No. 403 Wolf Squadron (Stalk & Strike) – R.C.A.F. Casualties 1941-1945

From Dean Black.

The list.

I added the links.

Lest we forget

F/L        Edward Grant Aitchison                 Age 26                  31 March 1945

P/O        Douglas Spencer Aitken                 Age 21                  08 March 1942

F/O        James Hamilton Ballantyne           Age 26                  08 March 1944

P/O        Harry Vern Boyle                            Age 21                  17 August 1944

P/O        George Rawson Brown                   Age 19                  31 May 1943

F/O        Wallace Victor John Burdis           Age 22                  17 April 1945

F/O        Harold Chauncey Byrd                  Age 22                  19 March 1945

P/O        John Nicholson Cawsey                 Age 21                  12 February 1942

F/O        Stuart McIntyre Connacher         Age 25                  16 February 1943

F/O        Charles Gordon Cumming            Age 21                  13 March 1943

F/O        Richard Wright Denison               Age 25                  18 March 1944

Sgt          Leo Joseph Deschamps                Age 23                  04 April 1943

WO2      Ronald Dunbar                               Age 19                  13 March 1943

F/L          Henry Percy Duval, MiD            Age 30                  27 April 1942

F/O        John Walter Benson Earle           Age 22                  05 August 1944

F/O        Dudley Jack Edwards                   Age 20                 25 February 1943

F/O        John Charles Elliott                      Age 21                  20 June 1943

S/L         Norman Ralph Fowlow, DFC     Age 22                   19 May 1944

P/O        John Edwin Gardiner                  Age 23                   19 August 1942

Sgt          Lesa German                                Age 21                   30 July 1941

S/L         Frank Edward Grant                   Age 28                  04 September 1943

FS           Frederick Alexander Higgins     Age 23                  08 November 1941

P/O        Gordon Francis Jospeh Hoben   Age 21                  11 July 1942

F/L        John Hodgson                              Age 22                   02 June 1944

F/O        William Thompson Lane             Age 21                  15 May 1943

F/O        James Leon Lanfranchi               Age 26                  28 June 1944

F/L          Lyn Bertram Madden               Age 22                   15 May 1943

F/L          Stanley Wilbur Matthews          Age 24                  16 November 1943

F/L          Donald Joseph McKenna           Age 30                  08 September 1941

P/O        Frank Cooper McWilliams         Age 21                   20 June 1943

P/O        Norman Monchier                        Age 19                  19 August 1942

FS           Arthur Joseph Monserez            Age 19                   17 January 1942

P/O        William Forsythe Munn             Age 27                   25 April 1942

FS           John Norman                               Age 26                  22 September 1942

F/L        Miall Bourchier O’Kelly              Age 21                   16 July 1944

F/L        Patrick Terrance O’Leary          Age 22                  27 February 1943

F/L        Clifford George Pennock            Age 22                  25 March 1944

WO1      William Charles Powers             Age 23                  20 July 1944

F/O        MacKenzie Reeves                     Age 25                  28 March 1945

FS           Kenneth Ellwood Root              Age 24                  24 September 1942

P/O        Lewis Cameron Rowe                Age 21                  13 November 1943

F/O        Donald John Shapter                 Age 24                  14 July 1944

P/O        Graham Milton Shouldice         Age 21                  17 August 1943

F/O        Robert Harry Smith                  Age 21                  19 May 1944

F/O        Stanley William Smith              Age 27                  29 May 1944

WO1      Milton Eldon Soules                   Age 22                  28 August 1944

F/L          Herbert John Southwood       Age 25                  24 October 1943

FS           William George Uttley             Age 21                  13 May 1943

P/O        Leclare Allerthorn Walker, MiD (3) Age 24        19 August 1942

P/O        Claude Weaver, DFC, DFM & Bar Age 21            28 January 1944

F/O        Harold Andrew Westhaver       Age 21                 15 December 1943

P/O        William Zoochkan                       Age 22                 25 April 1942

37 thoughts on “No. 403 Wolf Squadron (Stalk & Strike) – R.C.A.F. Casualties 1941-1945

  1. Hello Pierre or Dean,

    Is it still possible you can find the target from F/O Harold Byrd (Admiral) on 19th march 1945,(missing after leaving formation).

    In the east of Holland that day there was an assault in the neighbourhood, a small town called Terborg, in a castle “Schuilenburg” there was the residence from General Model (obercom.West). However the day before ” the staff” was leaving. The castle was totally bombed.
    The Allied stood before the Rhine (Rees) Germany, the end of War was near. Tragical for the 22 years old Spitfire pilot.

