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Donovan, Ralph William (Flying Officer)

Killed in Action 1945-03-04

Birth Date: 1921-05-01 (age 24)

Son of Charles Albert and Jessie Reid Donovan, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Home: Vancouver, British Columbia

Service
RCAF
Unit
406 Sqn- Squadron
We Kill By Night
Rank
Flying Officer
Marshal
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
SergeantSGT
CorporalCPL
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Position
Pilot
Service Numbers
J/85887
406 Lynx Squadron (We Kill By Night). Mosquito aircraft NT 444 was scrambled to intercept enemy aircraft and the last r/t message was purely routine when the contact was suddenly broken. The last known position of the aircraft and crew was forty-seven miles north of Dunkirk, France. The RAF navigator, F/O V.M. Grant, was also killed.

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Find-A-Grave.com Find-A-Grave.com

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

Flying Officer Ralph William Donovan has no known grave.

de Havilland Mosquito

(British Aerospace photo) (Source Bomber Command Museum of Canada)

The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British twin-engine shoulder-winged multi-role combat aircraft, introduced during the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era whose frame was constructed almost entirely of wood. Nicknamed The Wooden Wonder, it was affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews. The total number of DH98 Mosquito aircraft built was 7,781, the type serving with the main Allied air forces, including both the United States and Russia.

When Mosquito production began in 1941 it was the fastest propeller driven operational aircraft in the world. The first variant was an unarmed, high-speed, high-altitude photo-reconnaissance aircraft. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the Mosquito's use evolved during the war into many roles including low to medium-altitude daytime tactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, and maritime strike aircraft. It was also used by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as a fast transport to carry small high-value cargoes to, and from, neutral countries, through enemy-controlled airspace. The crew of two, pilot and navigator, sat side by side, but a single passenger could ride in the aircraft's bomb bay when necessary.

The Mosquito FB Mk. VI was often flown in special raids, such as Operation Jericho, an attack on Amiens Prison in early 1944, and precision attacks against military intelligence, security and police facilities (such as Gestapo headquarters). On the 10th anniversary of the Nazi' seizure of power in 1943, a morning Mosquito attack knocked out the main Berlin broadcasting station while Hermann Göring was speaking, putting his speech off the air. Göring later said: "It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. There is nothing the British do not have. They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops."

The Mosquito flew with the RCAF and other air forces in the European, Mediterranean and Italian theatres. After the end of the Second World War Spartan Air Services flew 10 ex-RAF Mosquitoes, mostly B.35's plus one of only six PR.35's built, for high-altitude photographic survey work in Canada. There are approximately 30 non-flying Mosquitos around the world with five airworthy examples, three in the United States, one in Canada and one in New Zealand. Harold Skaarup web page and Wikipedia

YouTube Mosquito

Museum BAE Systems (formerly De Havilland)

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Mosquito

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Kestrek Publications USAAF F-8 Mosquito Serial Numbers

RCAF Roundel Mosquitos shipped to Taiwanese Airforce

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (444), Canadian Aircraft Losses (274)
last update: 2024-04-02 03:00:18

Mosquito NF.Mk. 30 NT444

Served with No. 406 Squadron, RCAF, in 1944/45. Lost after scrambling over North Sea on 4 March 1945.
1945-03-04 Interception North Sea Failed to Return from night interception

406 Sqn- Squadron We Kill By Night ("Lynx")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Blenheim I & IV, Beaufighter IIF & VIF, Mosquito XII & XXX)

The Squadron was formed at Acklington, Northumberland, UK on May 10, 1941 as the RCAF's 5th squadron formed overseas, as a night-fighter unit. It flew Blenheim, Beaufighter and Mosquito aircraft in the night air defence of Great Britain role, before being re-designated as an Intruder squadron in November 1944. It was listed as the top scoring RAF/RCAF Intruder unit for the period November 27 1944 until the end of WWII. The squadron was disbanded at Predannack, Cornwall, UK on Sep 1, 1945.

Overall, the squadron claimed 64 enemy aircraft destroyed, 7 probables and 47 damaged. Also claimed were 88 locomotives and many other vehicles. Squadron operational losses were 11 aircraft, 20 aircrew killed or missing and 2 POWs. The squadron personnel were awarded 3 DSOs, 1 second Bar to DFC, 1 Bar to DFC, 14 DFCs, 2 DFMs and 4 Mentioned in Dispatches. Battle Honours were: Defence of Britain 1941-45, English Channel and North Sea 1944, Fortress Europe 1943-44, France and Germany 1944-45: Biscay Ports 1944, Normandy 1944, Rhine: Biscay 1944.Wikipedia, Kostenuk and Griffin

Maps for Movements of 406 Squadron 1941-45

MAP 1: 406 Squadron Movements in UK 1941-45 (right-click on image to display enlarged new tab)

406 Sqn History Summary 1941-45

406 Sqn History Summary 1941-45 Page 2

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Harvard II, Mitchell III, Silver Star, Expeditor, Otter, Sea King, Tracker, Cyclone)

The unit was re-formed as a reserve unit, 406 Tactical Bomber Squadron (Auxiliary) on 1 April 1947 at RCAF Station Saskatoon . It flew B-25 Mitchell III light bombers, and also Harvard and T-33 Silver Star aircraft for army co-operation duties. It was re-designated 406 (Light Bomber) Squadron on 1 April 1949 and adopted the title City of Saskatoon in September 1952. In March 1958 under the name 406 Squadron, it was re-equipped with C-45 Expeditor and later CSR-123 Otter aircraft, and assigned to a light transport and emergency rescue role. The squadron was disbanded again on 1 April 1964 as a result of the reduction of the Auxiliary Force.

The squadron was re-formed for a third time at CFB Shearwater, Nova Scotia on 12 July 1972 as the 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron, operating the CH-124 Sea King helicopter and the CP-121 Tracker ASW aircraft. In mid-1981, the operational Tracker squadron, 880 Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron, was transferred CFB Summerside, which left 406 Squadron only responsible for Sea King training. At the present time, the squadron trains pilots, Air Combat Systems Officers (ACSOs), and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators (AES Ops) on the CH-148 Cyclone aircraft and flight operations relevant to the Maritime Helicopter (MH) role. In addition, the Squadron’s Technical Training Flight conducts a wide range of avionics and aviation courses for Cyclone technicians, as well as specialty maintenance courses. On an annual basis, between 200 and 300 students graduate from 406 Squadron. The squadron’s partner squadrons 423 Squadron in Shearwater, N.S., and 443 Squadron in Patricia Bay, B.C., employ 406 Squadron Cyclone graduates as integral members of helicopter air detachments aboard Her Majesty’s Canadian ships.

General Government of Canada RCAF Website

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