Book of Remembrance - Volume  I


Flying Officer J.J.R. (RAY) BÉDARD

Royal Canadian Air Force


The son of Paul Emile Bédard and  Marguerite Moore,and the husband of  the former Mizpah Jane Wood, F/O Joseph Jean Raymond Bédard (age 25) was a native of  (Malton) Ottawa, Ontario. 

While stationed at North Luffenham, England, 32496 Flying Officer Ray Bédard was killed when his Canadian F-86 Mark II Sabre Serial Number 19193 crashed during a training exercise on the 23 June, 1953.The following entry is from 439's Operations Record Book:  Flying Officer Ray Bédard was on an exercise with Flying Officer Fowler and Wilkonson when he became separated from them and no R/T (radio) contact could be made. Later in the day a call was received that a Sabre had crashed near Boston, in the county of Lincolnshire.

Witnesses said that they had seen the jet emerge from a cloud layer with the engine sputtering and the fuselage ablaze. After turning in a semi-circle, the Sabre nose-dived and crashed into the earth creating a 30 foot crater and missing several cottages only a few feet away. It was hoped that F/O Bedard had ejected from the aircraft, but further investigation proved that he had stayed with his Sabre.

The second of five children, Flying Officer Ray Bédard also left behind two sisters and two brothers, as well as a son, born 3 months almost to the day following this tragic accident. 

Following entry is from The Canadian Virtual War Memorial website  courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

32496 Flying Officer Ray Bédard is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery in England Grave Reference: Canadian Annexe, Row C, Grave 9.




The above plaque was unveiled on the 50th anniversary of F/O Bédard's crash .



"The gate is at the entrance to the cemetery.  It was a beautiful day, the gate is at the end of a long drive lined with tall conifers.  The second picture is of the actual grave.  I picked flowers in the surrounding woods to place on the marker.  It was a very moving experience to see this grave.  The third picture is of the Canadian annex.  That is where Canadian soldiers killed after the war are buried.  The cemetery was beautiful, well maintained.  I'm really glad I went.  I gave my dad copies of the pictures when I came back and he was all choked up.  He's never been.  My uncle was actually buried the first time closer to where he was killed.  I'm not sure where actually.  I just know that his grave was moved."

Photos provided through the courtesy of the Bédard Family

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