Alexander Barr J26504

April 10, 1920 - December 14, 1944

Alexander Barr Alexander Barr Alexander Barr Alexander Barr Alexander Barr Alexander Barr Alexander Barr Alexander Barr

RAF 263 Squadron

Alexander Barr, bprn in Stoney Creek, was the son of Alexander (a plumber) and Jean Barr of Hamilton, Ontario. He had one sister, Bessie.

He enlisted on July 31, 1941. He had been an electrical apprentice for Walter Bennie, an electrical contractor, for nine months prior to enlistment with four years technical school in electricity. "I plan to obtain work after the war: electrical work (motor & gen. winding), flying as a profession or mechanical work." He listed baseball as a sport he enjoyed and liked the radio, plus played the Hawaiian guitar as hobbies. Barr was evaluated as 'exceptionally fit, good stocky individual. Not easily rattled. Good candidate. Possible a little short on education. Wants pilot."

He started through the BCATP at No. 1 Manning Depot, Toronto, July 31, 1941. He went to No. 14 EFTS, Aylmer August 21, 1941. He was at No. 5 ITS Belleville on September 2, 1941. "Needs more discipline and should be all right then. Quiet." At No. 3 EFTS London, December 1941: "Average student. Learns slowly but thoroughly. Needs checking constantly but will make good service pilot. Good in instruments and fair in aerobatics. Very careful and absolutely trustworthy and careful with aircraft. Prefers to follow. Neat, polite." He was returned to No. 14 SFTS, Aylmer from December 22, 1941 to April 11, 1942 where he received his wings. "Exceptional Link Nav. High average student, but weak in navigation. Keen and industrious, does not pay enough attention to work. Clean cut and cooperative." He found himself at No. 4 B&G Fingal at the end of April 1942. He was sent to No. 8 B&G Lethbridge in September 1942, then back to Fingal where he was an instructor. Found in his files at the LAC, Ottawa, was his identification card from No. 4 B&G School. In the back of it was a lock of hair, possibly of his fiancee, Audrey Richardson of Toronto.

He was posted to 263 Squadron in September 1943.

He was sent to No. 1 OTU Bagotville by March 1943 and two months later to Halifax where he was sent overseas. He was at RAF Trainees Pool June 15, 1943.

He was posted to 263 Squadron in September 1943.

On the night of 29/30th July 1944, Barr improperly discharged a fire-arm in his quarters "thereby endangering the lives of the personnel on the said station and occasioning damage to the extent of 8/4d to Hut No. 92, the property of the public."

On 14 October 1944 while flying Typhoon MN769 he collided with fellow pilot F/L Evans in Typhoon R8926. Both pilots were killed. The Squadron had been reforming at 8000 feet after attacking enemy positions on close support target north west of Turnhout, Belgium. The impact was violent and both aircraft were badly damaged. Neither pilot was seen to bale out with both aircraft crashing in Allied territory. Initially, no trace of Barr's body was found. The body of Evans was retrieved from the wreckage by an Army Unit. Later, it was discovered that Barr's body had been visible in the aircraft wreck but had never been removed for burial, as it had been found in marshy lands which were completely flooded in rainy seasons, says a report by F/L Smith many months after the crash. See file above. Barr's remains were buried on the afternoon of December 17, 1947, with his coffin draped with the Dutch national flag.

In a letter to Audrey Richardson, she was told of the circumstances of the death of her fiancé, noting that "Sandy was one of the Squadron's most cheerful members and he is sadly missed by us all."

LINKS:

  • Canadian Virtual War Memorial