Through research, we know a little about Lloyd Peter Hedley, who was born March 12, 1922, in Canfield, Ontario. He attended Public School at Canfield and later went to Cayuga High School. On March 28, 1938, he was received into full communion in the United Church of Canada by Rev. F. G. Purchase. Hedley spent some time on the Royal Bank staff at Dunnville, Paisley and Hamilton. At the time of his enlistment, he was an accountant at the Aylmer Branch.
Hedley entered the service of his country in October, 1942. He received his wings and commission on February 25, 1944, at St. Hubert, Quebec. After spending a year’s training in England, F/O Hedley was transferred to active duty over an area surrounding Hamburg in northwest Germany. On April 26, 1945, the aircraft he was flying had to be abandoned and he did not survive. Research shows that at the time of his death, he was serving with #430 City of Sudbury Squadron. He had reported by radio transmission that he had lost oil pressure on the engine of his Spitfire aircraft #RM821 and that the engine had failed. He bailed out; however his parachute tangled in the tail assembly. He was killed when the aircraft crashed fifteen miles northeast of Verden. He was buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery, Soltau, Germany.
Aside from the research, what else can we learn about Hedley? This is where the donated letters play an important part. They give us a glimpse into his family as well as his time away from home. In my next post, I’ll share some of the things we can learn, not only about his life, but also about some of the common themes in letters written by servicemen during the war.