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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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416 Squadron Spitfire XVI F/O. Alexander George Borland

Operation: Patrol

Date: 25th December 1944 (Monday)

Unit: No. 416 Squadron (motto: Ad Saltum paratus - 'Ready for the leap')

Type: Spitfire XVI

Serial: SM303

Code: DN-?

Base: B.56 Evere, Belgium

Location: Houffalize, Belgium

Pilot: F/O. Alexander George Borland J/25780 RCAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed


On the 03rd September 1944 Haren-Evere area was liberated, and only three days later the first Royal Air Force squadrons landed. It was designated as Advanced Landing Ground B-56 Evere. As the Germans had left in a hurry, the twin airfields needed very little repair work. Between September 1944 and October 1945, the British further expanded the runways, taxiways and aprons. When World War II ended, the two airfields continued to be used by the military. It took until March 1946 before the airfields were fully released for civilian use.

The squadron took off in the morning on a patrol in the area of Malmedy, Belgium.

F/0 Borland was flying Yellow 5. A single aircraft approached from the east as section was proceeding west at 10,000ft. It was Identified as a P-47 Thunderbolt with normal American markings. As section passed he attacked formation fron astern, section broke into him and did all possible to identify themselves.

F/O. Alexander Borland on the top right.

He attacked again and fired at F/0. Borland and Fl/Lt. Harling from nearly head on. They immediately broke on to his tail, but as they turned, he swung on to F/O. Borlsnd and fired at him.

No strikes seen but F/O. Borland rolled over and dove vertically into the ground at 12:30 hrs. No trace of the crash site established post war and the pilot has no known grave.

Burial and other details:

F/O. Alexander George Borland. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 245. Born on the 18th May 1923 in Guelph, Ontario.Educated at Guelph Collegiate. Enlisted on the 17th March 1942 in Hamilton, Ontario. Trained with No. 20 Elementary Flying Training School, No. 6 Service Flying Training School, 57 Operational Training Unit. Awarded his wings on the 30th April 1943.

Son of John Lee and Jessie Kate Borland (née Neill), brother of Jean (Haywood), a nurse serving with the RCAMC also in Belgium, of Turnkey Residence, County Bridge, Guelph, Ontario

Video of the history of 416 Squadron (Courtesy Sean's Aviation)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the Paradie RCAF Archives, World War Two Canadian Archive, Pierre Lagacé for photographs, National Archives Kew.

Other pages that may interest you:

Pages regarding 1944 losses

Pages detailing RCAF losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 09-11-2023

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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