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Bourne, Ernest William (Aircraftman 2nd Class)

Killed in Flying Accident 1940-December-08

Birth Date: 1915-August-15 (age 25)

Son of Ernest F. Bourne and Florence D. Bourne, of Oshawa.

Home: Oshawa, Ontario

4 BGS- Bombing & Gunnery School
Fingal, Ontario, Canada
Aircraftman 2nd Class
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers
AC2 McNally, Flying Officer L.A. Wood, and AC2 E.W. Bourne were all killed when Fairey Battle aircraft 1650 crashed in Lake Erie near Port Burwell, Ontario.

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Google MapOshawa, Ontario
Google MapMount Lawn Cemetery
Plot 47 Sec C Block 1

Battle 1650

Fairey Battle

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199067)
Fairey Battle, RCAF (Serial No. 1639), wearing target towing stripes, used in bombing and gunnery training, July 1941.

The Fairey Battle is a British designed single engine light bomber, used as a trainer in the RCAF. The Battle was powered by the same high-performance Rolls-Royce Merlin piston engine that powered various contemporary British fighters including the Spitfire. It was, however significantly heavier, with its three-man crew and bomb load. Although it was a great improvement over the aircraft that preceded it, the Battle was relatively slow and limited in range. It was only armed with two .303 in machine guns facing the rear, and was found to be highly vulnerable to enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire.

The Fairey Battle participated in direct combat missions during early stages of the Second World War and earned the distinction of attaining the first aerial victory of an RAF aircraft in the war. In May 1940 the Battle suffered heavy losses, frequently in excess of 50 percent of aircraft sortied per mission. By the end of 1940 the type had been entirely withdrawn from active combat service, and was relegated to training units overseas, with many serving in Canada.

The RCAF received its first batch of eight Battles in August 1939, at RCAF Station Borden, Ontario. A total of 802 Battles were eventually delivered from England, serving in various roles and configurations, including dual-control trainers, target-tugs, and gunnery trainers for the Bombing and Gunnery schools of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Canadian use of the Battle declined as more advanced aircraft, such as the Bristol Bolingbroke and the North American Harvard were introduced. Battles remained in RCAF service until shortly after the end of the war hostilities in 1945. No. 111, 115 and No. 122 Squadrons of the RCAF flew Battles.

Fairey Battles were not manufactured in Canada, but they were assembled, serviced and modified here, including the installation of turrets at the Canadian Car and Foundry plant in Montreal. Harold Skaarup web page with revisions

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Fairey Battle Bomber

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Kestrek Publications Fairey Battle - Kestrel Publications

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (740), RCAF 400 Squadron (1), Canadian Aircraft Losses (39), RCAC (1)
last update: 2023-04-25 23:23:58

Battle Mk. I 1650

Ex RAF L5608. TOS 6 May 1940 at Trenton. Assigned to No. 1 Training Command 6 June 1940 for No. 4 Bombing & Gunnery School, Fingal Ont as target tug. Involved in fatal crash near No. 4 Bombing & Gunnery School at Fingal, Ontario, on 8 December 1940 (information from plaque on Cenotaph in Fingal). Battle aircraft 1650 crashed in Lake Erie near Port Burwell, Ontario. Found two days later on beach, Fort Bruce, Ont. US pilot, Flying Officer L.A. Hood, and crewmen AC2s Bourne and McNally had been killed in the crash. SOS 28 Feb 1941 [203 hrs]; Cat A write-off.
1940-05-06 Taken on Strength 2019-08-20
1940-December-08 Accident: 4 Bomb & Gunnery School Loc: Names: Bourne | Hood | Mcnally
1941-02-28 Struck off Strength 2019-08-20

4 BGS (4 Bomb and Gunnery School)

The Bombing and Gunnery School (B&GS) offered instruction in the techniques of bomb aiming and aerial machine gunnery to Air Observers, Bomb Aimers, and Wireless Air Gunners. These schools required large areas to accommodate their bombing and gunnery ranges, and were often located near water. The Avro Anson, Fairey Battle, Bristol Bolingbroke, and Westland Lysander were the standard aircraft used at B&GS schools.
NO4 BGS Fingal Ontario

RCAF Roundel - RCAF Station Fingal Ontario

Museum Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum - 4 BGS History

General RCAF Fingal Blog

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