30 March 2011

P/O Harold Otho Male (1919-1942)

Sgt. H.O. Male (GB657604) was part of Course No.1 (Pilots) at No.34 Operational Training Unit, Pennfield Ridge, NB. Upon graduation from this course 11 September 1942 Sgt. H.O. Male was “screened and retained at this Unit [No.34 O.T.U.] to fill staff vacancies.”

On 19 November 1942 Male was granted a commission rank which did not appear in "The London Gazette” until 19 January 1945.

On 20 November 1942, while employed as a staff pilot at No.34 OTU Detachment in Yarmouth, he was killed when his aircraft (Ventura AE932) crashed 4 miles N.E. of Caledonia, Queens, Co., NS. He was buried with full military honours 23 November 1942 at Mountain View Cemetery in Yarmouth, NS.

In December 2008 Sheri & I headed off to Nova Scotia in an attempt to photograph the various military markers for Pennfield Ridge training casualties scattered throughout the province. On 14 December 2008 we visited Mountain View Cemetery where Male and three other airmen from No.34 OTU are laid to rest. Male's military marker, as we discovered, reflects his old rank "Sgt. Pilot" and his non-commissioned service number.

On 14 March 2011 I sent a letter to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Ottawa, along the supporting documentation to see if this marker could be replaced. Yesterday Sheri received a call from a representative of the CWGC saying that the marker would be replaced this coming summer.

The phone call was followed up by an e-mail on 15 April 2011 saying: "Thank you for bringing to our attention the discrepancy between the information listed in the CWGC database and that inscribed on the headstone of Pilot Officer Harold O. MALE. As I mentioned to your wife, we will arrange to have the existing headstone replaced this year with a new one. The enclosed sketch depicts the layout of the new headstone. Thank you again for your interest in this matter."

Mountain View Cemetery - Yarmouth, NS (14 December 2008)