Flight Officer Bernard McGouran




Dedicated to Flight Officer Bernard McGouran
For his contribution as an Bomb Aimer during WWII
as a member of Crew 81
434 Squadron – The “Bluenose” Squadron.

Bernard McGouran 1943

Nov/Dec 1942

Contacted local recruitment office – and after signing up would assume have gone to Manning Depot in Toronto
Information in this section to be confirmed

January 1943

Early Training

Course Unit and Course Location Location Marks Hours Flown Aircraft Flown
January 11th 1943 March 6th 1943 Air Bomber Armament Unit No. 4 B & G (Bomb & Gunnery School) Fingal Ontario 74% Bombing
80% Gunnery
35.5 Bolingbroke
March 22nd 1943 April 30th 1943 Airbomber A.O.S (Air Observer School) . St Jeans Quebec 73.5% 69.05 Anson
May 17th 1943 June 14th 1943 Ab Initio Bombing Unit No. 4 B & G (Bomb & Gunnery School). Jarvis Ontario 71% Bolingbroke

June 1943

Shipped overseas to UK on Liner “Louis Pasteur”

see story below

Sept 9th 1943 October 7th 1943 Ship Recognition for Airbombers 5 SRS Location 91.80% 85.4
October 11th 1943 October 25th 1943 Advanced Ship Recognition for Airbombers No 20 ARS Location Passed 101.55 Anson
November 19th 1943 February 2nd 1944 19 O.T.U ( Operational Training Unit) R.A.F. KINLOSS NR. Inverness Scotland Good Average 210.06 Whitley V
February 3rd 1944 February 7th 1944 1664 H.C.U ( Heavy Conversion Unit) R.A.F. KINLOSS NR. Inverness Scotland Above Average 243.85 Halifax

March 1944

Joined The 434 “Bluenose” Squadron. Home Base: Croft England

see story below

August 1944

“Screened” Completed required missions and set to go home

Believe this happened in October 1944



Story of the SS Louis Pasteur

The SS (Steam Ship) Louis Pasteur was a French ocean liner designed to rival the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth in the luxury tourist trade of the 1930’s.It had the misfortune of being launched in the spring of 1940 just as the Germans were closing in on Paris with their panzers. Because of its high speed, the Louis Pasteur was loaded with 213 tonnes of gold bullion from the French gold reserves, which then rushed it to safety in Canada. By the time the Louis Pasteur landed it was technically an enemy ship because it now belonged to the Vichy French who were allies of the Germans. As the liner docked in Halifax,a small party of Canadian sailors and officials ‘captured’ it. The gold was off-loaded, and the Louis Pasteur was immediately drafted into service as a troop ship. The Louis Pasteur transported tens of thousands of soldiers across the Atlantic Ocean – Canadian and American service people easy on their way to Europe, and thousands of Italian and German prisoners of war west to be settled in the prisoner of war camp.All told she carried 220,000 troops 30,000 wounded and travelled 370,669 miles during the war.


434 Squadron – The Bluenose Squadron

The unit was first formed at Tholthorpe,United Kingdom on 13 June 1943, flying the Handley Page Halifax Mk V. On 13 August 1943 it flew its first operational sortie, a bombing raid across the Alps to Milan, Italy. In May 1944 the unit received Halifax Mk IIIs to replace its Mk Vs. The squadron was adopted by the Rotary Club of Halifax, Nova Scotia and to show its connection to the city adopted the nickname “Bluenose Squadron”, the common nickname for people from Nova Scotia and a tribute to the schooner Bluenose

The squadron moved to Croft in December 1943 and re-equipped with Avro Lancaster Mk Is and Mk Xs in December 1944. After VE Day the squadron was earmarked for Tiger Force to carry on the war against Japan, but was never deployed to the far east. The unit was disbanded at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia on 5 September 1945.


Daily Events notice at Croft for March 9th 1944 B McGouran’s first day at 434 Squadron (spelling of his name is incorrect!)

First Day at Croft

Statistic for 434 Squadron during WW2

Details 434 Squadron F/O Bernard McGouran Bluenose Emblem
Bombing Mission
Mining Ops,
Sea Search
Individual Sorties
Total Hours Flown
Bomb Tonnage Dropped
10,358 tons
Mines Layed
Enemy Aircraft Destroyed
1 See note Sgt Foster
“We Conquer In The Heights”
Probable Enemy Aircraft Destroyed

Crew 81

F/O W. Wright – Pilot
F/O H. Billingsley – Navigator
F/O B. McGouran Bomb Aimer
P/O G. Philips Wireless Operator/AG
P/O D. Gray – Middle Upper/AG
Sgt J. Foster Rear/AG
Sgt S. Mulligan – FlightEngineer

Enemy Aircraft Damaged
Squadron Aircraft Destroyed
Individuals Killed
Individuals taken Prisoner of War
Individuals who evaded capture and escaped



Details of the Medals above

The Air Crew Europe Medal     Top Left
Voluntary Service Medal   Top Center
The 1939-1945 Star    Top Right

The Defence Medal Bottom Left
RCAF Operational Tour Wings Bottom Center
War Medal 1939-1945    Bottom Right.



The map below shows all the missions that Bernard McGouran participated in.


The colours represent the month the mission took place.

Light Blue is March:   Red is April:    Blue is May:       Yellow is June:    Brown is July:    Green is August



Daily Events notice at Croft for August 28th 1944 Showing the B McGouran has completed his operational tour “Screened”



Click on start Slideshow to see various old photographs of Bernard McGouran both before, during the war and after.

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Bernard McGouran with Johanna O'Callaghan 1943
Bernard McGouran receiving his wings
Bernard McGouran with Johanna O'Callaghan 1943
Bernard McGouran with Johnny Foster and Harry Billingsley
Bernard McGouran with Pat McGouran
Bernard McGouran
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