Flying Officer Bernard Arthur Burrows – J 42161 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)
On October 13, 1942 Bernard Arthur Burrows completed the Attestation Paper for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in Toronto, Ontario. He was 19 years, 6 months old when, as a single man, he enlisted for the duration of the War. Bernard Arthur was born in Lakefield Ontario and gave his birth-date as April 16, 1923, he did not have previous Military Reserve experience. He attended the Lakefield Public School from 1929 to 1936 and then the Peterborough Collegiate Institute from 1936 to 1941. Bernard Arthur’s previous employer was the Northern Broadcasting Company on Hunter St., Peterborough. His occupation was as an Assistant Music Director and a Librarian for 8 months in 1942. Bernard was 5′ 6″ tall, 36″ chest, weighed 120 pounds and had blue eyes and brown hair and he enjoyed skiing, tennis and model building. His next-of-kin was listed as his father; Arthur Bernard Burrows; Arthur and his wife Ila Wilson resided at 158 Park Hill Road, Peterborough. Included in the references on his Attestation Paper, were: Minister, Rev. H. L. Roberts of 541 Water St., Peterborough; School Teacher, Head, Mathematics – Peterborough Collegiate, C. S. Browner; Manager, Royal Bank, H. C. Sootheran of 455 Gilmour St., Peterborough and Manager of CHEX Radio Station, H. Cooke of Peterborough. On October 3, 1942 Bernard Arthur’s medical was done in Toronto, Ontario; it indicated that he had previously contracted measles, mumps, whooping cough and chicken-pox and had a birth-mark above his left knee. He was deemed fit for duty with the RCAF. Bernard Arthur Burrows signed the Oath and the Certificate October 13, 1942 at No 11 Recruiting Centre, Toronto. He was then enrolled as Air Crew in the rank of Aircraftman 2nd Class (AC 2) [Private Recruit equivalent] with Service Number R 163331.
On October 13, 1942 AC 2 Burrows was taken-on-strength to the No 11 Recruitment Centre (No 11 RC) at Toronto, Ontario. From October 14 to December 7, 1942 he was placed on leave without pay and on December 7, 1942 he was struck-off-strength from No 11 RC for No 1 Manning Depot (No 1 MD) Toronto, Ontario. On December 8, 1942 he was taken-on-strength with No 1 MD, Toronto, Ontario with the Royal Canadian Air Force for basic training. All training was part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (also known as the Joint Air Training Plan [JATP]). His basic training at No 1 MD would include taking orders, drill, physical fitness exercises, studies and endless series of inoculations. On December 24, 1943 AC 2 Burrows was granted 5 days Christmas Leave to December 28, 1943, with ration allowance. February 7, 1943 AC 2 Burrows, after about 36 days training at No 1 MD, was posted from No1 MD, Toronto to the University of Toronto and his trade was made Air Crew ITS. February 8, 1943 he was taken-on-strength with PAED (23) at the University of Toronto. Then on April 3, 1943, after almost 2 months on the PAED Course (undefined) AC 2 Burrows was struck-off-strength from No 23 PAT, Toronto. On April 4, 1943 AC 2 Burrows was taken-on-strength to No 1 Initial Training School (ITS), Toronto.
On April 27, 1943, after 23 days with No 1 ITS, AC 2 Burrows was struck-off-strength from No 1 ITS and the next day, April 28, 1943 he was taken on strength with No 1 MD, Toronto. On May 8, 1943 AC 2 Burrows was granted 7 days Special Leave with ration allowance and a Travel Warrant from May 8 to 15, 1943. After 10 days of additional training at No 1 MD AC 2 Burrows was struck-off-strength from No 1 MD May 15, 1943 and the following day, May 16, 1943, he was taken-on-strength with No 1 ITS again. On July 23, 1943 AC 2 Burrows was promoted to the rank of Leading Aircraftman (LAC) [Private Trained equivalent] his trade was Air Crew Pilot (S). Then on July 24, 1943, after 5 weeks with No 1 ITS LAC Burrows passed his Preliminary Course and was posted to No 10 Elementary Flying Training School (No 10 EFTS) at Pendleton, Ontario. On July 25, 1943 LAC Burrows was taken-on-strength with No 10 EFTS, Pendleton and entitled to flying pay. On October 2, 1943, after 2 months and 8 days of training at Pendleton, LAC Burrows was struck-off-strength from No 10 EFTS, Pendleton on transfer to RCAF Base Uplands in Ottawa Ontario.
