Bryan Michael Cassidy
WWII Veteran,
Royal Canadian Air Force
420 Snowy Owl Squadron

He was finally reunited with his "brothers in arms" in Holland

Written by Jana Cassidy (wife)
Ray Seed (nephew)


My husband Bryan Michael Cassidy had a very special bond with Holland. A bond that stretched beyond
life itself. After joining the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943, he was assigned to the 420 Snowy Owl Squadron based in Yorkshire, England as a tail gunner.  Returning from his third mission over Germany on April 25, 1944, his Halifax III night bomber was shot down and crashed into a field near the Dutch village of Zuilichem in the province of Gelderland. Only my husband and the mid-upper gunner Ray Tanner survived. The remaining five members of the crew, pilot Doug Watterson, navigator Ed Webb, bomb-aimer Alfred Redmonds, flight engineer Art Hansford and wireless operator Bill Murphy, perished and were buried in Zuilichem. To this day the villagers maintain their graves and every year on May 4, they all gather to remember the sacrifices these young Canadians made for their freedom.  My husband eluded the Nazis for about three days, surviving on water from the dikes and a chocolate bar from his escape kit.

He was eventually captured as he attempted to cross one of the bridges over the river Maas. Initially, he refused to give the enemy any information other than his name, rank and serial number.  He wasn't carrying any identification so the Gestapo considered him to be a spy.  As a result, he had no choice but to give the name of the squadron he was with in England.

That information satisfied the interrogating officer. He was then listed as a Prisoner of War and stayed at several camps or stalags, in Germany, Poland and East Prussia, until his liberation in 1945.  When he first visited the graves of his crew mates in 1985 he thought this was where he should have been. They lived together, ate together, creating an unbreakable bond that transcends time.

On May 4, 2005, he was finally reunited with his "brothers in arms" in Holland.




  May he rest in peace.