November 11 – 2009

I like to repost this each 11/11 with some variation.



August 19th, 1944

Dear Mr. Morrison:-

Before you receive this letter you will have had a telegram informing you of the very sad loss of your son, Flying Officer W.H. Morrison.

It is with regret that I write to you this date to convey the William’s family the feelings of my entire Squadron. Late in the afternoon of August 15th, a flight from this Squadron, led by myself and with your son as the pilot of one of the aircraft took off from our base in France on an armed reconnaissance over enemy territory. Our mission was very successful but shortly before we turned home, while strafing some enemy installations and vehicles at low altitude, your son’s aircraft collided with some trees, plunged to the earth and exploded. I regret to inform you that it is highly improbable that he could have survived this explosion.

William, who was an excellent pilot and particularly suited to this type of work had 49 operation trips and a total of 56 operational hours to his credit. He was considered a “main stay” in the Squadron and it will be hard to fill his place.

Your son, who was one of the “old timers” of this Squadron, was exceedingly popular with everyone. He is greatly missed by his comrades and his loss is regretted by all.

Your son’s effects have been gathered together and forwarded to the Royal Air Force Central Depository, where they will be held until better news is received, or in any event, for a period of at least six months before being forwarded to you through the Administrator of Estates, Ottawa.

May I now express the great sympathy which all of us feel with you in your great anxiety, and I should like also to assure you of how greatly we all honour the unselfish sacrifice your son has made so far from his country, in the service of the Empire.

May I express my most earnest wish to be of as much assistance as I possibly can, and request that you feel quite free to write to myself or the Squadron Adjutant should the occasion arise.

Very sincerely yours,

(J.R. Beirnes)

Squadron Leader, Commanding,

Nos. 438 (Can) Squadron.

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