Born: 14th November 1919, Cannington, Durham, Ontario, Canada.
Died: 5th May 1942, age 22 years, 5 months & 21 days; gun shot wound to right thigh, haemorrhage and shock.
Enlistment Details: Location: Toronto; Date: 25th October 1940. Height: 5ft 61/2ins, medium complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. Requested ground duties. His brother Howard J. Halward was of the No. 8 (B.R.) Squadron, North Sydney, N.S.W.
Wesly Hodgson – Baker.
G.B. Henderson – Druggist.
Clean cut chap. Good appearance, intelligent. Keen and alert, athletic strong determined type. Physique – stalky and heavy build. Will develop under training into first class Air Crew material.
Trained – 16 O.T.U., Upper Heyford R.A.F. Station, Bicester, Oxfordshire – Wireless Operator.
Re-class – Leading Aircraftman – 8th January 1941.
Promoted – Flight Sergeant – 23rd June 1941 – Air Gunners Badge – 23rd June 1941.
Rank: Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; Service Number: R/80540.
Regiment: Royal Canadian Air Force, 420 (Snowy Owl) Squadron.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of George H. Halward & Margaret Halward, of Cannington, Ontario, Canada.
1921 Cameron Street, Cannington, Ontario, Canada.
James was a year old and living with his parents & brother.
George Halward, 52, a Mason, born York, Ontario.
(Maude) Margaret Madeline Halward (nee Yenney), 28, born Sundridge, Ontario.
Howard George Halward, 7, Cannington, Durham, Ontario.
The Halward’s religion was CofE. James’s parents and brother could read & write.
James attended Cannington Primary School – 1925 – 1934 – Junior Matric., and Cannington High School – 1934 – 1938 – English Grammar, Physiography, British History, Geography, Physics & Algebra, Art, Zoology, Biology and Arithmetic.
Two brothers – James Edwin Halward 1911 – 1914 – died by accidental drowning.
Howard George Halward – of the No. 8 (B.R.) Squadron, North Sydney, N.S.W.
Past Times: Hockey, Baseball, tennis, and swimming. Athletics – Beaverton Junior C. Team. Hunting wild fowl & small game.
Telephone Operator (nights), Cannington, Durham – 1935 – 1938 – left for chance of a better job.
Truck Driver – Wesly Hodgson, Truck Drivers, Cannington, Durham – 1938 – 1940 – left for better position.
The Royal Message was sent to James’s mother on the 15th May 1942, the Memorial Cross was sent on the 10th June 1942.
5th May 1942
Aircraft: Handley Page Hampden; serial number: P1187; code: PT-X; based at Waddington, Lincolnshire. The Hampden (known as a flying suitcase) took off at 21:56hrs on a night bombing operation on the Robert Bosch Factory, at Stuttgart, Germany. The target was almost completely cloud covered resulting in a very poor outcome. The city was heavily defended by all types of flak and searchlights as well as night fighters. P1187 was on the journey home when it was attacked three times by a German night fighter ME110. The Hampden was able to evade the first two attacks but the third attack hit the aircraft damaging the electrical and hydraulic systems, and setting the starboard engine on fire which resulted in the propeller falling off. At 01:25hrs James was hit by gunshot fire from the German ME110 causing a small wound of entry into his upper right thigh and a large wound of exit. He died in the aircraft from haemorrhagic and shock.
Return fire from George Johnson hit the fighter on its third attack. The fighter veered off and was not seen again. The Hampden made it back to England flying on one engine and crashed landed near Great Bentley, Essex. James’s body was taken to Station Sick Quarters R.A.F. 29 Martlesham Heath on the 5th May 1942.
F.S. Hiley; Sergeant/Pilot.
George Henry Germain; Sergeant/Navigator; R.C.A.F.
George Debbage Johnson; Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; R.A.F.V.R.
George Germain aged 28, and George Johnson aged 26, were both killed on the 23rd June 1943, when their Handley Page Hampden, AD786 crashed at Boothby Pagnall, Lincolnshire just after taking off for a mining operation of German u-boats near Lorient, France.
Photograph courtesy of Michel.
Extra aircraft information courtesy of Dale Parker – http://www.aquatax.ca/Hampden.html