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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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9 BGS Battle I 2022 P/O. Arthur Francis Halamka

Operation: Gunnery exercise

Date: 19th May 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School (No. 3 Training Command)

Type: Fairey Battle I

Serial: 2022

Code: PQ

Base: RCAF Mt. Joli, Quebec, Canada

Location: Close to Mt. Joli Central Tower

Pilot: P/O. Arthur Francis Halamka C/7558 RCAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: LAC. Irwin Jack Shaw Aus/413494 RAAF Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: LAC. Kenneth George Weal NZ/413287 RNZAF Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr (Inst): Cpl. Clarence James Rooke R/120501 RCAF Age 29. Killed


Aircraft was originally RAF L527 - transferred to RCAF 22nd July 1941.

During a gunnery exercise, the aircraft was seen at 10:00 hrs streaming black and white smoke from the Battle. The aircraft crashed and burned in a field near Mont Joli’s No 2 Central Tower. During the descent P/O. Halamka was seen to fall into the St Lawrence river and his body was never recovered.

The remaining 3 crew members were all killed in the crash.

Burial and other details:

P/O. Arthur Francis Halamka. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 1. Column 4. Born on the 21st October 1916 in Milwaukee. Enlisted on 16th September 1941. Son of Frank (killed in an automobile accident on 03rd October 1932, age 63) and Anna Halanka (died 27th February 1974, age 94) of 4508 West Cleveland Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

LAC. Irwin Jack Shaw. Metis Beach Cemetery (United Church). Lot 34. Grave 2. Born on the 05th September 1914 in Campsie, New South Wales. Son of John Henry (died 09th March 1969, age 86) and Emelie Shaw (née Rose - died 25th June 1970, age 84; husband of Kathleen Mary Shaw, of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. Epitaph: 'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This That He Lay Down His Life For His Friends'.

LAC. Kenneth George Weal. Metis Beach Cemetery (United Church). Lot 34. Grave 1. Born on the 23rd May 1922 in Ngaruawahia. A grocers assistant for W.A Waltin in Franklin. Enlisted at Levin as a wireless operator/air gunner on the 08th June 1941. Embarked for Canada on the Dominion Monarch 22nd July 1941. With wireless school on the 18th August 1941. (hospital 17th November - 18th December 1941). wireless operator badge in late April 1942. With 9 Bombing and Gunnery School 30th April 1942. Son of Arthur Thomas (died 28th January 1961) Weal and Christina Weal (née McKinnon), of Pukeatua, Auckland, New Zealand.

Cpl. Clarence James Rooke. Cupar Cemetery. Lot 1. Block 29. Family Plot. Born on the 25th of June 1912 in Cupar, Regina. A teacher for 10 years. Enlisted at Regina on the 05th August 1941. Son of John Mark ('Jack', died 22nd December 1936, age 69) and Christina Rooke (née Faller - died May 1956) of Cupar and husband of Eleanor Jean Rooke (née McKay), father of Larry Allan and Clarence Dale of Cupar, Saskatchewan, Canada. Epitaph: 'Safe In The Arms Of Jesus'.

Rooke Lake, Saskatchewan northwest of Fond du Lac was named after LAC Rooke.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot, thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, Canadian Military Aircraft, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 06-08-2022

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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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