Name: CORLESS Alvin Van Dyck Royal Canadian Air Force
Rank: Flying Officer 26477 Group 5 - RAF Bomber Command Squadron: RAF No. 207
Spilsby Airfield in Lincolnshire
Squadron Markings EM Residence: Oshawa - Ontario Birth: December 19, 1920 - Clinton - Township of Goderich - County of Huron - Ontario Died: June 22, 1944 23 years 6 months
Cemetery: Adegem Canadian War Cemetery - Maldegem - Oost-Vlaanderen - Belgium
XI J 2 Parents: Mr. Morton and Parmilia Coreless - Clinton - Ontario Brother: A. Benson serving overseas Sister: Mrs. Dorothy Breakey - Clinton - Ontario
Alvin was born in Clinton on December 10, 1920 and attended Clinton Public School 1927-34 and Clinton
Collegiate Institute 1934-37. He then was employed with the Royal Bank of Canada as a teller in Clinton, Orangeville, Roseneath, Hastings and Oshawa 1937-41. When he enlisted he was Ledger Keeper. During his first two years with the Royal Bank he took a Shaw Schools Correspondence Course on Practical Banking 1937-39.He enjoyed tennis, badminton, swimming and softball. Alvin had 5 years experience in Science of Government and was also a member of the Ontario Older Boys Parliament.
On May 26, 1941 in Toronto he enlisted into the Royal Canadian Air Force and upon enlistment he stood 5' 7" and weighed 143 pounds. He had a dark complexion with blue eyes and dark brown hair. Alvin had originally enlisted as a Clerk Accountant, but was remustered to Air Crew. Following his enlistment he was posted on May 26th to No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School in Fingal - Ontario. He then went to No. 2 Air Navigation School at PennfieldRidge - New Brunswick on July 1st. He then had to travel across the country on August 24th to No. 3 Manning Depot in Edmonton - Alberta. From Edmonton his next posting took him south to Calgary to No. 10 Repair Depot on September 3rd. He was again on the move across Canada on October 9th to Equipment Accounting Training School based at St. Thomas - Ontario. In the third week of November he was posted to No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School in Fingal. In the middle of summer in 1942 on July 7th he was posted to Initial Training School in Toronto. During October he was posted close to his birth home to No. 12 Elementary Flying Training School in Goderich - Ontario. As the third week of 1943 arrived he was posted on January 23rd to No.9 Service Flying Training School in Centralia - Ontario. While here he received his Flying Badge and received the rank of Pilot Officer and then Flying Officer. He was here until late May when he was posted to No.1 "Y"Depot in Halifax- Nova Scotia. Flying Officer Coreless embarked Halifax and Canada on June 23rd and arrived and disembarked in the United Kingdom on July 1st. The next day he went to No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre. On August 8th he was posted to No.15 Advanced Flying Unit and then on September 5th he went to RAF Ramsbury - Wiltshire where No. 15 Advanced Flying Unit was based. Between September 28-October 5 he was posted to No. 1 Base Depot. On November 9th he was attached to No. 17 Operational Training Unit based at RAF Silverstone - Northamptonshire. On the last day of February 1944 he went to RAF 50 Base and on the first day of March he was posted to No. 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit based at RAF Winthorpe - Nottinghamshire. On May 9th he was close to finishing his training and was posted to No. 5 Lancaster Finishing School - RAF Syerston - Nottinghamshire. With his training in Canada and the United Kingdom completed he was posted RAF 207 Squadron. Prior to the mission of June 21/22 Flying Officer Coreless and his crew had completed 7 previous missions totalling 29.40 hours. The upcoming mission target was Wesseling located south of Cologne where there were synthetic oil refineries and Buer located near Duisburg where the Scholven oil refineries were located. Lancaster ME 683 was loaded with 1 - 4,000 pound High Explosive bomb and 15 - 500 pound High Explosive bombs for a bomb load of 11,500 pounds. 207 Squadron sent up 22 Lancasters for this mission. Flying Officer Coreless who was the Captain and Pilot of ME 683 lifted off of the Spilsby Airfied runway at 11:30 pm on June 21st. On the outbound leg to the target 207 Squadron lost 5 aircraft with one being Lancaster ME 683. The tail gunner was Sergeant J. I. Magoffin from Bluevalein Huron County. At 1:30 am on the morning of June 22, 1944 the crew was located south-west of Meeuwen in Germany when Flying Officer Coreless and his crew became involved in an aerial battle with Major Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer of Geschwader NJG4 based at St Trond (St. Truiden) - Limburg - Belgium. Major Schnauger achieved 121 kills during World War II. During the morning of June 22, 1944 he achieved his 84th kill. His 82nd was Lancaster ME 683 at 1:30 am. He was so successful because he flew a Messerschmitt BF 110 g which was a twin engine night fighter. What made Major Schnaufer so successful was that the machine guns of his aircraft were pointed up. Time and time again he flew beneath the belly of an Allied bomber and ripped the under belly of his target. The priest of Meeuwen in Belgium saw a burning 4 engine aircraft pass over near his church. The aircraft attempted to jettison the bomb load over the woods between Ellikorn and Meeuwen before continuing south and exploding at a low height as the debris was scattered in a meadow 1 km from the centre of town. A second witness that when the pieces of the aircraft came down some of the bombs still in the aircraft exploded. The 4,000 pound bomb did not explode when the aircraft was attacked, or when the aircraft exploded or when the bomb crashed to the ground. When the wreckage was inspected they saw the 4,000 pound was cracked. The pieces were there for about 3-4 weeks. Many unexploded 303 shells were also strewn about. The crew was buried and blessed on Saturday June 24, 1944 at 4 pm in the Meeuwen Cemetery. He was awarded the 1939-45 Star, the France-Germany Star, the War Medal,the Defence Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal + Clasp. Alvin is honoured and remembered on the Clinton - Ontario Cenotaph and on the Memorial Plaque of the Royal Canadian Legion. Following the war the Coreless family was present at Wesely-Willis United Church for the unveiling of a memorial stained glass window to Alvin.