Book of Remembrance - Volume  I


Flying Officer John Kalen

Royal Canadian Air Force


Flying Officer John Kalen was born onJuly 10, 1923 Regina, Saskatchewan
He enlisted December 9, 1941 North Bay, Ontario.

Son of William Kalenchenko and Nellie Kupchanko. Brother of Katherine Kalen, Tom Kupchanko, Helen Buyarski, Mary Beckett and Lena Kariuk.

Died on a bombing mission on the 18-Jul-1944 while based at Lantheuil, France.

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540): Our Squadron did three operations today. On the first operation, we were extremely unfortunate in losing the popular J21856 F/O J. Kalen of Sudbury, Ontario. It was a profound blow to every man of the Squadron, especially as it is fairly certain that he was killed when his aircraft exploded over the target. A week later his body was recovered and subsequently buried by the 7th Armoured Division

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 541): This morning, in support of a strong attack through enemy positions in the Caen sector, this Squadron took off to attack mortar positions Southwest of Caen, Near Mesnil-Frementel on the small group of buildings there under the leadership of S/L Norsworthy. The target was attacked in a dive from West to East from 7000 ft to 2600 ft. Very little flak was seen throughout the mission. The aircraft flown by F/O Kalen was seen to explode during the initial stage of the attack dive. F/O Kalen was believed to have been killed by the explosion. The aircraft, pilot still aboard, dived into the forest.

Citation(s): 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp, War Medal 1939-45. Posthumously awarded RCAF Operational Wings in recognition of gallant service in action against the enemy, the 21 May 1945.

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

J21856 F/O J. Kalen is buried at BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY, France Grave Reference: XIX. G. 6.

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