Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Hedley Forbes Doull

In memory of
Flying Officer
Hedley Forbes Doull
January 3, 1944

Military Service:

Service Number:
J/22588
Age:
21
Force:
Air Force
Unit:
Royal Canadian Air Force
Division:
432 Sqdn.

Additional Information:

Son of George Roy and Jessie Isobel Doull, of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Commemorated on Page 294 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information:

Cemetery:
BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY , Germany
Grave Reference:
5. B. 8.
Location:
The BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY is in the district of Charlottenburg, 8 kilometres west of the city centre, on the south side of the Heerstrasse. From Theodor Heuss Platz in the district of Charlottenburg near the exhibition hall complex and next to the olympic stadium, follow signs for Spandau, proceeding along the Heerstrasse. The Cemetery lies on the Heerstrasse on the left hand side of the road and 3 kilometres from Theodor Heuss Platz. Visitors should drive beyond the BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY to the traffic lights, then turn left directly onto a small one way street running parallel to the Heerstrasse. The Cemetery entrance is on this small one way road.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photo of Hedley Doull – This is Doull's intake photo, taken at the time the he was held at the Manning Depot.  If you look at his collar, you can see that he is wearing the uniform over his civilian shirt.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – This is the German Death Card taken from their documents and placed in Doull's pers file in Ottawa.  This was one of the ways the Germans were able to record where and when the dead airman were buried.  It contains all the details that local officials were able to glean from the crash site.  Any personal effects were placed in envelopes and put into storage.  At the end of the war, our Missing Research and Enquiry Units used these records to track down the location of missing airmen.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – Hedley Doull was part of the crew of Lancaster DS 739 captained by F/L John A. Allen of Toronto.  Allen had 6 missions done and his crew mostly 3 of less.  
This letter is from the CO of 423 Sqdn to the Air Ministry informing them of the squadron's losses in the raid on Berlin 2/3 Jan 44.  Each aircraft lost was reported separately as a file was created on each by the Missing Research and Enquiry division of the RAF.  They tracked down missing airman during and after the war.

Source: Library & Archives Canada G 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – This is Memo from the Air Force Casualty Officer to the Ministry explaining that the International Red Cross Committee had filed a statement on a member of the crew.  It does not identify the other bodies found but they are assumed to be the rest of the 7 man crew.  This starts the process of 'Presumption of Death' and notification of the Next of Kin that they are not 'missing' but presumed dead.  The file on the crew is now updated and sent to the MREU division of the RAF for further action after the war.

Source: Library & Archives Canada G 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – This message refers to the IRCC message that instigated the previous minute.  

Source: Library & Archives Canada G 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – Message En Claire
This telex from the Sqdn to the Air Ministry gives the details of the loss of this aircraft.  It is a Lancaster Mk II, Serial # DS 739, Call sign 'Y' .  It was carrying a 4000 lb 'cookie' blast bomb and 4 incindiery  containers.  As well the gunners had 8500 rounds of .303 ammunition.

The British family (Collier) have been informed that he is missing (Kinformed) but not the Canadian families.

These documents were taken from Doull's pers file stored in Ottawa.

Source: Library & Archives Canada G 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Letter – This letter from W/C Gunn to Doull's parents typifies the concern of the RCAF that next-of-kin always be kept current on the fate of their loved ones.  The on;y things that they never passed on to the NOK were the results of the exhumations and the conditions of identification of the bodies.  It was very difficult for the Graves Concentration Units and the Mobile Research & Enquiry Units to identify most of the bodies because the Germans ususally removed personal effects to storage before burial.  A crash of a 4 engined bomber loaded with fuel and explosives often left little to bury.  This was the case for F/L John Allen, the pilot of this aircraft.  You will notice this in some of the documents shown here.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – This letter from J Sturch in London to the CO of the REU in Berlin shows some of the problems encountered while searching for and recovering aircrew postwar.  Cobbett, an RCAF airman was exhumed by the Amricans as one of their own and only discovered to be Canadian when the ID team found his RCAF rank and brevets (badges).  Cobbett was one of Doull's crew mates.  He is now in Choloy French Cemetery, English Section and the other crew are in Berlin.  

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – This is the record of the graves in Kethen where the crew was initially buried.  You can see that the bodies identified during the exhumation by the MREU often did not match the German identification on markers.  Thus the need for a closer look at the bodies before reburial.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – The two pages of this report from Search Officer Prior shows the great pains that the RAF and RCAF took to identify their missing aircrew.  In this case, Cobbett was found but the other bodies identified by the Americans as his crew mates belonged to another aircraft.  (See page 2)

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – Page 2 of Prior letter.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document – This report by F/Lt Sailern was made after exhuming 16 bodies from the town cemetery in Koethen, Germany.  The first six were another crew, but the rest are from Doull's crew.  Notice the comment on Doull's name.  There was another Doull killed on the 1/2 Jan 44 in raids on Berlin and the body was recorded as being elsewhere.  This officer queries if there could be two Doull's not one.


Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 via R. Whitehouse
  • Photo of Hedley Forbes Doull – Flying Officer Hedley Doull courtesy McGill University archives

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