My family had many who went to serve in the armed forces during World War II. Three of my four grandparents and many of their siblings went to serve. We were lucky enough that we lost only one.
My grandfather's younger brother, Henry aka Harry Bordewick, was born in Vancouver BC, the younger son of a Norwegian immigrant and an Irish immigrant. His older brother, my grandfather George, shipped off first, and Harry soon followed suit, signing up right out of school.
Harry was nineteen when he was shipped off to the front. He had made it as far as Maine and was setting off for the front when his pilot lost control of their plane on take-off, and all hands on board were lost.
I grew up knowing of him, but never much about him, other than my grandfather had lost a brother in the war. It wasn't until I started working on my family tree that I began to really learn about Henry.
One of the things I received for my search was a scrap book that my grandmother made in the early years of her marriage with cards, telegrams and clippings of things that happened during those years. Included is a notice about Harry's death right next to a Christmas card sent the day that he died.
So today, I remember him. For my family, and for my grandfather. I hope they're up there right now, raising a glass together.
An article about his death:
City Flyer Killed In Plane Crash
Sgt. Harry Bordewick, R.C.A.F., killed in an air crash near Howlton, Maine, December 5, was the son of Mr. And Mrs. Bjarne Bordewick, 1472 East Tenth.
Bordewick, 19, had just recently been posted to the ferry command as a wireless air gunner, and was on his first flight across the Atlantic when his plane crashed.
In addition to his parents, he leaves a brother, Sgt. George Bordewick, now serving overseas with the 3rd Canadian Division.
Sgt. Harry Bordewick attended Alexander public school, then Vancouver Technical School, where he graduated in June, 1941. He enlisted in the R.C.A.F. here on leaving school, and received his wings as a wireless-airgunner in Winnipeg.
And a shorter notice with slight details of the crash:
Sgt. Henry Bordewick, son of Bjarne Bordewick, 1472 East Tenth avenue, Vancouver, was reported killed on active service in the United States. He was killed in the crash of an R.C.A.F. plant at the air base near Houlton, Me., last Saturday.
Though Grandma didn't record the names and dates of the paper on the articles themselves, I believe both were likely from the Vancouver Sun.
Photos of my Uncle Harry:
Henry, his father Bjarne, and his brother, George
George and Henry Bordewick
Sergent Henry Bordewick, shortly before shipping off in 1942