On The War Memorial Trail…. WW2 Flight Student Ralph McCutcheon’s Family Remembers

February 20, 2022. In an earlier posting, the story of a fatal 1942 plane crash in North Tryon, Prince Edward Island, recalled the eyewitness account by Vernon Inman, a resident of the area.

Flight student Ralph Gordon MCCUTCHEON lost his life in this tragic accident that happened during his training at the No. 9 Service Flying Training School RCAF in Summerside.  This flight training school was part of No. 3 Training Command RCAF, carrying out British Commonwealth Air Training Plan training operations. (To read the original posting, see https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2020/08/20/on-the-war-memorial-trail-the-1942-plane-crash-in-north-tryon/)

….Ralph’s family gets in touch…

Recently, Tim McCutcheon shared a photo of his uncle in uniform and wrote “I was quite interested to read your article about the 1942 plane crash in North Tryon.  The student in question, Ralph McCutcheon, was my uncle, the oldest brother of my father.  You’ve done such a great job of researching the story and writing, especially the account of Vernon Inman….” 

2022_Ralph_0001_b Ralph McCutcheon

Ralph McCutcheon in uniform.  (Photo courtesy of Tim McCutcheon)

Tim’s cousin, Nancy McCutcheon, also wrote us.  “….I too enjoyed the article about the June 1942 plane crash in North Tryon.  Ralph was also my Uncle.  Tim and I are first cousins. Our Fathers and Ralph were brothers. There were 3 young men in the family, Ralph, the eldest, Donald (my Father), and then Bruce.  Bruce was 10 years younger than Ralph, and Donald was 2 years younger. Thank you again for telling this story.  Ralph was an important person to many, but especially to his younger brothers…

…Excerpt of a letter from Group Captain Fullerton….

Tim also shared a letter sent to Ralph’s father from Group Captain E. G. Fullerton, Commanding Officer at the No. 9 Service Flying Training School. 

In the letter, Captain Fullerton wrote that …A most competent and promising student, your son was well thought of by all and had been chosen by his associates at Elementary Flying Training School and at this school as their class leader.  In appreciation of this, and recognizing his ability as a leader, he was appointed acting corporal.  What speaks much more of him, however, was the affection with which he was regarded by those who knew him most intimately – his fellow classmates…

…Dedication to Ralph in ‘The Salmagundi’ yearbook….

Nancy sent us the dedication to Ralph from the Colgate University yearbook, ‘The Salmagundi’.  The dedication reads “…To Mac, this sixty-second edition is dedicated. He died so that we may have victory, let us not fail him in the peace to come…

Colgate University Salmagundi yearbook 1943 edition Dedicated to Ralph

‘The Salmagundi’ Colgate University Yearbook dedication to Ralph McCutcheon.  (Photo courtesy of Nancy McCutcheon)

 …Passing of the plane crash eyewitness…

Vernon Inman would have been overjoyed to learn that Tim and Nancy had been in contact with additional information.  Sadly, he had passed away a few weeks earlier.  (To read the obituary, see https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/obituaries/funerals/vernon-george-inman-67225/)

Thank you to Tim and Nancy McCutcheon for sharing information about their uncle.  We also thank the family of the late Vernon Inman, whose recollection about the accident helped Pieter in researching this story.

Do you have photos or stories to share?  Email Pieter at memorialtrail@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

…Want to follow our research?….

If you are reading this posting, but aren’t following the blog, you are welcome to do so.  See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/ or email me at dariadv@yahoo.ca and ask for an invitation to the blog. 

Daria’s bookNo Soldier Buried Overseas Should Ever Be Forgottenis now available.  For more information see https://nosoldierforgotten.com/

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

© Daria Valkenburg

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