Sergeant Walter Alfred Hayes
Walter Alfred Hayes was born in Armstrong, British Columbia, the son of Newman Alfred and Alice Amelia Hayes. He worked as a farm hand before enlisting in May 1941.
Walter was considered an above average pilot during training. Having obtained his “wings” in January 1942, he was sent overseas to the UK and joined 402 squadron in July. On the 29th August, the squadron was escorting Flying Fortress bombers when they encountered FW190’s. Nobody saw what happened to Hayes but his Spitfire IX, (BS195), crashed into the English Channel off North Foreland, Kent. He was already dead when his body was recovered.
Pilot Officer Allister Mclean Skinner mentioned the events of 29th August in his personal diary:
Went over with 14 Fortresses to aerodrome in Holland. Took off from Bradwell and landed at Manston. What an abortion to set a kite on. Sgt. Hayes was pulled out of the Channel dead. Doing all high close escort cover to Flying Fortresses of U.S.A.A.F.
Sgt. Hayes lies at rest with his fellow Canadians in Brookwood Military Cemetery.
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.