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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Joseph Francis Fitzgibbon

In memory of:

Sergeant Joseph Francis Fitzgibbon

January 29, 1945
Hoveringham, Nottinghamshire, England

Military Service

Service Number:



Air Force


Royal Canadian Air Force

Additional Information

Son of Joseph and Pauline Fitzgibbon of St. John's, Newfoundland.

Commemorated on Page 158 of the Newfoundland Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Sec. G. Row F. Grave 11.


The town cemetery is on the south east side of Harrogate, Yorkshire. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's plot is in the southern part of the cemetery. To reach the cemetery from Harrogate, go along the Harrogate/Wetherby road (A661) to the junction with the A59. The cemetery is signposted at this junction. This cemetery contains war graves of both world wars. The large majority of the war burials occurred during the 1939-45 War. Nearly all are airmen, two-thirds of them belonging to the Canadian forces. Many of these men died in the Military Wing of Harrogate General Hospital. Of the many airfields established in Yorkshire during the War, a number were situated in the vicinity of Harrogate. Such were the R.A.F. station at Harrogate itself, and those at Linton-on-Ouse, Tockwith, Rufforth and Marston Moor. Nearly all the Canadians buried here belonged to No. 6 (R.C.A.F.) Bomber Group, whose headquarters were at Allerton Park. All the stations controlled by this Group were in the area north of Harrogate in the Vale of York, the largest base having its headquarters at Linton-on-Ouse. During the early months of the war a piece of land was set aside by the local authorities for service war burials near the north-west corner of the cemetery. This group of war graves is in Sections 20E and 21E within the northern boundary. In July 1943 the Air Forces Section was opened at the north-eastern corner of the cemetery, where men from airfields in Yorkshire and the north-eastern counties were brought, most of whom died in the great bomber offensive on targets in Germany.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images

  • Photo of Joseph Francis FitzGibbon– St. John's, Newfoundland
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Sergeant Joseph Francis Fitzgibbon is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Sergeant Joseph Francis Fitzgibbon is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of JOSEPH FRANCIS FITZGIBBON– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– Joe was remembered in this newspaper clipping in a local St. John's paper after he died during flying operations on January 29, 1945.
  • Letter– Dear Mr Fitzgibbon,
I suppose you have now heard about Joe.
I hope his mother and the rest of the family will not take it too hard. It happened four days ago and this is the first time I was able to sit down and write a letter. You need not worry about Joe as far as religion goes, for it was only the morning before it happened that he got me out of bed to go to Mass, Joe went to Confession at five on Saturday.
They took off at half eight Sunday evening on a test cross country; I was down to the plane to see them off. About one or two in the morning, the boys heard a loud noise, I didn't because I was asleep. An officer told me about it in the morning.
It all happened like this: early in the morning they were seen over base, trying to land. Their port engines were on fire, the next they just blew up, nobody got out. I suppose I was lucky, you see I happened to have a bad head cold, and I went to M. D. and asked to be grounded. It was the first time in my life that I was grounded.
At present I am looking for a new crew but I shall never get another crew as the boys.
Well, I'll close for now...give my regards to all at home.
  • Grave marker

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