Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum logo

Cleaver, Reginald Alfred (Sergeant)

Prisoner of War 1943-June-25

Male Head

Birth Date: unkown date (age unknown)

419 (B) Sqn- Squadron
Moosa Aswayita Beware of Moose
RAF Middleton St George
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
Flight Engineer
Service Numbers
PoW: 302

Halifax B/GR.Mk.II JD214

Bombing Wuppertal Germany 1943-June-24 to 1943-June-25

419 (B) Sqn (RCAF) Middleton St.George

Battle of the Ruhr

630 aircraft - 251 Lancasters, 171 Halifaxes, IOI Wellingtons, 98 Stirlings, 9 Mos-quitoes. 34 aircraft - IO Halifaxes, IO Stirlings, 8 Lancasters, 6 Wellingtons - lost, s- 4 per cent of the force.

This attack was aimed at the Elberfeld half of Wuppertal, the Barmen half of the town having been devastated at the end of May, The Pathfinder marking was accurate and the Main Force bombing started well but the creepback became more pronounced than usual. 30 aircraft bombed targets in more western parts of the Ruhr; Wuppertal was at the eastern end of the area. These bombing failures were probably a result of the recent run of intensive operations incurring casualties at a high level: However, much serious damage was again caused to this medium-sized Ruhr town. The post-war British survey estimated that 94 per cent of the Elberfeld part of Wuppertal was destroyed on this night and Wuppertal's own records show that more bombs fell in Elberfeld than had fallen in Barmen on the last raid. 171 industrial premises and approximately 3,000 houses -were destroyed; 53 industrial premises and 2,500 houses were severely damaged. Approximately 1,800 people were killed and 2,400 injured.

There was a dramatic incident in Gelsenkirchen, 20 miles north of Wuppertal, when an R.A.F. 4-engined bomber crashed into the hall of a building which had been taken over by the Wehrmacht. The bomber blew up 'with a terrific explosion'. A German officer, 13 soldiers, the caretaker of the building and 5 Dutch trainee postal workers were killed and 2 more soldiers died later.

source: The Bomber Command War Diaries, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt

419 Moose Squadron (Moosa Aswayita) RAF Middleton St George, Halifax BII aircraft JD 214 VR-U was claimed shot down by night fighter pilot Hauptmann Walter Milius of the Stab III./NJG 3 (detached to 2/NJG 1), flying a Bf 110 from Gilze-Rijen airfield, Netherlands. The Halifax force landed at Wageningen, Holland and the entire crew survived

There was a second 419 Squadron Halifax II lost on this operation. Please see Jost, BN for information on Halifax JD 147 VR-C

Took off from Middleton St George at 23:07 in Halifax Mk II (Sqn code VR-U Bomber Command) on an operation to Wuppertal Germany.

Nearing Wuppertal, the Halifax was attacked by 'Fw 190's' at around 01:00 and were forced to make a crash landing in pasture fields near Indoornik, Holland.

POWs: Flight Sergeant G V Neale RCAF R/122559 POW Flight Sergeant R A Cleaver RAF POW Flight Sergeant R S McLachlan RCAF R/143359 POW WO W N Jaffray RCAF R/114232 POW Flight Sergeant D J Griffiths RAF POW Flight Sergeant D E Kenwell RCAF R/91128 POW WO W P McLeod RCAF R/142459 POW.

General Daily Operations

General Aviation Safety network

General 419 Squadron RCAF 1941 to 1945 Crew of Halifax JD214

General The Wuppertal Raid-Webflow

General search T/R number

Google MapWuppertal Germany

Halifax JD214

Handley Page Halifax

(RAF Photo, 1942)(Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)A Royal Air Force Handley Page Halifax Mk. II Series I (Serial No. W7676), coded TL-P, of No. 35 Squadron, RAF, based at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire in the UK, being piloted by Flight Lieutenant Reginald Lane, (later Lieutenant-General, RCAF), over the English countryside. Flt Lt Lane and his crew flew twelve operations in W7676, which failed to return from a raid on Nuremberg on the night of 28/29 August 1942, when it was being flown by Flt Sgt D. John and crew.

The Handley Page Halifax is a British Royal Air Force (RAF) four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. It was developed by Handley Page to the same specification as the contemporary twin-engine Avro Manchester.

The Halifax has its origins in the twin-engine HP56 proposal of the late 1930s, produced in response to the British Air Ministry's Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use." The HP56 was ordered as a backup to the Avro 679, both aircraft being designed to use the underperforming Rolls-Royce Vulture engine. The Handley Page design was altered at the Ministry to a four-engine arrangement powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine; the rival Avro 679 was produced as the twin-engine Avro Manchester which, while regarded as unsuccessful mainly due to the Vulture engine, was a direct predecessor of the famed Avro Lancaster. Both the Lancaster and the Halifax would emerge as capable four-engined strategic bombers, thousands of which would be built and operated by the RAF and several other services during the War.

