Raoul William Demers 1922-1944
Born on July 17, 1922 in Breakeyville, Quebec, Raoul (Joseph William Raoul) is the son of Georges Demers and Alice Tremblay. Around 1928, his family moved to Limoilou. When he joined in 1942, we know that he was fluent in French and English and that he had worked in various trades including apprentice-carpenter (1938), clerk for the Paquet store (1939-1941) and “sulphite man” (1941). He was also stockkeeper for the Woolworth store until 1941.
Sergeant Demers was an airplane pilot and air gunner. His main task was to advise the pilot of the movements of enemy aircraft. He received his machine gunner’s badge on April 16, 1943.
Raoul died in a plane crash on January 29, 1944, so at the age of 21, in Fliston, Yorkshire, United Kingdom while returning from a mission (night flight). The Halifax EB 256 bomber was returning from a raid over Berlin, Germany. En route, the engine failed, resulting in high fuel consumption to maintain the aircraft’s altitude. Then a failure of the inner engine resulted in a lack of fuel when they arrived in England. The passengers had to parachute before the plane crashed. Sadly, Sergeant Demers was killed instantly because his parachute never opened. Sergeant Vigor (pilot) and Sergeant Dobney (flight engineer) were slightly injured.
He is buried in Stonefall Cemetery near Harrogate, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Ref: Ancestry.ca; Government of Canada, The Canadian Virtual War Memorial – Veterans Affairs Canada; Memorial: Find a Grave