Book of Remembrance - Volume  I


Flight Lieutenant Bernard Percy Swingler

Royal Canadian Air Force

Son 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

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540): We were 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. 

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 541): F/L 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.

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

J/21837 F/L B.P. Swingler is buried at RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, United Kingdom Grave Reference: Panel 278.


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