I am commanded by the Air Council to express to you their grave concern on learning from the Casualties Officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force that, in view of information now received from the International Red Cross Committee, your son, Pilot Officer Dennis John Quinlan, is believed to have lost his life as the result of the air operations on the night of 16th/17th August 1942.
The committee's telegram, quoting official German information, states that one of the occupants of the aircraft which your son was flying was captured on the 17th August, 1942, an that he has reported that your son and three other occupants were killed.
Although there is little reason to doubt the accuracy of this report, it will be necessary to report the casualty as "missing believed killed" until confirmed by further evidence, or until, in the absence of such evidence, it becomes necessary owing to lapse of time, to presume for official purpose that death had occurred. Action to that effect would not, however, be taken until at least six months from the date when your son was reported missing.
The air council regret that this news unfortunately leaves little room for hope, and desire me to express their deep sympathy with you in your grave anxiety.
I am, Madam,
Your obedient Servant,