22/23.05.1944 425 Squadron Halifax III LK810 KW:Y Fg.Off. La Porte
Operation: Le Mans
Date: 22/23rd May 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: 425 (Alouette) Squadron, RCAF
Type: Halifax III
Base: RAF Tholthorpe, Yorkshire
Location: Le Mans - Target area
Pilot: Fg.Off. Edmund Elie La Porte J25390 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Flt.Eng: Sgt. Norman Vincent Ward 1819837 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Nav: Fg.Off. Joseph Octave Arthur Remi Tétrault J23910 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Air Bmr: Flt.Sgt. Joseph Raoul Henry Bernard Clovis Mallette R154165 RCAF Age 25. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: WO1. John Arthur Laing R129137 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Jean Marie Levasseur R136950 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. R. McGovern R? RCAF Survived PoW No: 53389 *
* Stalag 9C - Muhlhausen. Sgt. McGovern was promoted to Plt.Off whilst a PoW with a Service No. of J83716
REASON FOR LOSS:
112 aircraft taking part to bomb the railway facilities at le Mans in France. The crews were over the target at between 7,000 and 9,000 feet, releasing 826,000 lbs. of high explosives. According to reports, bombing was accurate and severe damage was caused.
Halifax LK810 after taking off at 00:10 hrs on the 23rd May. Hit by 5 & 6/gem Flak Abt 596. Crashed 3km North of le Mans airfield at 02:45. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 3 - Theo Boiten)
Above left: Flt.Sgt. Mallette and right: WO1. Laing (from their service records)
Fg.Off. Edmund Elie La Porte. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 35. Son of Edmon S. La Porte and Eugenie E. La Porte, of Val Barrette, Province of Quebec, Canada.
Sgt. Norman Vincent Ward. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 36. Son of William Herbert and Lucy Phyllis Ward, of Coundon, Warwickshire, England. Grave inscription reads: “To a A fuller Life. Most Glorious, Free From Pain. We And He Will Meet Again. E.G.D.”
Fg.Off. Joseph Octave Arthur Remi Tétrault. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 37. Born in Transcona on the 01st October 1917 the son of Joseph Octave Tétrault and Caroline Coulombe Tétrault, of 158 Regent Avenue East, Transcona, Manitoba, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Dear Son And Brother. Rest In Peace.”
Tétrault Lake northeast of Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, Canada was named after Fg.Off. Joseph Tétrault in 1973. Sadly the family also lost his brother, 41 year old Flt.Lt. Joseph Wilfred Tétrault 30112 RCAF. On Canadair CP-107 Argus II 20727 which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on the 23rd March 1965. All the crew of 15 and a scientist were lost without trace during a military exercise with 404 Squadron.
Plt.Off. Joseph Raoul Henry Bernard Clovis Mallette. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 31. Son of Ovila and Maria Mallette, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: Qui Mariam Absolvvisit, Et Latronem Exaudisti, Mihi Quoque Spem Dedisti.”
Promoted to Plt.Off. on 21st May 1944 with a service No. J89459
Plt.Off. John Arthur Laing. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 32. Born on the 6th May 1921 in Newcastle -on-Lyne, England. Son of John Arthur and Janet Hutton (née Stark) Laing from Toronto, Ontario and husband to Roma Marine Laing of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Promoted to Plt.Off. on 21st May 1944 with a service No. of J90517
Plt.Off. Joseph Jean Marie Levasseur. Le Mans West Cemetery. Plot 38. 1939-45 Row C. Grave 30. Son of J. Alphonse Levasseur and Marie Claire Levasseur, of Mont Joli, Co. Matane, Province of Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “En Memoire De Notre Cher Fils Unique Honneur Sacrifices Dévouement.”
Promoted to Plt.Off. on 21st May 1944 with a service No. of J89685
Uploaded (Oct 2016). Thanks to John Jones for the loss in formation (Nov 2020). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Nov 2020). Sources as quoted below.