Belongings of celebrated RCAF airman discovered deserted in attic

An unlikely discovery in B.C. has led to the popularity of a exceptional life misplaced within the Second World Conflict.


A big wood field containing conflict memorabilia, letters and information was found by Artwork Lagendyk when he bought a brand new residence in Agassiz, B.C.

The invention within the attic was important for Lagendyk and his good friend Theo Ganzert, who’re from a village in Holland that was liberated by Canadian troopers once they have been youngsters.

They realized the field contained objects from Maxwell Calhoun, a member of the Royal Canadian Air drive.

Ganzert contacted Karl Kjasgaard, curator on the Bomber Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alta., with hopes of monitoring down Calhoun’s household.

“This field is his whole life,” stated Kjasgaard.

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Kjasgaard took on the duty of looking for Calhoun’s relations in Canada. As a retired airline pilot, he’s spent the final 15 years monitoring down households of airmen misplaced within the conflict.

He managed to seek out Tan and Andy Calhoun, Maxwell’s nephews and sons of his twin brother, utilizing ancestry data.

He contacted them a number of months in the past and so they all agreed that Calhoun’s treasure would go to the museum.

“We’re simply starting to course of it. Boy, did I discover out lots of stuff about Maxwell Calhoun, bomb aimer within the Royal Canadian Air Power,” stated Kjasgaard.

A picture of Maxwell Calhoun. Courtesy: Karl Kjasgaard.

Karl Kjasgaard

Born in August 1923 in St. Lambert, Quebec, Calhoun was the youngest of seven siblings.

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He was coaching to be a chartered accountant at McGill College when he enlisted within the RCAF in 1942.

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“After he does his coaching in 1943, he goes abroad and he turns into a part of the Charles Fisher bomber crew. That’s when he rises to the highest as a bomb aimer.”

Calhoun flew 53 fight missions earlier than the age of 21, a exceptional quantity in keeping with Kjasgaard, who says most airmen flew about 30.

“I’ve researched three or 400 airmen for households. I do know a typical fight tour and I do know when one thing is extremely uncommon, and this field is one in one million. That’s how uncommon it’s.”

Calhoun was a member of the 405 Pathfinder Squadron.

“He was flight lieutenant at age 20, which is extraordinary,” stated Kjasgaard.

Calhoun was on his 54th fight mission in August of 1944 when his Lancaster was shot down. It was simply days earlier than he would have turned 21.

“After dropping their bombs and markers, they obtained to the border of Holland and Germany and headed out onto the North Sea,” stated Kjasgaard. “A German evening fighter was following them and shot them down and their Lancaster crashed.”

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5 members of his eight-person crew have been recovered when their our bodies washed up onshore. Maxwell and two of his crewmates have been by no means discovered.

A newspaper article written after Maxwell’s dying reads: “Flt.-Lt. Calhoun, as air bomber, has accomplished quite a few operations towards the enemy in the middle of which he has invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, braveness, and devotion to obligation.”

He was awarded the distinguished flying medal for excellence in fight.

Maxwell Calhoun was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.

Tom Reynolds/World News

“They solely awarded about 4,000 of these in all of World Conflict Two, and we had over 100,000 airmen in our Air Power. So that you see it’s a singular award,” stated Kjasgaard.

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Tan Calhoun now resides in Lake Fraser, B.C. He stated he by no means knew a lot about his uncle Maxwell, solely that he was misplaced within the conflict.

“I used to be fairly thrilled to know that this member of our household had finished a lot to contribute to our freedom and contributed to the conflict effort so considerably,” stated Tan Calhoun.

Tan says he’s honored his uncle’s objects might be on show on the museum.

“Actually sooner or later, I plan to go to the museum and Karl, and to view the objects within the field.”

Within the meantime, Karl intends to proceed going by means of the field of treasures, a study extra in regards to the exceptional younger man that was Maxwell Calhoun.

© 2021 World News, a division of Corus Leisure Inc. | Belongings of celebrated RCAF airman discovered deserted in attic


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