March 12, 1922 - October 8, 1942
John Robert Weldon Grant was the son of John Edward Grant, weighman, and Annabella (nee Johnston) Grant of Dominion, Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton. He had one brother, Frank, and three sisters: Jean, Ethel, and Marjorie. Frank was a member of the Canadian Army. The family was Presbyterian.
Known as Robert, he completed his Grade X education, had been enrolled in Grade XI, but did not write his Grade XI certificate, having ceased to attend prior to the final examinations.
Robert married Willina Cecilia McPherson in Sydney, Nova Scotia, on March 15, 1941.
He was a telegraph operator for two and a half years with S&L Railway, Glace Bay, NS, prior to enlistment with the RCAF in August 1941.
Robert stood 5’8” tall, weighing 128 pounds. He had blue eyes and brown hair, with a fair complexion. A ½” linear scar on his left cheek was noted on his medical form. He liked to bowl, plus enjoyed reading and mechanics.
Robert was sent to Valcartier, Quebec on August 20, 1941 to No. 5a Manning Depot until the 28th. He was then sent to No. 8 SFTS, Moncton until November 7, 1941. On September 8, 1941, John forfeited pay due to AWL for seventeen hours from 0630 hours to 2330 hours. He was confined to barracks for three days.
On November 8, 1941, he was sent to No. 1 Wireless School, Montreal until March 28, 1942. “31st out of 67 in class. 76.7%.” He was authorized to wear a Wireless Operator’s Badge on March 28, 1942.
From there, he was sent to No. 1 B&G, Jarvis, Ontario until May 16, 1942. On April 25, 1942, Robert received his Air Gunner’s Badge. At the beginning of April 1942, he was in the station hospital for four days. “Has done well in spite of time lost in hospital. 11th out of 31 in class.” Other comments: “Quick and intelligent but rather satisfied with only a modest effort.”
No. 31 O.T.U., Debert, Nova Scotia, was Robert’s next destination for further training beginning May 17, 1942 until June 30, 1942. He was then posted to RAF Ferry Command.
Robert was aboard Ventura II AJ450 with Sergeant Dennis Frederick John Jupp, RAF, 754000, 22 years old, son of Frederick George and Winifred Mary Jupp; husband of Ruby Gladys Jupp, of Willingdon, Sussex, England, Sergeant Thomas Geoffrey Knowles, RAF, 1533571, and Sergeant Derick Wallsh, RAF, 656003, 21 years old, son of Herbert Thomas Wallsh and Lily Wallsh, of East Ham, Essex, England when it was lost at sea. The aircraft did not arrive at Gander from Dorval, Quebec on its way to the UK.
A letter dated May 21, 1943, written by John’s widow: “…I may say that I am still not satisfied that he is dead and I have applied to the Red Cross organization for assistance in locating him. I have not, as yet, heard from them.”
In October 1955, Willina received a letter informing her that since John did not have a known grave, his name would appear on the Ottawa Memorial. She had remarried by 1946 and was Mrs. Peters.