Promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer on December 22, 1941.
Assigned to the 14 Operational Training Unit on May 19, 1942.
Hampden Mk.I P1185 (GL-B) of 14 OTU RAF. Lost on combat operations on 1/8/1942. Missing on a raid to Düsseldorf, Germany. Took off from RAF Cottesmore, Rutland at 00:03 hrs. The aircraft crashed near the coastal municipality of Leffinge, Middelkerke, West Flanders, Belgium.
Some sources reported the Allied aircraft was shot down by night fighter Pilot Hauptmann Dr. Horst Patuschka of the 7./NJG 2, who was flying a Ju 88 C-6 from Gilze-Rijen airfield in the Netherlands. He died on March, 1943 on a mission over Tunisia in his Ju 88C-6 due to engine failure.
Another source reports that the aircraft lost power to one of their engines above Dusseldorf, Germany and came under attack by German night fighter, killing Shailer. The battered aircraft later came under fire by German Anti Aircraft (FLAK) near the cost of Oostende, Belgium and crashed.
Sergeant N.H. McGowen R/86507 (Pilot), Royal Canadian Air Force. POW.
Pilot Officer David Gerald McLean J/9506 (Observer), Royal Canadian Air Force. Plot 12, Row H, Grave 7.
Sergeant McGowen is now safe (POW) and the Wehrmacht reported that it was impossible owing to the very bad mutilation of bodies to determine whether there were two or three dead. Sergeant McGowen confirms that all three were dead before the crash.
M. Broucke, farmer, who was visited on April 11, 1946 states: On August 1, 1942 at approximately 0400 hrs I was awakened by the noise of an aircraft. I looked out and saw that the weather was foggy and then an aircraft crashed approximately 50 metres from my house and exploded. I believe this aircraft was shot down by the German Batteries located near my farm. A few minutes after the crash an airman came in and said that his companions had been killed. The Germans came to search the house and captured him. I believe he was Canadian. In the morning I saw the Germans around the aircraft and they had parts of carbonised bodies. These they separated into two coffins and buried them in Leffinge, Belgium Cemetery.
Personal details have been collected from official Service Records and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Some of the additional information has been provided by War Diaries, Libera Me (G.E. Spittael), Polder Fighting (R.W. Catsburg), Veterans Affairs Canada, WW2 Talk, Aircrew Remembered and other sources. The commonwealth-adegem.com website is not responsible for incorrect information.
Everything has been collected and processed voluntarily by Michael van de Velde, Netherlands. Along the way I had great support from expert researchers and other volunteers. Thank you!