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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Ralph Nelson MacDonald

In memory of:

Flying Officer Ralph Nelson MacDonald

November 3, 1944

Military Service

Service Number:





Air Force


Royal Canadian Air Force


439 Sqdn.

Additional Information

Son of John Nelson MacDonald and Ethel MacDonald, of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.

Commemorated on Page 372 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:

XV. D. 15.


Groesbeek is located 10 km south east of the town of Nijmegen and close to the German frontier. The Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery is 3 km north of the village and 1500 metres east of the main road to Nijmegen. On leaving the A73 motorway at the junction Overasselt Mook Groesbeek follow directions to Mook. Follow direction signs towards Mook War cemetery. After passing Mook War cemetery continue to the village of Groesbeek to a set of traffic lights. Turn left at the lights onto Dorpstraat passing through Groesbeek. The road name then changes to Molenweg. A Commonwealth War Graves Commission direction sign indicates the right hand turning from Molenweg onto the Zeven Heuvelenweg. The Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery is located on the right hand side, about 1 km after entering this road. On the Memorial in the Canadian War Cemetery at Groesbeek are inscribed the following words:
Pro amicis mortui amicis vivimus, We live in the hearts of friends for whom we died.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Grave Marker– Photo of grave with list of witnesses.  LAC, Ottawa
  • Photo of Ralph Nelson MacDonald– Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Ralph Nelson MacDonald– MacDonald, Ralph Nelson - Flying Officer. Born 13th March, 1923, at Glace Bay, N.S. Educated at Glace Bay High School. Entered the service of the Bank 27th January, 1941. Served at Glace Bay. Enlisted 6th November, 1941, from that branch in R.C.A.F. Pilot Officer 20th November, 1942; Flying Officer 9th August, 1943. Trained at St. Thomas, Ont., Toronto, and Windsor Mills and St. Hubert, Que., graduating from the last-named school as honour student of his class. Served with 123 Squadron at Debert, N.S. Overseas in August, 1943. Served with 439 Squadron, with 41 operational flights as Typhoon pilot.  Killed on active service 3rd November, 1944, while testing a plane. Buried at Eindhoven, and later in permanent Military Cemetery, Numegen, Holland.  His Station Chaplain wrote: "He was so admired for his cool courage and generosity of spirit. He asked so little for himself and did so much for others."
A fellow-Pilot: "He was a great flier, well tried in battle, and never failed to hold his place no matter how much stuff they threw at him.  Everyone liked him and would willingly follow him on an op."From a memorial booklet prepared by the Canadian Bank of Commerce.
  • Memorial Page– From the Glace Bay High School 1947 year book, in memory of former students who served during the Second World War.
  • Year Book Cover

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