|13-03-1923||In Memory Ralph Nelson Macdonald||03-11-1944|
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Ralph Nelson MacDonald was born on 13 March1923 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. His parents were John Nelson MacDonald and Ethel MacDonald.
He was educated at Glace Bay High School, then went to work for the Canadian Bank of Commerce on 27th January, 1941. Ralph enlisted in R.C.A.F. on 6th November, 1941. he became a Pilot Officer on 20th November, 1942 and was promoted to Flying Officer on 9th August, 1943.
He trained at St. Thomas, Ont., Toronto, Windsor Mills and St. Hubert, Que., graduating from the last-named school as honour student of his class. He then went on to serve with 123 Squadron at Debert, N.S.
went overseas in August, 1943. It was here that he joined 439
Squadron, flying Typhoons, as one of its original pilots. A seasoned
pilot with 41 missions to his credit, Ralph was killed on 3rd November,
1944, while on a routine maintenance test flight from Melsbroek. He was
initially buried at Eindhoven, and later reinterred in the permanent
Military Cemetery at Groesbeek, Holland.
following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book : "Heavy
cloud all day with haze in the morning and a cold drizzle late at night.
In the morning we were unfortunate in losing J.21003 F/O R.N. MacDonald
who was out carrying out an A & E test. J.20602 F/O R.H. Laurence
was out doing a test as well. But they were doing a bit of dog-fighting
over Eindhoven and "Mac's" aircraft flicked on recovering from
a tight turn and hit a house. Unfortunately, Mac was killed. He had been
with the Squadron when it formed in Canada and with 439 since arriving
overseas except when he was posted away to 83 G.S.U. quite sometime ago
when the Squadron was over strength and then again on having an
operation on appendicitis before we left for France. This lanky youth
came from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and had made 41 operational sorties
with a total of 42:10 operational hours. No operations were carried out