John Wilson Summerhayes

John Wilson Summerhayes

P/O John Wilson Summerhayes, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Summerhayes, 201 West Colborne St., and husband of the former Miss Bernice Anderson, was reported missing after air operations on the night of May 12, 1944. Later it was learned from captured German documents that his plane had crashed the next day in a swamp at Schendelbeke ur Grammont, 19 miles southwest of Brussels, Belgium. An effort had been made to rescue the crew of eight. Six were taken out and were buried in the village cemetery, but of that number only three were identified and P/O Summerhayes was not one of the three. Thus ended, for one of Brantford's sons, a worthy service in the R.C.A.F., begun in September, 1942. After training in Toronto, Dunnville, Stayner, Trenton and Kingston, he graduated as a sergeant air gunner from the Bombing and Gunnery School, Macdonald, in September, 1943. He sailed overseas from Boston the next month. In England he was attached to the Thunderbird Squadron. Born in Brantford, April 17, 1922, "Jack", as he was well known by his friends, attended St. Basil's Separate School and the Collegiate Institute. As a member of St. Basil's Parish, he was, when he had an opportunity, active in the C.Y.O. But after his school days he was not at home a great deal. He farmed for a time at Caledon, and then found employment for a year in Buffalo. At the time of his enlistment, he was in the shell department of the Cockshutt Plow Company, Ltd. When at home, he took part in all the popular games and as well had a pleasing voice and a talent for guitar playing. He is also survived by his son, John Douglas.

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