Preparation
  Flight Sergeant James Schwerdfager - 431 Squadron  
 

Flight Sergeant James Elliott Schwerdfager - RCAF

 
F/Sgt James Schwerdfager was serving as Bomb Aimer on board Lancaster Mk. X  KB-813 coded SE-S during a cross country training flight on October 25, 1944 in preparation for the squadron conversion from Halifaxes to Lancasters. The aircraft inexplicably crashed 11 miles southwest of Bedford, near Tingrith. killing all on board.

The other crewmembers were:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

P/O Gordon Wrigley

RCAF

Pilot

Hawkstone,Ontario

21

Sgt Frederick Smith

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

Lincoln

21

P/O James Schwerdfager

RCAF

Bomb Aimer

Ottawa, Ontario

20

P/O Robert Gillis

RCAF

Navigator

Halifax, Nova Scotia

22

F/Sgt Harvey Irwin

RCAF

Wireless Air Gunner

Barrie, Ontario

20

F/Sgt Alan Malaidack

RCAF

Air Gunner

Halifax, Nova Scotia

21

F/Sgt Harold Yerdon

RCAF

Air Gunner

Brockville, Ontario

21

.

 

 Flight Sergeant James Elliott Schwerdfager RCAF was born on May the 21st 1924, the son of Charles H and Nellie Schwerdfager of 344 Gilmour Street, Ottawa Ontario. He had one sister, Marjorie and four brothers, Gerald, Harold, Bruce and Charles (Assistant manager of EFTS No 13 School,St. Eugene). He was educated at Lisgar Collegiate and Technical High School. His hobbies were photography and basketball. 

  After completing his studies, he joined the RCAF aged seventeen and a half in 1941.After basic training at Toronto and St.Eugene, he graduated and gained his wings as air bomber at Portage Le Prairie in October 1943.After being sent overseas in October 1943 he was attached to 431 squadron after stops at 82 OTU and 1666 HCU.

 Sergeant Smith is buried in Newport Cemetery. The 5 Canadian crew members rest in Brookwood Military Cemetery.

 Sergeant Yerdon rests in the town cemetery of his wife’s home town of Accrington, he is also remembered on the Roll of Honour for Brockville Collegiate Institute & Vocational School, Ontario.

 Wireless Operator Sgt Harvey Irwin RCAF is remembered on the Veterans Affairs of Canada, under Eastview Secondary School in a special tribute written by his great-nephew-Jordan Mosley.

 James Schwerdfager is remembered on the headstone in the family plot in Ottawa as well as by Cora E. Doherty, a loving friend.

 

 
  Photos courtesy of Amanda Lambert, research by Linda Ibrom.