The Juno Beach Centre has published a seven-part series that tells the story of the Last Flight of the Whitley AD-701, researched and written by Shirley Stone. This is part seven. Click here to read The Last Flight (part one), F/O David Goodwin (part two), Sgt. Wilfred Gordon Harris (part three), Sgt. John Gordon Hopper (part four), W/O Joseph Gaston Jacques (part five), F/O Joseph Hong (part six).
CHARLES BEVERLY WYCKOFF
FLYING OFFICER – AIR BOMBER
R.C.A.F. – J/26695
Bev, as he was known, was born in Vittoria, Ontario, on October 5, 1915. He was the son of Roy Gilliland Wyckoff and his wife, Bertha Mae (née: Butler).
Bev had two sisters, Margaret and Gwen, and two brothers, Gerald and Joseph.
He attended Vittoria Public School and later worked for the Tobacco Growers Plantation and was an apple grader for 4 years, working for Norfolk Fruit Growers. Bev took a three-year General Industrial course at Hamilton Technical School.
On June 16, 1937, Bev signed his attestation papers with the Royal Canadian Air Force at Toronto, Ontario. He reported to R.C.A.F. Trenton on June 17, 1937. His interests included softball, motor mechanics and flying. He signed on for three years and on February 14, 1940, he signed on for the duration of the war.
Charles Beverly Wyckoff married Chloris Helen Gauen on October 28, 1939, in Hull, Quebec. Their daughter, Donna Marie, was born on August 2, 1942.
Bev’s training in Canada took place in Ontario at Trenton, Hagersville, Toronto, Jarvis, and Mountain View. He also trained at Mossbank, Saskatchewan, and St. Johns, Quebec. He passed through the ranks of AC2, AC1, LAC, Corporal, Sergeant, F/Sergeant and WO2. From June 15 to November 7, 1943, He was an instructor at Fingal Bombing and Gunnery School in Fingal, Ontario.
He was granted Embarkation Leave and on November 21, 1943, he arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He departed from Halifax on November 24, 1943, and arrived in England on December 1, 1943. The following day he reported to the 3 P.R.C.
Bev remained at the 3 P.R.C. until February 15, 1944; he then moved to the 3 (O) A.F.U. where he remained until March 21, 1944. On March 21, 1944, Bev arrived at the 24 O.T.U.
On May 22, 1944, Bev was aboard Whitley AD701, on a mission to drop leaflets over the LeMans, France area when shot down by flak and crashed at La Potence, near Sées, Normandy. All aboard were killed. Bev is buried at Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, Cintheaux, Coll. grave XXVII. G. 4-7. The Town of Sées, erected a memorial to the crew that was dedicated on May 8, 2005. His daughter attended the ceremonies.
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.