Pilot Officer Dominic Bernard White – R 90736 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)
September 6, 1940 Dominic Bernard White was interviewed in North Bay, Ontario for the Special Reserve Royal Canadian Air Force and was deemed best fitted for Pilot. Dominic was 26 years, 7 months old when, as a single man, he enlisted and was taken on strength at the Royal Canadian Recruitment Centre, North Bay Ontario on May 15, 1941 with the Royal Canadian Air Force, Special Reserve and was granted 21 days Subsistence Allowance. He gave his birth-date as January 24, 1914, he did not have previous Military Reserve experience but he had applied to join the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1935 and 1936 in Ottawa Ontario; his application was filed but he was not called. His previous employment was listed as a Mine Mill-man. At the time Dominic lived at 26 Windsor Ave., Timmins Ontario although his permanent address was Lakefield Ontario. Dominic was 5′ 7½? tall, 36 chest, weighed 128 pounds, had brown eyes and black hair. Dominic’s next-of-kin was listed as his mother, Concetta White (Sabatino). Included in the references on his Attestation Paper, were High School Principal J. F. Harvey from Lakefield and Chas. E. Cook, Paymaster Gold Mines, South Porcupine, Ontario. Dominic was enlisted in the rank of Aircraftman 2nd Class (AC 2) [Private Recruit equivalent] with Service Number R 90736. On May 16, 1941 AC 2 White was granted 7 days leave to May 22, 1941.
On May 23, 1941 AC 2 White transferred from the Recruitment Centre, North Bay, to No 1 Manning Depot (1 MD), Toronto Ontario for basic training. All training was part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (also known as the Joint Air Training Plan [JATP]). June 20, 1941 AC 2 White moved from 1 MD to the Technical Training School (TTS) at St. Thomas, Ontario. He passed the Basic Standard Course and on July 27, 1941 he transferred from the TTS to No 1 Initial Training School, Toronto Ontario where he passed his Preliminary Course. On September 1, 1941 AC 2 White was struck off strength from the TTS and promoted to the rank of Leading Aircraftman (LAC) [Private Trained equivalent]. The same day he was posted to No 7 Elementary Flying Training School (7 EFTS), Windsor Ontario, on Pilot Course No 37 and taken on strength September 2, 1941. On October 25, 1941, having passed Pilot Course No 37, LAC White transferred from 7 EFTS to No 16 Service Flying Training School (16 SFTS) on the Pilot Spec. Course at Hagersville Ontario. He was also granted 8 days Annual Leave from October 25 to November 1, 1941 at which time he visited his family in Lakefield.
February 27, 1942 LAC White, having passed the Pilot Spec. Course, was promoted to the rank of Sergeant (Sgt) and was awarded his Flying Badge (qualified Pilot Airman). The next day, February 28, 1942, Sgt White was granted 14 days Embarkation Leave to March 13, 1942 after which he left for Hagersville Ontario and proceeded to No 1 Y Depot, Halifax Nova Scotia. March 1, 1942 Sgt White was taken on strength with No 1 Y Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia. March 19, 1942 he transferred from No 1 Y Depot to a Royal Air Force Training Pool (RAF TP). He embarked Canada from Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 20, 1942 and disembarked to join No 3 Personnel Reception Centre (3 PRC) in England on March 29, 1942. The next six months or so Sgt White was involved in advanced training. On May 1, 1942 he was struck off strength from 3 PRC and taken on strength to RAF Station Hemswell, England for advanced training from the 3 PRC. On June 16, 1942 Sgt White was granted 7 days leave to June 22, 1942. June 23, 1942 Sgt White left RAF Station Hemswell to join the 6/(P) Air Fighting Unit (6/(P) AFU. Then, August 18, 1942 Sgt White departed from 6 (P) AFU and was taken on strength for training only to No 14 Operational Training Unit (14 OTU) at Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England. Sometime after training at RAF Station Hemswell he was transferred to RAF Station Cottesmore for additional training.