October 3, 1943 LAC Burrows was taken-on-strength with No 2 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) at Uplands, Ottawa Ontario. He was granted Christmas Leave from December 24 to 28, 1943. On February 25, 1944 LAC Burrows was promoted to the rank of Temporary Sergeant (T/Sgt) with pay, he qualified as an Airman Pilot Spec. Group and was authorized to wear his Pilot Badge. Also, on February 25, 1944 T/Sgt Burrows was discharged as an “other rank” and re-enlisted as a Pilot Officer (P/O) with Service Number J 42161. P/O Burrows was granted Pre-Embarkation Leave from February 26 to March 10, 1944 and was entitled to ration allowance and a Travel Warrant. On March 10, 1944, after 5 months and 1 week of training at No 2 SFTS P/O Burrows completed this phase of training and was struck-off-strength from Uplands, Ottawa. March 11, 1944 P/O Burrows was taken-on-strength with No 1 Aircrew Graduate Training School (AGTS) at Maitland, Nova Scotia. While with No 1 AGTS P/O Burrows completed Course 91 (undefined). One month later, on April 10, 1944, P/O Burrows was struck-off-strength from No 1 AGTS and taken-on-strength to No 1 Y Depot, Lachine, Québec.
April 10, 1944 P/O Burrows embarked at Lachine, Québec for the United Kingdom (UK) and disembarked the UK April 18, 1944. On April 19, 1944 he proceeded to Int C 208, No 3 Personnel Reception Centre (PRC) at W. Aston, England. May 30, 1944 P/O Burrows was struck-off-strength from Int C 208, No 3 PRC and attached to No 21 (P) Air Fighting Unit at Perton, England. He was then granted 7 days Privileged Leave from August 12 to 18, 1944. Then August 22, 1944 P/O Burrows was taken-on-strength with No 24 Operational Training Unit (OTU). August 25, 1944 P/O Burrows was promoted to the rank of Temporary Flying Office (T/F/O). He was then granted 22 days Privileged Leave from November 10 to 31, 1944. On December 1, 1944 F/O Burrows was attached to Dalton until January 12, 1945, under the authority of 76 Base. While at Dalton he was then granted 6 days Privileged Leave from January 1 to 6, 1945. Also on December 1, 1944 F/O Burrows was taken-on-strength to 76 Base from No 24 OTU, then January 12, 1945 he was attached to 1664 Conversion Unit (CU).
On March 12, 1945 F/O Burrows was struck-off-strength from 76 Base and taken-on-strength with the RCAF 408 “Goose” Bomber Squadron based at Linto-on-Ouse, England. March 25, 1945 F/O Burrows and his crew took-off and headed for Munster, Germany; unfortunately, before reaching Munster, their Lancaster was struck by flac which caused the aircraft to literally explode killing all but one member – F/Sgt Dyer. March 25, 1945 F/O Bernard Arthur Burrows went missing on the mission and was presumed dead.
Flying Officer Pilot Burrows was buried at Amelsburen, Germany, exhumed and re-buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany.
F/O Burrows was awarded the following medals:
1939 – 45 Star;
France and Germany Star;
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar; and
War Medal 1939 – 45.
He also qualified for the General Service Badge. In 2013 Canada started to issue a “Bomber Command Bar” for qualified Royal Canadian Air Force aircrew members. This Bar may be received by a qualified family member of deceased Air Crew qualifiers by contacting Veteran’s Affairs Canada.
Bernard Arthur Burrows served for 1 year and 6 months in Canada and 11 months and 2 weeks in the United Kingdom for a total of 2 years, 5 months and 2 weeks.