On 25 October 1939, the Halifax performed its maiden flight, and it entered service with the RAF on 13 November 1940. It quickly became a major component of Bomber Command, performing routine strategic bombing missions against the Axis Powers, many of them at night. Arthur Harris, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Bomber Command, described the Halifax as inferior to the rival Lancaster (in part due to its smaller payload) though this opinion was not shared by many of the crews that flew it, particularly for the MkIII variant. Nevertheless, production of the Halifax continued until April 1945. During their service with Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew a total of 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs, while 1,833 aircraft were lost. The Halifax was also flown in large numbers by other Allied and Commonwealth nations, such as the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Free French Air Force and Polish forces. Wikipedia

YouTube Halifax Heavy Bomber WWII

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Halifax Bomber

Museum National Air Force Museum of Canada

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (5), RCAF 6 Group (1596), RCAF 400 Squadron (1443), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1562), Canadian Museum(2)
last update: 2023-12-08 20:34:11

Halifax B/GR.Mk.II JD214

VRRAF RoundelU
Operated by No. 419 Squadron, RCAF, coded "VR*U". Failed to return from attack on Wuppertal on 24/25 June 1943, shot down by a night fighter. All were POW.
1943-06-25 Failed to Return Failed to return from attack on Wuppertal, shot down by a night fighter. All were POW. 2019-08-20

419 (B) Sqn Moosa Aswayita ("Moose")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Wellington IC, III, Halifax II, Lancaster X)

419 (Bomber) Squadron formed at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK in 1941 as part of No 3 Group of Bomber Command. It got its name from its first commanding officer, Wing Commander John "Moose" Fulton, DSO, DFC, AFC. The squadron operated Vickers Wellington, then Handley Page Halifax and finally Avro Lancaster bombers through the course of WWII, with the squadron code letters VR. It was the third RCAF bomber unit to be formed in England. It started operations in January 1942, converting almost immediately from Wellington Mk ICs to Wellington Mk IIIs and then moving north to Leeming, Yorkshire, as part of 4 Group Bomber Command in August 1942. After short stays at Topcliffe and Croft , it moved to Middleton St. George, County Durham in November 1942, from which it flew until the end of hostilities. Here in November 1942 it was re-equipped with Halifax Mk IIs, which it flew for the next 18 months on the night offensive against Germany. In January 1943 it joined the newly formed 6 (RCAF) Group of Bomber Command.

In April 1944 the squadron began to convert to the Avro Lancaster Mk X, which was produced in Canada and flown across the Atlantic. The squadron remained continuously on the offensive until 25 April 1945, when it flew its last sortie. Squadron personnel flew a total of 4,325 operational sorties during the war from Mannheim to Nuremberg, Milan to Berlin and Munich to Hanover, inflicting heavy damage on the enemy. On completion of the war in Germany, the squadron was earmarked to become part of the proposed "Tiger Force" to continue the war against Japan. However, the Japanese surrender in August 1945 led to the disbandment of the squadron in at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia September 1945.

As a result of its wartime record, 419 Squadron became one of the most decorated units under the RCAF during the war. Over a span of roughly three-and-a-quarter years it logged 400 operational missions (342 bombing missions, 53 mining excursions, 3 leaflet raids and 1 "spoof") involving 4,325 sorties. A total of one hundred and twenty nine aircraft were lost on these operations. Members of the squadron accumulated 1 VC, 4 DSO's, 1 MC, 150 DFC's, 3 bars to DFC, 1 CGM, 35 DFM's: the VC was awarded posthumously to Flight Sergeant Andrew Mynarski for his attempts to help a fellow crew member escape from their burning aircraft. Battle Honours were: English Channel and North Sea 1942-44, Baltic 1942-44, Fortress Europe 1942-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1942-44, Ruhr 1942-45, Berlin 1943-44, German Ports 1942-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1942; 1944. Wikipedia, Kostenuk and Griffin

Museum Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum)

Maps for Movements of 419 Squadron 1941-45

MAP 1: 419 Squadron Movements Dec 1941-Aug-42 (right-click on image to display enlarged new tab)
MAP 2: 419 Squadron Movements Aug 1942-Jun 1945
MAP 3: 6 Group Bomber Bases 1943-1945

419 Squadron History Summary 1941-45

419 Squadron History Summary 1941-45 Page 2

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Canuck, Silver Star, Freedom Fighter, Hornet)

The squadron was reactivated on 15 March 1954 at North Bay, Ontario , as an all-weather fighter squadron flying the CF-100 Canuck. It moved to the NATO Air Division base at Baden-Soellingen, Germany shortly after being formed. The squadron remained there until its disbandment in December 1962.

The squadron was again re-formed in December 1970, when it relocated to Cold Lake, Alberta as No. 1 Canadian Forces Flight Training School. It initially flew the T-33 Silver Star but then transitioned to the Canadair CF-5 Freedom Fighter. The squadron was on full active duty in November 1975 but disbanded again 20 years later when the CF-5’s were retired in June 1995.

The squadron was again reactivated as 419 Tactical Fighter (Training) Squadron on 23 July 2000. The squadron has since conducted Phase IV of the NATO Flying Training Canada (NFTC) program for the air forces of Canada, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. This program trains basic jet pilots to become fighter pilots and prepares them for training on CF-188 class aircraft through instruction in Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground combat tactics over a six month period.

© Canadian Warplane Heritage 2024

To search on any page:
PC — Ctrl-F
Mac — ⌘-F
Mobile — or …