HONOURS AND AWARDS TO CANADIAN FORCES PERSONNEL

FOR POSTWAR SERVICES RELATED TO AVIATION

 

 

compiled for Air Command by

 

Hugh A. Halliday

1594 Delia Crescent

Orleans, Ontario

K4A 1W9

 

 

Acknowledgement: This data base has been prepared with generous assistance from Surgeon Commander (ex F/O) John Blatherwick, CM, CD, MD, New Westminster, British Columbia.

 

Explanatory Note: This data base is divided into six sections as follows:

 

A: Gazetted awards to all RCAF personnel for services 1947 to 1970, whether for flying or non-flying duties; it does not enter the period of distinctive Canadian awards instituted 1967-1972. It also does not include Canadians receiving awards while serving as enrolled members of foreign services.

 

B: Gazetted awards for air-related duties performed by Canadian Army personnel for flying or flight-related duties in the period under review, including air operations in Korea and mercy flights.

 

C: Gazetted awards for air-related duties performed by Royal Canadian Navy personnel for flying or flight-related duties in the period under review, including air operations in Korea and mercy flights.

 

D: Awards to members of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

 

E: Awards to civilians for bravery related to air operations for the period.

 

F: Awards where important data is lacking regarding nature of award or duties performed; information provided to the compiler will be checked and, if correct, added to this data base.

 

Hugh Halliday welcomes written comments, additions or corrections sent to his home. He has no E-mail or Internet access at this time.


PART A - AWARDS TO RCAF PERSONNEL

 

ALEXANDER, Flying Officer Charles Maxwell, CD (133192) - Air Force Cross - No.433 Squadron, Station North Bay - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 29 October 1960 and AFRO 222/60. Born May 1931, Denny, Scotland. Educated in Scotland; served two tours with RAF before joining RCAF in Toronto, 1956; posted to No.433 Squadron, December 1957. Uniform held by Canadian War Museum.

 

During an Air Defence Exercise on May 24, 1960, Flying Officer Alexander was the navigator in a CF-100 aircraft which was participating in an aircraft interception at 43,000 feet. Shortly thereafter, the pilot of the aircraft suffered extreme anoxia. He was receiving no oxygen whatsoever as the result of a fault in his oxygen system. Flying Officer Alexander instructed the pilot to descend. The pilot responded and commenced an immediate descent but could not actuate his emergency oxygen supply. Flying Officer Alexander elected to remain with the aircraft and continue to talk the pilot into bringing the aircraft under control from an extremely erratic descent. Flying Officer Alexander noted at one point that their speed was 650 knots and they then entered the cloud deck at 7,000 feet still in a dive. The pilot gradually responded to instructions and pulled the aircraft out of the dive but the aircraft ended up in an inverted position. Flying Officer Alexander then successfully managed to instruct the pilot to roll the aircraft into a strait and level flight at approximately 10,000 feet. A ground control landing approach was then commenced. The pilot did not respond to instructions given by the GCA Controller and it was necessary for Flying Officer Alexander to guide the pilot all the way down. The pilot was still under the effects of anoxia upon landing to the extent that he did not round out but flew onto the runway. It was also necessary for Flying Officer Alexander to instruct him on braking action and direction. After a successful landing, the pilot remembered practically nothing of what had taken place. Flying Officer Alexander, when faced with the decision of ejecting or remaining with the aircraft, chose to remain in an effort to save his pilot and aircraft. Through coolness and devotion to duty he managed to avert what would have been a fatal accident.

 

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ALLEN, Flying Officer Gerald Wilfred (19905) - King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 28 August 1948 and AFRO 524/48. As of award he was serving at Station Lachine. Certificate forwarded 3 May 1951.

 


As co-pilot of the Magnetic Survey Canso in 1947, Flying Officer Allen proved himself to be an extremely alert and adaptable pilot. At all times he applied his skill in handling the aircraft under the most difficult and unique conditions with great intelligence. On several occasions during hazardous landing in rough seas and amongst ice flows he assisted the captain in averting catastrophe. In spite of many hardships which the crew endured this officer maintained a happy and infectious disposition, making light of adversity, and promoting a high morale. If is considered that Flying Officer Allen contributed in a large share to the expedition's success and that his all round performance is deserving of great praise.

 

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BARNES, Flight Lieutenant William Roy, CD (216445) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 28 May 1966.

 

On the night of 28 July 1965, Flight Lieutenant Barnes was Captain of a CF-104 dual aircraft which experienced a serious in-flight engine malfunction near the city of Munich. At a height of 500 feet, the engine nozzle area went to the full open position because of material failure which resulted in a drastic reduction of engine power. Flight Lieutenant Barnes immediately instituted the authorized emergency procedure to release the nozzle, but to no avail. He was now in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to remain with the aircraft which lacked sufficient power to maintain height, or to abandon the aircraft which almost certainly would have crashed into the city of Munich. Electing to remain with the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Barnes ordered the second pilot to radio the international distress call. A radar control agency replied giving directions to a suitable aerodrome but to comply would have placed the aircraft over the centre of Munich. Electing to ignore these instructions, Flight Lieutenant Barnes continues his heading away from the centre of Munich when he received directions from another radar agency for an alternative aerodrome. Accepting these instructions he commenced an approach to Furstenfeldbruck aerodrome. This aerodrome, close to Munich, had no approach lighting and the runway lights were dimmed because of emergency power operation. Notwithstanding these difficulties he was able to complete the approach and safely land the aircraft. This act of cool courage in a critical situation averted what cold have been an catastrophe involving considerable loss of life.

 

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BATCOCK, Flying Officer Clive Charles (135671) - Air Force Cross - No.422 Squadron, No.4 (F) Wing - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 29 October 1960 and AFRO 222/60.

 


On March 2, 1960, while taking part in a practice air fighting mission in a Sabre aircraft, Flying Officer Batcock's aircraft suffered an engine failure. At that time, he was positioned about 50 miles from base at 42,000 feet with sky completely undercast beneath him. The cloud extended from an uneven base from 1,000 to 5.000 feet and was unbroken to 30,000 feet. Beneath the cloud, visibility was limited by rain and fog. Under these conditions, Flying Officer Batcock, with serious risk to his life, completed a superb forced landing at his home base. Throughout the descent, he remained calm and collected and followed all recognized procedures to cope with the emergency situation with precision and accuracy. Flying Officer Batcock could have, without condemnation, abandoned the aircraft. However, a free-falling aircraft would have been a definite menace to his home base and other populated areas in the vicinity. Flying Officer Batcock's skill, courage and sense of responsibility saved a costly aircraft and the lives of others who might have been endangered by a falling aircraft. His devotion to duty, skill and courage have served as an inspiration and splendid example to fellow aircrew. He is highly recommended as being most worthy of the Air Force Cross.

 

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BIRCHALL, G/C Leonard Joseph, OBE, DFC (C775) - Officer, Legion of Merit (United States) - awarded as per AFRO 443/50 dated 8 September 1950. Born 6 July 1915 in St.Catharines, Ontario; home in St.Johns, Ontario. Served in Lincoln Regiment (1932-1933); enrolled in Royal Military College, 1933; to Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in 1934 and RCAF (P/P/O, 5 July 1937). Received wings, 20 May 1938 and posted to No.5 (BR) Squadron, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Signal specialist with Eastern Air Command Headquarters, 1940; Chief Navigation Officer at No.2 Training Command, Winnipeg, 1941. Posted to No.413 Squadron, Shetland Islands, 1941; shot down and taken prisoner, 5 April 1942; became Senior Allied Officer, POW work camp, Yokohama. Repatriated to Canada in October 1945. Director of Personnel Administration, AFHQ, 1946; Member of U.S. Prosecuting Team at War Crimes Trials, Japan, 1947. As a Group Captain he became Assistant Attache to Canadian Joint Staff in Washington, 1948; appointed CO of Station Goose Bay, 1950; to Air Material Command Headquarters, 1952; to Canadian NATO Delegation in Paris, 1954; to be CO of Station North Bay, 1958; promoted to Air Commodore in 1960 and made Chief of Operations at AFHQ; to be Commandant of Royal Military College, 1963; released 1967. DFC and OBE presented 29 April 1949. Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953 while Group Captain at Air Material Command Headquarters. Appointed Honourary Colonel, No.413 Squadron, June 1989. See also RMC Club Newsletter (November 1982), Air Force (issues for March, June and September 1983); "Trenton to Dartmouth; An Anecdotal Account of Flying in the RCAF, 1937-1940" in Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, Volume XXIII No.2 (June 1985).

