Hitchcock, George Edwin "Irwin" (G.E.)

Rank Flight Sergeant, Air Bomber, 115 (R.A.F.) Sqdn.
Service # R146998
Unit # R.C.A.F.

Born 18/09/1920 at Chatham, ON. Son of the late Edwin and Lilian E. Hitchcock – Avis, of Charing Cross, Ontario, Canada. A member of St. Andrew’s United Church. He had four sisters Mrs. Clifford Hoskins of Charring Cross, ON., Mrs. Ralph Manning, Mrs. Clark Oldershaw of Chatham and Mrs. Ernie Taylor of Toronto.

He also trained at Windsor, Dunnville, Jarvis and Crumlin graduating as an air bomber (AB).

George was reported in Charing Cross to visit his sister and her husband while he was on a weekend leave from training in Toronto. CDN 28/01/42.  Still stationed at the Toronto Manning Pool in June of 1942, George was given a three weeks leave at his home in Charring Cross. CDN 27/06/42

Enlisted 22/12/1941 in Toronto, ON. to the RCAF.

George went overseas in July of 1943. At the time he was reported as missing, though in the RCAF he was attached to 115 Squadron RAF, he was 23 years old. The letter reporting George as missing was received by his mother in June 1944 as follows:

Ottawa, June, 14, 1944

Dear Mrs. Avis:- It is with deep regret that I must confirm our recent telegram informing you that your son Flight Sergeant George Edwin Hitvhcock is reported missing on active service.

Advice has been received from the Royal Canadian Air Force casualties office that yoyr son and his entire crew of his aircraft failed to return to their baseafter taking off to carry out bombing operations over Massay, Palaiseau, Chavreuse, France, on the night of June 7thand the early morning of June 8th 1944. There was one other member of the Royal Canadian Air Force in the crew, Sergt. Halver Loefred Moller, and he also has been reported missing. His next of kin is his mother Mrs. A. L. Peterson and her address is Edberg, Alberta.

“the term “missing” is used only to indicate that his whereabouts is not immediately known and does not neseccaeily mean that your son has been killed or wounded. He may have landed in enemy territory and he might be a prisioner of war. Enquireies have been made through the International Red Cross Society and all other appropriate sources, and I wish to assure you that any further information received will be communicated to you immediately.

Your son’s name will not appear on the official casualty list for five weeks. You may, however release to the press the fact that he is reported missing, but not disclosing the date, place or his unit.

Permit me to extend to you my heartfelt sympathy during this period of uncertainty and I join with you and the members of your family in the hope that better news will be forthcoming in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

W.M. Wismer, S-O RCAF

Causality officer for Chief of Air Staff.

The period of waiting must have been a heavy load for every family hoping for the best of the possible outcome but dreading the silence until the next letter arrived. JRH.

Ottawa, May 29, 1945.

Dear Mrs. Avis:- I have learned with deep regret that your son Flight  Lieut. George Edwin Hitchcock [he was promoted] is now for official purposes presumed to have died on active service over seas on June the 8th , 1944. I wish to offeryou and the members of your family my sincere and heartfelt sympathy.

It is most lamentable that a promising career should thus be terminated and I would like you to know that his loss is greatly deplored by all those with whom he was serving.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Leckie, Air Marshal

Chief of the air staff.

Age 23, KIA – Date of Death: 08/06/1944, in a Lancaster bomber # ND 790 (KO-H) on Air Ops. Over Chevreuse, France. One of six Lancasters lost on that operation. Besides FS Hitchcock and P/O. W.A.H. Fountain, five other RAF crew members were killed. 

P/O. H. L. Moller, P/O. S. F. Francis,Sgt.s H.J.M. Lane, A.J. Sellick and A. Wharton were also killed.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead, Grave/Memorial Reference: Coll. grave.

Cemetery: HOUDAN COMMUNAL CEMETERY. Seine-et-Oise, France.

Afa: Chatham Fire Fighters 1944 Field Day Booklet 7 to 12/08/1944. Christ Church Chatham – Roll of Honour. Index of Overseas Deaths. . “They Shall Grow Not Old”. Blenheim IODE Tablet of Remembrance, ATNCB, CVWM, IOSD, ST.AUC-RH, BBS-RH,IODE(P), TBD-RH, C. Jarrold(P).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Sources Christ Church Chatham – Roll of Honour, Index of Overseas Deaths, They Shall Not Grow Old, Blenheim IODE Tablet of Remembrance., ATNBC, CVWM, IOSD, ST.AUC-RH, BBS-RH, IODE(P)
Supplemental Information Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead, Grave/Memorial Reference: Coll. grave. Cemetery: HOUDAN COMMUNAL CEMETERY. Seine-et-Oise, France.
Age 23

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