Roy Harris Osborn
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- 2017BO001.001: Hand tinted photograph of Roy in a RCAF uniform, prior to receiving his wings, therefore between April 1940 and November 1940.
2017BO001.002: Two wedding photos and the wedding invitation of Roy Harris Osborn and Joan Stubbs which took place on 23 November 1940.
2017BO001.004: Portrait of Roy Harris Osborn in uniform with his pilot’s wings over his left breast pocket, and wearing a commissioned Junior Officers’ peak cap and badge. Dated after October 1940.
2017BO001.005: Miscellaneous photographs of Roy while he was training at Brandon, Manitoba, including images of him receiving his pilot’s wings, and getting into and flying a Harvard aircraft. Dated between April and August 1940.
2017BO001.006: Ten either RCAF or Royal Air Force (RAF) servicemen in casual clothing posing outdoors with a building in the background. Roy is crouched in the front row, first on the left. Date presumably between April 1940 and November 1942.
2017BO001.007: Photograph captioned on the reverse “Mike Irwin of Brantford in front and me in th[e] back at elementary school in a Fleet trainer July/40.” The caption indicates this was taken in Brandon, Manitoba.
2017BO001.008: Seven RCAF servicemen in uniform, standing on a tarmac in front of a Harvard aircraft, with a hangar and buildings in the background. Roy is third from the left. Dated after October 1940.
2017BO001.009: Roy standing in uniform beside a sign at the Bell Homestead, the residence of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell in Brantford, Ontario. Dated after October 1940.
2017BO001.011: Captioned as "Airmen Pilot’s Class 2 No. 2 S.F.T.S. Uplands UG. 65 28/10/40" referring to No. 2 Service Flying Training School at Uplands, Ottawa, Ontario held on 28 October 1940. There are 27 non-commissioned officers in total, arranged with the front row seated on wooden chairs, the second row standing, and the third row standing on chairs. The group is in front of a building with four large 24 paned windows. Identified from left to right, front row: Gillespie; Mc es; Roulston; Jenkin; Osborn; Walker; Shaw; Siler?; Bradley. Centre row: WH Boswell; G Robertson; Awl Johnston; Freese; Red Burrill; F.W. Kelly; R. A. Anderson; WR Wilkes; W Irwin. Back row: M. Bretz; J.A. Thompson; HW German; AG Carless; F Holley (car crash 16/11/40 Shakespear ON); L Chadborn; Arthur Fair; KW Fair?; D.J. Smith.
2017BO001.012: Three Harvard aircrafts flying over the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Ontario. Roy may have been pilot of one of these planes when stationed at Uplands beginning in August 1940.
2017BO001.013: Roy in uniform standing on a sidewalk with trees in the background.Dated after October 1940.
2017BO001.014: Portrait of Roy in uniform with his pilot’s wings without a peak cap. Dated after October 1940.
2017BO001.015: Eight RCAF and/or RAF aircrew in flying suits, also called “teddy bear suits,” standing with their hands behind their backs, in front of a Harvard aircraft. Names are listed beside the photograph, although the order does not correspond to how they appear as Roy is listed as the last name, yet he is second last in the line. The list from top to bottom: D. Knox; E. J. McAlpine; Campbell; Hamilton; R. McKnight; J. Mosher; G. H. Moody; (RH Osborn). Date between April 1940 and March 1944.
2017BO001.016: Roy [on the left] with his brother Earl [on the right], Corporal in the 10th Canadian General Hospital Unit, in England between late 1942 and late 1944. Both men are extending an arm outwards, feeding pigeons. There are civilian crowds standing behind them and buildings. Date between November 1942 and March 1944.
2017BO001.017: Group photograph of several servicemen in uniform. Roy is second from the right, and his brother Earl is third from the left. Dated after October 1940.
2017BO001.018: Group of twenty two commissioned and non-commissioned pilots in uniform, with the front row sitting cross-legged on a wooden bench, and the back row standing, in front of a forested area. Front row left to right: Osborn; Barrett; McMurdy; Cheetham; Mitchell; French; Bourgois; Hughes; McIntyre; Thompson; Eaton. Back row left to right: Hackett; Thompson; McRae; Richardson; Arnot; Shelton; Blight; Morrow; Walters; Rose. Not in picture: Clayton; Hockey. Dated after October 1940.
2017BO001.019: Twenty three RCAF and RAF members in uniform, half seated, half standing, with a large building in the background. Roy is seated in the front row, third from the right. Dated after October 1940.
2017BO001.020: Roy’s Royal Canadian Air Force pilot’s wings badge obtained on 28 October 1940.
2017BO001.021: Osborn’s log book, with all entries written in red ink, dated between 28 May 1940 and 10 December 1940. He commenced training at the Central Flying School on 22 July 1940, and finished on August 3rd. Four days later he began Intermediate Training at Uplands, Ottawa, and completed the training on 26 September 1940, followed by Army Trades School commencing on 30 September 1940 also conducted at Uplands.
2017BO001.022: Osborn’s log book, with all entries written in black ink, dated between 28 May 1940 and 29 June 1942. In late October 1940, Roy’s duties included a range of formations and tactics, and relocations around the Ottawa Valley including Perth, Renfrew, Calabogie, Arnprior, and finally to Trenton. Then in early February 1943, he is performing longer general flying tasks, going from Toronto, Ontario to Summerside, Prince Edward Island in two days in a Harvard aircraft.
