoW.
Above as detailed. The left photo next to his Sabre, Korea 1951. In the afternoon of the 29th March 1942 during a Rodeo Fl/Sgt Pope was shot down by a Fw190 of JG26, he baled out over the Channel from his Spitfire Vb AD232 but luckily was rescued.
After his release in 1945 he returned to Canada and attended McGill University in Montreal before rejoining the RCAF in 1946. At first flying the C-47 Dakota and then onto the de Havilland Vampire. Formed the Blue Devils, the 410 Squadron aerobatic team.
Later in 1950 he was sent Korea after the North Korean invasion and flew the F-86 Sabre and has the distinction to be the first Commonwealth pilot to shoot down a a MiG 15 on the 31st March 1951.
Joseph Auguste Omer Levesque who was born on the 21st May 1920, passed away on the 06th June 2006 age 86. Predeceased by his brother Mario. Husband of Irene Mejja, father to Paul and brother of Germaine, Yolanda and Lucille.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil and sources as quoted below: