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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Edwin Erwin Phillips

In memory of:

Sergeant Edwin Erwin Phillips

November 4, 1945

Military Service

Service Number:





Air Force


Royal Canadian Air Force


168 (Heavy Transport) Sqdn.

Additional Information


May 23, 1921
Montreal, Quebec


June 24, 1942
Montreal, Quebec

Son of Edwin and Rachel Phillips of Montreal, Quebec.

He worked as a printer’s apprentice before volunteering for service with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942 during the Second World War. Only 21 years old when he enlisted, he would go on to work as a mechanic with the No. 168 Heavy Transport Squadron and rise to the rank of sergeant. As part of his duties, Phillips would sometimes accompany transatlantic cargo flights.

The eastern European country of Poland had suffered greatly during the Second World War and there was a serious shortage of medical supplies. The Canadian Red Cross donated tons of penicillin in response to the humanitarian crisis there after the end of the war and the military agreed to transport it overseas from Canada.

On November 4, 1945, the Flying Fortress aircraft carrying the vitally needed medicine to Warsaw, Poland crashed into a hilltop near Halle, Germany and burst into flames. Phillips and the four other crew members onboard were killed in the accident. The fallen Canadian airmen are buried at Munster Heath Cemetery in Germany.

Commemorated on Canada's Air Force Poland Humanitarian Plaque.

Commemorated on Page 554 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information

Grave Reference:

4. F. 22.


Munster is 57 kilometres south west of Osnabruck, and 62 kilometres north west of Dortmund. The MUNSTER HEATH WAR CEMETERY is 11 kilometres north east of the town of Munster, 3 kilometres north of the main road to Telgte and Osnabruck. Munster can be approached from the A43 or A1. Both motorways take you to the junction 'Kreuz Munster Sud'. From this junction follow the 51A road which becomes the 51 road to Telgte. When passing the railway station 'Haudorf' take the first road left which leads to the civil cemetery 'Waldfriedhof Lauheide'. MUNSTER HEATH WAR CEMETERY is signposted within the civil cemetery (with CWGC signs).

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images

  • Id Card– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Funeral– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Funeral– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Funeral– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Funeral– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Toronto Telegram November 1945. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Memorial– Photo taken by Hugh Halliday in 2009 in multi-faith military chapel at Uplands airfield. 
A Polish-Canadian artist, Mr. A. Birkenmeyer, had been commissioned to produce two plaques: one in Ottawa and the other for Warsaw.

  • Photo of Edwin Phillips
  • Group Photo– Left to right: Flight Lieutenant Norbert Roche, Squadron Leader Alfred Webster, Flight Lieutenant Donald Forest Caldwell, Flight Lieutenant Edward Harling and Sergeant Edwin Erwin Phillips. Source: Department of National Defence.

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