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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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354 squadron badge
07.10.1943 No. 354 Squadron Liberator V BZ887 D F/O. Moody

Operation: Shipping Escort

Date: 7th October 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 354 Squadron

Type: Consolidated B-24 Liberator Mk.V

Serial: BZ887

Code: D

Base: RAF Cuttack, India.

Location: Approximately 5 miles from RAF Cuttack aerodrome

S. Capt: F/O. Charles Lionel Moody 122399 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Pilot: F/O. Frank Vincent Breen J/21201 RCAF Age 24. Killed

2nd. Pilot: F/O. William John Fisher, J/20976 RCAF Age 23. Killed (1)

Nav: F/O. Edmund Holmes Bullis J/22235 RCAF Age 19. Killed

W/Op/AG: P/O. Stanley Dubowski J/24071 RCAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/AG: F/O. William Keith Redman J/23373 RCAF Age 23. Killed (2)

W/Op/AG: Fl/Sgt. Herbert Ernest Miles R/130215 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/AG: Sgt. Frederick James Trower 577838 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

W/Op/AG: Fl/Sgt. Harry Benjamin Sigel R/133803 RCAF Age 25. (3) Killed


After taking off at 06:45 hours, BZ887 was seen to circle the aerodrome and climb to 800 feet when suddenly it went into a dive and crashed in flames killing all aboard. No cause was determined.

Fl/Sgt. Harry Sigel with parents

(1) F/O. William Fisher is remembered in the name Memorial Mountain located near Armstrong, British Columbia.

The geographical name Memorial Mountain was established at the request of the Armstrong branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Town of Armstrong and the District of Spallumcheen, to remember all the young men from this semi-rural farming district at the north end of the Okanagan Valley who died on active service in World War II.

The dedication has since been extended to recognise all the World War I fatalities from the district. The mountain overlooks the community, and is visible from the Armstrong Cenotaph in the town’s Memorial Park.

(2) Redman Lake in northern Ontario is named after F/O Redman

(3) Sigel Lake in northern Ontario is named after Fl/Sgt. Sigel

Burial Details:

F/O. Charles Lionel Moody, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India Grave 9 D 2. Son of John Lionel and Sarah Moody; husband of Joyce Annie Moody of Tadworth, Surrey.
 Further details: F/O. Moody, who was acting as the screen captain, was a member of a detachment from 160 Squadron serving with 354 Squadron.

F/O. Frank Vincent Breen, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India Grave 9 D 12. Son of Simon Vincent and Mary (née Fitzgerald) Breen of Toronto, Ontario.

Upon graduating from St. Michaels College in 1936 Frank worked as a teller and ledger keeper at the Canadian Bank of Commerce until 1941 when he enlisted in the RCAF. Completed Initial Training at No. 6 ITS Toronto, 6 June 1942, posted to No. 7 Elementary Flying Training School, Windsor, Ontario and then to No.9 Service Flying Training School, Centralia, Ontario 2 August 1942 where he graduated being granted a commission and his wings 20 November 1942. Posted to No.1 General Reconnaissance School, Summerside, PEI and then to No.111 Operational Training Unit, Nassau, Bahamas to train on Liberator bombers. Posted overseas to India 3 August 1943 and joined 354 Squadron 28 September.
Further details: F/O. Breen had only been with the squadron for five days before he was killed. Five months earlier his younger brother, W/O2. James Gerald Breen of 431 Sqdn, was lost with all crew members of Wellington HE392 when it crashed into the sea during a raid on Dusseldorf.

F/O. William John Fisher, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India Grave 9 B 18. Son of Steele and Agnes Hamill Fisher of Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada.

Graduated from Armstrong High School and then worked for a short time as a clothing salesman before enlisting for training as an Aero Engine Mechanic in November of 1940. William was a keen sportsman playing baseball, hockey, lacrosse and swimming. He also had a high degree of interest in model airplanes. Trained at Technical Training School, St.Thomas, Ontario and re mustered for flying duties in February 1942. Completed initial training at No.7 ITS at Saskatoon and then posted to No. 20 Elementary Flying Training School, Oshawa, Ontario 7 June 1942. Posted to No.5 Service Flying Training School, Brantford 2 August gaining his wings on 20 November 1942. Posted to No.31 General Reconnaissance School, Charlottetown, PEI 5 December and then to No.111 Operational Training Unit, Nassau, Bahamas 19 March 1943. Sent overseas to India 3 August 1943 joining 354 Squadron on 17 August 1943.
Further details: Along with Dubowski and Redman, Fisher had only been with the squadron for seven days when they were lost. His brother, Fl/Lt. Frank Robert Fisher was a passenger on Liberator 3701 which crashed into a mountain in Quebec killing all 24 persons aboard.

