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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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425 Squadron Crest
22/23.05.1944 425 Squadron Halifax III LK810 KW:Y Fg.Off. La Porte

Operation: Le Mans

Date: 22/23rd May 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 425 (Alouette) Squadron, RCAF

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LK810

Code: KW:Y

Base: RAF Tholthorpe, Yorkshire

Location: Le Mans - Target area

Pilot: Fg.Off. Edmund Elie La Porte J25390 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Flt.Eng: Sgt. Norman Vincent Ward 1819837 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav: Fg.Off. Joseph Octave Arthur Remi Tétrault J23910 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Air Bmr: Flt.Sgt. Joseph Raoul Henry Bernard Clovis Mallette R154165 RCAF Age 25. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: WO1. John Arthur Laing R129137 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Jean Marie Levasseur R136950 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. R. McGovern R? RCAF Survived PoW No: 53389 *

* Stalag 9C - Muhlhausen. Sgt. McGovern was promoted to Plt.Off whilst a PoW with a Service No. of J83716

REASON FOR LOSS:

112 aircraft taking part to bomb the railway facilities at le Mans in France. The crews were over the target at between 7,000 and 9,000 feet, releasing 826,000 lbs. of high explosives. According to reports, bombing was accurate and severe damage was caused.

Halifax LK810 after taking off at 00:10 hrs on the 23rd May. Hit by 5 & 6/gem Flak Abt 596. Crashed 3km North of le Mans airfield at 02:45. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

Above left: Flt.Sgt. Mallette and right: WO1. Laing (from their service records)

Burial details:

Fg.Off. Edmund Elie La Porte. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 35. Son of Edmon S. La Porte and Eugenie E. La Porte, of Val Barrette, Province of Quebec, Canada.

Sgt. Norman Vincent Ward. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 36. Son of William Herbert and Lucy Phyllis Ward, of Coundon, Warwickshire, England. Grave inscription reads: “To a A fuller Life. Most Glorious, Free From Pain. We And He Will Meet Again. E.G.D.”

Fg.Off. Joseph Octave Arthur Remi Tétrault. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 37. Born in Transcona on the 01st October 1917 the son of Joseph Octave Tétrault and Caroline Coulombe Tétrault, of 158 Regent Avenue East, Transcona, Manitoba, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Dear Son And Brother. Rest In Peace.”

Tétrault Lake northeast of Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, Canada was named after Fg.Off. Joseph Tétrault in 1973. Sadly the family also lost his brother, 41 year old Flt.Lt. Joseph Wilfred Tétrault 30112 RCAF. On Canadair CP-107 Argus II 20727 which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on the 23rd March 1965. All the crew of 15 and a scientist were lost without trace during a military exercise with 404 Squadron.

Plt.Off. Joseph Raoul Henry Bernard Clovis Mallette. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 31. Son of Ovila and Maria Mallette, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: Qui Mariam Absolvvisit, Et Latronem Exaudisti, Mihi Quoque Spem Dedisti.”

Promoted to Plt.Off. on 21st May 1944 with a service No. J89459

Plt.Off. John Arthur Laing. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 32. Born on the 6th May 1921 in Newcastle -on-Lyne, England. Son of John Arthur and Janet Hutton (née Stark) Laing from Toronto, Ontario and husband to Roma Marine Laing of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Promoted to Plt.Off. on 21st May 1944 with a service No. of J90517

Plt.Off. Joseph Jean Marie Levasseur. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 30. Son of J. Alphonse Levasseur and Marie Claire Levasseur, of Mont Joli, Co. Matane, Province of Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “En Memoire De Notre Cher Fils Unique Honneur Sacrifices Dévouement.”

Promoted to Plt.Off. on 21st May 1944 with a service No. of J89685

Uploaded (Oct 2016). Thanks to John Jones for the loss in formation (Nov 2020). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Nov 2020). Sources as quoted below.

RS 05.11.2020 - Loss details update and general update

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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