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Name: Richard Reginald Irvine Service No: J/21536 Rank: Flying Officer (Air Bomber) Service: Royal Canadian Air Force 426 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RAF Linton-On-Ouse, North Yorkshire) Date of Birth: December 28, 1911 Place of Birth: Dublin, Leinster, Ireland Date of Enlistment: February 17, 1942 Place of Enlistment: RCAF Mobile Recruiting Unit, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Address at Enlistment: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Citizenship: Canadian Age at Enlistment: 30 Height: 5 feet, 8 inches Weight: 129 lbs Complexion: Fair Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown Occupation: Commercial Manager CJLS Yarmouth (1940-1942) Marital Status: Single Religion: Church of England Next of Kin: Mrs Caroline Irvine (Mother) 27 Longford Terrace, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Magistrate Penn Spicer, Main St., Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Date of Death: June 6, 1944 Age at Death: 32 Cemetery: Mount Jerome Cemetery 158 Harold's Cross Rd, Harold's Cross, Dublin 6W, Co. Dublin, Ireland Grave Reference: Grave B. 12-368. Commemorated on Page 342 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on July 23 Richard Irvine was born on December 28, 1911 in Ireland, the son of Robert King Irvine and Caroline (Groombridge) Irving. His father was Secretary of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce; he died March 15, 1921 at the age of 44 when Richard was nine. He was the brother of Isabella (Mrs. Stanley Roberts). Richard was privately tutored between 1917 and 1920 for his elementary education. In 1920 through 1923 he attended Rathgar Boys School for junior grades and between 1923 and 1928 attended the Masonic Boys School where he completed his senior matriculation courses. On May 2, 1928, at the age of 16, Richard sailed from Southampton aboard HMS Majestic to New York. His Immigration Visa, Number 24354, was issued at Dublin, April 5, 1928. From New York he travelled to London, Ontario where he found employment in 1929 at the Dundas Street Metropolitan Store in as a clerk. He left there in 1931 and took employment as a cashier-clerk at the Iroquois Hotel, also in London, until 1933 when he became a night auditor at Hotel London. He joined the Northern Broadcasting Co. in Kirkland Lake Ontario as a Program Director in 1937. He then moved to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia where he was employed as a Commercial Manager with the Maritime Broadcasting Co. at CJLS where he remained until he joined the RCAF in 1942. Richard Irvine became an active member of the Yarmouth community. He served as a member of the Library Board, the K. L. Swimming Club, and a member of the War Savings Committee in Yarmouth. He was, accomplished at writing speeches, a guest speaker addressing clubs such as the Rotary and Kiwanis. In January 1942, he began to considered joining the RCAF. That month, he met with H.H. Wetmore, Principal at the Yarmouth County Academy, and obtained a letter that certified that the scholastic training received in Dublin was equivalent to Grade XII or Senior Matriculation in Nova Scotia. He obtained letters of reference from two Yarmouth citizens, L.L. Smith, CJLS Yarmouth, and Penn Spicer who had become a personal friend. With his application accepted by the RCAF he left Yarmouth on February 17, 1942 for his initial training as a pilot or observer. He served in Canada until August 26, 1943 when he embarked for the United Kingdom arriving there on September 1, 1943. In England he was taken on strength at #3 Personnel Reception Center (PRC) on September 2, 1943 and then assigned to #9 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit (AFU) at RAF Llandwrog, Wales on October 26, 1943. From there is was assigned to #22 Operational Training Unit (OTU), RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire, on December 14, 1943. From there is was taken on strength at #61 Base Battle School, RAF Wombleton, North Yorkshire, April 8, 1944. On April 27, 1944 he was assigned to #1664 Conversion Unit (CU), RAF Croft, County Durham, North Yorkshire. This is where air crews learned to operate four engine bombers similar to the aircraft they would fly with Operational Squadrons. On May 26, 1944 Richard was assigned to 426 Squadron RCAF at RAF Linton-On-Ouse, North Yorkshire in England. 426 Squadron was established at Dishforth on October 15, 1942, as part of No. 4 Group. At the beginning of January, 1943, the unit was transferred to No. 6 (RCAF) Group. The group transferred to Linton-on-Ouse in June, 1943. In April, 1944 the squadron began to convert to Halifax bombers. On June 6, 1944, the seven man crew of Halifax (MK III) #LW 382 departed RAF Linton-on-Ouse at approximately 2:00 am on a bombing raid against the coastal batteries at Houlgate, near Trouville, fifteen miles north-east of Caen, France. Flying Officer Irvine was the Bomb Aimer. While still over England, at 43 minutes into the flight, an explosion occurred in the aircraft during flight causing it to crash one mile south of North Wooton, Norfolk. The aircraft was completely destroyed and all members of the crew were killed. Sources and Information: Commonwealth War Graves Commission Canadian Virtual War Memorial Library and Archives Canada
Richard Reginald Irvine
Halifax B.III
The Crew: Beesley, Joseph Framcis Terrence Pilot (Flying Officer J.27853) (Age 21) Kamloops, British Columbia Tranter, Roy Hudson Navigator (Flying Officer J.28343 (Age 31) Victoria, British Columbia Durnin, Graham William Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Sergeant R.186328) (Age 20) Goderich, Ontario Irvine, Richard Reginald Bomb Aimer (Flying Officer J21536) (Age 32) Dublin, Ireland Clark, Thomas Henry Flight Engineer (Sergeant 934072) (Age 22) Manor Park, Essex. Carol, Roy Frank Maintenance Unit/Air Gunner (Flying Officer R/253018) (Age 20) Winnipeg, Manitoba Forsberg, Morris Soren Rear Gunner (Pilot Officer J/90086) (Age 22) Dunblane, Saskatchewan
In Loving Memory of my dear husband ROBERT KING IRVINE who died 15th March 1921 aged 44 Also in loving memory of my darling son Flying Officer RICHARD REYNOLDS IRVINE RCAF killed on active service 6th June 1944 aged 32 "Greater love hath no man than this" Also CAROLINE KING IRVINE beloved wife of Robert King Irvine who died 31st March 1954 aged 73 years Also their daughter ISABELLA beloved wife of Stanley Roberts who died 28th January 1966 aged 55
Mount Jerome Cemetery (Photo: Frank Duffin)