F. Malcolm Benitz Page last modified:

Frank Malcolm Benitz
Demobilized (Eventually)
Canada – Argentina
August-October, 1945

Malcolm was in England when Germany surrendered on May 9, 1945 (VE Day).  No longer needed in Europe, he was sent back to Canada on August 2, 1945.  The war ended a month later when Japan surrendered (September 2, VJ Day), and a month after that he was demobilized (October 2) and returned to Argentina, arriving in Buenos Aires on about October 10.

Missing imgage

NOTE: Almost all the photos on this page were taken by Malcolm.  He had the film developed and the photos printed in Argentina in 3 batches.  Each batch contains two or more rolls of film, the rolls apparently grouped at random.
Batches:
 O86 – poor quality, faded to ocre-brown; recovered & re-set color to dark brown or black-and-white (hand-written batch number)
 P82 & X63 – printed by A.GRIMALDI S.A. (rubber stamped batch numbers)

We have scanned all photos found and numbered them in the order found (not the order taken).  We include here a selection in approximate date order; we omitted photos that are very similar to others or that were poorly taken (e.g. moved, out of focus).  We “cleaned” the images, removing finger-prints, scratches, spots, etc.

In limbo – August & September, 1945

During August and September, 1945, Malcolm was in limbo, held in reserve, probably assigned to a "Y" Depot in/near Toronto.  With few, if any, official RCAF duties to keep him occupied, he had ample time off, visiting friends, fishing, enjoying a few cocktails – and taking a lot of photographs.  Malcolm had a 35mm Leica camera (with a brown molded leather case), given to him by his father before the war & which he used until stolen in the 1960s.  It is possible he took it back to Canada when he returned from leave in January, 1944.

At “San Miguel” – the cabin of Mr. & Mrs. Francis J. Day on Lake Muskoka, Ontario – Aug./Sep. 1945

Canada45-001

Missing image.

Malcolm
RCAF Summer uniform
Ed Mortimer Water Taxi (likely)
(Source: Christopher Le Bas)

MuskokaClip45

Missing image.

Fishing on Lake Muskoka
FILM CLIP (138mb)
Featuring:
Cedric G.H. Kennard
Mr. & Mrs. Francis J. Day
F. Malcolm Benitz
(Source: Kit Kennard)

Demob-6101

Missing image.

Bass caught on Lake Muskoka
(Several very similar photos, different fish.
Recovered photo.)

(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Mr & Mrs Francis J. Day
They were English and, having lived in Peru & Argentina, opened their home in Toronto (and their cabin on Lake Muskoka) to the South American volunteers.  Mr. Day was an engineering operations manager at a Massey-Harris plant in Toronto.

Canada45-402

Missing image.

Mrs. & Mr. Francis Day
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

 

Canada45-401

Missing image.

“San Miguel”
Lake Muskoka, Ontario
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-403

Missing image.

“San Miguel” cabin
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-404

Missing image.

“San Miguel” cabin
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-407

Missing image.

Mrs. Day, Malcolm, & “Knobby” (the dog)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-405

Missing image.

Malcolm
“San Miguel” pier
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-409

Missing image.

Mrs. & Mr. Francis Day
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-412

Missing image.

Francis J. Day
“San Miguel” pier
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-413

Missing image.

View from “San Miguel”
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-415

Missing image.

Swimming: A man & his dog.
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-6113

Missing image.

Man & his out-board – dog swimming
(Faded brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-6115

Missing image.

Francis Day & catch
(Faded brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-6116

Missing image.

Francis Day & catch
(Faded brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-6106

Missing image.

Mrs. Day
(Faded brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-6107

Missing image.

Mrs. Day
— See movie clip above. —
(Faded brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-6108

Missing image.

Mrs. Day
Malcolm’s photo taken during movie?
(Faded brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

 

Demob-6109

Missing image.

Mrs. Day
Malcolm’s photo taken during movie?
(Faded brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-6118

Missing image.

Mr. to Mrs. Day: Want this cushion?
(Example of an averge faded photo.)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

 

Lake Muskoka, Ontario – Aug./Sep. 1945

 

Canada45-201

Missing image.

Locks
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-202

Missing image.

City & RR bridge beyond locks
(Locks at bottom center)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

 

Canada45-203

Missing image.

Lake Rosseau
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-204

Missing image.

Lakeside road
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-206

Missing image.

“S.S. Segwun”
(Still running, 2018)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-207

Missing image.

Port Carlin, Ontario
Between lakes Rosseau & Muskoka
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-208

Missing image.

Port Carlin, Ontario
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-209

Missing image.

Port Carlin, Ontario
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Last reunions before leaving Canada – Aug./Sep. 1945

Demob-6209
<— 10 photos —>

Missing party.

Asado & Tinto
Where? Ontario, Canada -or- Córdoba, Argentina

We recovered only ten of these faded photos.
Most were out of focus or unsteady.
We did not recognise anyone!
Click the image above to see all 10.

Lakeside cocktail party – Aug./Sep. 1945

Canada45-104

Missing image.

Who?  Where?  September, 1945?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-105

Missing image.

Hosts?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-106

Missing image.

Malcolm & all hosts?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-107

Missing image.

Who?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-110

Missing image.

Her home?
(Joined 2 photos. Source: F.M. Benitz)

Family Group? Toronto? – Aug./Sep. 1945

Per Malcolm's 3 ribbons, these photos were taken in 1945 after he returned from England.  Per coats worn, likely September.
Note: This house appears in photos taken during the winter of 1940/1941 when he was a trainee.

Canada45-501

Missing image.

Who?  Where?  Sep.1945?
Malcolm far right
(Recovered, very faded)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-504

Missing image.

xxxxxxxxxx
(Recovered, very faded)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-507

Missing image.

xxxxxxxxxx
(Recovered, very faded)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-506

Missing image.

Who?  Where?  Sep.1945?
(Recovered, very faded)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-505

Missing image.

xxxxxxxxxx
(Recovered, very faded)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

TrainingCanada-318

Missing image.

Who? Toronto? Training 1940?
Same house
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Last photos taken in Canada? – Sep./Oct. 1945

Canada45-302

Missing image.

West Block of Offices (?)
Parliament Hill, Ottawa
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-305

Missing image.

Parliament Hill
Ottawa, Canada
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-304

Missing image.

Parliament
Parliament Hill, Ottawa
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-308

Missing image.

War Memorial
Parliament Hill, Ottawa
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-306

Missing image.

Hotel in Ottawa?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-301

Missing image.

View from hotel room?
Ottawa, Canada
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-309

Missing image.

Last RCAF air base?
Toronto?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-311

Missing image.

Consolidated B-24 Liberators
RAF base – Trinidad or Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Canada45-312

Missing image.

Grumman G-21 Goose (amphibious)
RAF base – Tropical, where?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demobilized, return to Argentina (October 1945)

Malcolm was demobilised on October 2, 1945.  He had served ten days short of five years in the RCAF, logging more than 1,000 hours flying in Europe, north Africa, and Canada.

From the back pages of an address book (containing only Argentine addresses) we know Malcolm traveled by air on Pan American Airways, from Montreal (Dorval) to Buenos Aires (Palomar) with over-night stops in: Bermuda (Kindley Field), Nassau refuel only (Oaks Field), Miami (36th Street), Trinidad (Piarco Field), and Natal (Parnamirim).  Anecdotally we know he stopped in Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont airport).  He was in Rio for at least one night as that is where he bought civilian clothes – suspecting he would not be well received in Buenos Aires should he arrive wearing his Canadian uniform.  His fear was not unfounded.  Fascism was on the rise in Argentina.  During his first days back, he watched from his room at the Hotel Continental as fascists rioted on the streets below, overturning and burning cars on Diagonal Norte (Av. Roque Saenz-Peña).

He did not label the photos so we have depended on similar photos (found on the web) to determine (swag) where they were taken.  Except for the last two, all the photos in this section are stamped on the back with the same batch number, “X63”.

No pic.