 


Group Captain Leonard J. Birchall, Royal Canadian Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services from 4 April 1942 to 20 June 1950. As Senior Officer in the Japanese Prisoner of War Camp at Yokohama, Group Captain (then Wing Commander) Birchall worked tirelessly and fearlessly to improve the physical and mental welfare of British, American and Canadian prisoners under his command. His exploits became legendary throughout Japan and brought renewed faith and strength to many hundreds of ill and disheartened prisoners. Subsequent to his liberation he contributed information and material of inestimable value in connection with war crimes investigations. More recently, as Deputy to the Air Member, Canadian Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., Group Captain Birchall has constantly demonstrated a superior understanding of the relationship between the United States Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force and his sound judgement, tact and unfailing spirit of cooperation have materially assisted the Permanent Joint Board on Defence, Canada-United States in the accomplishment of its mission.

 

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BLANK, Corporal Phillip Edmund, CD (203738) - British Empire Medal - No.103 Rescue Unit, Greenwood - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 5 September 1964 and AFRO 37/64 (same date).

 

On the morning of 20 February 1964, Corporal Blank was the jumpmaster of a three-man para-rescue team aboard an Albatross aircraft engaged in a search for a missing seal hunter, Albert Muise, in the Gulf of St.Lawrence. When the hunter was sighted, it was determined that his only hope of rescue was in landing of the aircraft and evacuation by a small rubber boat which was aboard. The aircraft was landed in perilous conditions, amidst flow ice, and Corporal Blank, after the boat was launched by his para-rescue team, immediately stepped into it and set off to rescue Mr.Muise who was stranded on a small ice pan some fifty feet behind the aircraft. The weather was deteriorating, temperature was at the freezing point, and the sea was running in three to four foot waves with a heavy chop. Corporal Blank, well aware that his flimsy craft might be torn by the jagged ice, might easily capsize, or that the life-line attached to the aircraft might tear free and leave him adrift, pressed on with the rescue. The boat's outboard motor was quickly swamped and Corporal Blank had to drift, paddle and fend off floe ice to reach Mr.Muise's position. When the boat came close enough, Mr.Muise jumped towards it and was pulled aboard by Corporal Blank. With a difficult and dangerous return to the aircraft, the rescue was completed. Demonstrating devotion to duty of a high order, Corporal Blank, without regard for his own safety, performed an act of bravery under extremely hazardous circumstances which was instrumental in saving a man's life.

 

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BLISS, Flight Lieutenant William Hamilton Forster (17822) - Air Medal (United States) - 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 26 June 1954 and AFRO 362/54 dated 2 July 1954. Born in Toronto, 8 June 1923; enlisted in RCAF, 31 July 1941; served overseas with No.412 Squadron; discharged 7 September 1945. Reenlisted 9 November 1948 and flew with No.410 Squadron aerobatic team. Retired 2 February 1971. See PL-90394 for photograph. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 


Flight Lieutenant William H. Bliss distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as a pilot, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force, from 4 May 1953 to 16 June 1953. Flying an F-86 type aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Bliss accomplished many missions in support of United Nations operations in Korea. Although often faced with determined enemy opposition, the courage, aggressiveness and degree of skill with which Flight Lieutenant Bliss conducted his assignment contributed greatly to the ultimate success of the assigned missions. Through his personal courage, outstanding airmanship and exemplary devotion to duty, Flight Lieutenant Bliss reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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BOWMAN, Sergeant Frederick Morison (22554) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952. Born in Ancaster, Ontario; raised and educated in Dundas, Ontario. Serving at No.4 OTU at date of gazetting; certificate forwarded via Air Transport Command, 26 June 1952. Died in Ottawa, 19 December 1999.

 

Sergeant Bowman has served on the Korean Airlift since its inception as a Flight Engineer on North Star aircraft, having been attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, as a member of 426 Transport Squadron on 26th July 1950. He has flown a total of 1,000 hours over the Pacific.

 

Throughout his tour, Sergeant Bowman has displayed outstanding professional ability which he used with imagination and initiative to ensure expeditious handling of all flights.

 

On many occasions hazardous weather conditions were encountered and it was necessary to perform instrument let downs or land with the aid of GCA at the destinations. Sergeant Bowman's experience, efficiency and co-operation with the captain of his aircraft during these conditions were in large part responsible for the success of the flights.

 

This non-commissioned officer's untiring efforts have been a magnificent contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's participation in the United Nations' effort in Korea.

 

NOTE: His obituary in the Ottawa Citizen described him as a member of the Pre-War Club and the "doyen of Canadian Military Flight Engineers". It also carried a quotation attributed to Leonardi da Vinci. The attribution may be incorrect, but the text and sentiment bear recording:

 

When once you have tasted flight

You will forever walk the earth

with your eyes turned skyward,

For there you have been and


there you always long to return.

 

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BURN, Flight Lieutenant Robert Edward (17486) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 1 January 1953 and AFRO 10/53 dated 9 January 1953. From Hespeler, Ontario; born 1922.

 

Flight Lieutenant Burn has served with No.426 Transport Squadron on the Korean Airlift since November 1951, as navigator of North Star aircraft. He has throughout all his flights to the Far East in support of United Nations operations in Korea, consistently exhibited navigational skill of a high order. His drive and ability coupled with his mature and enthusiastic interest in the Far Eastern route has been a source of inspiration to other members of the squadron and invaluable in the training of new navigation officers on the North Pacific crossings. Flight Lieutenant Burn has contributed in no small measure to the successful achievements of 426 Transport Squadron.

 

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BURROWS, Flying Officer Sydney Edward (34099) - Air Force Cross - No.434 Squadron, No.4 (F) Wing - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 July 1955 and AFRO 367/55 dated 30 July 1955. Born in Burnaby, British Columbia. Enlisted 1951 in Vancouver. Trained at Centralia (wings, 1952), Air Gunnery School (Macdonald, Manitoba) OTU (Chatham). Posted to Germany, March 1953. After accident described below he was graded as monocular and grounded; transferred to Flying Control duties. However, he lobbied and finally regained flying category on T-33 and Dakota Navigational Training aircraft. Commander, No.440 (Rescue) Squadron, 1968. In 1971 he went to No.424 Squadron Detachment, UN forces, Srinagar, Kashmir, flying a Twin Otter, Trenton to Kashmir. Later Base Operations Officer, Comox. Retired, September 1982. Later an executive with the Royal Canadian Legion.

 


On Monday, 13 September 1954, Flying Officer Burrows was flying a routine training mission as a member of a four plane formation of F-86 Sabre jets. While approximately 20 miles from No.4 (Fighter) Wing, Baden Soelingen, Germany, a bird struck the perspex canopy of Burrows' aircraft, shattering the canopy. Pieces of the shattered canopy were imbedded in Flying Officer Burrows' face and left eye. Partially blinded and covered with blood, this pilot retained control of his aircraft and quickly gave the international distress call of "Mayday". He then had to tear off his helmet to clear his face and eyes, thus leaving him with no radio communications. The section leader, on determining the emergency, assigned a wing man to lead Flying Officer Burrows to 4 (Fighter) Wing. Although Burrows was losing blood, suffering great pain and shock, and almost completely blinded by perspex and blood, he safely executed a wheels down landing on the aerodrome. He then taxied his aircraft clear of the runway to enable the remainder of the formation to land. He was lifted from his aircraft and taken to the Wing Hospital for emergency treatment. This young officer, instead of parachuting to safety and losing his aircraft, demonstrated extreme courage and devotion to duty in flying his aircraft back to base to carry out a safe landing while suffering extensive pain and being almost totally blind.

 

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CAMERON, Flight Sergeant Keith MacKenzie (17424) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 9 April 1960 and AFRO 194/60 dated 29 April 1960. Born in Vancouver; enlisted 1948 as aircraft controller. Served in Canada and with No.2 (F) Wing; since 1957 had been at Portage la Prairie on GCA control duties.

 

Flight Sergeant Cameron was a passenger in a T-33 jet aircraft carrying out a cross-country flight at 37,000 feet on 11 October 1959. The eyesight of the pilot became very seriously impaired and Flight Sergeant Cameron, a ground controlled approach controller with limited civilian flying experience, took over the control of the aircraft for approximately fifteen minutes during which time he "homed" on a radio beacon, descended through cloud, performed aircraft circles, worked the radio and expressed a willingness to land the aircraft. By this time the pilot had regained his eyesight sufficiently to land but Flight Sergeant Cameron provided considerable aid during the approach and landing operation. His resourcefulness and skill saved a valuable aircraft and possibly prevented loss of life.

