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Veterans of World War II ~ Squadron Crews


William D. Lane (1924 - 2014)  

Bill passed away peacefully with his wife Helen at his side. He was born on a farm just outside of Daysland, Alta. Bill joined the RCAF in 1942 at the age of 17 and flew 31 missions over Europe. Bill flew his plane as he lived his life - with courage & determination. At the end of the war he joined the air force reserve in Edmonton & became a salesman for National Drug. He moved to BC in the 70's. After retirement he volunteered at the military museum for 20 yrs. Bill is survived by his wife Helen, daughters Susan, Cathy, Pennie and Patty. Grandchildren Kim, Paul, Pam, Claire, Chelsea, Sean, Riia & Carly. Great grandchildren Sidney, Lukas, Colton & Rome.  In lieu of flower please donate to Vancouver Island Military Museum.  

Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Bowen, a 415 Squadron Association member, attended Bill's Service, which was held at Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens in Nanaimo on April 11.  He noted that ""This gentleman had 31 missions over Europe in World War 2 in Wellington and Halifax bombers. He flew his last 25 missions, one full combat tour, as a member of 415 Squadron - a Squadron which we all served in. He passed away at the young age of 90 in Nanaimo this week after a full life. It must be said that Bomber Command had the highest rate of loss of any military command during WW2. On any night, only 50% returned from their missions. Their courage and daring in the face of incredible stress and loss was remarkable, and this gentleman commanded a crew at the ripe age of 20. A tradition of the RCAF and RAF in WW2 was to raise a glass to any fallen comrade. And so "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother". Good luck to you on the other side brother - I raise my glass to you, good sir."

Chris spoke briefly with Bill's wife, Helen, and several of his daughters to whom he passed our thoughts of condolence.  While there were many family and ex-military members there from the Vancouver Island Military Museum, the immediate family was very appreciative of the Air Force presence, and in particular a member of 415 Squadron.  The Deputy Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, Brigadier-General Droiun, passed on his regards and Lieutenant-General Blondin was made aware of the event.

To learn more about Bill please read: Flying Officer William Lane.










 This year's service will take place in front of the cairn located in the village of Sutton-on-the-Forest, Yorkshire at 2:30 pm on Saturday 17 May 2014.  It is expected that at least six current serving RCAF members will be present representing both 415 and 429 Squadrons. 



The 415 Squadron Association is once again proud to be able to connect with our veterans.....story


















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