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Remembering World War II
James Finlay Ross Lieutenant O63625 Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve HMS Formidable (Royal Navy) July 29, 1920 Mulgrave, Guysborough Co., NS May 17, 1942 (Royal Navy) January 1, 1944 (Royal Canadian Navy) 21 Truro, NS Single Student Church of England James Stafford Ross (Father) Truro, NS July 30, 1945 25 Halifax Memorial, NS Panel 13 Commemorated on Page 560 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on November 23 James Finlay Ross was the only son of James Stafford Ross (1886-1949) and Catherine Augusta (Beckwith) Ross (b. 1887), of Truro, Nova Scotia. He attended Mt. Allison University in New Brunswick (1938-1941) a member of the Class of 1941 and joined the Mount Alison University Canadian Officers' Training Corps program on March 31, 1939 at Sackville while a student at the university. He was a member of the university ski team (1938), and the badminton team (1938-1940). In 1940 he served as a member of the Student Finance Committee. In the year prior to his enlistment with the Royal Navy (Air Branch) he was employed as an Air Craft Examiner in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He enlisted with the Royal Navy on May 17, 1942 and served until December 31, 1943. Stage one of his training was at HMS St. Vincent, England. Basic entry training took seven weeks. On successful completion of stage one, candidates were promoted to Leading Naval Airman and issued with flying clothing in preparation for Elementary Flying Training (EFT) for Pilots. EFT involved two months of basic flight training and was done at many different RAF airfields around he UK, but when the number of trainees increased some were sent to America to learn the basics at US naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. James Ross completed fight training in Grosse Ile, Michigan; and in Pensacola, Florida. He also served in Miami, Florida; Brunswick, Maine; and Lewiston, Maine. On November 14, 1943 while at the US Naval Auxiliary Air Facility in Lewiston, Maine, Lieutenant Ross requested a transfer from the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (Air Branch) to he Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. The transfer became effective on January 1, 1944 and in April. 1944, now serving with the RCNVR, he joined 1842 Squadron (HMS Formidable). 1842 Squadron assembled at the Fleet Air Arm Transit Camp Townhill, Dunfermline on July 1st 1943 for passage to the USA. It officially formed in the United States at US Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine on April 1st 1944 as a single seat fighter squadron. Initial equipment was 18 Corsair IIIs. After familiarisation with the aircraft and equipment the squadron began training in earnest to prepare for active service. After arrival in the United Kingdom on HMS Rajah in June 1944 the squadron was assigned Corsair IIs. In September, 1842 Squadron joined the 6th Naval Fighter Wing with HMS Formidable, and during August, 1944 carried out attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz, then lying in an Norwegian Fjord. HMS Formidable then sailed for the Far East, but was delayed in the Mediterranean, and the squadron spent a period ashore, being split between Gibraltar and Dekheila. Continuing east in January 1945, it re-equipped in March 1945 with 18 Corsair IVs, with which it participated in operations against the Sakishima Gunto group of islands in the Fast China Seas during April and May. During the last few weeks of the war strikes were carried out in the Tokyo area. On July 30, 1945, Lieutenant Ross was killed in action when his aircraft wing folded on take off from the carrier for an operational flight. His aircraft crashed into the sea approximately fifty-six nautical miles north east of Honshu Island, Japan. During his service and posthumously, Lieutenant Ross was awarded Mention in Despatches: For air strikes against the German Battleship Admiral Von Tirpitz in August 1944. For services in Pacific fighter sweeps in July and August 1945. (November 20, 1945) When recommending the award Commanding Officer, HMS Formidable, Captain P. Ruck-Keene said of Lieutenant Ross: “He had taken part in many operations against the enemy over a prolonged period and had always shown a fine spirit in attack, which had been an example to his fellow pilots”
James Finlay Ross
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Name: Rank: Service Number: Service: Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Enlistment: Age at Enlistment: Address at Enlistment: Marital Status: Trade: Religion: Next of Kin: Date of Death: Age at Death: Cemetery: Reference:
Memorial: Terrace Hill Cemetery. Truro, Colchester County, NS