The History of 625 Squadron Losses
05.03.1945 No. 420 Squadron RCAF Halifax III NA190 PT-U P/O. Roald Frederick Sollie

Operation: Chemnitz

Date: March 5 1945 (Monday)

Unit: 420 Squadron RCAF - Motto: Pugnamus finitum; "We fight to the finish"

Type: Handley Page Halifax III

Serial: NA190

Code: PT-U

Base: RAF Tholthorpe, North Riding of Yorkshire

Location: Crashed Hazlewood Castle, (Hayton Woods 3 mi SW Tadcaster, North Riding of Yorkshire)

Pilot: P/O Roald Frederick Sollie J93048 RCAF Age 27 - Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt Robert Louis Dinnen 221828 RAFVR Age 21 - Killed (2)

Nav: P/O William Gaba J94503 RCAF Age 21 - Killed (3)

Air/Bmr: F/O Emmet Solomon Kaechele J92691 RCAF Age 27 - Killed (4)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O Robert George Smith J87951 RCAF Age 21 - Killed (5)

Air/Gnr: F/Sgt James Harry Waugh DFM R201625 RCAF Age? - Abandoned aircraft/ Survived (6)

Air/Gnr: P/O Ralph Oscar Battler J94502 RCAF Age 20 - Killed (7)


Severe airframe icing. For further details see JB122 ADDENDUM: AIRFRAME ICING - Loss 7


(1) P/O Roald Frederick Sollie was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Sec. H. Row H. Grave 12.

His epitaph reads:

We loved you much

We miss you more

Our God we trust

Love and adore

Son of Chris and Emma Sollie, of Bentley, Alberta, Canada. Born 24 April 1918, Sortland, Norway.

(2) Sgt Robert Louis Dinnen was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Sec. H. Row. H. Grave 15.

His epitaph reads:

Greater love

Hath no man than this,

That a man lay down his life

For his friends

Son of John and Susan Dinnen, of Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Irish Republic.

(3) P/O William Gaba was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Sec. H. Row H. Grave 13.

His epitaph reads:

Loving and kind,

Upright and just

To the end of his days.

Mother, father, Anne and Myron

Son of Stefan and Ahafia Gaba, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Born 1 May 1923, Ukraine.

(4) F/O Emmet Solomon Kaechele was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Sec. H. Row H. Grave 14.


By Christ’s redemption

Glorified by God’s promotion

Son of Solomon and Emma Kaechele; husband of Lulu Grace Kaechele, of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Minister- Nazarene.

(5) F/O Robert George Smith was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Sec. H. Row H. Grave 16.

His epitaph reads

A true Christian gentleman,

A devoted son

Loved and honoured

By everyone

Son of Joseph and Florence Smith, of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.

(7) P/O Ralph Oscar Battler was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Sec. H. Row H. Grave 11.

His epitaph reads:

I have fought a good fight,

I have finished my course,

I have kept the faith

Son of Weston D. and Clara M. Battler, of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada


Aircrew Remembered Archive Report: JB122 Addendum- Airframe Icing. Journey’s End, Kevin Wilson- Chapter Fourteen, A COLD AND SILENT KILLER pp. 266-292. Library and Archives Canada/

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

Photo Credits:

LAC/ Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947. E1. P/O Roald Sollie - File 28695 Images 206 and 214, 216 and 218 of Funeral parade, arrival and final salute.

E2. P/O William Gaba - File 27556 Image 356. E3. P/O Emmet Kaechele - File 27870 Image 333. E4. F/O Robert Smith - File 28683 Image 391. E5. P/O Ralph Battler - File 30615 Image 16


John Naylor

Maureen Hicks

Pete Pearson

Reg Price DFC, 625 Squadron vet

Submission by John Proctor, Jack Albrecht and Nic Lewis.

JA 08-09-2019

© 2004-2024 John Albrecht