Remembering Flying Officer Joseph Andrew Montagne

MONTAGNE, F/O Joseph Andrew (J29848) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.425 Squadron – Award effective 5 July 1945 as per London Gazette dated 20 July 1945 and AFRO 1619/45 dated 19 October 1945. Born July 1921 at St. Amelia, Manitoba; home in Ste. Rose-du-Lac, Manitoba (yard assistant); enlisted in Winnipeg, 17 July 1942. Granted Leave Without Pay until 11 August 1942 when posted to No.3 Manning Depot. To No.7 ITS, 7 November 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 22 January 1943 but not posted to No.2 AOS until 20 February 1943; graduated and commissioned 20 August 1943. To Y Depot, 3 September 1943; to United Kingdom, 12 September 1943. Promoted Flying Officer, 20 February 1944. Repatriated 3 May 1945. To No.5 Release Centre, 18 May 1943; retired 22 June 1945. Medal presented 30 October 1948. Rejoined RCAF Primary Reserve in Dauphin, Manitoba, 13 July 1957 as an Education Officer (301717). Released 15 September 1958. Reinstated 11 April 1962. Retired 2 March 1962 in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Also known as « Monteyne ».

Recommended 13 December 1944, at which time he had flown 24 sorties (146.15 hours).

This officer is a keen and courageous member of his crew who has shown outstanding devotion to duty during a large number of operational sorties against major enemy targets. In October 1944 he was navigator of an aircraft detailed to attack Bergen. Early on the outward flight all navigational aids became unserviceable but with praise worthy determination the mission was continued. When near the target one engine failed but despite heavy anti-aircraft fire the sortie was successfully completed although further damage was sustained. On this occasion as well as on many other sorties Flying Officer Montague navigated the aircraft safely to base in adverse flying circumstances.

The original recommendation (found in DHH file 181.009, D.1730, Library and Archives Canada RG.24 Volume 20607) was raised by W/C Hugh Ledoux on 13 December 1944 and read as follows:

10 August 1944 – La Pallice (6.35)

14 August 1944 – Bons Tassily (4.30)

15 August 1944 – Brussels (3.30)

18 August 1944 – Connantre (5.50)

27 August 1944 – Marquis Mimoyecques (3.55)

28 August 1944 – Ile de Cecembre (4.25)

9 September 1944 – Le Havre (4.10)

15 September 1944 – Kiel (6.20)

17 September 1944 – Boulogne (3.50)

4 October 1944 – Bergen (6.50)

6 October 1944 – Dortmund (5.45)

9 October 1944 – Bochum (6.55)

12 October 1944 – Wanne Eickel (5.40)

14 October 1944 – Duisburg (5.10)

14 October 1944 – Duisburg (6.00)

23 October 1944 – Essen (5.50)

25 October 1944 – Homburg (5.25)

28 October 1944 – Cologne (6.00)

30 October 1944 – Cologne (6.25)

1 November 1944 – Oberhausen (5.35)

2 November 1944 – Dusseldorf (6.20)

6 November 1944 – Gelsenkirchen (4.25, duty not carried out)

18 November 1944 – Munster (5.40)

2 December 1944 – Hagen (7.40)

4 December 1944 – Karlsruhe (7.15)

6 December 1944 – Osnabruck (5.55)

A keen member of a bomber crew, Flying Officer Montagne has completed a large number of operational sorties over heavily defended enemy targets such as Kiel, Duisburg, Essen and Cologne. On 4th October 1944, this officer was the navigator of a Halifax bomber detailed to attack Bergen, Norway. While the aircraft was still over England, all navigation aids became unserviceable. With praiseworthy determination, it was decided to complete this mission. When nearing the Norwegian coast, the starboard outer engine failed, leaving this aircraft trailing behind the other bombers. A solo run over the target was made and bombing was completed effectively, in spite of the heavily predicted flak opposition which damaged the aircraft in many places. On this occasion as well as on many other sorties, Flying Officer Montagne, under adverse flying conditions, navigated his aircraft back safely to base. Throughout his tour this officer has set a magnificent example by his fine fighting spirit, exceptional keenness and cool courage. His outstanding devotion to duty is worthy of high praise and warrants my recommendation for the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

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