"THE LAST PATROL" - an original acrylic painting by Lance Russwurm


126 wing 2nd Tactical Airforce - B116 airfield, Wunstorf.....

On May 5, 1945, four Canadian Spitfires flew what was almost certainly the last sortie of World War II.

On the evening of May 4th, a message from 83 Group Headquarters for 126 Wing was given to W/C Geof Northcott in the absence of C/O Group captain Gordon McGregor in the officer's mess. Geof stood on a chair and read: "From 83 Group Headquarters to all units - all hostilities on the second front will cease at 0800 hours - tomorrow, May 5th, 1945."

A spontaneous cheer went up and the festivities began, continuing well into the night. During the latter part of said festivities, Wing Commander Geof Northcott decided to lead a section of four on one last flight early in the morning.

At 6:30 he took off in his Mk IX (GW.N) with S/L Bill Klersey as his No. 2 in a MK IX of 401 Squadron. S/L Don "Chunky" Gordon was No. 3 in a Spit XIV of 402 squadron and Chas W. "Charley" Fox was No. 4 in a Mk IX of 412 squadron.

They looked everywhere for "The damned elusive Hun" for an hour and forty-five minutes (unsuccessfully) and landed at Wunstorf at 0800, thus ending "The Last Patrol"

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