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Winnipeg blogger looking for relatives of fallen WWII soldier

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A Winnipeg man is helping a group of people in the Netherlands find the relatives of a Second World War airman.

RCAF Flight Sergeant John Day White of Hartney, Man., died with his crew when their plane was shot down over the Netherlands in 1943.

Now, a Netherlands organization is trying to find White’s relatives, but have been faced with challenges as he had a common last name. They’ve now turned to local history blogger Christian Cassidy for help.

Cassidy has created a blog post with all the known details about White, who was living in Manitoba when he enlisted.

“I’m hoping that someone will read it and either recognize a name or forward it around to their contacts and we might find a relative of John Day White,” Cassidy said.

White was 21 years old when he died. His father, Abram James White, was living in Arcola, Sask., when he died in 1982. White had three siblings, Anna Pearl White, Phyllis Vera White and William Robert White, who have all passed away.

“Chances are at least one or two [of his siblings] had children of their own,” Cassidy said.

“They didn’t have any luck finding anybody in the Hartney area with that name, so they may have moved to Winnipeg, they may have moved to Brandon or may have moved to Arcola, Saskatchewan.”

The Netherlands group is hoping to invite White’s relatives to a memorial unveiling in April.

More information can be found online. 

“It’s important to do this, even 80 years later, because these kids, which is what most of them were, went overseas and some of them paid the ultimate sacrifice. They never came back,” Cassidy said.

Later on Thursday, Cassidy connected with White's newphew, who lives in Winnipeg, and connected him with the group from the Netherlands.

With files from CTV's Carie Willson

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