Intermission – Leonard Joseph Birchall…and his crew

Updated 28 July 2021

Granville Charles Onyette was the navigator.

He pointed out that if they flew an extra leg, he could confirm their actual position by using the moon, which was then rising.

In 2001 Leonard Joseph Birchall was inducted in Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

Leonard Joseph Birchall

About the Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (taken from their website)

Founded in 1973, Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit organization that recognizes and honours individuals and organizations for making outstanding contributions to Canadian aviation. The Hall got its start after a March 1973 gathering of aviation notables C.H ‘Punch’ Dickins, S.A. ‘Sammy’ Tomlinson, S.R. ‘Stan’ McMillan, Walter E. Gilbert, and Maxwell W. Ward. The Calgary Herald had dubbed them “Hall of Fame Aviators,” but no such Hall then existed. Efforts were soon in motion to correct this, and support for the idea quickly gathered steam.

 The first Board of Directors of the newly incorporated Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame comprised Chairman C.H. ‘Punch’ Dickins, Vice-Chairman Donald N. Watson, and Secretary H.W. ‘Harry’ Hayter. Others included Z.L. ‘Lewie’ Leigh, P.S. ‘Stan’ Turner, and L. ‘Lindy’ Rood. Raymond A. Munro, who served as the initial Managing Director, took on the bulk of the work.  

Today, Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame is governed by a National Board of Directors, an Alberta Division and an Operations Committee. The organization is supported by numerous enthusiastic volunteers who seek to uphold and share the rich history of Canadian aviation preserved through the stories of its inducted members.  

The member profiles, artefacts, and exhibits contained herein represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the history of Canadian aviation. These extraordinary people all made contributions to the advancement of aviation in Canada, whether as pilots, aeronautical engineers, doctors, scientists, or administrators. 


I stumbled upon this Website while I was searching for this photo…


The caption says…

Back Row (L – R): Sgt. T.C. Kelly, W/O G.C. Onyette, F/Sgt R.G. Shaw, P/O G.H. Bayly, P/O G. Vivian, P/O E.T. Loomer, S/Ldr L.J. Birchall, P/O T.A. Steckland, P/O E.H. Walsh, P/O A. Vineberg, Sgt B.A. Robertson.

Front Row (L – R): LAC G Setterfield, AC1 R.I. Haugen, Sgt B.C. Callaway, W/O W.F. Johnson, F/Sgt H. Burt-Gerrano, W/O G. Chelsey, F/Sgt G. Low, Sgt C. Kensit, Sgt P. Garroway, F/Sgt W. Robertson, Sgt F.W. Ferris, LAC L.T. Sawyer

Group photo taken at Pembroke Dock. Aircraft belongs to Birchall.
“The aircraft is my aircraft “G” for George, with the crest on the side, just below the cockpit window”

What led me to this photo was my search to learn more about W/O G.C. Onyette who was the navigator on April 4, 1942.


He also became a POW with Wing Commander Birchall.


I had to learn more about him and I have used my amateur genealogist’s skills to do so.

To be continued…maybe.