Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Ronald Alastair Gaskin

In memory of:

Flying Officer Ronald Alastair Gaskin

October 19, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

J/37339

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

184 (R.A.F.) Sqdn

Additional Information


Commemorated on Page 313 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY
Germany

Grave Reference:

15. C. 18.

Location:

The REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY is located 5 km south west of Kleve. From Kleve the cemetery is located, using the Hoffmannallee from the Town Centre, which becomes the Materbornerallee. This road enters Reichswald Forest and becomes the Grunewaldstrasse. Follow direction Gennep, entering Reichswald Forest the cemetery is situated 500 metres on the left. Alternatively from the motorway 57, take exit Kleve/Goch, which leads onto the 9 N road in the direction towards Kleve. After 3 km turn left on to the 504 direction Kranenburg. Reichswald cemetery is clearly signposted on the 504 at cross roads Grunewald. REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY is situated on the Grunewald Strasse direction Kleve on the right, 3 km from cross roads Grunewald.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photo of Ronald Alastair Gaskin– Pilot Officer Ronald A. Gaskin SJ37339
Former student of LPCI
  • Photo of Ronald Alastair Gaskin– Base Identification Card for Pilot Officer Ronald A. Gaskin.  Note the location of his training at RCAF Station Sea Island BC.  Ron married a British Columbian, Marie Anita McConnell.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Photo of Ronald Alastair Gaskin– P/O Gaskin shortly after being awarded his Wings.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Photo of Ronald Alastair Gaskin– Leading Aircraftsman Ronald Gasking in his Identification photo taken after joining the RCAF.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Photo of Ronald Alastair Gaskin– F/O Gaskin before his death in France.  He was flying Typhoons at the time.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • School registration card– School registration card for F/O Gaskin.  He entered North Toronto Collegiate in 1935 and transferred to Lawrence Park Collegiate in 1936.  He left Toronot in 1937 for Windsor, Ontario.
  • Newspaper Clipping (1 of 2)– Crash Report on MN851 (Hawker Typhoon) pg 1
  • Newspaper Clipping (2 of 2)– Crash Report on MN851 (Hawker Typhoon) pg 2
  • Newspaper clipping– Image source from the Windsor Daily Star
  • Document– This is the first page of Ron Gaskin's enlistment documents.  He enlisted in 1941.  He is a former student of Lawrence Park Collegiate in Toronto.
He was one of the sons of the manager and VP of Studebaker Corporation.  That accounts for his many changes of address and schools.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter (November 12, 1945)– The RAF looked for Ron's body for two years.  The location given here is incorrect.  The squadron was actually near Neukirkan, Germany.  That is eventually where he was found.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter– This letter informs the Casualty Officer that Gaskin's body was located in the military plot of a German cemetery near Neukirken.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter– Gaskin's CO filed this report the day after he was killed.  There was no ground fire and he was not killed by flying debris from the train.  According to the Germans, he was shot down by his wingman when he wandered into the fire from the other, higher, aircraft.  

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter– The CO of the squadron sent this letter to Ron's wife in Canada.  No one knew how he was killed until investigators talked to Germans from the area of Nekirkan who remembered the attack.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document– The Missing Enquiry and Search Units found this information if the German records.  It is how they found Gaskin's body. 

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document– This MREU document gives the details of the incident as best they could.  There was no ground fire from the German train or surrounding area.  Thus, Gaskin's aircraft had to have been shot down by his own side.
Perhaps it was best that the family never got this report from his file.  Friendly fire deaths area the most troubling for next-of-kin.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document– This checkbook was recovered from the grave in Neukirken.  It was confirmation for the RAF that the body was that of F/O R.A. Gaskin.  The search had taken almost three years.
Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Windsor Daily Star. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me

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