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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Douglas Alexander Gunn

In memory of:

Flight Sergeant Douglas Alexander Gunn

November 24, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

R/193562

Age:

22

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

419 (Moose) Squadron

Additional Information


Born:

July 28, 1922

Commemorated on Page 324 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

HARROGATE (STONEFALL) CEMETERY
Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Sec. H. Row C. Grave 16.

Location:

The town cemetery is on the south east side of Harrogate, Yorkshire. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's plot is in the southern part of the cemetery. To reach the cemetery from Harrogate, go along the Harrogate/Wetherby road (A661) to the junction with the A59. The cemetery is signposted at this junction. This cemetery contains war graves of both world wars. The large majority of the war burials occurred during the 1939-45 War. Nearly all are airmen, two-thirds of them belonging to the Canadian forces. Many of these men died in the Military Wing of Harrogate General Hospital. Of the many airfields established in Yorkshire during the War, a number were situated in the vicinity of Harrogate. Such were the R.A.F. station at Harrogate itself, and those at Linton-on-Ouse, Tockwith, Rufforth and Marston Moor. Nearly all the Canadians buried here belonged to No. 6 (R.C.A.F.) Bomber Group, whose headquarters were at Allerton Park. All the stations controlled by this Group were in the area north of Harrogate in the Vale of York, the largest base having its headquarters at Linton-on-Ouse. During the early months of the war a piece of land was set aside by the local authorities for service war burials near the north-west corner of the cemetery. This group of war graves is in Sections 20E and 21E within the northern boundary. In July 1943 the Air Forces Section was opened at the north-eastern corner of the cemetery, where men from airfields in Yorkshire and the north-eastern counties were brought, most of whom died in the great bomber offensive on targets in Germany.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

  • 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 Douglas Alexander Gunn is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Flight Sergeant Douglas Alexander Gunn is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of DOUGLAS ALEXANDER GUNN– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of DOUGLAS ALEXANDER GUNN– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Attestation paper– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Attestation paper– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Toronto Star December 1944. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Toronto Star December 1944. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Douglas Alexander Gunn– R193562 Flight Sergeant Douglas A. Gunn
Son of Mr. and Mrs Douglas Gunn of 95 Lawrence Avenue, Toronto (1945)
Former student of Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute (Toronto)
  • Newspaper clipping– Memorialized on the pages of the Globe and Mail. Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Highschool registration card for Douglas Gunn.  He attended Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute for only one year, 1939-40.
  • Letter (October 12, 1993)– Letter to Archives Canada from the Historian of 419 Sqadron about the Gunn crash.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Report of accident– Flying Accident Report page 1

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Report of accident (page 2)– Flying Accident Report page 2

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Report of accident (page 3)– Flying Accident Report page 3

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Report of accident (page 4)– Flying Accident Report page 4

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Listing of Casualties– Flying Battle Casualty Letter naming all of the crew members and their next of kin.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter– Next of Kin Letter from the Squadron CO.  It describes the ceremony of the mass burial of the crew and sets out the circumstances of the crash for the parents.  

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Record sheet– Gunn's Airman's Record Sheet page 1
This gives details of his enlistment and his trade qualifications.  His voyage to England lasted 8 days.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Record sheet (page 2)– Air Man's Record Sheet pg 2


Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Record of Service– Gunn's RCAF Record of Service. pg 1

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Record of Service (page 2)– Gunn's RCAF Record of Service. pg 2

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Record of Service (page 3)– Gunn's RCAF Record of Service. pg 3

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Court of Inquiry (Page 1)– Court of Inquiry into the Crash of Lancaster KB785

These four pages of the investigation into this crash came to the conclusion that the pilot, Mansfield, confused the Cold Air Intake handle for the engines with the handle for the Fuel Dump Switches.  The fuel switches failed to function fully and gasoline entered the aircraft and ignited.  
Sixteen witnesses were called by the Board and there were conflicting statements that the Court had to resolve.  Please read all four pages  to understand the loss of this crew because of lack of training and experience.  Please note that after this crash, all of the Fuel Dump Switches for these aircraft were is disabled on orders from the Officer Commanding 6 Group, Bomber Command.

Source: Library and Archives Canada RG24 Vol 28179 (Mansfield, RG) via Robert W. Whitehouse
  • Court of Inquiry (Page 2)– Court of Inquiry into the Crash of Lancaster KB785

page 2

Source: Library and Archives Canada RG24 Vol 28179 (Mansfield, RG) via Robert W. Whitehouse
  • Court of Inquiry (Page 3)– Court of Inquiry into the Crash of Lancaster KB785

page 3

Source: Library and Archives Canada RG24 Vol 28179 (Mansfield, RG) via Robert W. Whitehouse
  • Court of Inquiry (Page 4)– Court of Inquiry into the Crash of Lancaster KB785

page 4

Source: Library and Archives Canada RG24 Vol 28179 (Mansfield, RG) via Robert W. Whitehouse
  • Gravemarker of D A Gunn
  • Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery– Harrogate, Yorkshire, EnglandThe lady in this picture is standing in front of gravestone of Flight Sergeant Leslie Toth. The adjacent headstones are for the remaining members of the aircrew:  John Murphy, George Warren-Darley, Richard Mansfield, Douglas Gunn, Allan Hirst, and Derrick Newland (RAF).
  • Memorial Plaque– This memorial plaque was dedicated on June 19, 1994 in Sedgefield, County Durham, England.

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