Language selection

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Michael Francis Headly

In memory of:

Pilot Officer Michael Francis Headly

January 21, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

J/86267

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

102 Sqdn.

Additional Information


Commemorated on Page 331 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Panel 250.

Location:

During the Second World War more than 116,000 men and women of the Air Forces of the British Commonwealth gave their lives in service. More than 17,000 of these were members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, or Canadians serving with the Royal Air Force. Approximately one-third of all who died have no known grave. Of these, 20,450 are commemorated by name on the Runnymede Memorial, which is situated at Englefield Green, near Egham, 32 kilometres by road west of London. The design of the Runnymede Memorial is original and striking. On the crest of Cooper's Hill, overlooking the Thames, a square tower dominates a cloister, in the centre of which rests the Stone of Remembrance. The cloistered walks terminate in two lookouts, one facing towards Windsor, and the other towards London Airport at Heathrow. The names of the dead are inscribed on the stone reveals of the narrow windows in the cloisters and the lookouts. They include those of 3,050 Canadian airmen. Above the three-arched entrance to the cloister is a great stone eagle with the Royal Air Force motto, Per Ardua ad Astra". On each side is the inscription:
IN THIS CLOISTER ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF TWENTY THOUSAND AIRMEN WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE. THEY DIED FOR FREEDOM IN RAID AND SORTIE OVER THE BRITISH ISLES AND THE LANDS AND SEAS OF NORTHERN AND WESTERN EUROPE In the tower a vaulted shrine, which provides a quiet place for contemplation, contains illuminated verses by Paul H. Scott."

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Michael Francis Headly is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Michael Francis Headly is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of MICHAEL FRANCIS HEADLY– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Letter– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Letter– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Letter– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Letter– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Michael Headly– Headly, Michael Francis - Pilot Officer. Born 19th August, 1923, at Oliver, B.C. Educated at the County School, Milford, Wales, and the Grammar School, Haverfordwest, Wales. Entered the service of the Bank 19th June, 1940. Served at Mission City and Salmon Arm, B.C. Enlisted 7th October, 1941, from the latter branch in R.C.A.F. Sergeant in 1942; Flight Sergeant in 1943; Pilot Officer with effect as from 21st January, 1944. Trained at Edmonton, Alta., Fort William, Ont., and Brandon, Man. Overseas in October, 1943. Attached R.A.F.  Reported missing after air operations on 21st January, 1944. Officially presumed dead March, 1945.  One of the two survivors of the crew, the Wireless Operator, wrote: 'We were shot down by a German night fighter on our way to Magdeburg. Our aircraft was on fire and Mike gave the order to leave the aircraft. Our Bomb Aimer, Engineer and Mid Upper Gunner were all killed in the aircraft. The Rear Gunner was O.K. and said he was leaving, but I never heard any more of him. The Navigator left. After I put Mike's chute on, he said I had to leave. This I did, and I know that he gave his life for me as he would not leave the aircraft."  (Pilot Officer Headly was related on the maternal side to Fletcher Christian, R.N., the leader of the mutiny on board H.M.S. BOUNTY in 1789.)  From a memorial booklet prepared by the Canadian Bank of Commerce.
  • Memorial– Cenotaph is located in Centennial Park, Ganges, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
  • Plaque
  • Inscription

Learn more about the Canadian Virtual Memorial

To learn more please visit our help page. If you have questions or comments regarding the information contained in this registry, email vac.cvwm-mvgc.acc@canada.ca or call us.

Date modified: