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Remembering World War II
Donald Grant Hamilton
Warrant Officer Class II (Air Gunner)
429 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force/Air Gunner
#1 Manning Depot, Toronto/Standard Tradesman
Date of Birth:
November 2, 1915
Place of Birth:
Raynardton, Yarmouth NS
Date of Enlistment:
August 2, 1941
Place of Enlistment:
Age at Enlistment:
Height: 5 feet, 8 inches
Next of Kin:
Elizabeth Rae Hamilton (Mother) Raynardton, Yarmouth Co., NS
Mother: Place of Birth Richfield, Digby Co., NS
Date of Death:
December 4, 1943
Age at Death:
Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery (Berlin, Germany)
Coll. grave 8. D. 35-37.
Commemorated on page167 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance
Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on April 7
The 47th name on the WWII list of the Yarmouth War Memorial
Donald was the son of Alfred V. Hamilton and Elizabeth Rae (Bullerwell) Hamilton, of Raynardton, Yarmouth Co., Nova
Scotia. Brought up on a farm, he finished his grade 10 in 1930 and continued to work on the farm and did some truck driving.
He enjoyed reading, fishing, baseball, tennis, skating and swimming.
After the death of his father, and the youngest and only child living at home, he was the sole support of his mother. He
was a brother to Arnold Wilbur (aged 39 in 1943 and living in Dorchester, Mass., US); Harold Vernard, (aged 37 living in
Brooklyn, Yarmouth Co., NS); Lloyd Archibald (aged 36 at No.60 CIBTC Yarmouth); Mrs Ardis Muriel Fergerson (aged 31, living in
Yarmouth); Mrs. Laura Annie Wood (age 27 living in Raynardton); Mrs. Shirley Raynard (aged 23 living in Raynardton); and Ethel
Marion Hamilton (aged 17 living in Raynardton). A sister, Bessie Marguerite died June 20, 1909 aged two days.
He completed Basic Training at # 60 CABTC Yarmouth (Course No.3), Private Infantry, between January 10 and February
8, 1941 and served in the Reserves (West Nova Scotia). He initially enlisted with the RCAF in December 1941 as a stranded
tradesman (transport driver) On June 6, 1942, Donald applied for enlistment as an air gunner with the RCAF. In his interview
with R.D. MacLeod, Flying Officer he readily admitted he wanted to get more action, was keen to fly, and although didn’t know
machine guns he was a good rifle shot. He was assessed as better than average material, bright, and cooperative.
He served in the United Kingdom, arriving there on November 5, 1942, with 23 Operational Training Unit, 426 Squadron,
and joined 429 Squadron on March 24, 1943.
On the night of December 3, 1943 Squadron 429 left its base at 23.54 hrs. In the early morning of December 4, at 03:40
hrs. near Wittenmoor, the Halifax aircraft in which he was an air gunner, was shot down by a night fighter 15 km. south-west of
Stendal. The aircraft burst into flames and exploded in mid-air and the wreckage was strewn over a wide area. Two men
bailed out, Flight Officer H. M. Brown and Sergeant D. Bruno and were taken as prisoners of war. The bodies of three were
recovered, two of them from among the wreckage. (Gunner D. S. Hamilton, Sergeant G. R. Hooper and Pilot Officer F
Hingston). No trace could be found of the remaining three (Flight Officer W. E. Hampton, Flight Sergeant J. C. Lochhead, and
Sergeant J. R. Williams).
The aircraft (Halifax JD 361) was initially listed as “missing” when RCAF Squadron returned from the air operation over
Leipzig, Germany. Donald Hamilton was subsequently reported “missing believed killed” based upon German information
reported through the International Red Cross (September 12, 1944).
Sources and Information:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Veterans Affairs Canada
Donald Grant Hamilton
Photo: Uwe Jenrich