Back pages of address book
Nights: Oct. 2-3 Montreal;
3-4 Bermuda; 4-5 Miami;
5-6 Trinidad; 6-7 & 7-8 Natal

2 Oct. Montreal.
 Room   1.50
 Taxi   1.00  2.50
3rd Break.   .50
 Taxi    .75
 Coffee   .30
 Tips    .50
4th Miami
 Supper   1.50
 Tips    .25
5th Break   .50
 Hotel   4.00
5th Trinidad.
 Hotel   5.00
6th Natal
 Supper   .50
 2 Nights  1.00
 5 Meals  2.50
Oct. 3. Dorval
  0930. Taxi Out & Back. No.4 Eng u/s
  11.30 "   "
  11.45 Off Dorval
  16.45 Down Bermuda E.St.
Oct. 4.
  0925 Off Bermuda.
  14.40 Down Nassau
     Oaks Field.
     Off Nassau
     Down Miami
Oct. 5  Off Miami 36 St.
     Down Trinidad
      Piargo Field
Oct. 6  Off Trinidad

Demob-1501

Missing image.

Train Station
Ottawa?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1503

Missing image.

Hurry up & wait
(Several similar photos)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1504

Missing image.

Boarding train
Ottawa?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1609

Missing image.

Train Ottawa to Montreal
Alongside the St.Lawrence seaway
(Several very similar hazy photos)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1612

Missing image.

Train Ottawa to Montreal
Alongside the St.Lawrence seaway
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1613

Missing image.

Train Ottawa to Montreal
Alongside the St.Lawrence seaway
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2016

Missing image.

Montreal – Dorval Airport
3 October, 1945
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2007

Missing image.

Pan American Airways NC-30096
Douglas C53-DO “Skytrooper”
Variant of the C-47 / DC-3, built in 1942 for USAAF
Crashed 1954 with AeroMéxico

(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2009

Missing image.

Fellow RCAF volunteers
Returning home to Brazil

(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2010

Missing image.

Bermuda – Kindley Field
3 October, 1945
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2012

Missing image.

Bermuda? – sunset view from hotel?
Matching photo is into the sun.
Sunset & sunrise - or vice versa?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2015

Missing image.

Lodging?
Per very British style, likely Bermuda.
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2014

Missing image.

Lodging?
Possibly Trinidad per style.
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2021

Missing image.

Trinidad?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2023

Missing image.

Trinidad?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-2018

Missing image.

Trinidad harbor?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1001

Missing image.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator
RAF base – Trinidad or Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1004

Missing image.

Liberator being serviced
RAF base – Trinidad or Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1002

Missing image.

About to be asked to leave?
RAF base – Trinidad or Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-1006

Missing image.

Sorting rocks? Unwelcome here too?
Next to Liberator being serviced
RAF base – Trinidad or Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3009

Missing image.

Parnamirim – Natal, Brazil
Control tower & C-54 Skymaster

Military version of the DC-4
used by US Air Transport Command

(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3003

Missing image.

Malcolm
Natal Brazil
Passenger Terminal

(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3004

Missing image.

Brazilian RCAF volunteers
Natal Brazil
Passenger Terminal

(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3001

Missing image.

C-47 – US Air Transport Command
Military version of the DC-3
Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3012

Missing image.

Open Air Theatre
RAF & USAAF base – Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3011

Missing image.

Fellow RCAF volunteer
Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3013

Missing image.

Test drive?
Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3001

Missing image.

We're home! Look: NATAL - RN !!
Natal - Rio Grande do Norte
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3008

Missing image.

Beaches of Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3006

Missing image.

Beaches of Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3014

Missing image.

RAF & USAAF base
Natal
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-3016

Missing image.

Second Control Tower
Natal?
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-4009

Missing image.

Junkers Ju 52 trimotor
German transport, manufactured 1931-1952.
Widely used, including Brazil.

Natal or Rio
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-4001

Missing image.

Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)
Rio de Janeiro
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-4006

Missing image.

Río de Janeiro
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-4007

Missing image.

Río de Janeiro
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-4004

Missing image.

View from hotel room?
Río de Janeiro
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-4002

Missing image.

Street scene below hotel room?
Río de Janeiro
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-5001

Missing image.

Malcolm & fellow RCAF-VR
Copacabana, Rio
(Poorly focused & faded to brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-5002

Missing image.

Copacabana beach
Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf) at back

Río de Janeiro
(Faded to brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-5007

Missing image.

Dress-up in Malcolm’s RCAF uniform
Hurlingham, Buenos Aires ?
(Faded to brown, recovered.
Several similar, this is the best)

(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Demob-5011

Missing image.

Pretty girl & her parrot
Hurlingham, Buenos Aires ?
(Faded to brown, recovered)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)



© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)