Typhoon MN310

In memory of Typhoon pilot MN310 of 439 Squadron RCAF, MOEN Ronald Olaf, shot down by the FLAK.

It was on August 12, 1944, at the age of 22, that he lost his life in this meadow, which is his final resting place.

Typhoon MN310, piloted by O.R.O. Moen of 439 RCAF Squadron, left the base at 13:55 on August 12, 1944, to carry out a dive-bombing attack on a bridge at Philbert-sur-Orne, France. Moen's plane was hit by a light flare as it circled the target at 4,000 feet, and smoke was seen coming from the radiator. He then flew directly north, accompanied by a pilot from his section. Moen jettisoned his cut roof and side door about 1000 feet and appeared to be attempting a forced landing, but the aircraft appeared to stall at about 50 feet, then turned s starboard and struck the ground with the starboard wing. The aircraft exploded on impact, at around 2:20 p.m., just south of Saint-Pierre-La-Vieille, France. Moen was not seen to save himself.

S/L Fiset, PLC, wrote to Moen's mother on September 28, 1944, giving details of the circumstances of her Son's death. “Ronald was a wonderful boy, a good pilot and an integral part of this squadron, in the truest sense of the word. There was never a dull moment with him, for he was the squadron's humorist and entertainer. Next to you, we feel the See photos for examples of his antics.”

A letter in Moen's indicated that his brother, Peter, wanted to contact friends and talk to them.

Moen's jourart was found in his files at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. It seems that the family had moved and the diaries could not be delivered. Moen's clothes were donated.

In March 1946, a letter written by G/C W. A. Dicks to the Rev. MacDonad of Grace Church, Wutana, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, reported that parts of an aircraft identified as the one Moen was flying at the time he went missing had been found near La Chapelle Engerbold. “According to the mayor of this town, the crash occurred during the day while fighting was going on near the village, and the few people who remained did not go out to investigate. Some time later, the remains of the plane were found scattered over a wide area, and the damage to houses and crops was also spread over a surprisingly large area. Unfortunately, no trace of the pilot could be found, although pieces of a silk parachute and combat pants were found among the wreckage. Consequently, we can only assume that Moen was blown to pieces in the explosion. It is desirable that this information be conveyed to Mr. and Mrs. Moen in as sympathetic a manner as possible, and it is felt that this could be done by a personal visit. As the records of these headquarters show, F/O Moen was a member of the Church of England; perhaps you would like to pass on this report to the local vicar or accompany him to his parents' home.

Contribution and photo credits: Grasset Jacques.

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