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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Edward Philip Devaney

In memory of:

Pilot Officer Edward Philip Devaney

January 29, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

J/19399

Age:

19

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Additional Information


Born:

April 3, 1924

Son of Charles Michael and Catherine Devaney, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Commemorated on Page 290 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Panel 250.

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 kilometers 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

  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Edward Philip Devaney is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Edward Philip Devaney 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 Edward Phillip Devaney– This picture of Edward Phillip Devaney was taken after his graduation as a pilot.  He now has his sergeant's stripes.

Source: Library and Archives Canada via R. W. Whitehouse
  • Photo of Edward Philip Michael Devaney– This picture was taken on 08 October 1941 for his ID Card.  There is quite a change in his appearance from his intake photo.

Source:Library and Archives Canada RG24 Vol 25202 via Robert Whitehouse
  • Document– RCAF copy of the Investigation into the disappearance of his Halifax after a raid on Berlin. 

Source: Library and Archives Canada via R. W. Whitehouse
  • Training Report– RAF Training Report from No. 23 OTU  (page 1)

This is Devaney's final report on his refresher course in England.  From Here he would be posted to a HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit) for experience on heavy bombers.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG24 Vol 25202 via Robert Whitehouse
  • Training Report– RAF Training Report from No. 23 OTU  (page 2)

This page shows that he was flying Wellington twin engined bombers and had only 15 hours of day and 11 hours of 'stick' time at the OTU. The lower half of the page states he has 83 hours at controls.  
#8 states that he did no "Nickels".  These were propaganda leaflet raids over France used to give new pilots experience over enemy territory.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG24 Vol 25202 via Robert Whitehouse
  • Letter– Memo from No. 3 Missing Research and Enquiry Unit (RAF) 1 Apr 45

This memo refers to a body that washed ashore in Denmark.  It had an ID disc with the partial inscription of James (E. or B. ?) Parker.  It was barely legible.  That could have referred to 1077776 Sgt Parker E. the flight engineer aboard Devaney's aircraft.  He was RAF.  
Authorities later decided that the body was that of an American aircrew.

Source of Document: Library & Archives Canada via Robert Whitehouse
  • Document– Devaney Casualty Inquiry 17 Apr 46

This document taken from Devaney's file in Ottawa lists the crew by Service No., Rank, and crew position.  Note that the only RAF member is the Flight Engineer.  It was the discovery of a body with the ID tag of Parker that started the search for the crew.

Source: Library and Archives Canada RG24 Vol 25202 vis Robert Whitehouse
  • Document– Declaration of Particulars by Family for the Estate of P/O E P Devaney pg 2

This document was filled out by Edward's mother on confirmation of his death.  You can see that his father died just before he enrolled in the RCAF.  He was supposedly 18 yrs old.  Both brothers are in the Service and there are three sisters at home.  Thus, there were no men at home for the Devaney's during the war.

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG24 Vol 25202 via Robert Whitehouse
  • Document– Declaration of Particulars pg 3
His mother states that he was born in Liverpool England on April 3, 1924.  His service records say 1923.  Like many young men of the time, Edward couldn't wait to join up.  Since it is doubtful his mother didn't remember his birthday, you have to wonder about the birth  information he supplied the RCAF with.  Thus, he really was just 19 when he died overseas.

If add up the years in section 13 of this document you can see that he was just 17 when he joined.  

Source: Library & Archives Canada RG24 Vol 25202 via Robert Whitehouse
  • Document– This is the document that got Edward into the RCAF at age 17.  His mother deducted a year from his actual birth date so he could sign up.  Because his birth was in England, the authorities had no way to check.  His mother put his actual date of birth on the Estate Declaration after he was killed.  Perhaps she forgot this document.


Source: Library and Archives Canada RG24 Vol 25202 via Robert Whitehouse
  • Document– Edward got himself in trouble with the RCAF during flight training when he did a little low level flying, contrary to orders and damaged his aircraft.  If you think about a teen age boy in a high-powered aircraft just enjoying himself, you can understand.  The RCAF frowned on this activity because the 'trainees' often made fatal mistakes that they could not recover from at such low altitudes.  
Ed received 29 days detention and loss of pay that came with it.  He never did that again and his later instructors found him to be a better than average pilot and a good crew captain.

Source: Library and Archives Canada RG24 Vol 25202 via Robert Whitehouse
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Loyal Edmonton Regimental magazine the Fortyniner.  Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me

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