Book of Remembrance - Volume  I


Flying Officer Paul James Elfner

Royal Canadian Air Force

Son of Grace P. Elfner, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Died on 10-Apr-1944 while based at Funtington, England, on a wartime mission.

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540): While heading for Beachy Head at deck level, the clouds closed down and we were forced to climb through the 4,000' layer of cloud. All aircraft started up through okay, but we were one short coming out on top. The missing man was F/O Paul Elfner in Typhoon "H" (JR264). After receiving a fix & vector above the clouds, we were given permission to jettison bombs and proceeded to return to home and what a trip that was! Some above cloud, in cloud, and below cloud, practice galore !*?!?!*!! (sic) After we had landed with Elfner still missing, we were informed that an aircraft had crashed into the water, just off Beachy Head.

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 541): The trip down to Beachy Head was made under very low cloud, which was reported broken over the Channel. Suddenly, still overland near beachy head, the cloud came down to meet the land. The C.O. (S/L Norsworthy) gave the order "climbing" and the closely packed formation nosed upwards into the heavy cloud blanket. F/O MacDonald, flying as spare, had previously returned to base. Of the seven aircraft which started into cloud together, only six broke cloud at 6,000 feet. F/O P.J. Elfner J22201 was never seen or heard from after the formation began the climb in cloud. He was in position when the climb first began. Flying at 8,000 feet, S/L Norsworthy requested a vector out into the Channel and received it from Control. All aircraft in the formation jettisoned their bombs into the cloud blanket over the Channel and set course for home on a homing. S/L Norsworthy spotted a hole in the cloud and he and two other aircraft managed to get down through it, and came home on the deck. The remaining three aircraft reached base on separate homings. Mission abortive. One aircraft and pilot missing.

Following entry is from The Canadian Virtual War Memorial website  courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

F/O Paul Elfner (J/22281) is buried at RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, United Kingdom, Grave Reference: Panel 246.

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