OTTAWA, Canada, 18th July, 1945.
Mrs. E.V. Fitzgerald,
2317 Maple Avenue,
New Westminster, B.C.
Dear Mrs. Fitzgerald:
I wish to acknowledge your letter of recent date concerning your son, Flight Sergeant John Ernest Fitzgerald.
It is indeed regretted that as yet despite continued and persistent efforts no further information has been received concerning your son since he was reported 'missing'. I wish to assure you, however, that action to presume his death will be for official purposes only, and will not diminish or affect in any way, efforts being made to trace him, and just as soon as any word of him is received, you will be at once advised.
Some information is available concerning a great many aircraft which crashed or were shot down in Continental Europe when practically all of it was occupied by the enemy, and every possible effort on an organized basis is being put forth to secure all information available.
It is the duty of the Graves Registration Units, which are under the control of the Military Authorities, to enquire for and locate the graves of all personnel known or believed to have crashed and to have been buried in occupied areas.
Where no reports have been received of the existence of graves it is the function of the Royal Air Force and Dominion Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service, which has been organized for the purpose of research and enquiry in liberated territories into the circumstances of aircrews reported as casualties, to commence a thorough investigation. This Service will also endeavour to obtain additional particulars to supplement that already received. It is now operating and will continue to conduct a systematic research on a chronological basis.
The civilian population of these areas is being contacted by Radio and Press and proclamations through the various civic authorities, to centralize, through this service, any information or concrete evidence they may have about Air Force personnel or crashed aircraft. Similar instructions have been issued to all Service personnel engaged in those areas and you may rest assured that immediately any word of your son is received, you will be at once advised.
May I again extend to you and the members of your family my most sincere sympathy in this long and anxious period of waiting.
R.C.A.F. Casualty Officer,
for Chief of the Air Staff.