 

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CAMPBELL, Flight Lieutenant Daniel Michael (30048) - Air Force Cross - No.121 Composite Unit, Comox, B.C. Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 July 1966 and AFRO dated 29 July 1966 for rescue of survivors of air crash, 18 July 1965. This award is thoroughly documented in Secretary of State papers (RG.6 D.1 Volume 359, file 114-2-A1-3 "Awards - Specific - Air Force Cross (Granted)" - Based on affidavit sworn 21 December 1965 by F/L R.A. Cumming, Medical Officer, Station Comox, who had accompanied Campbell, taking off from Comox at about 7.00 p.m. He was the man on the cable when it was found to be too short; Campbell had him on the ground by 9.30 p.m. Wreck site relocated by waving a small hand-held flashlight. Sergeant A.F. Savage was lowered to assist, and Campbell then departed for refuelling, returning at 1.00 a.m. Three lifts made; it was so dangerous that Sergeant Savage was left for a daylight retrieval.

 


Another affidavit filed by Sergeant Savage on 22 December 1965 states that helicopter crew consisted of F/L Campbell, F/L Neil, Corporal Herr (Flight Technician), F/L Cummings (MO) and Sergeant Stevens, as well as LAC Fletcher (duty photographer). Flew to Tofino, met an ASR Albatross and picked up one of the "walk out" survivors to guide them. A para-rescue team had been dropped earlier, apparently at wrong site. The Albatross, reconnoitring 2-3 miles north, directed them to and object hanging in the trees; by aircraft searchlights they spotted wreckage in trees and a man waving a white shirt. After lowering the MO, chopper flew to jump site and picked up Corporal Scobey who as winch operator got Savage down on ground. Savage reported the helicopter had been sent away for an hour while MO treated injured and Savage prepared stretcher and landing site - unable to cut the huge trees but trimmed some wood and branches that might hinder or catch stretchers.

 

Recommendation (citation below) sent by letter of Air Commodore G.F. Jacobsen to Mr.J.Miquelon (Chairman, Decorations Committee, Secretary of State), 14 March 1966. On 24 May 1966 he writes that the Decorations Committee had met on 11 May 1966 and concurred in awards for Campbell and Harvey.

 

Campbell, as a Major in the Canadian Armed Forces, was later made a Member of the Order of Military Merit (Canada Gazette dated 22 December 1973 - the only AFC recipient so honoured).

 


On 18 July 1965, Flight Lieutenant Campbell was the captain of Labrador Helicopter 10402, despatched to search for and pick up survivors of an aircraft which had crashed near Bramfield on Vancouver Island. Two survivors of the crash had "walked out" but because of conflicting descriptions, the exact location f the crash scene could not be determined by the searching aircraft. It was learned, however, that the aircraft had crashed into tall timber on a steep mountainside and that two other survivors who were injured, possibly seriously, were left at the crash scene. Just at sundown, the tail section of the aircraft was spotted lodged in the top of tall timber. Despite the increasing darkness, Flight Lieutenant Campbell manoeuvred his aircraft into position for lowering a rescue team. When the first man was lowered it was found that at the full extent of the hoist cable he was some 20 feet from the ground, due to the height of the timber, the gradient of the mountain slope and the limited length of the hoist cable. It was then necessary for Flight Lieutenant Campbell, if he were to effect a rescue, to nestle the helicopter fuselage in the tree tops. With extraordinary skill, he nestled the helicopter fuselage into the tree tops, successfully lowering the rescue team and their equipment. To ensure a safe fuel supply and the success of the rescue operation, Flight Lieutenant Campbell then returned to base and although now midnight returned to the crash scene determined to complete the rescue. Again he nestled the helicopter fuselage in the tree tops and safely hoisted the survivors and rescue team to safety. Had Flight Lieutenant Campbell not completed the rescue that night, rain and fog later closed the area to search aircraft until 21 July, 1965, it is doubtful if one of the injured survivors could have survived another night of exposure as, besides suffering burns to the upper part of his body a lacerated knee and a possible back injury, he was also in a state of shock. During the entire rescue mission Flight Lieutenant Campbell faced grave personal danger when nestling the fuselage in the trees, as any sudden change of wind could easily have caused the helicopter to crash causing undetermined injury or death to himself and others. This officer's calm professional approach, exceptionally fine airmanship, courage and devotion to duty in an extremely critical situation were major factors in saving human lives.

 

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CAREW, Flight Lieutenant Robert Dean (33697) - Air Medal (United States) - 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 26 June 1954 and AFRO 362/54 dated 2 July 1954. Medal presented by U.S. Consul in Quebec City, 5 August 1954. Born 21 August 1924; enlisted in RCAF, 31 August 1942; awarded wings, October 1943. Trained on Hurricanes in Canada and flew an overseas tour with Nos.66 and 412 Squadrons; served in Air Forces of Occupation for seven months. Demobilized 19 February 19946; rejoined RCAF 5 November 1950 and trained on Vampires; then became No.1 OTU instructor. As of 22 January 1953 he was reported to have 1,165 hours on single engine aircraft including 129 on Vampires, 201 on T-33s and 25 on Sabres. Taken on strength of Special Force (Korea), 14 February 1953; taken on strength of 335th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 18 February 1953; struck off strength 335th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 5 July 1953; struck off strength Special Force (Korea), 5 July 1953. In Korea he flew 72 combat hours plus 18 hours 15 minutes non-combat on F-86 and five hours 55 minutes non-combat on T-33; once forced to bale out over sea after gliding 130 miles, 43,00 feet to 7,000 feet. Retired 20 November 1970. See PL-98811 for photograph. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Flight Lieutenant Robert D. Carew distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as pilot of an F-86 type aircraft, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force, from 5 April 1953 to 8 May 1953. During that period, Flight Lieutenant Carew demonstrated outstanding professional ability during sustained combat air operations over North Korea. Despite adverse weather conditions, hazardous terrain and numerically superior enemy fighter aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Carew accomplished numerous missions which contributed substantially to the success of United Nations operations. Through his keen flying ability, courage and exemplary devotion to duty. Flight Lieutenant Carew reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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CARSWELL, Flight Lieutenant Andrew Gordon (17834) - Air Force Cross - No.123 Search and Rescue Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 15 March 1958 and AFRO 84/58 (same date). See Roundel, Vol.X (1958), Number 3, page 21.

 


On 28 June 1956, Flight Lieutenant Carswell took off in a Canso aircraft in an attempt to rescue two fishermen from a sinking vessel near Galiano Island in the Straits of Georgia. Despite strong winds and extremely rough waters, Flight Lieutenant Carswell made a successful landing. Flight Lieutenant Carswell then manoeuvred the aircraft into a position where the two fishermen could be rescued. The takeoff in the rough seas was a particularly hazardous one demanding of the highest skill as the aircraft had been severely damaged by the heavy seas during the landing and was shipping water faster than could be handled by the pumps. He then flew with the survivors to Sea Island without further incident.

 

On another occasion on 6 September 1956, Flight Lieutenant Carswell under difficult conditions successfully landed a Canso aircraft at sea some 600 miles off the West Coast of Vancouver Island in an attempt to remove a critically ill member of the weather ship St.Catharines. With considerable difficulty the seaman was transferred to the aircraft and with jet assisted takeoff the aircraft became airborne and returned to Victoria where the seaman was transferred to hospital. It was the belief of authoritative medical personnel that had not the patient been evacuated by air, he would not have survived the long sea voyage to Victoria. Flight Lieutenant Carswell's courage, devotion to duty, and skill have served as an inspiration and fine example to fellow aircrew. He is highly recommended as being most worthy of the Air Force Cross.

 

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CASS, Flight Lieutenant Raymond William (14930) - Air Force Cross - No.103 Rescue Unit, Greenwood - awarded as per Canada Gazette and AFRO 37/64, both dated 5 September 1964. This award is thoroughly documented in Secretary of State papers (RG.6 D.1 Volume 359, file 114-2-A1-3 "Awards - Specific - Air Force Cross (Granted)" On 3 June 1964 recommendation sent by Rear Admiral M.G. Stirling (Chairman, Personnel Members Committee) to Mr.J.Miquelon (Chairman, Decorations Committee, Secretary of State); he in turn writes (18 June 1964) that the Decorations Committee, meeting on 17 June, had approved honours for Cass and Blank (also for Brigadier J.A. Dextraze, Lieutenant-Colonel P.A.Mayer, and Sergeant J.A.L. Lessard). Recommendation had been submitted 9 March 1964 by S/L R.H. Ranzen (CO) and concurred in by G/C R.A. Gordon (Station Commander) who wrote, "A peerless demonstration of professional flying skill of the highest order". Based on affidavit sworn 11 March 1964 by F/L Joseph Julien Donat Mathon, radio officer on Albatross 9308 (co-pilot was F/L Chute). Cass and Chute simultaneously spotted Mr.Muise of Port Hood, Nova Scotia. RCC advised but they told aircraft to return to base (deteriorating weather); icebreaker would arrive in six hours. But Cass, circling, concluded the ice floe was breaking up and to drop emergency kit would serve no useful purpose. He then made twelve low passes and polled the crew before landing. After rescue, Muise said that "the ice was breaking up fast and even the seals were leaving; if I had been there for one hour more I would have been a goner."

