Lieutenant Bernard Percy Swingler
Canadian Air Force
of Charles W. and Eva G. Swingler, of Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada,
age 22, died on 22-Feb-1945. He was based in Holland and was killed
during an armed recce following a bombing run on a rail line.
According to info on hand, this was only his second mission on his
second day with the Squadron
following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540):
tickled to death to have J21837 F/L Babe Swingler arrive yesterday
on posting to take command of "A" Flight. He is a youthful
character with an abundance of good humour and is extremely popular.
But fate ultimately interrupted his second tour on his second trip
of the day which he was leading. It was a tremendous blow to the
Squadron as we had unshouldered a lot of responsibility onto Babe
knowing that with his reputation as an operational pilot, he would
go a long ways in achieving good results for the Squadron.
following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 541):
Babe Swingler, led four aircraft on a Ramrod, to cut the rail lines
between Borken and Stadtlohn. The aircraft each carried 2 x 1000 lb.
bombs with 11 second delay tail fuses. the boys reached the lines near
the small town of Weseke, but due to bad visibility, no results could
be observed. No flak was noticeable in this area. They then carried
out an armed recce, just north of the Rhine on their way home.F/L
Swingler noticed a lone transport between Haldern and Mehr, north-west
of Wesel. He made one orbit and then the Squadron dove down. When F/L
Swingler was about 2000 feet, all hell seemed to break loose. It was
evidently a flak trap, judging by the amount of 20 MM which seemed to
fill the sky. Unfortunately F/L Shaver never had a chance, and
although no explosion was seen, F/O McBride noticed a small column of
black smoke on the ground in the area at Map reference A1552. The
remaining three aircraft formed up and set course for base all landing
safely. This was a very bad loss to the Squadron, as "Babe",
as the boys called him, had just arrived the day before, to start his
second tour as our "A" Flight Commander. Very little hope is
held for his return.
entry is from The
Canadian Virtual War Memorial website courtesy of
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
F/L B.P. Swingler is buried at RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, United Kingdom
Grave Reference: Panel 278.
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