2017BO001.023: Collection of photographs of Roy and Joan with their son Brian, who was born on 18 January 1942.
2017BO001.024: Paper original of an airgraph template, handwritten in blue ink by Roy Osborn to his wife, Joan. The letter is not dated, but he was overseas between November 1942 and March 1944. He intended to send the airgraph but decided to send it as regular mail because he particularly liked the attached photograph of him.
2017BO001.025: Paper Canadian National Telegram sent by Roy Osborn to his wife Mrs R H Osborn at 42 Allenby Avenue, Brantford, Ontario on 26 December 1942. The message is: “Love and Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all at home all well.”
2017BO001.026: Osborn posed, wearing a flying suit, face mask, and goggles, standing in front of a de Havilland Mosquito aircraft facing the opposite direction. An enlarged copy of this photo was captioned: “Just returned from a daylight bombing operation is Flying Officer Roy Osborn of 42 Allenby Avenue, Brantford, Ont., pilot of a Mosquito bomber in an RAF squadron. He was formerly with Transport Command and also instructed at Summerside, P.E.I., and Aylmer, Ont. Flying Schools. Before he joined the RCAF he worked for a shipping firm in Brantford.” The photograph was taken by the Royal Canadian Air Force in early 1944 to be used for promotional material, although Roy died shortly after this photograph was taken, so the RCAF never used this image.
2017BO001.028: RAF Hunsdon Dedication of the Roll of Honour 1941-45 held at the Hertfordshire Airfields on 23 June 2012, for everyone who was lost while flying, operating or working at the airfield between those years. a) Program b) Unveiling of the memorial c) Brian Osborn (son of Roy Harris and Joan Osborn) and his wife standing by the memorial.
2017BO001.029: 1939-45 Star awarded to Flight Lieutenant Roy Harris Osborn.
2017BO001.030: War Medal 1939-45 awarded to Flight Lieutenant Roy Harris Osborn.
2017BO001.031: Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (C.V.S.M.) awarded to Flight Lieutenant Roy Harris Osborn.
2017BO001.032: Defence Medal awarded to Flight Lieutenant Roy Harris Osborn.
2017BO001.033: Air Crew Europe awarded to Flight Lieutenant Roy Harris Osborn.
2017BO001.034: Brass plaque engraved with “F/L R.H.OSBORN R.C.A.F. DIED IN HIS COUNTY’S SERVICE 31 MAR. 1944.” Mounted in a purple thick cardstock envelope with the front and interior stamped with the Coat of Arms of Canada in white.
- Roy Harris Osborn was the ninth of ten children of William and Helen Osborn, born in 1918 or 1919. The family lived at 73 Allenby Avenue, Brantford, Ontario, and they are descendants of the Turtle Clan Mohawks. He attended Bellview School and the Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, both in Brantford. He was involved in local athletics, and was on the Immanuel Baptist Church baseball and hockey teams. Prior to enlistment, Roy worked in the shipping and receiving department of the Cockshutt Plow Company shipping in Brantford.
Roy enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on 16 April 1940, as one of the first from Brantford to join the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (BCATP) and earn his wings. Prior to No. 5 Service Flying Training School formally being established, the new recruits lived at home and trained at the Brant-Norfolk Aero Club. In August 1940, he was moved to Uplands, Ottawa for Intermediate training. He successfully completed the course and received his pilot’s wings and his commission as Flight Lieutenant, graduating fourth in his class on 28 October 1940. After ranking in the top five percent of pilots in the BCATP, he obtained qualifications as a flight instructor in Brandon, Manitoba. Following, he posted to Summerside, Prince Edward Island, then Aylmer, Ontario, and Burtch, Ontario to train new pilots.
On 23 November 1940, Roy and Joan Stubbs were married, and together they had a son named Brian, who was born on 18 January 1942.
Roy’s brother Earl also served in the Second World War, as a Corporal with the 10th Canadian General Hospital Unit in England.
In November 1942, Roy was sent overseas, and became attached the Royal Air Force 21 Squadron stationed at RAF Station Hunsdon in Hertfordshire, England. His skill and expertise earned him the job of flying de Havilland Mosquitos, considered the fastest and the most difficult aircraft to fly. Mosquitos were versatile and used as fighter bombers, but Roy also performed dangerous night intruder missions, attacking German night fighters when they were returning to their base. Roy and his navigator Flight Officer George William successfully completed a night intrusion over Munster, Germany during the Nuremburg Raids which took place on 30-31 March 1944. They were returning to base at the Hunsdon Airfield, when they were spotted by German bombers over the French coast, and were shot down over the England Channel. He was deemed missing in action until his death was confirmed in July 1944, that he was shot down on 31 March at the age of twenty five.
For his service, he was awarded the 1939-45 Star, War Medal 1939-45, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, Defence Medal, and Air Crew Europe medal, and was posthumously awarded gold RCAF Operational Wings for “gallant service in action against the enemy.” He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, England, and the Hunsdon Airfield Memorial in Hertforshire, England where he was stationed.
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- Brian Osborn
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- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Recommended Citation:
- Roy Harris Osborn, Brian Osborn. 2017BO001.001-031.
- The information and images provided are for personal research only and are not to be used for commercial purposes. Use of this information should include the credit "County of Brant Public Library."
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