An Incredible Coincidence

Ray Wall


Rank: F/O
Squadron: 408
Aircraft: LL632 Lancaster
Date: Feb 2, 1944
Target: Leipzig
POW# 3541

Ray's crest is displayed at the Nanton Air Museum, Nanton, Alberta

On the afternoon of Feb 19, 1944 the maintenance work on the aircraft of 'U' Squadron was in action. Refueling, regular maintenance and checking on the armaments in the three turrets of the Lancaster Bombers took most of the afternoon. Everything was checked and double checked while the air crew was assembling to receive target information and flight times.

The raid took place in the late afternoon and evening. 800 aircraft (Lancaster and Halifax Bombers) droned toward the target of Leipzig.

My mother's letter was to come by postal service to England and I was on a raid to Germany. On the night of Feb. 19-20,1944 our aircraft was shot down from enemy action. The mid -upper and tail gunners were killed and for the rest of the crew "for you the war is over".

During wartime, my mother saved my letters and some weeks after Feb.19, 1948 her letter of that date was 'returned to sender' Marked "POW". In May 1945 I was liberated and returned to Canada. All this mail was kept in the family home and after about 35 years I decided to read the letters. After reading and rereading this letter, I realize that Mother's comments, timing and wording and Dad's written greeting coincided with my events of that fateful night.

Dad's comment of the BBC radio broadcast of heavy losses having taken place probably included the 49 Lancaster and 34 Halifax Bombers shot down. No doubt one of the Lancaster Bombers was mine! What a coincidence!!! Unbelievable!!

Unfortunately this letter was not opened until after both my parents were gone but I am certain heart wrenching memories would have been rekindled.

Ray Wall
Calgary, Alberta

We Will Remember

animated maple leaf

Thank you, Veterans,

With sincere gratitude from all Canadians

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