Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
December 11, 1941
Aircraft: RCAF Serial # 9053 Aircraft Type: Bristol Bolingbroke (Blenheim) Mk IV Unit: 119 Squadron (City of Hamilton, Hamilton Tigers) Based at: West Camp, RCAF Station Yarmouth RCAF 119 Squadron was stationed at Yarmouth from July 21, 1940 through to January 10, 1942 serving as anti-submarine reconnaissance. The Squadron's first mission was March 16, 1941, when four Bolingbroke's from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia escorted the Royal Navy's HMS Ramillies en route to Saint John, New Brunswick. Built by Fairchild Aircraft Ltd, Longueuil, QC, The Bolingbroke #9053, involved in the crash, was taken on strength by Eastern Air Command November 24, 1941. The Bolinbroke's three crew on December 11, 1941 were Sergeant (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) William Charles Whitman, aged 22, Sergeant (Pilot) John Frederick Riess, age 21, and Sergeant (Pilot) Earl Gordon Bawtinheimer. The history for Bolingbroke #9053 records that the crash occurred following engine failure on approach to Yarmouth at 4:12 PM and that it came down in the woods 1/4 of a mile from the end of the runway. It was the first fatal crash for 119 Squadron and all three crew died apparently from fractured skulls on impact. December 11, 1941 Casualties:
Bristol Bolingbroke (Blenheim) William Whitman's brother George Whitman recounts, "I was only 11 years old when my brother was killed, it seems to me that my parents were told that they were returning from a search for German subs in the Bay of Fundy and when they attempted to land the runway was busy, and while waiting for instructions to land, the motors cut out and they crashed on a pile of rocks near the airport."
Sergeant William Charles Whitman Trade: Wireless Operator Air Gunner (WAG) Service No: R/76029 Age: 22 Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force Cemetery: Lawrencetown (Fairview) Cemetery Son of Crofton Fitzgerald Uniacke Whitman (born 1885) and Emma May Whitman, of Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia
Sergeant John Frederick Riess   Trade: 			Pilot	 Service No:			R/75704 Age: 				21	 Regiment/Service:	Royal Canadian Air Force Cemetery: 			Hamilton (Woodland) Cemetery   				Son of Edward and Grace Riess of Hamilton, Ontario
Sergeant Earl Gordon Bawtinheimer	  Trade: 			Pilot Service No: 		R/75718 Age: 				23 	 Regiment/Service: 	Royal Canadian Air Force Cemetery: 			Dundas (Grove) Cemetery  	 Son of Peter and Myrtle May Bawtinheimer, of Hamilton, Ontario;   				Husband of Bette G. Bawtinheimer, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Sergeant William Charles Whitman
Sergeant William Charles Whitman - Burial
Sergeant William Charles Whitman
Photos: Courtesy of George Whitman, brother of Sergeant William Charles Whitman
Crash Site - December 11, 1941 Photo: Courtesy of George Whitman
copyright © Wartime Heritage Association 2012-2024 Website hosting courtesy of Register.com - a web.com company
Return to Crash Listing