August 3, 1922 - October 5, 1944
Harold Frederick Wakeman was the son of Arthur Henry (shipper for Goodyear Tire Co.) and Isabelle May (nee Spencer) Wakeman, of Weston, Ontario. He had four brothers: William, 25, Ernest, 19, John, 15, and James, 6. The family attended the United Church.
Wakeman was a student when he filled out his attestation papers in June 1941. "Quiet sincere, keen, pleasant. Should be adaptable to training. Average material. Lacks initiative, rather easily discouraged. Apprehensive. Average mentality and physique. Best as an observer. Needs a push." He liked baseball, rugby and tennis and noted photography as an interest. He stood 5' 11", weighed 145 1/2 pounds and had blue eyes and fair hair. He wanted to return to school after the war.
He was then sent to 133 (F) Lethbridge in June 1942, then to No. 39 SFTS Swift Current later that month, then to No. 5 B&G School September 1942. He went then to 131 (F) Boundary Bay October 1942, then to Tofino July 1943. August 1943, he was making his way across the country to Halifax, then to New York. He was at the RAF Trainees' Pool September 3, 1943.
In October, he was at 3 PRC. November: 59 OTU. January 1944: 61 OTU. By July 10, 1944, he was at 84 GSU and then posted to 197 Squadron on July 16, 1944.
At No. 61 OTU, March 1944: "A good average pilot, who shown quality. A keen and efficient officer."
In a letter dated October 18, 1944, Mr. Wakeman learned that "Freddie as we called him, was engaged in an operational flight attacking an enemy target. His aircraft was hit by flak and he was last seen diving towards the ground. Unfortunately, he was not in a position to bale out and I am loathe to say that he must have been killed immediately." In Minute 2, dated July 1945, it was stated that Wakeman's aircraft, Typhoon JR366 was hit by enemy flak while attacking a railway and road junction and was seen to go down in a vertical dive and burst into flames.
Mrs. Wakeman received a letter in April 1946. "Your son was reported missing believed killed after air operations overseas on 5th October 1944. The aircraft of which he was the sole occupant was struck by anti-aircraft fire and fell to the ground, in an attack on a railway junction at Zwolle, Holland. A subsequent report received from the International Red Cross Committee quoted German information which stated that this Officer had lost his life and was buried in the Communal Cemetery at Ede, Holland....no further information has been received." Estates Branch, Ottawa.