F/O. Edmund Holmes Bullis, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India. Grave 9. C. 4. Son of Percy Clifford Bullis and Mary Alberta (née Rose) Bullis of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

P/O. Stanley Dubowski, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India. Grave 9. D. 13. Son of Steve and Sophie (née Dzuirdzic) Dubowski of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
Born in Studzisncrynz, Poland, Stanley came to Canada in 1927 at the age of five with his mother to join his father. After graduating from Sudbury Mining and Technical School, he worked as a delivery boy, truck driver and a labourer before enlisting in the RCAF for general duties in 1941. Re mustered to aircrew and trained as a wireless air gunner at No.4 Wireless School, Guelph, Ontario and No.1 Bombing and Gunnery School, Jarvis, Ontario gaining his Air Gunners badge and commission there on 22 February 1943. Posted to No.111 Operational Training Unit, Nassau, Bahamas 19 March 1943. Sent overseas to India 3 August 1943 joining 354 Squadron on 17 August 1943.

F/O. William Keith Redman, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India. Grave 9. C. 2.. Son of Thomas William and Hazel Wave (née Parmenter) Redman of Bartonville, Ontario, Canada.

William enlisted in Hamilton in April 1941 for training as a radio mechanic. Re mustered 15 February 1942 for training as a pilot he completed initial training at No.1 ITS Toronto. While training at No.9 Elementary Flying Training School he had a taxing accident when piloting a Fleet Finch trainer which discouraged him from continuing on as a pilot. Sent to Composite Training School, Trenton for re evaluation he was then posted to No.4 Wireless School, Guelph and No.1 Bombing and Gunnery School, Jarvis. At wireless school, William placed 5th. out of a class of 105 candidates gaining his Wireless Operators badge on 21 December 1942. His final mark at No.1 B & GS placed him 2nd. out of a class of 27 and authorized to wear his Air Gunners badge on 5 February 1943. The Chief Instructor's remarks read: "An outstanding student. Good in all phases of work." And from his Commanding Officer, " Excellent student with fine attitude toward service. Clever and dependable. Will make a good leader."

F/Sgt. Herbert Ernest Miles, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India. Grave 9. C. 18. Son of George Edward and Emily Florence Miles of Saulte Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

Born in Bristol, England, Herbert emigrated to Canada in 1930 at the age of 9 with his mother and two sisters to join their father who was working at the steel mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. After graduating high school he joined his father working at Algoma Steel Co. He was very active in sports playing baseball, hockey, basketball, swimming and tennis. Enlisting in October 1941 for training as a pilot or observer, he was posted to No.7 Initial Training School, Saskatoon in February 1942 and then to No.19 Elementary Flying School at Virden, Manitoba. After completing part of the course it was determined that he was not suitable for further training as a pilot and posted to Composite Training School, Trenton for re evaluation. Herbert was then posted to No.4 Wireless School, Guelph and No.1 Bombing and Gunnery School, Jarvis where he gained his Wireless Air Gunners badge on 5 February 1943.

Sgt. Frederick James Trower, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India. Grave 9. C. 16. Son of Frederick William and Alice Mary (née Jenkins) Trower of Muswell Hill, Middlesex.

 No further details.

Fl/Sgt. Harry Benjamin Sigel, Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India. Grave 9. B. 15. Son of Solomon Max and Yetta (née Markovitch) Sigel of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Further details: Fl/Sgt. Sigel enlisted in November 1941 and graduated from No.1 Bombing and Gunnery School at Jarvis, Ontario as an Air Gunner in January 1943. After serving for six months in the Bahamas he was posted to India where he was taken on strength with 354 Sqdn.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist, Colin Bamford for relatives of this crew.

Service Files of the Second World War―War Dead, 1939–1947. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
Vetran Affairs Canada

CHB 17.10.2014
CHB 02.03.2020 Crew photographs and details added. Links to commemorative features and Liberator 3701 report added.

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