 


Affidavit also sworn by F/L Dwight Whitford Rhodes, navigator. Aircraft left Greenwood at 0930 hours and spotted Muise at 100 hours. Praised the polling idea - "His deliberate manner and this obvious consideration for the safety of those with him did much to instil a sense of confidence in his crew which unanimously agreed with his decision." At Moncton he noted that Muise was wearing RCAF flight boots given him by LAC C.L.Lavender (those of Muise damaged beyond repair); Another crewman, LAC Macdougall, gave Muise $ 5.00 because the man was broke when rescued.

 

Added information: rescue was at 46-01 north, 61-41 west at 11.00 a.m.local time. Charlottetown reported ceiling was 1,000 to 1,500 feet, visibility four miles in light snow showers, winds easterly at 16 mph. Sydney gave ceiling as 200-400 feet, visibility one miles in light snow (ice pellets).

 

On the morning of 20 February 1964, Flight Lieutenant Cass was the captain of an Albatross aircraft assigned on a search and rescue mission to locate a missing seal hunter, Albert Muise, in the Gulf of St.Lawrence. After a search in constantly deteriorating weather conditions, the hunter was found stranded on a small ice pan which was breaking up in the floe ice on the edge of an open lead of water. Determining that no other means of rescue could arrive in time to save Mr.Muise's life, and that dropping of survival equipment was inadvisable, Flight Lieutenant Cass decided to land his aircraft in the narrow open water lead and effect the rescue by using a small rubber boat aboard the aircraft. Appreciating the dangers in landing in floe ice conditions, Flight Lieutenant Cass coolly and deliberately made at least twelve inspection runs to select the safest landing path. He informed his crew fully respecting his decision to land, sought their advice and, in his composed manner and genuine concern with the safety of all aboard, demonstrated leadership of a high order which engendered the unstinting, unanimous support of his whole crew. He landed the aircraft and subsequently manoeuvred it during the actual rescue with great skill and precision. After the rescue of Mr.Muise was accomplished, in shifting winds and waves as high as four feet with a heavy chop, Flight Lieutenant Cass took the aircraft off expertly and returned to base. This officer's calm, professional approach, exceptionally fine airmanship and devotion to duty in an extremely critical situation were major factors in saving a man's life.

 

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COLE, Leading Aircraftman Robert George (236706) - British Empire Medal - No.2 (Fighter) Wing - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 27 July 1963 and AFRO 31/63 dated 2 August 1963. Home in Vancouver. Awarded Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct were Corporal Charles H.R. Nelson (Lethbridge) and Leading Aircraftman Ralph Wayne McLaughlin (Moncton).

 


On the night of 27 April, 1962, a fire occurred in a third floor apartment of the RCAF married quarters located at St. Avold, eleven miles from 2 Fighter Wing, Grostenquin, France, in which a boy of twelve and three infants, aged two years and below, were sleeping. The youngest infant perished in the fire. Leading aircraftman Cole, who lived in a neighbouring building, saw the fire and proceeded to the apartment with an extinguisher to render assistance. On his arrival, the fire, which was seated in the master bedroom, was well rooted, and the apartment was in complete darkness, smoke-filled and very hot. Although there were other persons at the scene, Leading Aircraftman Cole was the first person to enter the apartment, which he did without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety. In spite of his being untrained and unequipped for such activity, he searched in locating three children whom he passed for evacuation to two other airmen who had followed him into the apartment. Following this, he tried to extinguish the fire in the master bedroom where, unknown to him, the youngest child was present, but found this was not possible with the limited means at his disposal. Leading aircraftman Cole then assisted another airman to evacuate eight persons who considered themselves trapped on the fourth floor. Throughout this emergency, leading aircraftman Cole conducted himself courageously, showing outstanding initiative, judgement and coolness. There is no doubt that his prompt action saved three children from death by asphyxiation.

 

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COSTELLO, Air Commodore Martin, CBE (112) - United States Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 12 March 1949 and AFRO 102/49 dated 11 March 1949; for services in organizing and directing air searches during Operation "Attache". Stationed at Winnipeg; no citation found in biographical file. Born in Alexandria, Ontario, 1904; taken on RCAF as Gentleman Cadet, RMC, 1925; awarded wings, 31 August 1927. RCAF Pilot Officer, 4 September 1928, on graduation from RMC. Served at Vancouver, Winnipeg, Trenton before the war; duties included aerial photography, forestry patrols, and RCAF patrols out of Vancouver, 1932; attended RAF Staff College, 1938. Early in war he served in Eastern Air Command; overseas in 1943, he worked largely in Coastal Command and commanded a station. Returned to Canada, 18 April 1945 to become Assistant Chief of Air Staff. Remained in postwar RCAF; awarded Queen's Coronation Medal (23 October 1953, while at Canadian Joint Staff London). For more on "Attache" see entries in this file under LEIGH, LEMIEUX and VIRR.

 

For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the government of the United States as Commanding Officer of 11 Group, Royal Canadian Air Force, during the search for and rescue of personnel lost in the wilds of Saskatchewan in a United States Navy Beechcraft on September 12, 1948. A skilful airman and excellent leader, Air Commodore Costello effectively supervised the search involving 35 Canadian and United States aircraft for a period of twelve days in the wilds of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, thereby contributing greatly to the successful termination of the greatest and one of the most difficult searches ever conducted in Canada and to the saving of the lives of fur United States and one British personnel. His initiative, exceptional ability and sound judgement reflect the highest credit on Air Commodore Costello and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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COUTURIER, Sergeant Joseph (26732) - Soldier's Medal (United States) - No.103 Rescue Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 20 February 1954 and AFRO 102/54 dated 26 February 1954. Born 12 August 1920 in Edmundston, New Brunswick. Enlisted in RCAF, 7 April 1942; classified as Airframe Mechanic; postings were No.5 Manning Depot, Lachine, 7 April to 28 May 1942; Technical Training School, St.Thomas, 29 May to 21 August 1942 (promoted to AC1 on graduation); Station Dartmouth, 22 August 1942 to 10 May 1943 (promoted to LAC, 21 November 1942); No.126 Squadron, 11-29 May 1943; No.121 Squadron, 30 May to 30 August 1943; No.167 Squadron, 1 September 1943 to 9 August 1945; to Station Dartmouth, 10 August 1945; to No.661 Wing, Yarmouth, 11 August to 19 September 1945; discharged 23 September 1945; re-engaged 27 March 1946; confirmed as LAC, 1 October 1946; Corporal, 1 October 1948; Sergeant, 1 April 1953; Flight Sergeant, 1 November 1967; Warrant Officer, 1968; served at Station Goose Bay, 22 September 1946 to 14 January 1947; Station Edmonton, 15 January to 29 August 1947; No.1 Technical Training School, Aylmer, 30 August to 13 December 1947; No.103 Search and Rescue Unit, Greenwood, 14 December 1947 to 15 December 1948; Station Centralia, 16 December 1948 to 30 March 1949; Station Greenwood, 1 April 1949 to 17 July 1950; Station Summerside, 18 July 1950 to 14 May 1951; Station Greenwood, 15 May to 21 September 1951; No.103 Rescue Unit, 21 September 1951 to 16 December 1955; Station Greenwood, 16 December 1955 to 13 August 1956; Station Whitehorse, 14 August 1956 to 15 March 1958; Station Edmonton, 16 March 19958 to 2 October 1960; No.412 Squadron, 2 October 1960 to 1 July 1964; Station Uplands, 1 July to 23 September 1968; No.413 Squadron, Summerside, 3 September 1968; to Station Greenwood, 20 September 1968 until retirement, 9 March 1971. Trade reclassified as SEW and SE Tech, 13 December 1947, SS Tech, 1 October 1966. Died 17 June 1996 in Auburn, Kings County, Nova Scotia. A copy of the USAF letter on Trent's file is also on his; in addition, there is a letter dated 2 March 1954 from Air Marshal C.R. Slemon, congratulating him on the award and saying:

 

The heroic manner in which you unhesitatingly accepted the personal risk and parachuted to the scene of the crash, despite adverse weather conditions and approaching darkness, and with the full knowledge that the jump from such a low altitude would preclude the use of your secondary parachute should your primary parachute fail to function, was in keeping with the best tradition of the Royal Canadian Air Force and is indeed worthy of praise.

