Pilot Officer Lorne Guernsey - 433 Squadron  
   

Pilot Officer Lorne Stanley Guernsey - RCAF

 

  On August 31,1944, Pilot Officer Lorne Guernsey was serving as Wireless Operator on  Halifax Mk. BIII MZ879 coded BM-O when it took off from Skipton on Swale at 1036 hours to attack the coastal gun battery at Ile de Cezembre. The aircraft was reported to have crashed into the North Sea with the loss of aboard.

The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/O James Beveridge

RCAF

Pilot

London,Ontario

26

Sgt Chalres Garrett

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

West Dulwich, London

36

P/O Frederic Harman

RCAF

Navigator

Victoria, B.C

31

P/O Wendell Long

RCAF

Bomb Aimer

Chemainus, B.C

21

P/O Lorne Guernsey

RCAF

W/Op/AG

Kenora, Ontario

25

P/O George Pharis

RCAF

Air Gunner

Magrath, Alberta

29

P/O James Hawkins

RCAF

Air Gunner

Toronto, Ontario

20

 Lorne Stanley Guernsey, known as Stan,  was born January 2, 1919 in Kenora, Ontario. He was the only child of Rose (Outen) and Stanley Guernsey. Stan grew up in Kenora and following high school worked at a number of jobs including apprentice mechanic and truck driver. Prior to enlisting in the RCAF in October 1941, Stan had been an aircraft inspector at Canada Car & Foundry in Fort William, Ontario for about eight months.

 Stan trained through 1942 as a wireless operator at No. 3 Wireless School in Winnipeg, Manitoba and as an air gunner at No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School, RCAF Mossbank, Saskatchewan. From November 1942 until March 1943, he was with #32 O.T.U. RAF which I believe was in Pat Bay, British Columbia. By June of 1943 and into 1944 Stan was in the U.K. at a number of training locations including Turnberry, Leuchars, and Long Marston.

On May 12, 1944 Stan received his commission and following a ten day period in June 1944 at No. 1666 C. U., he was flying with 433 Squadron at Skipton on Swale. F/O Beveridge was the pilot recorded in Stan’s flight log from the time at 1666 HCU until their last mission on August 31, 1944.

A copy of the letter to Stan’s mother from A.J. Lewington, Wing Commander, Officer Commanding, No. 433 (RCAF) Squadron says, in part: "Lorne and his crew took off from here, for the purpose of carrying out a bombing sortie over enemy territory, on the morning of the 31st of August, 1944 at approximately 10:35 a.m. This crew failed to return from this raid and nothing has been heard of them to this date."

The investigation into the loss of the aircraft determined that the crew was lost at sea, off the eastern tip of the Island of Cezemere which was their target. The last entry in Stan’s flying log book is noted as August 31, St. Malo and "missing".

Lorne Stanley Guernsey‘s name is inscribed on the Runnymede Memorial at Surrey, England on Panel 250. His name is also recorded with the other Canadians of Bomber Command who paid the ultimate price for our freedom on the Memorial at the Lancaster Museum at Nanton, Alberta.

 

Photo courtesy of the Guernsey family and Debi & Kim Smith, research by Linda Ibrom.