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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Elmer Robert Vance

In memory of:

Pilot Officer Elmer Robert Vance

April 21, 1943
Kongsmark, Denmark

Military Service


Service Number:

J/16604

Age:

25

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

7 (R.A.F.) Sqdn

Additional Information


Son of Robert E. Hudson and Martha Vance, of Bethune, Saskatchewan.

Commemorated on Page 222 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

SVINO CHURCHYARD
Denmark

Grave Reference:

Coll. grave 9.

Location:

Svino is small village in Southern Zealand, overlooking Dybso Fjord, some 90 kilometres south-south-west of Copenhagen. The British Plot is in an extension of the SVINO CHURCHYARD, to the north of the church.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Elmer Robert Vance is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Elmer Robert Vance is also 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
  • Photo of ELMER ROBERT VANCE– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Grave marker– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Group Photo– Crew of Stirling I R9261.  Story and photo courtesy of Airwar Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com

Stirling I R9261 from 7 (RAF) Sqn was on a mission to Stettin April 21, 1943.   While attacking, the aircraft was hit in one of the engines and left the target area in a height of 2000 feet on a north westerly course which would take the aircraft across the island of Falster and The Great Belt. When Pilot F/Lt Charles W. Parish spotted a ship, he turned right which brought the Stirling over Sjælland. Flt.Engr. Sgt Donald V. Smith, DFM, RCAF, now spotted a Messerschmidt Bf 110 night fighter on the Stirling¿s port side and shouted on the intercom for Parish to take evasive action. At the same moment the Stirling came under fire; was hit, and went out of control.
Parish gave orders to leave the plane, and Smith crawled towards the aft emergency exit. When he reached it, he found W/Op Krulicki sitting crouching next to the only half opened door. Smith succeeded in opening it fully, and the vacuum this created sucked Smith out of the exit. During this, Smith could hear the rear gunner Sgt Jack Lees commence fire at the night fighter. 
Smith succeeded in deploying his parachute, and in the few seconds it took to reach the ground, he saw R9261 explode in a fireball. At 01:55 hours the Stirling fell to the ground approx. 500 meters North West of Kelstrup near Slagelse.

All except Smith perished. Apart from Parish and Krulicki the crew included S/L Wilfred A. Blake acting as second pilot, Navigator P/O Elmer R. Vance RCAF, Air Bomber, F/S James S. Marshall RCAF, and RAF Sgts (AG) Dennis C. Farley and Jack Lees.
They were all laid to rest on Svinø cemetery on April 24 1943.
  • Memorial– Photo of memorial to the crew of Stirling I R9261 erected at the crash site in 1993, courtesy of Airwar Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com.
  • Plaque– Plaque on memorial to the crew of Stirling I R9261 erected at the crash site in 1993.  The only survivor, F/Sgt. Donald V. Smith, took part in the unveiling of the monument.  The story of his escape can be found on Airwar Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com.  Photos and story used with permission.
  • Grave Marker– The only survivor of the crash, Donald V. Smith died in Ontario in October 10. 1998. His last wish was to rest among his crew in Svinø cemetery. During a ceremony held on May 4. 1999 his urn was set down next to the graves of his comrades. Attending were Danish friends and family from Canada, as well as a representative from no. 7 Sqn. Re-union Association. 
The story of his escape and those who assisted him can be found on Airwar Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com.  
Photos and story used with permission.

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