    I hope you can help me,

    gr. Hennie

  2. Hello ,

    I would like very much a picture of F/L Lyn Madden , kia 15 May 1943 , as well as one of Spitfire BS246. This is a request for someone writing a history book of Conteville , Normandy , where Madden’s Spitfire crashed .

    Thank you ,


  3. Bonjour Pierre,
    Êtes-vous en mesure de me fournir les détails du Spitfire piloté par Douglas Spencer Aitken le 8 mars 1942 avec la 403e escadrille ? Le volume THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD prétend qu’il s’agit du BL-661 alors que ce chasseur était piloté par le w/c Anthony Eyre, de la RAF, aussi abattu lors de cette mission en France.

      • Merci de l’information. Les frais sont élevés car ils sont en livre sterling. J’ai déjà commandé des Archives nationales de Londres et pour une feuille il m’en a coûté 8 $ (converti).

      • Oui je sais que c’est dispendieux, et vous n’êtes pas certain de trouver l’information.

      • Pat Murphy m’a répondu ceci…

        Spitfire BL661 Was a Mk VB and it was assigned to 403 Squadron according to the Spitfire bible. It did go missing FTR Failed to return on March 8, 1942

      • Yes I know, Pat. The BL-661 was piloted by w/c Anthony Eyre of RAF. He was shut down and made POW until 1945. But if you know the serial number of the Spitfire piloted by Douglas Spencer Aitken I would appreciate. Thanks.

      • I wrote Pat about your inquiry.

        May I ask why are you so much interested in that pilot?
        Just curious.


      • A promise I made 12 years ago to my spouse’s uncle who flew on a Halifax with the 427 Squadron during WW2, now passed away.

        I wrote the first book of 14 about the RCAF. From THEY SALL GROW NOT OLD, a very good book of compilation, I took each name and searched all about those men. Aitken is one of those 19 000 aircraftmen. I found there were 2 fighters shot down the same day and the one mentioned in this book isEyre’s name, mistaken for Aitken’s name. Anthony Eyre DFC, service number 90408 was killed in 1946 in a crash. AITKEN, J-7013, is the son of David and Elsie Marie Aitken from Alberta. I know he was shot down by a German fighter soon after 3 PM the same day than Eyre, South of Mardyck, Pas-de-Calais (France). So any infos will be appreciated.

        I started a new collection named SACRIFICE in 2004. Now this collection has 7 books. Three of them dedicated to the Canadian Navy awarded in 2013 the Diamond Jubilee Medal of the Queen Elizabeth and are exposed to public at Québec, Ottawa, Esquimalt and Halifax HQ and naval museums.

        All that work as volunteer.



      • Merci Bob.
        We speak the same language.
        I did the same for my wife’s uncle.
        He told us he was a sailor aboard HMCS Athabaskan, but did not want to talk much about it.
        That’s how I came about to write blogs about WW II, first in French, then in English.
        I have not stopped writing since.
        I have a blog about 425 Alouette Squadron.

      • Bonjour Pierre,
        En quelque sorte, j’ai rendu hommage à votre oncle en publiant 3 volumes sur la RCN en 2010 lesquels sont exposés au Musée naval de Québec entre-autres. Ils m’ont valu la médaille du Jubilée de diamant de la Reine en 2012 remise en 2013. L’oncle de ma femme, à qui j’ai fait la promesse d’écrire sur lui, est décédé subitement moins d’un moins après notre dernière rencontre. Il avait tant à raconter.
        Concernant le BL-661, sur le Web, tapez ce numéro avec le nom Eyre, et vous aurez plusieurs réponses.

        Merci de me permettre d’utiliser ce blog. C’est étonnant de lire les résultats.


      • Oui, je connais. C’est avec cette escadrille que l’oncle à ma femme a navigué. Il était mitrailleur arrière sur le Halifax LL-191.

      • Allez à la date du 20 janvier 1944, vous allez découvrir la journée troublante de Lucien Bernier, l’oncle à ma femme.

      • 20/1/44

        Weather: Fair becoming cloudy with poor to moderate visibility.

        At long last the Squadron became operational again after an extended period during which it appeared that the Lion Squadron would take on the form of an CTU. This date the news of the detail was very welcomed, when sixteen aircraft were called for a raid on BERLIN.

        Of that total however, in view of last minute cancellations, only fourteen became airborne and Hun bound.

        S/L G.J. Lair, DFC, failed to reach the target after his aircraft “V”, developed a starboard inner engine failure. He therefore returned early after jettisoning his bomb load safely.

        F/0 G.A. Weldon and crew in aircraft “T” also returned early, due to the unserviceability of “G”, after the bomb load had been jettisoned.

