1921 (Approximate) - August 19, 1944
Robert Arthur Porritt was the son of George A. and Rebecca Porritt, of Knowlton, Quebec. He had attended MacDonald College and was interested in possibly becoming a teacher. He had completed the COTC Course at MacDonald College with the rank of Lieutenant October 1939-1940. He enjoyed tennis and golf and had his driver's license. He listed photography and map reading as his hobbies. He was an assistant manager at the Knowlton Golf Club for five months, but was unemployed when he applied to join the RCAF. After the war, he indicated he was interested in aeronautics.
He was assessed in October 1941 in Montreal as "Excellent type of Canadian youth. Well educated and should prove good material for aircrew. Good physical specimen. Pleasant manners. Cheerful. Scholastic qualifications for P.O." He stood 5'9" tall.
By March 1942, he was assessed again. "Average education. Alert. Excellent physique. Enthusiastic. Co-operative, friendly chap. Brother in RCAF. Motivation good. Choice #1: Pilot. #2: Observer. Night vision: 17/32 high average."
January 1943: #123, Debert, NS.
April 1943: Recommend for retention in the service. Recommend for appointment to Temporary Flying Officer. This officer not considered to have held commission long enough to do other than 'occasionally take the lead.'
Robert 'Bob' Porritt was posted overseas in August 1943.
On August 19, 1944, at 13:35 hours, 439 Squadron took off for an Armed Recce in the Lisieux Bernay and Vermoutiers area with which F/O Porritt took part. The Squadron split up into sections of four. Yellow Section was led by F/L Scharff and in which F/O Porritt flew Typhoon MN401. The target area was reached at approximately 14:00 hours. F/O Porrit and F/O Rassenti broke away from the formation when it was attacked by light enemy flak. These two pilots made two attacks on MET and on the third attack, F/O Porritt broke from about 2000 feet in the Vimoutiers area to attack more MET while F/O Rassenti broke to starboard to make a separate attack on tanks at approximately 14:15 hours. This was the last seen of F/O Porritt. S/L Norsworthy signed off on this circumstantial report.
An Army Burial Return was forwarded through Group HQ. It stated that Porritt was buried by French civilians on the 20th of August 1944 at Vimoutiers, which is located 22 miles wnw of Laigh, Orne, France. The grave was marked, 'Cher Comarade Inconnu' Dear Comrade Unknown. The body was identified by identity discs.
One of Porritt's brothers, Corporal G. A. Porritt, 419 Squadron, who was overseas at the time of the crash requested 'that extract of map showing locality of place of burial be forwarded nextkin.' He also requested a choice of certain personal effects belonging to his brother. Mrs. Porritt wrote a letter supporting her son's request telling the addressed, that he could take whatever he needed. Cpl Porritt was interested in a Kodak camera in a leather case.
In October 1944 on an evaluation sheet: "Requires more than ordinary explanation. Uncertain of himself. Routine worker; not much initiative. Does only what is required of him. Improves his knowledge if not too much effort. Not vey much self-confidence but an average pilot. Total sorties: 49. Total hours: 48.35 last six months." Signed: S/L Fiset, 439 Squadron
The war was taking its toll.