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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering World War II Royal Canadian Air Force Casualties - Ages 16-18
For 2024, the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Wartime Heritage Association undertook a remembrance project to tell the story of the youngest RCAF casualties of the Second World War. We have included those, who were 16, 17, or 18 at the time of their death. The research began in September 2021 and concluded in February 2024. Initially our research determined 114 casualties from service attestation records, the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, the Commonwealth War Grave Commission, or cemetery records. 14 were determined to have their age at death incorrectly listed. The Remembrance Project includes a casualty list of 99 young men and one young woman, a remembrance page for each of the 100 casualties, and a collection of 86 photos. Names on the World War II Royal Canadian Air Force Casualties List have been collected from various sources that include the Books of Remembrance in Ottawa, the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (Veterans Affairs), the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the names on War Memorials, and other sources. The list includes names of airmen who died between September 3, 1939 and December 31, 1947 at the ages of 16, 17 and 18 years
Photo: The wireless operator of a Handley-Page Halifax of No. 35 Squadron RAF, in his position prior to take-off at Linton-On- Ouse, Yorkshire. © IWM D 6053
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence. Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air. "Up, up the long delirious burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle, flew; and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and touched the face of God." … Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee