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Remembering World War II
Frederick John Parsons Flying Officer J/15503 400 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force January 19, 1922 Halifax, Nova Scotia January 13, 1941 London, Ontario London, Ontario 18 5 feet, 8½ inches Medium Blue Medium Brown Student Church of England Single Francis Parsons (Father) London, Ontario October 5, 1943 21 Sainte Marie Cemetery, Seine-Maritime, France 67. Row G. Grave 4. Commemorated on Page 201 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on April 24 Frederick (Fred) John Parsons was the son of Francis Frank Parsons (1899-1987) and Veronica Mary (Kennedy) Parsons (1904-1995) of London, Ontario. He was the brother of Howard Francis Parsons (1925-2020), Sydney David Parsons, and Veronica Margaret Parsons. Fred’s brother, Howard Parsons, joined the navy during WWII and was a musician gunner on HMCS Ontario. He volunteered for the Pacific and spent much time in Hong Kong, Ceylon, Hawaii and Malacca. Fred and Howard were both excellent musicians and Howard remembers Fred telling him as Fred boarded a bus to leave London, that when he returned from the war, Howard would be the front man in his big band. Howard started his musical career in the late 1930’s with his brother Fred, starting one of the first jazz bands in the London area. Fred attended school in London, Ontario, and completed his junior matriculation in 1939. In November 1940, he completed a Commercial Business Office course at H. B. Beal Secondary School, a high school in London, Ontario. His hobbies were model aircraft and music. He played hockey, basketball, tennis, badminton and rugby. He was employed as a junior in the accounts section of the London Free Press Publishing Company in November 1940 until his enlistment with the RCAF in January 1941. At enlistment he was assessed as: splendid type of applicant, clean cut, bright, intelligent, very well recommended. Fred initially trained in Canada and received his Pilot’s Flying Badge on October 7, 1941. Training continued in England with the RAF Trainee Pool in October 22, 1941, until he was taken on strength with 269 RAF Squadron on March 12, 1942. In August 1942 he attended a Glider Pilots Course and the School of Artillery in 1943 and was posted to 400 RCAF Squadron on May 12, 1943. In 1943 the 400 Squadron flew reconnaissance and ground attack missions over France. Flying Officer Parsons was stationed at RAF Dunsfold, Surrey, until July 1943 and at RAF Woodchurch, Kent. On October 5, 1943, Pilot Officer Parsons was killed in action when his aircraft, Mustang I AP173, failed to return from an intruder patrol over France. He departed RAF Woodchurch at 1:35 pm and disappeared after the attack on a train towards Brionne, in the region of Normandy in northern France.
Frederick John Parsons
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