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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

John Carr Francis

In memory of:

Warrant Officer John Carr Francis

June 10, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

R/148538

Age:

22

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

90 (R.A.F.) Sqdn

Additional Information


Son of Harry C. Francis and Kathleen Carr Francis, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Commemorated on Page 308 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

BEROU-LA-MULOTIERE COMMUNAL CEMETERY
Eure-et-Loir, France

Grave Reference:

Grave 2.

Location:

Berou-la-Mulotiere is a village and commune 30 miles (48 kilometres) north-west of Chartres and 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of Dreux, a town on the N.12 road from Paris to the west of France. The cemetery is on the south-eastern side of the village on a track leading up a steep hill opposite the church. In the south-eastern corner are the graves of four airmen of the Royal Air Force and three airmen of the Royal Canadian Air Force who died during the 1939-1945 War.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Memorial– Warrant Officer John Carr Francis is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Warrant Officer John Carr Francis 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
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Toronto Star February 1943. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Toronto Star July 1944. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of John Francis– This is a picture of John Francis taken tghe first week of his time in the RCAF.  John is a very large man for the time (6'2" and 200 lbs).  His service number is on his chest.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Identification Card– ID Card from the Francis pers file in Ottawa.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Photo of John Carr Francis– Francis, John Carr - Warrant Officer, Class 1. Born 25th February, 1922, at Toronto. Educated at John Ross Robertson Public School and Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, Toronto. Entered the service of the Bank 2nd July,
1941. Served at Toronto city branches. Enlisted 12th January, 1942, from Oakwood & Vaughan (Toronto) in R.C.A.F. Sergeant Observer 27th October, 1942; Warrant Officer, Class I, 9th April, 1944. Trained at Toronto, Victoriaville, Que., and London and Jarvis, Ont. One of first class to graduate in bombing under British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Overseas in December, 1942.  Killed on active service over France 11th June, 1944. Buried in the French Cemetery at Betou-la.Mulottiète, France.From a memorial booklet prepared by the Canadian Bank of Commerce.
  • Photo of John Francis– Two of the pictures from Francis' pers file in Ottawa.  Here he is a Sgt.Air Bomber. (See the stripes in the lower left of the picture.)  Unlike many intake photos, this airman is not smiling.  He was promoted to Sgt on the 9th Oct 1942.
Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– This is the registration card filled out by WO Francis when he entered high school on Sept 1, 1936.  This was the first year that the school operated.  He graduated in the first class to do so, June 1941.  Notes on the bottom are from office staff on learning of his death.
  • Newspaper Clipping– Memorialized on the pages of the Globe and Mail. Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper Clipping– Memorialized on the pages of the Globe and Mail. Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper Clipping– The Toronto Star March 5, 1945, page 26
  • Document– Letter from the Air Ministry to the RCAF Records Officer detailing the known facts about the crash and the subsequent discovery and burial of the crew.  This was Francis' 13th mission.  

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– Bomber Mail Message 30 May 45 (page 1)
This story shows how difficult it was to find all of the missing airman after the war.  Here a French woman goes to the Red Cross and tells them about the crash.  Meanwhile, the RAF Missing Research and Enquiry Units are scouring Europe for the missing men.  It was often this type of event that located these missing men.  The RAF interviewed the local inhabitants of every little hamlet or village about crashed aircraft or deaf Allied airmen.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– Bomber Mail Message 30 May 45 (page 2)


Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– Bomber Mail Message 30 May 45 (page 2)
Message from 90 Sqdn RAF to the Air Ministry detailing the facts known about the missing Lancaster Mk III ME149 in which JC Francis disappeared over France.  It gives the Latitiude and Longitude of the target as well as the base from which it flew.  This was to help future searchers look for the missing aircraft if it was not reported found.  Note that this message indicates that the next-of-kin have been notified before 11 June 44.  This is rather quick since the aircraft had only been missing fr about 24 hours.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– This Minute 1 document  from February of 1945 states that the Cure (priest) of the village of Berou in France had report to the 9th Air Force (US) that the crew were buried in the local Communal Cemetery.  The decision was to leave the bodies there until the Grave Concentration Units of the CWGC moved them to a Military Cemetery.  Only two of the bodies were identified by the French who buried them.  The others were too badly burned to be identified without an exhumation.
Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– This is Francis' Record of Service up to 1943.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– This is the final Graves Registration Report on the 7th of June 1946, almost two years to the day they died.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– This report by #1 MREU mentions that an American airman had been buried with the crew of the Lancaster in July 44.  The Americans removed him in 1945, leaving just the Francis crew in the grave.
They included a diagram of the cemetery marking the aircrew graves.,p.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– Page 2 of the #1 MREU report

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document– The final MREU report on 18 Jan 48

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG 24 Vol 27539 via R. Whitehouse
  • Document

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