The Angel from the RCAF
Wing Commander Lloyd “Chad” Chadburn of Canadian fighter wing 127 RCAF was credited with over 14 enemy aircraft kills, two German E-Boats sunk, two German E-Boats damaged, and a destroyer damaged. For his valiant actions, Wing Commander Chadburn was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the French Croix de Guerre avec Palme, and made a Chevalier (Knight) in the French Legion of honour.
At only 22 years of age, Lloyd “Chad” Chadburn was the youngest Wing Commander in the entire Royal Canadian Air Force.
Chadburn was turned down twice when he initially tried to enlist in the RCAF in 1939. In 1940 he was finally accepted as an Air Gunner. Shortly thereafter, he was reassigned for pilot training.
During his service, one of Chad’s primary missions was in escorting USAF B-26 Marauders as they launched repeated attacks on coastal installations and enemy airfields. Chadburn's aircraft for these missions was none other than the famed Spitfire. An aircraft which had won the hearts of many during the Battle Of Britain, due to its graceful elliptical wings, sleek lines, and undeniable beauty. It was born from the blueprints of floatplanes designed by Reginald Mitchell of Supermarine Ltd. to compete for the coveted Schneider Trophy in the late 1920s.
In his 60 missions tasked with escorting the USAF bombers, amazingly, only a single Marauder was lost to enemy fighters. In recognition of the safe passage Chad had provided to the bombers, the American crews nicknamed him “The Angel”.
On June 13th, 1944, on an operational sortie following D-Day, Chad was on patrol near the front lines near Caen, France. There are conflicting reports in regard to the exact position, but Wing Commander Lloyd “Chad” Chadburn's aircraft suffered a mid-air collision with another Spitfire. Wing Commander Chadburn was killed on impact
“The Angel” was 24 years of age.
Leave a comment