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"COW" 2002 Obituary


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COWAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2002-11-27 published
Town salutes Canadian heroes
60 years later, Dutch community recalls how three airmen died to save lives
By Roberta COWAN Special to The Globe and Mail Wednesday, November 27, 2002 -- Print Edition, Page A1
Amsterdam -- By the hundreds, with wreaths of red orchids and white roses, they came to pay respects to the Canadians who saved their town.
Young and old, they came to the Dutch Reform Church in Wilnis to honour the three men who, in 1943, chose to go down with their plane rather than risk many more lives in the Dutch community. They came to pay thanks to the Canadian relatives -- 18 next of kin -- who also were among the mourners. And after six decades, they came to help put to rest one of the great mysteries of Canadian military history.
Just about everyone in Wilnis turned up last night to view three caskets that were draped in Canadian flags and bore the remains of three airmen, whose Vickers Wellington bomber was shot down by a German fighter on May 5, 1943.
Amazingly, the aircraft and the remains of Sergeants Adrien THIBAUDEAU and Joseph WHITE/WHYTE sank in a bog and were discovered just two months ago by a special search team. Some of the remains of a third crew member, Warrant Officer Robert MOULTON, were also found in the plane.
The men will receive a full military funeral this morning at Wilnis cemetery, presided over by two Canadian ministers and a bagpiper, before all eyes in the town turn to a flypast of Dutch military planes in the "lost man" formation -- three ahead and one behind.
A military guard, representing all parts of the Canadian Forces, will lead the procession, followed by Dutch war veterans and many of the townspeople who remember the night the bomber crashed in a nearby field rather than in their town.
In the town of 10,000 people, just south of Amsterdam, all schools will also be closed so that children carrying Canadian flags can line the route to the cemetery.
"Usque ad finem," a banner in the church reads. "Until the very end."
For decades, the heroism of the Canadian crew that stayed with their plane until the very end has been part of Wilnis lore. Two of the five crew members parachuted out of the plane after it was attacked during its return from a night raid in which 600 Allied planes raided Dortmund, just across the German border.
Although the two were taken prisoner by German forces and released at the end of the war, they never knew what happened to the rest of their crew. The two men, Sergeant Gordon CARTER and Sergeant Howard HODDINOTT, died many decades later.
Britain's Royal Air Force made efforts to recover the plane when the war ended, but failed to do so, and the investigation was put to rest. The families endured years of not knowing what happened to their airmen.
Some of Warrant Officer MOULTON's remains were found and buried in the local cemetery decades ago. But with no evidence of Sgts. THIBAUDEAU and WHITE/WHYTE, they were listed as missing in action until this year.
"My father went to Holland after the war to try and figure what the hell happened to my brother," Sgt. THIBAUDEAU's younger brother Jean-Claude, now 70, said yesterday. "We were told he was lost in flight, which means his plane crashed, but nobody knew where."
The renewed bid to find the bomber began several years ago, when, prompted by a grand_son's history lesson, an older Wilnis man came forward to say how he had watched the burning bomber crash into a nearby farmer's field. With the country under Nazi invasion, the lad snuck out of the family home and ran to find that the plane had landed in a peat bog and was sinking quickly. The next morning, only water remained.
A local teacher and others founded a group that fought reluctant officials and red tape to have the plane excavated, a process that concluded last September.
"Remarkably, the bomber, its contents and most importantly, the remains of Sgts. THIBAUDEAU and WHITE/WHYTE, were fairly well preserved in the peat," said Robert DE JONG, head of the Dutch Royal Army's excavation effort.
The Canadians planning to attend the service were of mixed emotions yesterday -- nostalgic for times long past, sad for their lost relatives and Friends, appreciative of the effort made in Wilnis.
Mr. THIBAUDEAU was moved by the discovery of his brother's remains, calling it "painful" that it happened after the death of his parents, who knew Adrien best.
Peggy CARTER, a Winnipeg woman whose navigator husband Sgt. CARTER died in 1990, hopes to be given her husband's ruler, which was found in the wreckage. She and Jan HODDINOTT, the widow of the other PoW, were hoping to pay their respects on behalf of their husbands.
"Although my husband rarely talked about the war or being a PoW, and he never wanted to come back to Europe after the war ended, he would have wanted to be here today to pay respect to his Friends," Mrs. CARTER said.
"It's so very sad that all this information came out after Gordon died, because he really believed the plane crashed in the North Sea," she added.
According to her husband's debriefing report, which he later filed to Allied forces in Britain, Warrant Officer Moulton told them to bail out two minutes after the bomber was hit. Sgt. CARTER woke up in a field, where a farm family found him and took him in before handing him over to the Germans.
Mrs. CARTER's son Kevin, 51, said his father never faulted the family who handed him over since Nazis were killing people for harbouring Allied airmen.

