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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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407 Squadron Hudson V AM696 P/O. James Donald Alexander Foley

Operation: Armed reconnaissance

Date: 06th April 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 407 Squadron (RCAF) (motto: 'To hold on high'). 16 Group

Type: Hudson V

Serial: AM696

Code: RR-D

Base: RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk

Location: North Sea off Denmark

Pilot: P/O. James Donald Alexander Foley J/15244 RCAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

Nav: W/O 1 Daniel Allister McCann R/54041 RCAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Norman Abraham Leckie R/79805 RCAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Herman Mervyn Lowry J/6847 RCAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 09:45 hrs armed with 4 x 250 lb. bombs, on a reconnaissance flight along the coast of Denmark together with three others.

Strict radio silence was observed. P/O. Kim Abbott (1) was fling alongside AM696 along the coast between Esbjerg and SyIt Island when the Hudson disappeared.

No trace of the crew or aircraft were found. The remaining three Hudson's returned safely to base, landing at 15:30 hrs.

Above L-R: P/O. James Foley, W/O. Daniel McCann, Fl/Sgt. Norman Leckie and P/O. Herman Lowry (courtesy Steve Beebee - see links below)

(1) 'Gathering of Demons': Published by Inkerman House 1987. 228 pages ISBN: 978-0969267102. Author Kim Abbott.(full name John Kimble Hamilton Abbott) 407 Demon Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, during its first year of operations, between May 8, 1941 and June 30, 1942, when it was engaged on low level shipping attacks along the coasts of occupied Europe. John passed away on the 16th November 2010 at the age of 89 in Perth, Ontario. Married to Joan Abbott (née Garland - died 04th March 2013, age 93). Both buried on Union Cemetery, Merrickville, Ontario.

Burial details:

P/O. James Donald Alexander Foley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 100. Born on the 16th October 1916 in Ontario. Worked as a clerk for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation prior to service. Enlisted on the 25th September 1940. Son of James Juneau Leo (died 30th October 1942, age 51) and Eva Foley (née Sullivan), of 112 Frontenac Street, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

W/O 1 Daniel Allister McCann. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 101. Born on the 19th April 1920 in Saskatchewan. Educated at Buena Vista School and Nutana Collegiate. A clerk prior to service. Enlisted on the 20th June 1940. Son of Thomas Walsh McCann (died 29th November 1970, age 87) and Caroline Jane McCann (née Briggs - died 22nd May 1959) of 1139 Fourth Avenue, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Norman Abraham Leckie. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 105. Born on the 24t March 1915 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Worked as a clerk for his father prior to service. Enlisted on the 22nd November 1940. Son of Sania Lecovich Leckie (died 05th December 1959) and Esther Leckie (née Kanter - died 1923, age 37), of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The family moved to Sheho. Saskatchewan in 1917.

P/O. Herman Mervyn Lowry. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 100. Born on the 19th June 1918 in Ontario. A clerk for J.H. Roberts, retail store prior to service. Enlisted on the 14th October 1940. Son of Herman Alfred (died 12th October 1918) and Matilda Lowry (née Davis - died 1978, age 95 - married 12th April 1904) of ) of 328 Fifth Avenue, Ottawa, foster son of Robert Craig and Sarah J. Craig, of 54 McDonald Street, Arnprior, Ontario, Canada.

Leckie Lake, Saskatchewan, Southwest of Stanley Mission was named after Fl/Sgt. Norman Leckie.

McCann Peninsula, Saskatchewan, on the shore of Frobisher Lake was renamed after W/O. Daniel McCann.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the Key Aero 'Flypast' website and Steve Beebes (deputy Editor - Daniel Mcann was his paternal grandfather), National Archive Kew, Air-27-1793-14/15, Government of Canada, Paradie RCAF Archives.

Pages relating to RCAF crews
Pages relating to 1942

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 19-06-2023

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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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