 

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CUTHBERTSON, Flight Lieutenant Donald Reginald (19678) - Air Force Cross - Station Goose Bay - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 11 April 1953 and AFRO 217/53 dated 17 April 1953. Born 25 September 1918 at Bright, Ontario. Enlisted in Toronto, 20 May 1941. Trained at No.5 ITS, No.3 EFTS and No.14 SFTS. Attended CFS, Trenton, 30 March to 19 May 1942; instructed at No.8 SFTS, Moncton, 20 May 1942 to 24 January 1943. To UK, 9 March 1943. Further trained at Nos. 9 and 5 (P) AFU; served in No.416 Squadron, 8 August 1943 to 12 December 1944; credited with one FW.190 damaged near Caen (28 June 1944), one FW.190 destroyed, Lissieux (17 August 1944), one FW.190 destroyed, Emmerich (27 September 1944); instructed at No.19 OTU, 12 December 1944 to 24 April 1945. Returned to Canada, 14 May 1945. For second incident LAC John W. Malo awarded Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Invested with AFC at Buckingham Palace, May 1954. FURTHER NOTE: as co-pilot to G/C L.J.Birchall he departed Goose Bay, 23 August 1950 to evacuate a woman suffering from acute appendicitis from Hopedale Moravian Mission; LAC C.D. McLaughlin was crewman. He was pilot on a second flight to same place, 5 September 1950, evacuating a boy with a fractured arm plus a second patient from Port Harrison. Yet another flight in a Norseman with McLaughlin on 28 September 1950, to evacuate a sick Eskimo from Nutuk, 300 miles north of Goose Bay. On return flight it was hard due to low clouds over hill; unable to maintain sight of ground, he flew two hours above overcast; approaching Goose Bay Radio Range, he was able to proceed to Northwest River Grenfell Missions.

 


In the early morning of 28 September, 1951, a request was received at Goose Bay from Hopedale on the Labrador coast for the evacuation of a seriously injured civilian. Despite forecasted extreme adverse weather conditions, Flight Lieutenant Cuthbertson and a crewman took off in a Norseman aircraft equipped with floats to evacuate the patient. Weather conditions as forecasted were encountered and on arrival at Hopedale, strong east winds buffeting the coast were causing swells and waves up to five feet high. Notwithstanding these hazardous conditions, a successful landing was completed and the seriously injured civilian emplaned. Immediately prior to commencing the return flight, word was received that the young son of a missionary at Makkovik, some sixty miles southeast of Hopedale, was in critical condition as a result of having been mauled by husky dogs and air transportation to the nearest hospital urgently requested. Without thought of personal danger, the crew took off for Makkovik, with the full realization that landing conditions would again be extremely hazardous. A landing at Makkovik was completed without mishap, but, just as the critically injured youngster was placed on board the aircraft, a heavy bank of fog rolled into Makkovik, necessitating a takeoff being carried out with a ceiling of only one hundred feet. The return flight to Goose Bay was carried out in below freezing temperature and although twice encountering engine trouble due to carburettor icing, Flight Lieutenant Cuthbertson by superb airmanship kept the aircraft airborne on course. Arriving at Goose Bay amidst heavy thunder showers, an indefinite ceiling of three hundred feet and visibility varying from one quarter to one half mile, Flight Lieutenant Cuthbertson, despite heavy static, executed a masterful let-down into Goose Bay harbour using a let-down procedure worked out by himself for such an emergency. Four days later, a request was received at Goose Bay from Saglek Bay, some three hundred and seventy-five miles up the bleak Labrador coast, for the evacuation of a civilian who was in critical condition due to frost bitten and gangrenous feet. Despite the fact a strong northeast wind was blowing, causing a five hundred foot ceiling at Saglek Bay and clouds close to ground level for most of the route, Flight Lieutenant Cuthbertson and a crewman took off in a float-equipped Norseman aircraft to effect the evacuation. Although on arrival, heavy swells were rolling into Saglek Bay and waves from four to six feet high were breaking over the mooring buoy, a successful let-down was completed and with a great deal of difficulty the aircraft was secured. As the patient was being loaded on the aircraft, it was discovered that the right float had sprung and was leaking badly. An immediate take-off was made under the same hazardous conditions. After seven hours and thirty minutes of rough instrument flying and a landing and take-off in practically impossible conditions, the weary crew and patient arrived safely at Goose Bay. Throughout many hours of search and rescue flying, involving flights into remote sections of Canada's Arctic and North Atlantic regions, Flight Lieutenant Cuthbertson has displayed superb airmanship, disregard for personal safety and outstanding devotion to duty.

 

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DALTON, Flight Lieutenant John Terrance (27144) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Summerside - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 27 December 1952 and AFRO 1/53 dated 2 January 1953. Born in Newcastle, New Brunswick, 8 February 1922; enlisted in Saint John, New Brunswick, 11 December 1943; released 20 September 1945; re-engaged in Halifax, 28 November 1946. Gained Flight Engineer Badge, 4 October 1944 (served overseas as No.76 Base and No.1659 Conversion Unit); gained Radio Officer's Badge, 8 May 1948. Incident occurred at Station Summerside, 25 April 1952. Lancaster attempting to land crashed, killing four and injuring nine others.

 

This officer displayed courage of a high order on the occasion of a Lancaster aircraft accident at RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island, on 25 April 1952. Arriving at the scene of the crash within moments after its actual occurrence, he was informed that although several of the occupants had already been removed from the wreckage, some members of the crew were trapped in the blazing forward compartment of the aircraft. Immediately donning an asbestos rescue suit which he obtained from the nearby crash tender, he entered the fuselage through the rear of the aircraft, where the tail assembly had been severed on impact. Despite the intense heat, exploding oxygen bottles and distorted wreckage, he managed to make his way forward as far as the bomb bat rise. However, due to the smoke and hot air entering the asbestos suit, he experienced difficulty in breathing and was forced to abandon his attempts to reach the trapped crewmen, Although unsuccessful in his efforts to rescue the ill-fated crew members, Flight Lieutenant Dalton's gallant and heroic actions under the circumstances are worthy of high praise.

 

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DAVIDSON, Wing Commander Robert Tremayne Pilsbury, DFC (20465) - Air Medal (United States) - 335th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (USAF) - Awarded as per AFRO 742/53 dated 11 December 1953 and Canada Gazette dated 14 November 1953. Born in Vancouver, 10 February 1917. Enlisted in RAF, 1937. Served with No.30 Squadron (Blenheims), 1940-1942; No.261 Squadron (Hurricanes), 1942; No.175 Squadron (Typhoons), 1943; commanded successive Typhoon wings including No.143 Wing. Shot down in May 1944, evaded and joined Maquis. Transferred to RCAF, 12 December 1944. Of his Korea tour he remarked, "Got in a few good scraps with the MIGs. I made a couple of them smoke." Died 1975. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Wing Commander Robert T.P. Davidson distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial combat as a pilot of an F-86 type aircraft, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force, flying missions against enemies of the United Nations from 29 September to 25 October 1952. While flying combat air patrols and various other type missions deep into enemy territory, many times against a superior number of enemy aircraft, his dedication to duty and demonstrated skill were a magnificent contribution to the successful completion of the assigned mission. As a result of his fortitude and courage on these occasions he has brought credit to himself, members of the United Nations Forces, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Far East Air Forces.

 

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DICKSON, Squadron Leader James Donald, DFC, DFM (19812) - Air Force Cross - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952, London Gazette dated 5 June 1952 and Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952. Born in Rothesay, New Brunswick, October 29th, 1920; enlisted in Moncton, October 23rd, 1940. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated February 4th, 1941), No.14 EFTS (graduated April 19th, 1941) and No.33 SFTS (graduated July 2nd, 1941). Awarded DFM, June 16th, 1942 for services with No.57 Squadron; awarded DFC, September 1st, 1943 for services with No.419 Squadron. With No.164 (Transport) Squadron, January to November 1945; flew in Exercise "Muskox" with No.1 ASU. Served in No.426 Squadron, March 1947 to May 1951; joined No.412 Squadron, September 1952. Secretary of State papers (RG.6 D.1 Volume 359, file 114-2-A1-3 "Awards - Specific - Air Force Cross (Granted)" has citation. Presented by Governor General at Government House, 12 June 1953. Died 26 July 1953; buried North Luffenham.