        The remaining twelve aircraft proceeded to enemy territory encountering cloud cover on the inward journey, which entirely obscured ground detail, but otherwise encountering no enemy opposition. The target was completely covered by 10/lOths clouds but was identified by red flares with green stars seen cascading, and it was on these indicators that the bomb loads were released.

        The results of the bombing however, remained unobserved due to the condition of the clouds.

        On the return journey F/0 W.A. Cozens, RAF, due to lack of fuel decided to land at Coltishall, but after three attempts to land, he over-skidded the airdrome, crashing into tree tops and finally ending up in a nearby field, completely wrecking the aircraft and instantly killing F/0 L.G. Biddiscombe, RAF, the Navigator and critically injuring the pilot, Sgt H.P. Whittaker, RAF, the WOP/AG, Sgt, W.L. Stockford, RAF, the Bomb Aimer and Sgt. J. McGowan, RAF, the Flight Engineer, while the other two members of the crew the gunners, Sgt R.B. Nairn and F/S G.L. Bernier, escaped uninjured.

        The Coltishall report of this crash is as follows:

        “The aircraft crashed on its third attempt to land at this airfield the pilot having previously requested permission to land because of fuel shortage.

        The only members of the crew available to give evidence (Mid~upper and Rear Gunners) stated that the pilot went round again after his first attempt to land because the undercarriage was not completely locked down. They also stated that no engine trouble was apparent and that immediately before the crash, the pilot had said that he could not see the funnel lights.

        It would appear that the aircraft was flying dangerously low when approaching to land and at a distance of two miles from the airfield. It first struck H.T. cables and, without losing height, flew on some 200 yards, striking the tops of trees in a small wood, finally crashing in a field approximately 100 yards from the wood. The aircraft was completely wrecked on impact. Fire occurred on the port side but this was localized and extinguished.

        An examination of the wreckage was made but it was not possible to determine the amount of fuel owing to crash and fire damage. All propeller blades were broken off at their hubs and it is thought that all engines were running at power when the crash occurred. Propeller C/S levers were at ‘course’ and throttles closed, but these may have been disturbed on impact. All magneto switches were ON – elevator trim ‘neutral’ – altimeter registering 3s’ The aircraft crashed with wheels and flaps down. Visibility was not ideal at the time of the crash and -this may have some bearing on the accident”.

        P/0 N.S. Cook and crew failed to return from the operation and has been posted as missings “Cookie” as he was known to the Squadron, had recently been commissioned, and was well liked by all who came in contact with him. He was the possessor of a much admired handlebar moustache, which accentuated his otherwise “simplicity of conducts”, A sad loss to the Squadron as a pilot and a gentleman.

      • Pat’s reply I just got…

        According to the Spitfire bible BL661 failed to return (FTR) after ops 8-3-42. It does not say who was flying it. I assume it was the Chap you mentioned Aitken. I have no knowledge on W/C Anthony Eyre. If he was with 403 Sqn he may have flown it. This Spitfire BL661 appears to have been issued to 403 Sqn and no other Squadron. I have discovered that the Bible is not always 100% correct after all these records were kept during the War and those that recorded such thing were under a great deal of stress.

  4. I am working on a book about WW2 and still searching for additional information on Spitfire-pilot Jimmy Abbotts (403 Sqn). At the end of July 1943 he became a prisoner of war after an emergency landing in the village of Hillegom in the western part of Holland. After the war he returned to his hometown Owen Sound. I love to get in contact also with his family. Anybody any suggestions?

    Herman van Amsterdam

      • There is so little out there about Jimmy Abbots.
        Maybe Dean can help.

        I will post your comment on a new post and see if anything evolves from this.

        We never know.


      • Hello Pierre,

        Back again.

        I noticed that Dean Black has commented on your post about Jimmy Abbotts and I am very happy with the details he has submitted. Indeed, as you put it, ‘starting small and then it grows’. I will also do some more research in the village of Hillegom where Jimmy ‘landed’ and was arrested by the Germans. In the local newspapers there is not a single word about this miraculous Spitfire story, but many inhabitants must have been eyewitnesses I will go after their stories. Dean Black has also written that he will share pictures of Abbotts with you and if so you would do me a great pleasure to forward these images to me through my e-mail.

        I will keep you informed about new details that I gather in Holland and please be so kind to bring them under the attention to Dean Black.

        Greetings from Holland

      • When Dean send them I will post them on the blog.
        You can saved them from there if you want.
        I will also send them to your e-mail as soon as I receive them give or take a few seconds.

      • When Dean send them I will post them on the blog.
        You can saved them from there if you want.
        I will also send them to your e-mail as soon as I receive them give or take a few seconds.

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