Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Aldo Bortolussi

In memory of:

Flight Sergeant Aldo Bortolussi

October 4, 1943

Military Service


Service Number:

R/172283

Age:

20

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

419 Sqdn.

Additional Information


Born:

June 17, 1923
Brule, Alberta

Enlistment:

June 29, 1942
Vancouver, British Columbia

Son of Marino and Amabele Bortolussi of Powell River, British Columbia.

Commemorated on Page 138 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

20. B. 31.

Location:

Rheinberg is 24 kilometres north of Krefeld and 13 kilometres south of Wesel, in the locality of Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal. The cemetery is 3 kilometres south of the centre of the town of Rheinberg on the road to Kamp Lintfort. From the motorway 57, turn off at Rheinberg and at the T junction follow the 510 in the direction Kamp Lintfort. The cemetery is a short way along this road on the right. The site of Rheinberg War Cemetery was chosen in April 1946 by the Army Graves Service for the assembly of Commonwealth graves recovered from numerous German cemeteries in the area. The majority of those now buried in the cemetery were airmen, whose graves were brought in from Dusseldorf, Krefeld, Munchen-Gladbach, Essen, Aachen and Dortmund; 450 graves were from Cologne alone. The men of the other fighting services buried here mostly lost their lives during the battle of the Rhineland, or in the advance from the Rhine to the Elbe. There are now 3,326 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated at Rheinberg War Cemetery. 156 of the burials are unidentified. There are also nine war graves of other nationalities, most of them Polish.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Flight Sergeant Aldo Bortolussi is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Flight Sergeant Aldo Bortolussi is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of ALDO BORTOLUSSI– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Group Photo– The crew of Halifax JD 204, from 419 Sqdn RCAF, was lost 4 October 1943 on the crew's 15th mission.  Takeoff was from Middleton St. George at 1740 Hrs, for target FRANKFURT.  Expected return 01:26 Hrs October 5th. Hamilton, Dale, Griffin and Bortolussi were killed in the crash.  Riley, McEwan, and Reay bailed out and were POW's.
Hamilton is standing in the rear 2nd from the left beside his friend Jack Dale.
Source of information: Library & Archives Canada via R. Whitehouse
Source of photograph: Mr. Robert E. Dale via R. Whitehouse
  • Group Photo– This picture is of F/O Bill Hamilton's crew after an air test at Middleton St George in July/August 1943.  The crew completed 14 missions and was shot down on the 15th trip, which was to Frankfurt.  They had just come back from a 9 day leave the previous day.  
The aircraft was shot down by a night fighter about 40-50 miles east of Mannheim.  The Halifax crashed at a site 8 km SW of Kirchberg (Sohren)
The four dead crew were buried side by side in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.
Hamilton   Plot 20 Row B Grave 28
Dale          Plot 20 Row B Grave 29
Griffin         Plot 20 Row B Greave 30
Bortolussi     Plot 20 Row B Grave 31

They are not quite in the order of the mae west photo, but almost.

Source: Photo from the Dale family archives via R Whitehouse
Source: All other data taken from the Dale file at Library & Archives Canada via R. Whitehouse
  • Letter 1, Page 1– Letter #1 pg 1 Nov 5, 1943

Here are two letters to Mrs. A. Dale, the mother of the Bomb Aimer in Aldo's crew.  The letters speak for themselves as to the emotional stress caused by those telegrams that they all dreaded receiving.  These two letters are taken from the Dale Family archives.  

Source: Dale family archives via R. Whitehouse
  • Letter 1, Page 2– Letter #1 pg 2   Nov 5, 1943

Source: Dale family archives via R. Whitehouse
  • Letter 1, Page 3– Letter #1 pg 3   Nov 5, 1943

Source: Dale family archives via R. Whitehouse
  • Letter 2, Page 1– Letter #2 pg 1   15 December, 1943

The crew's families were all notified of their sons deaths on 21 November 1943 by the RCAF Casualty Officer.  The International Red Cross Society received the information that all four bodies were found in the wreckage of the aircraft by the German authorities.

Source: Letter from the Dale family archives via R. Whitehouse
            Information from Library & Archives Canada via R. Whitehouse
  • Letter 2, Page 2– Letter #2 pg 2   15 December, 1943

The crew's families were all notified of their sons deaths on 21 November 1943 by the RCAF Casualty Officer.  The International Red Cross Society received the information that all four bodies were found in the wreckage of the aircraft by the German authorities.

Source: Letter from the Dale family archives via R. Whitehouse
            Information from Library & Archives Canada via R. Whitehouse
  • Cemetery– Entrance - Rheinberg War Cemetery - May 2015
Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cemetery– Cross of Sacrifice - Rheinberg War Cemetery - May 2015
Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cemetery– Rheinberg War Cemetery - May 2015
Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Grave Marker– Grave marker - Rheinberg War Cemetery - May 2015
Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens

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