 


Squadron Leader Dickson has served with No.426 Transport Squadron on the Korean Airlift as captain of a North Star aircraft since its inception. He has flown a total of 600 hours over the 11,000 nautical mile route, often through hazardous icing and fog conditions, without mishap. This is a direct reflection on his exceptional ability, resourcefulness and leadership. This officer was recently appointed second-in-command of the squadron, and is now directly responsible for all RCAF operations over the Pacific. His sterling qualities and abilities as a pilot were demonstrated forcibly on a flight from McChord Air Force Base, Washington, to Elmsdorf Air Force Base, Alaska on the 23rd November 1950. As on all trips the aircraft was loaded with troops and vital supplies for the United Nations' effort in Korea. After completing two hours of the eight hour flight the aircraft encountered most severe icing conditions and head winds. In spite of the weather, Squadron Leader Dickson completed his flight, landing at his destination in a 74-knot gale. All other aircraft flying the route that encountered the same conditions, with the exception of another RCAF aircraft, aborted and returned to their points of departure. Had it not been for the superior skill and determination shown by this officer, a vital load would have been delayed. Squadron Leader Dickson's qualities of leadership are an inspiring example to the officers and airmen under his command, and his untiring efforts have been an outstanding contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's participation in this operation.

 

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DRACKLEY, Flight Sergeant Alfred Arthur (21603) - Air Force Medal -No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 5 June 1952, Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952. Born 5 November 1916 to farm family, Birsay, Saskatchewan; educated to Grade X at Hanford District School; from January to June 1940 took aeronautical courses at Saskatoon Technical School. Enlisted in RCAF, 26 June 1940. Attended Manning Depot in Toronto and Technical Training School, St.Thomas, Ontario (graduated March 1941). Served at Station Dartmouth (Nos.5 and 11 Squadrons) servicing Hudson, Stranraer and Canso aircraft; participated in three-month photo mapping operation in Labrador using Stranraers. To Station Yarmouth, Acting Corporal rank, 1942. Remustered to Flight Engineer, and took Air Gunnery training at Mont Joli (November 1942-January 1943). Attended Aero Engine School, Montreal and a maritime OTU at Patricia Bay (February-March 1943). Returned to east coast and No.116 (BR) Squadron. Commissioned May 1944; to No.162 (BR) Squadron, Iceland, July 1944. Throughout the war he flew on 116 sorties (1,311 operational hours); awarded Operational Wing, 18 January 1945, Bar to Operational Wing, 14 August 1945. Remained in postwar RCAF, reverting to Sergeant. Served briefly in No.103 Search and Rescue Unit. With No.426 Squadron, June 1948 to July 1952. AFM presented 27 February 1953 by AOC Air Defence Command, Air Vice-Marshal A.L. James. After No.426 Squadron he went to No.427 Squadron (St.Hubert and No.3 Wing in Europe). Joined No.11 Technical Service Unit, Montreal; promoted to Warrant Officer (2nd Class), 1957. In 1964 posted to No.115 ATU, El Arish, for one year. Final tour was with Air Material Command Headquarters, Ottawa. Retired 6 May 1967 and moved to Victoria.

 

Flight Sergeant Drackley has served on the Korean Airlift since its inception as a Flight Engineer on North Star aircraft, having been attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on 26th July 1950. He has flown a total of over 400 hours on the Pacific.

 

On many occasions hazardous weather conditions have been encountered and it was necessary to do instrument let downs or land with the aid of GCA at the destination. Flight Sergeant Drackley's experience, efficiency and co-operation with the captain of his aircraft during these emergencies were in a large part responsible for the success of the operation.

 


In the performance of his duties Flight Sergeant Drackley has set an example for all airmen by his devotion and loyalty to duty. This non-commissioned officer through his trade proficiency and advice has been instrumental in maintaining a tight route schedule which resulted in a high aircraft utilization and thus increased the squadron's ability to carry vital personnel and material over the 11,000 mile Pacific route.

 

This non-commissioned officer's untiring efforts have been a direct contribution to the success of the RCAF phase of this operation.

 

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DRAKE, Flight Lieutenant John Francis (20343) - Air Force Cross - No.413 (Photo Survey) Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948. Born in Bender, Saskatchewan, 18 January 1921. Worked for Victoria Times before enlisting in Vancouver, 30 July 1941. Cited with Flying Officer J.E.Goldsmith, DFC.

 


During a period of over two months in the late summer and early autumn of 1947 a detachment of RCAF personnel was detailed to make magnetic observations at numerous points in the area of the North Magnetic Pole. This exploratory mission, operating under the code name "POLCO" was conducted from a Canso aircraft of No.413 Photographic Squadron under the command of Flight Lieutenant Drake, the pilot, with a crew consisting of a navigator, co-pilot, wireless operator, flight engineer, electrician, instrument mechanic, and airframe mechanic, accompanied by six Dominion Government civilian observers who acted in the capacity of geophysicists, geologists and geographer and botanist. The organization and direction of this magnetic survey operation required great ingenuity and daring, for it was the first time in Canadian aviation history that a flying boat had been flown and based for an extended period amongst the treacherous and barren islands surrounding the North Magnetic Pole. Flight Lieutenant Drake was responsible for taking off and landing his aircraft at numerous hazardous points in the Polar area for the purpose of making scientific observations. In spite of fog, icing conditions, uncharted terrain and unknown currents he pressed the operation with such skill, resourcefulness and courage that it was possible to reposition the Magnetic Pole with greater accuracy than hitherto known. On several occasions he displayed a complete disregard for personal safety in order to save his aircraft from destruction by gale and ice. Without the magnificent leadership and judgement displayed by Flight Lieutenant Drake the operation might easily have ended disastrously. The navigator, Flying Officer Goldsmith, was responsible for successfully guiding the aircraft through dangerous and uncharted areas in the Arctic Islands. In order to reach observation points surrounding the Magnetic Pole it was frequently necessary to fly above the overcast for many hours. With the minimum of normal meteorological and navigational aids, and in unreliable compass reading areas, this officer invariably directed the aircraft to its destination, often necessitating a let-down through clouds in the vicinity of high hills or dangerous waters. He did not have the assistance of accurate maps and his own sketches of important areas have been accepted for incorporation into official Dominion Government charts. The outstanding manner in which he adapted himself to the difficult methods of navigation required over the pole is worthy of the highest praise. The successful completion of this pioneering operation was directly attributable to the resolution, direction, integrity and initiative of these two officers, and their skilfullness and courage has set a fulgent example which will be an inspiration to their comrades in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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EDWARDS, Flight Lieutenant Robert Martin (30018) - Air Force Cross - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 3 January 1953 and AFRO 10/53 dated 9 January 1953. Born in Winnipeg; (another press release says Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan, 1922); in Air Cadets before enlistment and also flew with Winnipeg Flying Club. Enlisted 1947, began flying training in January 1948 and graduated at the top of his class. Attended an Air Armament course, Trenton, before posting to No.426 Squadron. Press Release 7779 (December 1950) stated he had done training flights to Europe, Arctic re-supply, work on "Sweetbriar" and relief flights during "Redramp".

 

Flight Lieutenant Edwards, a post war pilot graduate of the Royal Canadian Air Force, has served with 426 Transport Squadron on the Korean Airlift since its inception. In his capacity as captain and pilot of North Star aircraft he has in support of the United Nations operations in Korea participated in twenty-six round trips to the Far East over the eleven thousand nautical mile route. Throughout these flight, which have on many occasions necessitated flying through some of the most adverse weather conditions in the world, he has carried out his allotted tasks in an exemplary manner. The high sense of duty which he has exhibited and his exceptional ability and resourcefulness as a pilot have contributed immeasurably to the successful achievements of 426 Transport Squadron.

 

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ENDERSBE, Squadron Leader Charles Edward (23526) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Award effective 5 June 1952 as per Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952. Wartime experience in the Aleutians. On strength of No.1 Air Radar Observer School, Clinton when award announced.

 


Flight Lieutenant Endersbe served on the Korean Airlift at its inception as radio leader of 426 Transport Squadron which was attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on 26th July 1950. He had had previous World War II experience throughout the Aleutians which proved invaluable in setting up the airlift to Japan As a radio officer he logged approximately 700 flying hours over the great circle route through the Aleutian chain to Japan on trips carrying troops and vital supplies for the United Nations effort in Korea.

