Traill, James Edward

Personal Information

Rank F/O
Forename(s) James Edward
Surname Traill
Gender M
Age 24
Date of Death 21-03-1945
Next of Kin Son of William Ralph Traill and Elizabeth M. Traill (née Pretty), of Lanark, Ontario. Husband of Eileen Vivienne Traill (née Rogers) - marriage at Westminster Cathedral on 17 January 1945.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Lockheed Hudson III
Serial Number T9445
Markings MA-O

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country Belgium
Burial/Memorial Place Heverlee War Cemetery
Grave Reference Joint grave 8. D. 3-4.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 255

Enlistment Information

Service Number J/87484
Service Royal Canadian Air Force
Group 3
Squadron 161 (Special Duties)
Squadron Motto Liberate
Trade WOp/AG
Country of Origin Canada

Other Memorials

Location Route de Trace, Dochamps (Samree), Luxembourg Province
Country Belgium
Memorial Type Memorial stone and inscribed metal tablet
Memorial Text
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Location Village Green, Tempsford, Bedfordshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Stone Memorial with inscribed Marble Tablets
Memorial Text In honour of the men and women of Special Duties Sqns stationed at RAF Tempsford
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Location Gibraltar Farm Barn, Tempsford, Bedfordshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Framed Scrolls
Memorial Text In memory of 161 Sqn, RAF Tempsford February 1942 - June 1945
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Location Church of St. Peter, Tempsford, Bedfordshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Inscribed Brass Plaques & Roll of Honour
Memorial Text In memory of the men and women of 161 Sqn, RAF Tempsford including those of the Royal Australian Air Force, and SOE agents killed during WW2
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Miscellaneous Information

Previous service number R/146680
James was born on 26 April 1920 at Lanark, Ontario. His father was a baker and both parents were born in Lanark. He had two sisters, Reta Elizabeth and Vera Madeleine. The schools which James attended were both in Lanark: Lanark Public School 1927-1933 (Entrance) and Lanark Continuation 1933-1936 (Matric incomplete). His sporting interests were hockey and baseball. Between 1936 and 1940 James worked as a Transport driver. The first three years, 1936-1939 with Ervin Gibson of Lanark and then with Taggart Service of Ottawa 1939-1940. James then worked as a diamond drill operator 1940-1941 at Central Patricia Northern in Ontario.
James had enlisted on 26 November 1941 and embarked from Halifax for the U.K. on 16 May 1943. He arrived at 3 PRC on 24 May 1943, No. 1(C) OTU 12 August 1943, 2PDC 7 October 1943, Gibraltar 23 October 1943, 48 Sqn. 14 October 1943, 161 Sqn. 1 March 1944, 138 Sqn 24 February 1944 and 161 Squadron 24 July 1944. Sadly James was to lose his life on 21 March 1945, only two months after his marriage.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The National Archives

Fellow Servicemen

Last Operation Information

Start Date 21-03-1945
End Date 22-03-1945
Takeoff Station Tempsford
Day/Night Raid Night (63% moon)
Operation SOE Operation Norvic to Germany
Reason for Loss Shot down in a 'friendly fire' incident by a US P61 Black Widow after being mistaken for a Dornier

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.