From the “Thou Shall Grow Not Old — A Book Of Remembrance” – Thanks to F/Sgt Arnold Graham
BURROWS, BERNARD ARTHUR Flight Officer, Pilot J 42161. From Peterborough, Ontario. Killed in Action March 25, 1945 age 21. # 408 Goose Squadron (For Freedom). Target – Munster, Germany. Lancaster aircraft # NP 804 was hit by flak before reaching the target at Munster, Germany. The aircraft then exploded and crashed at Amelsburen, Germany. Flight Officer William Robert Lay Navigator R 252132, Flight Officer John Philip Marchant, Wireless Operator Air Gunner R 87101, Flight Officer Frederick Weber Shantz Bomb Aimer R 205680, Flight Sergeant Clarence Leonard Cofield Air Gunner R 142788, and one of the crew, not Canadian, were killed. Flight Sergeant Dyer was taken Prisoner Of War. Flying Officer Pilot Burrows was buried at Amelsburen, Germany, exhumed and re-buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany.
The Crew from 408 Goose Squadron Aircraft – Lancaster No NP 804:
Bernard Arthur Burrows Pilot F/O
Unnamed F/Eng F/O
William Robert Lay Nav F/O
John Philip Marchant Wire/OP F/O
Frederick Eber Shantz A/B F/O
Clarence Leonard Cofield A/G F/Sgt
Dyer A/G F/Sgt
Note: Trade designations may not be correct due to lack of information.
Bernard Arthur Burrows had some money in the Royal Bank of Canada located in London, England. The amount was believed to be about $300.00 according to letters sent by Bernard to his father. He also had Victory Loan Bonds; one at $100.00, another at $50.00, a sixth at $50.00 and a seventh at $100.00 all registered to the Bearer and in the possession of A. B. Burrows, 158 Park Hill Rd., Peterborough. There is no information on other Bonds such as 3rd, 4th and 5th.
Bernard Arthur Burrows also had Life insurance with the Manufactures Life Insurance Company for $1,124.55 for his mother and father. A policy with the London Life Insurance Company for $100.00 for his mother and another policy with the North American Life Insurance Company for $75.00 for his mother and father.
A note in the Estates Branch Document dated September 18, 1945 reads “Personal effects, watch, pin, etc. doubtful of recovery as deceased killed on air operation. Bicycle & remaining personal effects left at Base of Squadron (408) request be sent to the following address: Ernest J. Burrows, 29 Blockley Road, Wembley, Middlesex, England.”
Signed – A. B. Burrows
An excerpt from an article in McLean’s magazine by Barbara Amiel, September 1996
The military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your nation. What could be more honorable?
BERNARD ARTHUR BURROWS
Bernard Arthur Burrows was born to Arthur Bernard Burrows & Islay Marie June (Ila) Wilson April 16, 1923 at Lakefield, Ontario. He attended the Lakefield Public School from 1929 to 1936 and then the Peterborough Collegiate Institute from 1936 to 1941. Bernard enjoyed skiing, tennis and model building. Before enlisting Bernard was employed at CHEX radio station as their chief librarian. His brother Douglas also worked there as a radio announcer.
Bernard Arthur Burrows died in action March 25, 1945 in France at age 21, about a month shy of his 22nd birthday.
THE BERNARD ARTHUR BURROWS FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD
Bernard Arthur’s grandparents were James Thomas Burrows & Catherine Griffith.
Bernard Arthur’s parents, Arthur Bernard Burrows was born about September 1890 in Birmingham, England and Islay Marie June (Ila) Wilson was born about September 1897 in Islay, Ontario. They were married June 22, 1921 in Lakefield, Ontario. Arthur Bernard’s occupation was an Unemployment Insurance Claims Officer. Arthur and Ila lived at 158 Park St., Peterborough in October 1942 when their son Bernard Arthur joined the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Arthur & Ila had the following children: June Muriel, born about 1921, married to a Saunders; Bernard Arthur, born April 16, 1923 in Lakefield and Douglas Malcolm, born about 1924.