19 OTU Title

Canadian Contribution

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Sgt Alexander George Batchen R/78172, RCAF

Sgt Alexander George Batchen R/78172, RCAF, contributed by his cousin, David Pope.

© David Pope, Canada.

Alexander George Batchen was born in Rouleau, Saskatchewan on Sept 1, 1915, and grew up with his brother Ronald Tait and sister Frances Elizabeth. His father William Tait Batchen, was a lawyer from Peebles, Scotland, and his mother, Elizabeth (nee Bushman), was from Prince Albert, Sask. Alexs parents both died in 1930 and Ronald died in 1942 while serving with the RAF. . After their parents died, the Batchen children lived with their grandmother Elizabeth (nee Niebuhr) Bushman in Prince Albert, Sask.

Alex enlisted in the R.C.A.F. in Toronto on November 18, 1940. He took his pilot training in Ontario at Trenton, Picton, and Brantford. On July 17, 1941, he embarked for Kinloss airfield in Scotland, where he was to receive training flying the Whitley bomber with the 19th Operational Training Unit. He was only with this unit for two months when he was involved in a training accident.

On the evening of 12 Sept 1941 the crew took off from Kinloss for a night navigation exercise. It is believed that on the return flight the crew made landfall at 0050 hours near Fraserburgh on the NE Aberdeenshire coast but for some inexplicable reason, turned onto a reciprocal course and flew back out to sea. No trace of the aircraft or its crew was ever found. All are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial. The aircraft was a Whitley Mark V serial number T4333.

Crew onboard:
Sgt AG Batchen RCAF
Sgt JL Collins RCAF
F/Sgt RF Stephens RCAF
F/Sgt RLR Younger RCAF
Sgt MS Dawe

All Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Contributed by his Cousin, David Pope, 2005.

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