William Edward Raban


Lest we forget

Warrant Officer Class 2, Royal Canadian Air Force, 408 Goose Squadron

Service Personnel Information

  • Name: William Edward Raban
  • Service Regimental Number: R100441
  • Rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
  • Height/weight: 5 feet 7 inches and three quarters, 146 pounds
  • Colour of eyes: Blue
  • Marital status: Single
  • Religion: Church of England (C of E), Anglican
  • Address: 401 1/2 Bowman Ave., East Kildonan, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Next of Kin (and relationship): Mrs. Alfred Raban, Mother
  • Date of Enlistment: April 12th, 1941
  • City and Province of Enlistment: Winnipeg, Manitoba

This is where Raban lived.


William Edward Raban was an ordinary, only child born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This single, blue eyed Anglican lived on 401 and a half Bowman Avenue in East Kildonan with his parents Mr and Mrs Alfred Raban (mother and father). Growing up, one of William’s hobbies was bowling. While other boys at Raban’s age grew up pursuing hockey and other sports extensively, he bowled extensively. He went to St. John’s College and graduated grade twelve (Now St. Paul’s High School). Growing up, William became an inspector as an occupation for the Winnipeg Police Force. This occupation would be short lived because war was on the horizon.
William Edward Raban enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on April 12th, 1941 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Raban stood at five feet, seven inches and three quarters and weighed in at 146 pounds (Attestation Paper, p.1) William enlisted as an air bomber in No. 408 Goose Squadron (No. 408 Squadron, canadianwings.com). The No. 408 Goose Squadron's motto is "For Freedom" (No. 408 Goose Squadron RCAF, raf.mod.uk). Before Raban could take to the skies and serve overseas, the new recruit had to go through some vigorous training. “Elementary training took approximately eight weeks, which included at least 50 hours of flying… air observers would move to Air Observer Schools for a 12-week course on aerial photography, reconnaissance, and air navigation. This also included 60 to 70 hours of practical experience in the air. Observers learned the science of bombing during their 10-week stay at a Bombing and Gunnery School… Navigators specializing in bombing spent eight weeks at a Bombing and Gunnery School and 12 weeks at an Air Observer School. These men were then qualified as both navigators and bomb aimers.” (A Demanding Training Regime, veterans.gc.ca). After all of this training, Raban could finally serve his country overseas.
The only bombing that is mentioned that William Edward Raban was involved with was the bombing over Lingen/Ems, Germany. Lingen/Ems is west of Berlin. There is no solid evidence as to what happened the night of the bombing. The only thing that is factual is that Raban did not succeed in the night raid because was shot down by german anti-air guns over Lingen/Ems. The twenty-three year old single Anglican did not survive the crash.
On December 29th, 1943, William Edward Raban died while serving his country overseas. He was only twenty-three years of age. At first, Raban was buried in New Cemetery, Lingen/Ems, Row 11, Grave 4-5. At the end of World War 2, Raban was moved to Reichswald Forest British Cemetery, Germany, Grave 1-12, Plot 27, Row C. William can be found in the book of Remembrance on page 625 (last page in file folder). William Edward Raban served his country to the fullest overseas for two years. The twenty-three year old that lived on 401 and one a half Bowman Avenue in East Kildonan died for his country. He will not be forgotten.

Military Service Record

  • Age (at death): 23
  • Force: Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Unit: 408 Goose Squadron
  • Service Number: R100441
  • Honours and Awards: No record of awards or medals given to Raban
  • Photograph: Yes
  • Next of Kin (and relationship): Mrs Alfred Raban, Mother
  • Date of Death: 29-Dec-43
  • Country of Burial: Germany
  • Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery
  • Grave Reference: Reichswald Forest British Cemetery, Germany, Grave #1-12, Plot 27, Row C.
  • Location: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery
  • Book of Remembrance: Page 625

Grave Reference

  • Name of Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery
  • Grave Reference: Reichswald Forest British Cemetery, Germany, Grave #1-12, Plot 27, Row C.
external image 62288231.jpg
image credit: http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/62288231.jpg

external image ReichswaldForest.jpg
image credit: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~engcclay/images/WarGraves/ReichswaldForest.jpg


"The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan." Veteran Affairs Canada. N.p., 1
Oct. 10, 01, 2011. Web. 1 May 2012. <http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/
history/secondWar/bcatp/page5>. This website talks about the training
programs for all of the different positions that make up the Royal Canadian
Air Force. It talks about how long a soldier must learn in classes before
they can take to the skies.
"Canadian Wings." Canadian Wings. N.p., Winter-Spring 01, 01, 2010. Web. 1 May
2012. <http://www.canadianwings.com/index.php>. This particular
website is extremely useful. It describes the squadrons the RCAF pilots
fell under and lists in detail what recruits did in training. The website
also talks about the aircraft the the pilots got to fly while in World War
"Memorial: William Edward Raban." Canada at War. N.p., 1 Jan. 01, 01, 2005. Web.
1 May 2012. <http://www.canadaatwar.ca/memorial/world-war-ii/126180/
warrant-officer-class-ii-william-edward-raban/>. This website shows the
badge that William Edward Raban used while in the No. 408 Goose Squadron.
"No. 408 Squadron RCAF." Bomber Command. N.p., 6 Apr. 04, 06, 2005. Web. 1 May
2012. <http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/h408.html>. This website
describes what squadron William Raban was associated with. It mentions the
motto they used. It also mentions the badge they used as well as other
"The Winnipeg Tribune." Editorial. Manitobia.com. Manitobia, 23 June 1944. Web.
23 Apr. 4, 23, 2012. <http://manitobia.ca/content/en/newspapers/WPT/1944/
I am using this website because there is a picture of William Edward Raban.
Also, this article was made when Raban was presumed dead instead of
confirmed dead.

Image Citations:
"401 Bowman Avenue, Winnipeg MB," Google Maps, 2012, Web. 16 May 2012. <http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=401+Bowman+Avenue,+Winnipeg,+MB&hl=en&ll=49.915765,-97.104506&spn=0.007489,0.021136&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=30.814043,86.572266&oq=401+bowman+a&hnear=401+Bowman+Ave,+Winnipeg,+Division+No.+11,+Manitoba+R2K+1P2&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=49.915706,-97.104322&panoid=BkOJjIDvIqpW1jnPKOEoHQ&cbp=12,48.61,,0,-0.37>