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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Joseph Adrien Leo Potvin

In memory of:

Warrant Officer Class I Joseph Adrien Leo Potvin

April 8, 1945

Military Service


Service Number:

R/159132

Age:

30

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

1659 Heavy Conversion Unit

Additional Information


Born:

November 26, 1914

Son of Charles Napoléon and Amelia (Montpetit) Potvin, of Edmonton, Alberta.

Commemorated on Page 555 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 281.

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
  • Photo of JOSEPH ADRIEN LEO POTVIN– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of JOSEPH ADRIEN LEO POTVIN– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Id Card– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Joseph Adrien Léo Potvin– Léo volunteered to serve in the Air Force after intensive studies to complete his school education which had been interrupted at the age of 15 to help support his family.  He worked for 12 years as a bell-boy at the Macdonald Hotel in Edmonton, where he was well regarded.  During this time, he had become close friends with the famous aviator,  Captain Wilfred 'Wop' May, OBE.

Léo loved sports and distinguished himself in skating and hockey.   

He left behind his parents and 15 brothers and sisters.  Seven of his siblings served in the Canadian Armed Forces and two others served with the auxiliary forces.
  • Photo 2 of Joseph Adrien Léo Potvin– This photo of Léo was taken in 1935.
  • The Potvin Family
  • Family photo– The Potvin's are coming for supper - lined up by age, photo c. 1935.
  • Wedding picture– Wedding picture - Charles Potvin and Amélia Montpetit - Léo Potvin's Mom and Dad, photo c. 1910.
  • Family Portrait– Potvin family Portrait, c. 1935.
  • LV 935– NB: The aircraft and the crew shown  in the photo are not from the # LV 935
(Unknown)

The #1659 Heavy Conversion Unit Halifax aircraft #LV 935 was stationed at
Topcliffe air base Yorkshire, England

April 8, 1945, LV 935 was on a practice bombing exercise that would normally be to one of the practice 'bombing ranges' along the east coast of England.  Usually this would involve a bit of navigation exercise as well, and this would normally always include a period of time over the sea.

The fact that the crew, are all commemorated at Runnymede suggests that they came down into the sea somewhere off the British coast during the navigation part of the exercise.

Casualty list of LV 935

J.G.L.R. Sicotte, Pilot/ O - J.A.R.G.  Héroux Flying/ O, J.L.P.Routhier Flying/ O J.E.Stillings Flying/O J.A.L. Potvin Warrant Officer 1 - J.C.P. Laferrière Flight/sgt
J.C. Valiquette Flight/sgt  J.Stevenson Sergeant


All of them have no known grave and their names are inscribed on Runnymede Memorial.
  • Memorial– Inscription - Runnymede Memorial - April 2017 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Warrant Officer Class I Joseph Adrien Leo Potvin is commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Warrant Officer Class I Joseph Adrien Leo Potvin is commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens

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