1918 (Approximate) - October 12, 2009
Alonzo Edgar Monson was from Cody, Wyoming, USA. He was born in 1918 in Mincola, Kansas, making his home in Rosco, California. His nickname was "Cody". S/L Monson, Typhoon Pilot, 1941 - 08 Oct 1944, was one of many Americans who joined the RCAF and moved with 439 overseas. Born in 1918, Minncola, Kansas. Home in Rosco, California. Mechanic. Enlisted in Windsor, 19 November 1941; commissioned 1944 (?). Trained at No.6 ITS (graduated 8 May 1942), No.20 EFTS (graduated 14 August 1942), and No.14 SFTS (graduated 18 December 1942). Further trained at No.36 OTU and No.125 Squadron (September to November 1943). Granted the rank of Acting Squadron Leader and appointed Commanding Officer of 440 Squadron effective 08 Oct 1944. Awarded DFC effective 18 December 1944. UPDATE: Cody Monson passed away on October 12th, 2009 in Fayetteville Arkansas USA. Information courtesy of Mike Melnick, Webmaster of 439 Tiger Squadron.
From an RCAF Press Release dated February 12, 1945: "When Nazi cannons shot him up, two Dutch trees let him down lightly, and S/L A. E. Monson, DFC, RCAF, will remember them gracefully. Now at an RCAF repatriation depot on his way home to Cody, Wyoming, and Los Angeles, S/L Monson, DFC, was attacking a bridge before the Canadian lines last October. German light flak caught his Typhoon fighter-bomber in a dive and damaged its engine. With its coolant and oil drained away, the engine began to overheat and was about to burst into flames. 'I had to get out in a hurry, but I did make it over our lines. The chute opened okay -- that was one worry behind me, but I still had to land,' he recounted. 'First I thought I'd crash into some trees, then I was sailing down neatly between them. There was some crackling as the canopy caught in the top branches and I gently slowed up until I stopped -- with my toes just touching the ground. That's the nicest landing I've ever done.' With one of the first squadrons to move into France after D-Day, S/L Monson carried out many low-level attacks on Nazi transport troop concentrations, tanks, and shipping. 'Whenever Jerry pulled back in retreat, we went after him on the roads, bombing and strafing,' Once a sliver of shrapnel almost tore his ear off as it sliced across the side of his head, but he says he has never been seriously injured. Before completing his tour of missions last December, he was given command of the City of Ottawa Squadron of the RCAF. He will return to operational flying after his 30 day leave."