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COWAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-11-12 published
COWAN, James (Jim) -- Mr. James George COWAN, of Stratford and formerly of Toronto and Southampton, passed away peacefully at the Stratford General Hospital on Saturday, November 9, 2002 with his family by his side. Predeceased by his parents George and Matilda COWAN, his beloved wife Kay and his sister Audrey FRASER. Loving father of Rick COWAN and wife Gail of Branford, Connecticut and Janice and husband Wayne PARSONS of Stratford. Loving Gramps of Adam and Trish PARSONS. Fondly remembered by his sister-in-law Norma HANEY and many nieces and nephews. Memorial service will be held at the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford on Saturday, November 16 at 1: 30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Palliative Care Unit of the Stratford General Hospital through the funeral home.

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COWAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-12-22 published
COWAN, John -- In loving memory of a father and grandfather who passed away December 22, 1998. What we'd give if we could say Hello, Dad, in the same old way; To hear your voice, see your smile, To sit with you and chat awhile. So you who have a father, Cherish him with care, For you'll never know the heartache Till you see his vacant chair. -- Lovingly remembered and sadly missed by daughters Vivian, Diana and Robin, son Christopher, sons-in-law Roy, Frank and Rick, and grandchildren Joshua, Cassandra, Connor and Rachel.

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COWAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-12-28 published
WILLIS, Alice -- Suddenly on Wednesday, December 25, 2002, at the Midland Huronia District Hospital, in her 95th year. Alice KNAGGS, beloved wife of the late Clarke WILLIS. Loving mother of Harvey. Dear sister of Jean COWAN and Albert KNAGGS, both of Scarborough, and the late Jack KNAGGS of Bancroft. Friends will be received at the Ingram Funeral Home, 1055 Gerrard Street East (at Jones) on Saturday and Sunday from 4-9 p.m. Funeral service in the Chapel on Monday at 11 a.m. Interment Saint Margaret In-the-Pines Cemetery. (Parking adjacent to the funeral home).

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COWBURN o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2002-11-27 published
COWBURN
In loving memory of Evelyne COWBURN, who passed away December 2, 1992.
Sadly missed and lovingly remember by daughter Gail and granddaughter Jessica.

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COWIE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-11-21 published
RATHGEBER, Robertina (Rex) née COWIE -- Passed away in Port Moody, British Columbia on November 12, 2002. She was 82 years of age. She was predeceased by husbands Arthur RATHGEBER and David COOK. Robertina is lovingly remembered by her children: Arthur in Port Moody and Arthur's wife Alexandra and their children Kris, Kent and Steven, Kenneth in Toronto and Kenneth's wife Anna and their son Jacob, Michael in Montreal and Michael's wife Anne and their daughters Una and Elsa. A privte family service was held in Port Moody on November 15th. As an expression of sympathy, a donation to the Alzheimer Society would be greatly appreciated by the family.

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COWLAND o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-12-01 published
COWLAND, Reta K.
In loving memory of Reta who passed away December 1, 2000. You still live on in the hearts and minds Of the loving family you left behind.
--Forever loved and missed by husband Miles, children Linda, Gary and Laura, her grandchildren, her sister Beth and their families and Friends.

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COWLEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-12-23 published
SPENCER, Catherine (née HALDANE) -- Peacefully after a battle with cancer at Southlake Regional Health Centre on Sunday, December 22, 2002, at the age of 74. Beloved wife of the late Howard. Loving mother of Catherine and her husband Paul COWLEY of Aurora, Howard and his wife Frances of Holland Landing, and Laura and her husband Dave SNELL of Wasaga. Devoted Nana of Allana, Andrea, Joanna, Megan, Sean, Lisa and Ryan. Friends will be received at the Thompson Funeral Home, 29 Victoria Street, Aurora, 905-727-5421, on Monday, December 23 from 7-9 p.m. A Funeral Service will take place on Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the Chapel. A special thank you to Dr. WOJCICKI and the staff in 4West and 1West at Southlake. In Catherine's memory, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.

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