 

Flight Lieutenant Endersbe displayed outstanding professional ability which he used with imagination and initiative to ensure expeditious handling of all flights in the face of extremely difficult weather conditions. His qualities of leadership were an inspiring example to the officers and airmen under his command and his untiring efforts were an outstanding contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force participation in this operation.

 

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ENGELBERT, Flight Sergeant (now WO2 Arthur Leroy, CD (2414) - British Empire Medal - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952 and London Gazette dated 5 June 1952 with Queen's Birthday List); born in Edmonton; raised in Manitou, Manitoba; serving at No.4 OTU at the time of gazetting.

 

Flight Sergeant Engelbert served on the Korean Airlift since its inception as a non-commissioned officer in charge of a crew on major maintenance, having been attached to Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on 26 July 1950. During his tour he also served as a detachment commander in Hawaii, being responsible for the turn around of 426 Squadron's aircraft and thus was instrumental in maintaining the squadron's airlift capacity of vital supplies for Korea.

 

His qualities of leadership, resourcefulness and exceptional ability were demonstrated forcibly in November 1950 at Shemya in the Aleutian Chain. This non-commissioned officer was responsible for retrieving a North Star aircraft which had rolled into a ravine due to brake failure. The aircraft stopped with its nose against the far embankment and with its tail on the tarmac from where it had rolled. The successful execution of this salvage operation enabled the aircraft to continue to its destination in Japan with a load of troops and vital supplies. Had it not been for the outstanding skill and determination shown by Flight Sergeant Engelbert a valuable aircraft might have been lost and an essential load delayed.

 

Flight Sergeant Engelbert's untiring efforts have been a direct contribution to the success of the RCAF phase of this operation.

 

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EVANS, Flight Lieutenant Frederick William, DFC (10062) - Air Medal (United States) - 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (USAF) - Awarded as per AFRO 742/53 dated 11 December 1953 and Canada Gazette dated 14 November 1953. Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, 1919; home in St.Thomas (clerk and salesman). Enlisted in Saint John, 17 February 1939. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 2 April 1943), No.7 EFTS (graduated 28 May 1943) and No.14 SFTS (graduated 1 October 1943). Commissioned July 1943. Overseas he destroyed one FW.190 and shared in the destruction of another. Postwar Vampire aerobatic pilot. See photo PL-90156. Taken on strength, Special Force, 14 December 1952; taken on strength of 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 24 December 1952; struck off strength, 334th FIS, 9 April 1953; struck off strength Special Force, 11 April 1953. Flew 75 hours five minutes in combat; claimed one locomotive and four rail cars destroyed. For further details see Second World War RCAF awards data base. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Flight Lieutenant Evans distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as a pilot of an F-86 type aircraft, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force, from 8 January 1953 to 13 February 1953. During that period, Lieutenant [sic] Evans successfully completed numerous combat missions in support of United Nations operations in Korea. Although often faced with determined enemy opposition, the courage, aggressiveness and degree of skill with which Flight Lieutenant Evans conducted his assignment contributed greatly to the ultimate success of the assigned missions. Through his courage, professional ability and exemplary devotion to duty, Flight Lieutenant Evans reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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EVANS, Flight Lieutenant Terence Jesse (20215) - King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - Central Experimental and Proving Establishment - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 July 1951 and AFRO 395/51 dated 6 July 1951. Born in Sale, Cheshire, England; home in Toronto; light-heavyweight wrestler at 1936 Olympics and at Empire Games of 1938 (Australia). Enlisted there 4 September 1940. Commended in 1945 for instructional work with No.1 Central Flying School. Remained in postwar RCAF; much service with Central Experimental and Proving Establishment from 1950 onwards Awarded Queens Coronation Medal, 4 November 1953, while serving as a Wing Commander Air Attache to Moscow. See Press Release 7904 dated 6 July 1951 which described the incident more fully. He had never flown a Sabre before, although he had been briefed by Canadair ground personnel and the company test pilot. Unknown to Evans, an adjustment had been made to the flap selection lever which caused both ailerons to jam after take off. Unable to fully control lateral movement, he had the choice of baling out or attempting a delicate and dangerous landing; he accomplished the latter.

 


Flight Lieutenant Evans was carrying out an acceptance test on the first Canadair-produced F-86 aircraft when the flap selection lever jammed both ailerons. Flight Lieutenant Evans was faced with the choice of abandoning the aircraft or attempting a landing with a high performance aircraft which he had never flown before with no aileron control. He climbed the aircraft to a safe altitude and checked handling and stalling characteristics and speeds with wheels and flaps down. He then descended and successfully completed a landing with no further damage to the aircraft. His saving of the aircraft resulted in the disclosure of a technical maladjustment in the flap operation which later might have cost more aircraft and lives.

 

NOTE: According to Directorate of History file 75/601, folio 13, Evans' superior, W/C J.M. Frizzle, recommended an AFC and A/C A.D. Ross concurred. Two committees at National Defence Headquarters reviewed this and downgraded it to a King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air. The reasoning behind the conclusion, expressed in memos dated March 19 and April 11, 1951, is far more interesting than the decision itself.

 

(a) Every time a test pilot has occasion to test fly an aircraft, be it a prototype, having been completely overhauled, or modified by new design, there is an undoubted element of risk in his ordinary duties. This case, then, in effect, if approved, could create a precedent for this type of flying, and it might be extremely difficult to deny future recommended cases. Such a precedent could result in lowering the present high standard of the Air Force Cross.

 

(b) Although not a necessary requirement, this case does not involve the saving of life or lives. This has been a strong factor in recommending previous cases for approval.

 

Whether or not one agrees with these reasons, the first argument is the most compelling - as a test pilot it was Evans' job to take calculated risks. The second point is a little more difficult to comprehend; one would assume that by sticking with the F-86 rather than abandoning it in the neighbourhood of Cartierville, he had ensured that no casualties would be sustained on the ground. The fault may have been with Frizzle, who did not mention this point. It is worth comparing his case with that of AFCs awarded to other fighter pilots in the 1950s and 1960s, notably F/L K.A. Harvey (see below).

 

FURTHER NOTE: RCAF Press Release 7724 dated 11 September 1952 deals with visit of the Rockcliffe "Ice Wagon" (North Star aircraft modified to investigate aircraft icing) to the United Kingdom. Evans had flown it overseas on 9 August 1952; the visit was being extended another month to allow British personnel to become more familiar with RCAF and NRC work in this field.

 

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FINKLESTEIN, Flight Lieutenant Abraham (6552) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Award effective 5 June 1952 as per Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952.

 


Flight Lieutenant Finklestein has served on the Korean Airlift since its inception as a navigator of North Star aircraft, being a member of No.426 Transport Squadron, which was attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on the 26th July 1950. He has navigated for more than 1,000 flying hours over the 11,000 nautical mile route, often through hazardous icing and fog conditions without mishap. This is a direct reflection on his exceptional professional ability and resourcefulness.

 

Flight Lieutenant Finklestein invariable displayed initiative and determination far beyond the call of duty in ensuring the successful delivery of troops and vital supplies for the United Nations' effort in Korea. This officer's efforts have been a direct contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's phase of this operation.

 

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FINNIGAN, Sergeant Leandre Joseph (17676) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Uplands - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 29 June 1968.

 

At 0300 hours on 6 December 1967, a fire alarm was received from the Motor Transport Garage at the Base Fire Hall, Canadian Forces Base (then RCAF Station) Uplands, Ottawa, Ontario. On arrival at the scene, Duty Fire Crew Chief Sergeant L.J. Finnigan observed that an explosion had occurred and that a fire was burning below floor level in the equipment room. With creditable despatch he assumed control and proceeded to direct his crew in fighting the fire and other personnel in removing to safety the vehicles parked in the garage. During this operation, while attempts were being made to extinguish the stubborn fore, a second explosion occurred. The flying debris and flash from the explosion slightly injured four of his crew, demolished the remaining walls of the equipment room and also threw him some undetermined distance. The blows from flying building blocks received by Sergeant Finnigan at this time were severe enough to fracture his safety helmet with a force would undoubtedly have been lethal to an unprotected head. In spite of being shaken up, and while aware of the peculiar and unpredictable nature of a fire which resulted in multiple explosions, he remained at the scene, supervised the removal of injured personnel to hospital, and continued to control the operation. During this entire incident, but most apparently during the latter phases, Sergeant Finnigan displayed attention to duty and high regard for the safety of his personnel while knowingly risking further injury to himself with possible grave consequence.