On August 27, 1942 Sgt White was promoted in rank to Flight Sergeant (F/Sgt) White and qualified as Pilot. The months of September and October would have been utilized for more training. On November 10, 1942 he was granted 7 days leave to November 16, 1942. Then on November 18, 1942 F/Sgt White he was granted 15 days leave to December 2, 1942. Following this F/Sgt White was granted 6 days leave from December 4, 1942 to December 9, 1942. F/Sgt Dominic Bernard White married Elizabeth Mary Housman on December 7, 1942 at Oakham, England. Elizabeth Mary was a RCAF Corporal at RAF Station Cottesmore. She was then listed as F/Sgt White’s next-of-kin with an address; RCAF Dunsfold, c/o GPO, Horsham, Sussex, England. December 11, 1942 F/Sgt White was struck off strength from RAF Station Cottesmore and taken on strength for training only from 14 OTU to 1657 Conversion Unit (1657 CU). On December 31, 1942 he was declared satisfactory for Air Crew (AC) duty. On January 3, 1943 F/Sgt White was discharged to a Commission, assigned a new Service Number “J 16896” and was taken on strength for training only. F/Sgt White was promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer (P/O) after training. Then, February 21, 1943 P/O White moved from 1657 CU to 149 Bomber Squadron.
On April 2, 1943 P/O White piloted Stirling Bomber EF 338 and crew for an Air Test. April 4, 1943 P/O White piloted Stirling Bomber EF 338 and crew for an Air Test and later that day P/O White piloted Stirling Bomber EF 338 and crew in Air Operations as ordered. On April 6, 1943 P/O White piloted Stirling Bomber BF 510 and crew for an Acceptance Test and Air Firing. April 14, 1943 P/O White piloted Stirling Bomber BF 500 and crew for an Air Test an later that day P/O White piloted Stirling Bomber BF 500 and crew on Air Operations and the Aircraft was missing after the since the take-off, location unknown, no signals received. On April 15, 1943 P/O White was struck off strength from 149 Squadron RAF Depot to the RCAF and presumed dead. He is remembered with honour at the Beval Communal Cemetery in the Ardennes, located near Charleville- Mézières, France. P/O White was 29 years and 2 ½ months old when he and his crew went missing on their 2nd Air Operations.
From the Thou Shall Grow Not Old — A Book Of Remembrance – Thanks to F/Sgt Arnold Graham
WHITE, DOMINIC BERNARD Pilot Officer, Pilot J 16896. From Lakefield, Ontario. Killed in Action April 15, 1943 age 21. # 149 East India Squadron (Fortis Nocte). Stirling aircraft # BF 500 missing since take-off, location unknown, no signals received. Flying Officer Lloyd George Vallance, Navigator J 10684, Warrant Officer Class 2 Russell Roberts Stover, Wireless Operator Air Gunner R 91336, Flight Sergeant Theodore Willson Foran, Navigator/Bomb Aimer R 121566, Sergeant E. Farnen (RAF), Sergeant K. S. A. Payne, (RAF), and Sergeant A. J. White (RAF) were missing and believed killed. Pilot Officer, Pilot White is buried in the Communal Cemetery, Belval, Ardennes, France.
P/O White was awarded the following medals:
1939 – 45 Star;
Air Crew Europe 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 aircrew qualifiers by contacting Veteran’s Affairs Canada.
Dominic Bernard White served for 10 months; 2 weeks in Canada and 1 years 2 weeks in the United Kingdom for a total of 1 year 11 months.
The crew of the Stirling Bomber BF 500 which went missing was comprised of:
J16396 P/O White, Dominic Bernard – Captain.
J10684 F/O Vallance, Lloyd George – Navigator.
R91336 Sgt. Stover, Russell Roberts – Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.
R121566 Foran, Theodore Willson – Navigator/Bomb Aimer.
1339292 Sgt. Payne, K.S.A. (RAF) – Air Gunner.
985405 Sgt. Farnen, E. (RAF) – Air Gunner.
1445443 Sgt. White, A.J. (RAF) – Flight Engineer.
The Stirling Bomber, a four engine aircraft, was built by the Short Brothers and was in service mostly from 1941 to 1943 when the Halifax and Lancaster Aircraft took over operational flights. There were 2,383 made, they could carry a maximum of 14,000 pounds for 2,000 miles at 15,000 feet altitude. They cruised at 230 or more miles per hour and had 3 gun turrets. There was an Air Crew of 7 persons.
A Summary of P/O White’s Flying Hours
Multi-Engine Aircraft — Day
1st Pilot 161:00
2nd Pilot 9:30
Multi-Engine Aircraft — Night
1st Pilot 63.05
2nd Pilot 24:35
Passenger — 40:15
Instrument/Cloud Flying (included in above figures)
Grand Total Flying — 417 hrs 55 mins
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?
DOMINIC BERNARD WHITE
Dominic attended the Lakefield Public School from 1921 to 1929 and then he attended the Lakefield High School from 1929 to 1935. He attained his Senior Matriculation. He worked from 1936 to 1941 at the Paymaster Consolidated Gold Mines, South Porcupine, Ontario as a Mill-hand. He was an operator for the floatation and grinding mill and on mechanical repairs. Dominic had experienced ½ hour of flying experience as a passenger and he was interested in model airplanes. He played hockey, baseball and tennis extensively and badminton, lacrosse and rugby occasionally. On his Attestation Paper Dominic stated “I have always desired to be in the Air Force since leaving school and have filed applications twice to gain admittance.”
Dominic married Elizabeth Mary Housman on December 7, 1942 at Oakham, England. Elizabeth’s address at the time was Royal Air Force Station, Cottesmore England, she was a Corporal in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) [Service Number 424249]. She was later posted to RCAF Station Dunsfold, Horshan, Sussex, England. October 11, 1946 her address was: c/o Mrs. Jefferson, The Hallis Cottage, Crackford Park Road, Addlestone, Surrey England
When Dominic died on April 15, 1943 he had $31.03 in the Royal Bank of Canada, Lakefield; he had five $10.00 Certificates left with his father and a $1,000.00 insurance policy with London Life Insurance with his mother, Janette Concetta White as the beneficiary.
Copy of a note on file:
HQ J 16896 178
Regarding Section 19 of Form P. 64, there is an amount which is being collected by Porcupine Credit Corporation Ltd., 30 Third Ave., Timmins Ont. For car sold, the balance still unpaid being $125.39. Savings account HW 524 represents payments already made in this connection. We believe that this should be administered with the pay account.
COPY 149 Squadron,
149S/904/229/P.1. 17th April, 1943
Flying Battle Casua1ty involving, Stirling III
BF500 on the night of 14/15th April 1943.
I have the honour to refer to my signal A.157 dated 15th April, 1943, and state that on the night of 14/15th April, 1943 Stirling Mark III aircraft No.BM500 failed to return from an operational flight.
The crew who are, therefore, missing comprised of the following:
J16396 P/O White D.B. – Captain.
J10684 F/O Vallance L.G. – Navigator.
R91336 Sgt. Stover R.R. – W/OP/AG.
R121366 Foran T.W. – Navigator B.
1339292 Sgt. Payne K.S.A. – Air Gunner.
985405 Sgt. Farnen E. – Air Gunner.
1445443 Sgt. White A.J. – F/Engineer.
The aircraft was fitted with IFF, Lorenz, Gee Astrograph and carried incendiaries at the time of take off. The aircraft took off at 2157 hours on the 14th April 1943, the target being Stuttgart. No signals were received, and it failed to return to base. The aircraft is reported as Category E lost.
The next of kin of P/O White, Sgt. Payne, Farnen, White A.J. and the friend of Sgt. Stover (Mr. J. Roberts) have been informed. The next of kin of Flying Officer Va1lance and the mother of Sgt. Stover have not been informed. The next of kin of Sgt. Foran has also not been informed.
Notification has been received from the next of kin of Sgt. Payne stating that he has changed his address to – 23 North Street, South Minster, Essex.
The Under Secretary of State,
Air Ministry (P.4.Cas) I have the honour to be, Sirs
Adastral House, Your obedient Servant,
London,W.C.2. signed. ? Wing Commander, Commanding,
Copies to: Air Ministry C.1. Accdts. Glos. No. 149 Squadron, Lakenheath.
A.O.i/c Records, G1oucester.HQ.,No..3 Group. Headquarters, No 43 Group.
R.A.F. Station, Mildenhall.
THE DOMINIC BERNARD WHITE FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD
Dominic’s paternal grandparents are Norngiato Bianco and Eliz Abatta Nobili. His maternal grandparents are Donato Sabatino and Marguirite Mimicolo.
Dominic’s father’s birth name was Pasquale Bianco, after he and Janette Concetta (went by Jenny or Jennie) Sabatino were married, on October 12, 1909, he changed his name to “Patrick White”. Patrick White, was born about 1884 at San Vito Chietino in the Province of Chieti, (Italian: Provincia di Chieti), Italy. He lived in Lakefield Ontario, worked as a labourer and became a Canadian Citizen. Patrick’s wife, Jenny Sabatino, was born about 1892 in Belleville Ontario and lived in Lakefield. Patrick and Jenny had five children: Isabelle (Betty), born about 1910 (Mrs. Dever, lived in Lakefield); Marguerite, born February 11, 1912 (Mrs. Quackenbush, lived in Lakefield); Dominic Bernard, born January 24, 1914; Josephine, born about 1916 (Mrs. Tait, lived in Petrolia) and Assunta (Ditty), born about 1919 (Mrs. Merkley, lived in Lakefield).