MCPHAIL, WILLIAM HECTOR

Birthdate
Birthplace
Munro, Ontario, Canada
Age
25
Parents
Son of Hector and Ada McPhail of Cromarty, Ontario, Canada
Religion
United Church
Occupation
Student
Service number
J/21326
Engagement
1941-11-11, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Disembarked
1943-01-12, United Kingdom
Date of death
1945-01-13
Died
France, Killed in flying accident
Force
Awards
Royal Canadian Air Force
Plot 11 | Row G | Grave 9

"BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART: FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD"

Military grave
Additional info

Service number before becoming an Officer R/139228.

Royal Canadian Air Force, 409 Squadron, Pilot. (Assigned October 25, 1943.)

Awarded the Pilot Flying Badge on December 4, 1942.

Mosquito XIII HK481:
At approximately five o'clock in the morning of January 13, 1945 James and his pilot took off on operations against the enemy. While chasing an enemy bomber one of their engines gave the crew a slight amount of trouble, and they had to abandon the chase and return home. It was while landing at our home airdrome that the aircraft crashed and both boys were killed instantly.

It was a great shock to use all, and their loss will be felt for some time to come, as Ted was one of best Navigators on the Squadron, and together with his pilot made up one of our outstanding crews. His cheerfulness and keeness in the face of difficulties was an inspiration to all of us.

The funeral service was held in the Catholic Church at the village of Lesquin, France, and the service and funeral were attended by practically the whole Squadron and many French civilians. It was a most impressive sight with heaps of flowers and full Military honours. Ted now rest in peace in the cemetery of Lesquin. (Later reburied at Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Belgium).

Moments before the fatal impact the pilot evidently thought he was on the runway and did a normal wheel landing, started to nose over in deep snow and in attempting to correct this, over controlled and aircraft evidently stalled in from 50-100 ft.
Deep snow off the edge of runway and engine trouble contributed greatly as did poor visibility.

DONOGHUE, James Edward Flight Lieutenant (Navigator) J/20234 was also killed during the crash.

MCPHAIL, WILLIAM HECTOR, Royal Canadian Air Force
MCPHAIL, William Hector