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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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Fighter Command Crest
05.10.1940 No. 1 Squadron (RCAF) Hurricane I P3873 F/O. Molson

Operation: Patrol

Date: 05th October 1940 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 1 Squadron RCAF

Type: Hurricane I

Serial: P3873

Code: NA-?

Base: RAF Northolt

Location: Deering Farm, Smarden, Kent

Pilot: F/O. Hartland de Montarville Molson RCAF Age 33. Baled out (1)

We are extremely grateful to Francois Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in September 2017.


During a patrol engaged enemy fighters over Canterbury in Kent. Hit 3 times in the leg, he baled out of his Hurricane. The pilot dropped safely at Smarden, Kent.

Above: As C/O. 118 Squadron C. 1942

Above L-R: F/O. Hartland de Montarville Molson, F/O. Paul Brooks Pitcher, F/O. Peter Locknan (2), F/O. Otto John Peterson (3), F/O. Charles Warren Trevena, and F/O. Gordon Roy McGregor at Northolt, 1940.

Following treatment at Chartham Hospital he was posted to 112 (RCAF) Squadron, a holding unit, on 5th October as non-effective sick. On 7th November 1940 Molson was notified of an impending posting back to Canada. This came in early 1941. After returning home he went on a speaking tour of Canada and America.

(1) For further details see his obituary - courtesy of the Daily Telegraph (reprinted with permission)

(2) F/O. Peter Locknan C/997 RCAF - killed on the 21st May 1941 whilst with 400 Squadron.

(3) F/O. Otto John Peterson C/900 RCAF - killed on the 27th September 1940 whilst with 1 Squadron.

Burial details:

None - survived the war. Died in 2002 age 95, now rests at Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Canada. Grave C.4.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil and sources as quoted below:

KTY -- 25.09.2017

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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