AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

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

Operation: Le Mans

Date: 22rd/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

Bomb Aimer: 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 (Mid Upp): Sgt. Joseph Jean Marie Levasseur R136950 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Robert McGowan R193475 RCAF Survived PoW No: 53389 * (1)

* Stalag 9c Mühlhausen near Bad Sulza, Thuringia, Germany.

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


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 flak from 5. & 6./gem Flak Abt 596. The aircraft crashed 3km north of le Mans airfield at 02:45. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

(1) Sgt. McGowan was seriously injured in the crash and was admitted to the Rennes Military Hospital, which was variously named EPS Rennes, Frontstalag 221 West and Lazarett Rennes. He survived his injuries and was eventually sent to Stalag 9c. During his time as a PoW he was commissioned and promoted to Plt Off. with a Service No. of J83716

Burial details:

Fg Off. Edmund Elie La Porte. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 35. Born 25th October 1923 in Verdun, Quebec. Son of Edmond and Eugenie (née Le Blanc) 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. Grave inscription: “TO A FULLER LIFE. MOST GLORIOUS, FREE FROM PAIN. WE AND HE WILL MEET AGAIN. E.G.D.” Son of William Herbert and Lucy Phyllis Ward, of Coundon, Warwickshire, England.

Fg Off. Joseph Octave Arthur Remi Tétrault. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 37. Grave inscription: “DEAR SON AND BROTHER. REST IN PEACE.” Born in Transcona on the 1st October 1917 the son of Joseph Octave Tétrault and Caroline Coulombe Tétrault, of 158 Regent Avenue East, Transcona, Manitoba, Canada.

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. Grave inscription: “QUI MARIAM ABSOLVVISIT, ET LATRONEM EXAUDISTI, MIHI QUOQUE SPEM DEDISTI.” (Translation: YOU, WHO ABSOLVED MARY, AND LISTENED TO THE THIEF, GIVE ME HOPE ALSO). Born 18th September 1918 in Montreal, Quebec. Son of Ovila and Maria (née Boucher) Mallet, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada.

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. Grave inscription: “EN MEMOIRE DE NOTRE CHER FILS UNIQUE HONNEUR SACRIFICES DÉVOUEMENT.” (Translation IN MEMORY OF OUR DEAR ONLY SON HONOUR SACRIFICES DEDICATION). Born on the 22nd July 1923 at Mont Joli, Mantane, Quebec. Son of Alphonse Son of Alphonse and Marie Claire (née Dumais) Levasseur of Mont Joli, Co. Matane, Province of Quebec, Canada.

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

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (webmaster) and dedicated to the relatives of the crew (Oct 2016). Thanks to John Jones for the loss information (Nov 2020). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Nov 2020). Thanks to Susan McGowan for the correction to the spelling of her father's name and the information that he was injured in the crash (Mar 2022).

Other sources as quoted below.

RS 31.03.2022 - Corrections and update to the narrative

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 31 March 2022, 07:34

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor