Flying Officer Alexander Colville - 408 Squadron  
   

 

 

 Flying Officer Alexander Colville was piloting Lancaster Mk.II LL718 coded EQ-E during an operation to Stuttgart on March 15/16, 1944. The aircraft left Linton-on-Ouse at 1903hrs, but failed to return.

 The entire crew was lost without a trace, it consisted of:

Name Service Trade Hometown Age
F/O Alexander Colville  RCAF Pilot Bowmanville, Ontario 27
Sgt Michael Kalms  RAFVR Flight Engineer Edgeware, Middlesex 19
F/O William Reid RCAF Navigator - -
F/O Moody Siddons  RCAF Bomb Aimer Langford, B.C 30
W/O1 Arthur Hodson  RCAF W/Op/AG New Westminster, B.C 27
Sgt Francis Smith  RAFVR M/U Gunner - -
Sgt Dennis Davies  RAFVR Rear Gunner Rhondda, Glamorgan 21

 Flying Officer Alexander “Alex” Colville was the first born of three sons of Alexander and Annie Josephine of Bowmanville, Ontario, (near Toronto). He worked locally at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. before enlisting in the RCAF at Toronto on the 9th of September 1940.

 He served in Canada, Newfoundland and overseas. Graduating as a Flight Sergeant Air Gunner, he re-mustered and was later awarded his Pilot's wings and commissioned as a Pilot Officer.

The Colville family suffered horrific losses during the war as Alex's two brothers who were also pilots in the Royal Canadian Air force also lost their lives. William “Bill” Colville was killed on 6th May 1942 while serving in #11 Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron. His other brother John “Sandy” Colville was killed in action on 18th August 1944 when his Hawker Typhoon (Fighter-Bomber) was hit by flak in France.

 

 Local veteran Bill Calver researched the Colville brothers military history and on June the 2nd 1996 a dedication ceremony took place of “The Colville Memorial Clock Tower” in Rotary Park, Queen Street, Bowmanville, dedicated to the three Colville brothers.

 A painting created by the Canadian aviation artist Don Connolly was commissioned with support from the Colville’s brothers niece Connie Hooey and brother-in-law Hugh Mechin and was donated to the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 178, Bowmanville. 

 F/O (P) Dick Watson (ret’d) of Wawa, Ontario composed a poem for the occasion which is mounted on a second plaque in Rotary Park.

A Memorial Cabinet was dedicated to the Colville brothers at the RCAF Association, 416 Wing at Kingston Airport on July 8th 1994.

The Colville brothers youngest sister, Catherine Mechin (nee Colville) died on January 1st 1996.

 

 

 
 

Photos courtesy of Bill Calver and the Colville family, research by Linda Ibrom.