23rd April, 1945
Mr. David Bell
R.R. No. 3
Dear Mr. Bell:
I regret to advise that after extensive enquiries by our Missing Research and Inquiry Service, located in Paris, no definite information has yet come available regarding the fate of your son, Pilot Officer James Bond Bell.
A report has been received, however, which originates from the Mayor of Noisy-le-Sec and which states that at Noisy-le-Sec there were altogether twenty British and American personnel found dead after the bombardment of the night of 18/19th April, 1944. No particulars with respect to these personnel were recorded at Noisy-le-Sec. The Mayor affirms that there are no graves of British airmen at Noisy-le-Sec, either in the cemetery or in the vicinity. Investigations were also made in Bobigny, located one and one-half miles north west of Noisy-le-Sec, where it was thought that some of these airmen might have been buried. However, no trace of graves of British airmen could be found at Bobigny, either in the cemetery or in the vicinity.
It has been ascertained, however, that several unknown airmen are registered as having died April 18th, 1944, at Bobigny and Noisy-le-Sec and are buried in the cemetery at Clichy, which is located seven miles east of Noisy-le-Sec. Thorough examinations in this cemetery will be made, in an endeavor to ascertain the identity of these unknown airmen and it is hoped that some identification will be possible.
The above information was received through the medium of the Royal Air Force and Dominion Air Force Missing, Research and Enquiry Service, Paris, which was created to investigate into the fate of all personnel known to have crashed in occupied territory which is now liberated. This Service together with Graves Registration Units, which are under the control of the Military authorities, will continue their efforts to obtain further particulars with respect to the fate of your son.
I am sorry that this report does not contain information which will bring you any comfort or relief from anxiety, but felt that you would wish to be advised of it. Should further word be received it will be communicated to you at once.
May I extend to you my most sincerely sympathy during this period of prolonged and anxious waiting for word of a definite nature.
J.L. Westman F/L
R.C.A.F. Casualty Officer
For the Chief of the Air Staff