Lieutenant Colonel, Samuel (Sam) Michaud
The community of
Southampton bid a fond farewell to Arthur (Art) Edgecombe Field at a
special memorial service held at the Southampton United Church Saturday.
Among those in attendance were Art's wife, Jean and his extended family.
Unexpectedly, was a special guest speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Michaud,
who gave a moving tribute to Art Fields, the pilot.
Colonel Michaud, who is posted in Halifax, is commander of Air Force
Squadron 423, the same RCAF Squadron that Art Field served in as a young
pilot during World War II.
Michaud said that it was men like Field,
flying the Sunderland reconnaissance planes, that changed the
outcome of the war. He went on to explain the value of the Sunderland,
known to the Germans as the Prickly Porcupine, because of its endurance
and ability to fend off the enemy.
"They acted as protection for the many troops and equipment crossing the
North Atlantic supply channel and, if it weren't for them, there is no
doubt that England would have fallen, there would have been no D-Day and
the outcome might have been very different.
There were 49 men lost flying reconnaissance and of them, 11 were part
of Art Field's crew. When his plane went down in the North Atlantic, he
was the only survivor so it was like losing 11 members of your family
all at once, because they were family.
Men who go through situations together in war time become, not only
fast friends, but family to each other. Being in the same unit forms a
life-long bond and shapes you forever.
If Art were to walk into Squadron 423 today, he would instantly
recognize it. The planes and equipment may be different but the same
dedication and commitment of the men is there. Today, we are standing
on the shoulders of men like Art Field who went before us and, without
whom, none of us would be here."
Michaud was, at one time, going to become an astro-physicist and had
been accepted into university, but his path was to change when he
decided to become a pilot. He has served in the Gulf War and in Somalia
and has been part of NATO. He and his family will eventually return to
Related Article about Art Field -
The Flying Boat