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Albert Ridge Warington Air Gunner/Pilot, 405 Squadron (RCAF)

Written for Aircrew Remembered by his son, Albert Lawrence Warrington

Where to start well my father’s name Albert Ridge Warington born may 12th 1917 in Toronto, Canada while his father was in France with the Canadian expeditionary force at Vimy Ridge - hence the middle name Ridge for my father.

They moved to Detroit Michigan in 1923, where he remained until October of 1940 when he crossed into Windsor Ontario to join the Canadian army.

He was assigned to the 1st armour and became the driver for Brigadier General Thomas J. Rutherford.

In August of 1941 met and married my mother in Hamilton Ontario.

Then in November of 1941 was shipped into England. While there in London during the blitz and bombing was present to much of the planning for the sixth of June 1944.

But in November of 1943 convinced the brigadier to let him transfer to the Royal Canadian Air Force hoping to become a pilot. He already held a pilots license from the 30’s.

Having already shot down a few invading planes, was made a mid upper gunner in the Canadian 6th bomber force at Dishforth and in January of 45 was assigned to the 415th bomber and sent to Eastmoor near York.

Left to right: Pilot: P/O. Al. E. Galley, Nav: F/O. J.R. Warren, Air/Bmr: F/O. F. Gringras, W/Op: Fl/Sgt. H.V.Bartholomow, Air/Gnr: Al Warington, Air/Gnr: Sgt. L.J. Smith. Fl/Eng: Sgt. Pete M. Kucham

From his diary of this time I now quote.

Jan. 6th 1945 “another crew after today’s ops missing target Frankfort was going to be a good trip but you never know” This was the MacFadden crew and on the fifth the Balcher crew was lost. Memo from first week at Eastmoor - from an operational station this is hell filth no sanitary conditions and poor meals and cold. We had better treatment at the worst in the army - funny!!

(Webmaster notes: Halifax III MZ476 6U-Y - F/O. S.H. McFadden RCAF taken PoW with3 other crew, 3 crew killed. Halifax III MZ456 6U-P - F/O. L.R. Belcher RCAF all 7 crew lost.)

Jan 8th “real blizzard today even the birds are walking still trying to get a pair of flying boots but most of the time thought of home and wrote letters.

10th still snowing every person on base shovelled still could not get the runways clear if we could we could help the boys in France”.

Jan 14th T-Tommy crashed on take off bombs blew parts all over the runway, crew okay.”

(Webmaster notes: Halifax III NA611 6U-T - Flown by Fl/Sgt. E.F. Sirtonald RCAF 7 crew minor injuries.)

Jan 16th Magdaburg tonight hot target plenty of fun couple of holes in my turret, Borrett missing. Memo they advise us to drink and let loose on leave as it’s good for nervous tension I guess we are doing okay??

Feb 14th went to Balham Germany about thirty miles from Russia took all night had to diverted to U.S..base with 15 gals of petrol left Got back to base 3hrs sleep briefed Chemnitz East Germany Russian front next to Dresden. Back across Germany at 3,000 ft. in the dark some fun!! So tired feel rotten Memo looks like we shall work day and night - lost three more crews this week hope they are safe.

Above left: Al with his pilot Al Galley. Right: Al and Pete Kuchum

February 25th 1945 Kamen daylight whole have been a good trip not much flak but Russell got under somebody’s bomb blew them to pieces not a chance did they have - we were so close that oil sprayed all over our kite and a few pieces came through ours that’s pretty hard as Russell and crew have been with us for 4 months They were the last of our gang roommates too. Nuts better get drunk!!
(Webmaster notes: Halifax III NP936 6U-P - Flown by WO.2. L.A. Russell RCAF all 7 crew killed.)

Feb. 26th They picked up Russell’s kit and personal belongings this morning the room don’t seem the same without him he’s got a baby girl age 21/2 that he hasn’t seen Tough”

March 5th Chemnitz again tonight Russian front nine hours 10 mins. heavy icing poor weather conditions lost 19 kites on take off iced up 25 missing in the trip one shot down by our own guys poor show all the way around!

(Webmaster notes: Halifax III NA204 6U-J - Flown by Fl/Lt. W.R. Mitchell RCAF all 8 crew PoW.)

March 8th Hamburg tonight lots of searchlights and flak 1 kite missing, MacDermitt, slept all day went to local got stinking drunk in the evening. Memo From the looks of our losses lately Jerry is at least making a bid to come up and fight, good that will shorten it one way or the other, Fennell whent for the chop - Tough.

(Webmaster notes: Halifax III NA186 6U-U - Flown by WO.1. I.A.F. McDiarmid RCAF all 7 crew PoW.)

March 11th Essen 1,000 plane raid - 12th Dortmund 1,100 planes - 13th Wuppertal - 14th Lweibrucken - 15th Castrop Rauxal

April 8th Hamburg tonight one of the few we got left North sea again came out like a bat out of hell lots of jets over the target and coming out!

April 9th clueless on the target where we lost 4 kites gave the fighters a run for their money on the 11th Evens missing from last nights effort in Leipzig that only leaves Minkler of the old gang of crews

(Webmaster notes: Halifax III NA185 6U-B - Flown by F/O. R.S. Evans RCAF all 7 crew killed.)

April 16th 3 crashes today one crashed in the picket hut about 1000 feet away killed the pilot and two blokes in the hut but they pulled the crew out safe before she blew up burned for six hours. (Note: This loss is covered on this website)

(Webmaster notes: 432 Squadron Halifax VII NP805 QO-J - Flown by F/O. Porritt RCAF killed with 2 other crew, 6 others injured.)

17th Heligoland today the hottest target Germany ever had. If I’m not Lucky this will be it. Nope weather closed in

18th Heligoland we were the first to bomb 700 followed beautiful show wiped out the whole island

April 1945 at East Moor in front of Halifax "V" - Seated Left to right: Pilot: P/O. Al. E. Galley, Air/Gnr: Sgt. L.J. Smith, F/O. J.R. Warren, Sgt. Pete M. Kucham. Standing Left to right: Air/Gnr: Al Warington, Air/Bmr: F/O. F. Gringras, W/Op: Fl/Sgt. H.V. Bartholomow.

April 24th Wangergoose an island off the Heligoland coast we practically sunk it good show all around lost two kites blew up and collided in front of us all killed or drowned.

(Webmaster notes: 431 Squadron Lancaster X KB822 SE-W - Flown by F/O. D.G. Baker RCAF killed with all 7 crew. 431 Squadron Lancaster X KB831 SE-E- Flown by Fl/Lt. B.D. Emmet RCAF killed with all 7 crew.)

May 1st Looks as if our operational days are over except for a few food mercy trips we are getting ready to fly the big pond. I hope it will be soon no mail miss Merle.

May 3rd I’m well over the 100 ops. mark 30 over Germany I have nothing to worry about it’s home sweet home!! Goodbye diary, wonder what merle will say when she gets hold of you??

Dad did return home August 4th 1945 had three daughters by March of 1949 and went on to work in the CIA until has death in May 1977.

As his son over the years what have I learned from this and from living with him as my father?

War is hell it leaves motherless children as well as mothers without children it serves no purpose other than to destroy and kill.

Yet we hope that it teaches each of us not to go to war, that is what I have taken away from the 1,300 letters he wrote home the diary and living with him I was there when dad died the lest thing he said to me was “What the hell have I done?”

“Peace be with us as always”.

His awards:

Defence Medal
France and Germany Star
1939-1945 Star
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp
Air Gunner's Badge
Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend

KTY 20.04.2016 Further information added

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Last Modified: 07 June 2017, 20:51

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