The Canadian Airmen

No 427 (Lion) Squadron R.C.A.F. was based at R.A.F. Leeming in north Yorkshire. On 24th November, 1944 five Halifax planes were detailed to lay mines ( sometimes referred to as “gardening”) in the Kattegat off the coast of Norway. Bad weather and poor visibility may have contributed to the fact that only 2 aircraft were able to drop their mines. On the return journey the aircraft were diverted to a field in northern Scotland but one MZ 304, piloted by F/L J.T. Hardy, crashed into the sea off Kingston. (One other aircraft is reported landing at Dallachy). Of the six Canadian crew members who perished, five are buried in Bellie Churchyard and one at Chigwell in Essex. An R.A.F Flight Sergeant ( M. Rowntree ) was also on board. He is buried in Preston Cemetery, Tynemouth.

COOK, HOWARD JOHN Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) J92982. Son of George and Beatrice Sussanah (Barr) Cook. Was farming with his family when he enlisted at Saskatoon in 1941. From Hillmond, Saskatchewan. Killed In Action Nov. 25/44 age 25. 427 Lion Squadron (Ferte Manus Certas).

HARDY,JAMES THOMAS Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) J13731. From Merrit, British Columbia. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Hardy of Merrit. Killed In Action Nov. 25/44  age 22.  427 Lion Squadron    (Ferte  Manus Certas).

PATTERSON,  JOHN WILLIAM LYLE  Pilot Officer (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)  J92920. From La Riviere, Manitoba. Son of  Mr. and Mrs. John Patterson of La Riviere.  Killed  In  Action Nov.25/44  age 22.  427 Lion  Squadron (Ferte  Manus Certe).

POLLOCK,  JOHN ROBERT  Flying Officer  (Bomb Aimer)  J38253. From  Union  Bay,  British Columbia.  Son  of  Mr. and  Mrs. John Pollock  of Union Bay. Killed In  Action  Nov. 25/44  age 20.  427  Lion  Squadron  (Ferte  Manus Certas).

WARBURTON,  JOHN  Pilot Officer  (Air Gunner)   J92960.  From  Toronto,  Ontario.  Son  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  James  Warburton, Toronto.  Killed  In  Action  Nov. 25/44  age 19.  427 Lion Squadron  (Ferte Manus   Certas).

HALL,  STANLEY GEORGE  Flying Officer (Navigator).  From  Shaunavon, Saskatchewan.   Son  of  Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hall,  Shaunavon.  Killed  In  Action  Nov. 25/44  age 22.   427 Lion Squadron (Ferte Manus Certas).      Flying Officer Hall  is  buried  in  Buckhurst Hill, St. John The Baptist  Churchyard, Chigwell,  Essex, England near his birthplace.

ROWNTREE,  MATTHEW   Flight Sergeant Engineer  RAF  is  buried  at  the  Preston  Cemetery,  Tynemouth.


The Australian Airman

Flying Officer Easterbrook was a member of a ten-man crew of a liberator bomber from Tain which was on a Leigh-Light night-time anti-submarine training flight operating at a height of 250 feet above sea level. It crashed into the sea some 11 miles NE of Banff just before mid-night on the 18th November 1944.

The crew consisted of 3 R.A.F, 6 R.A.A.F., and 1 R.N.Z.A.F. Only two bodies were recovered; one Australian, the other R.A.F. The funeral of the Flying Officer Sidney Easterbrook took place at 14:00hrs on the 24th November 1944.