 

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FITZGERALD, Corporal Bernard James, CD (39301) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 16 September 1967. Sergeant J.R.P. Lemieux given same award.

 


On 11th January 1967, Sergeant Lemieux and Corporal Fitzgerald were para-rescue members of a helicopter crew which had been despatched to rescue an unknown person who had been seen floating more than one mile from shore on what was described as a raft. As the helicopter came to a hover, the survivor was seen to lose his grip on the raft and slip under the water. Corporal Fitzgerald immediately jumped some fifteen feet into the water and swam towards the man. A struggle ensued and the survivor managed to secure such a strong grip on the Corporal that he could not put a life preserver on him nor break away. Sergeant Lemieux witnessed this from the hovering helicopter and immediately jumped into the water to render assistance. The two para-rescue members were finally able to attach a hoist-belt to the survivor. This proved a difficult feat for the airmen as the sea at the time was being whipped into fifteen foot waves by winds in excess of 35 knots. Once on board the aircraft, the airmen administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with external heart and limb massage, continuing this administration until the patient was under medical care in hospital.

 

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FLEMING, F/O Sanford Bruce (120772) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 336th Squadron, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1953 and AFRO 55/53 dated 6 February 1953. Born in Hull, Quebec, 7 May 1924; enlisted in Montreal, 1 June 1942; trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 31 December 1942), No.13 EFTS and No.2 SFTS (graduated 6 August 1943) and No.31 General Reconnaissance School. Oversea from November 1943 to January 1946 with Nos.58, 422 and 435 Squadrons. Released 8 March 1946; re-engaged in Auxiliary, October 1948, and transferred to Regular Force on 12 November 1951. Served in Korea, 10 March to 12 June 1952. Flew 82 missions, 113 combat hours, 15 non-combat hours. Claimed one MG-15 probably destroyed, two MG-15s damaged, one locomotive damaged, two trucks damaged. Following Korea he served at No.1 OTU (14 June 1952 to 6 January 1954, and with No.410 Squadron (7 January 1954 to 20 September 1955), after which he was released from RCAF. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

On 13 May 1952, Flying Officer Fleming distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement and heroism while participating in aerial combat against enemies of the United Nations in Korea. As element leader in the lead flight of eight F-86s escorting an RF-80 photo reconnaissance in the Sui Ho Reservoir area, he sighted sixteen MIGs preparing for an attack. Calling a break he led his element into the first flight of four MIGs and his attack scattered the enemy flight. Returning to cover, he sighted two MIGs diving on the RF-80 and two escorting F-86s. Pressing in on one of the MIGs, he fired scoring hits on its fuselage and wing area and then continued his brilliant attack on the second MIG as it countered. With the safe withdrawal of the RF-80, Flying Officer Fleming followed, being low on fuel and ammunition at the time. His courageous devotion to duty, resulting in the probable destruction of one MIG and the safe withdrawal of the RF-80, reflects great credit upon himself, his comrades-in-arms of the United Nations and the United States Air Force.


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FOX, Squadron Leader William White (19703) - Air Medal (United States) - 16th Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 26 June 1954 and AFRO 362/54 dated 2 July 1954. Joined RCAF, June 1941; wings April 1942; flew on tour with No.115 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron (Bolingbrokes and Venturas). Posted to England in 1944 for transport flying. Continued on transport duties when he returned to Canada; attached to No.420 (Auxiliary) Squadron in 1949 as instructor; to RCAF Station Chatham, 1952. Attached to Special Force (Korea), 14 May to 6 November 1953, serving with 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 22 May to 31 October 1953. Flew 98 hours 20 minutes (combat) and 59 minutes 55 minutes (non-combat) in Korea. Photo PL-110016 shows him. Medal presented at American Embassy, London, 1 March 1955. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Squadron Leader William W. Fox distinguished himself by meritorious achievement during the period 2 June 1953 to 27 July 1953 while participating in twenty combat missions against the enemy over North Korea as pilot of an F-86 type aircraft, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force. During frequent encounters with high performance enemy jet aircraft, his courage, aggressiveness and proficiency contributed greatly to the ultimate success of the assigned mission. Through his valour, outstanding airmanship and devotion to duty on these occasions Squadron Leader Fox has reflected great credit upon himself and the United Nations Forces.

 

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GAGNON, Flying Officer Joseph Thomas Serge Lorrain (82040) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - United Nations Emergency Force - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 16 September 1967. See F/O R.J.V. Simpson (Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct) for citation.

 

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GELINAS, Leading Aircraftman Roland Bernard (29503) - British Empire Medal - No.410 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 29 November 1952 and AFRO 811/52. Born 22 June 1927 in St.Barnabe Nord, Quebec; home in Ste.Foy, Quebec (factory worker); enlisted in Quebec City, 19 October 1949. Trained at No.2 TTS, Camp Borden, 20 January to 10 August 1950; at Station St.Hubert, 11 August 1950 to 31 March 1951; with No.410 Squadron, 1 April 1951 to 17 February 1952. NOTE: the airman in question was AC1 William Albert Richards. Gelinas was recommended by G/C E.B. Hale on 18 January 1952 for a George Medal. LAC D.S. Beach was the airman in the cockpit; he received a CAS's Letter of Commendation; "His quick thinking and presence of mind undoubtedly saved the lives of two airmen." The GM recommendation was downgraded to BEM by the Senior Sub-Committee of the Awards Co-Ordination Committee meeting in April 1952. See RCAF file 45-26-1 "Honours and Awards - Recommendations - 29503 LAC R.B. Gelinas, 14320 LAC D.S. Beach" in RG.24, Volume 5378.


On the morning of 30 November 1951, at Renfrew Airport, near Glasgow, Scotland, an F-86 Sabre jet aircraft was being run up to full power during a routine engine test prior to a test flight. When the engine was producing approximately ninety percent power, the airman who was in the cockpit of the aircraft, doing the engine run up, felt a pronounced jolt and immediately switched off the engine. It is normal, however, for jet engines when operating from such a power setting to take some fifteen seconds to return to idling speed. Leading Aircraftman Gelinas who was working nearby on the same aircraft, instantly ascertained that an airman had been drawn into the air intake duct of the aircraft. Displaying the utmost courage and with complete disregard for his own safety, he dove into the mouth of the air intake duct and seized the legs of the unfortunate airman, who had by this time been drawn in against the engine screen, some eight feet from the nose of the aircraft. Despite the fact he too was partially drawn into the air intake duct, Leading Aircraftman Gelinas continued to retain his hold on the airman's legs until the engine stopped. By his prompt and courageous action, Leading Aircraftman Gelinas succeeded in saving his fellow airman from serious injury or death and is deserving of high praise.

 

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GIBBS, Flight Lieutenant Paul Lewis, DFC (19788) - Air Force Cross - No.123 Search and Rescue Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 15 September 1951 and AFRO 566/51. Born at Onion Lake, Saskatchewan, 28 August 1917; home in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan (hunter). Enlisted 17 May 1940; trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 21 June 1940), No.4 EFTS (graduated 31 August 1940) and No.2 SFTS (graduated 25 October 1941). Commissioned December 1941. Served two tours in UK, Northwest Europe, Africa and Italy; awarded DFC, 29 December 1944. Demobilized in October 1945, spent one year in civilian life and rejoined RCAF, 1 October 1946. This award (and an AFC for Glaister, BEM for Wright) began as a recommendation (undated) from G/C J.A. Easton, Group Commander, No.12 Group; on 16 February 1951 A/V/M C.R. Dunlap concurred on the original recommendations (although oddly enough his letter to Chief of the Air Staff, forwarding the recommendations, is dated 13 February 1951). These were reviewed by the Senior Sub Committee of the Awards Co-Ordination Committee which concluded that they came within existing policy with respect to the granting of awards in peacetime - "bravery was displayed and a saving of lives effected" (S/L K.E. Ball signing for W/C W/J. Brodribb, Chairman, Senior Sub Committee of Awards Co-Ordination, in memo to Secretary, Personnel Members Committee, 21 April 1951). The Personnel Members Committee met on 21 April 1951 and concurred. The recommendations then went to the Defence Council (7 May 1951) which approved (31 May 1951)) and then from Major-General W.H.S. Macklin (Chairman, Personnel Members Committee) to Mr. C. Stein, Under Secretary of State and Chairman of Awards Co-ordinating Committee, 27 June 1951. Stein wrote back to Macklin on 12 July 1951, stating in part, "On the basis of the practice and precedence of the Awards Co-Ordination Committee, I feel no exception would be taken to the proposed awards in these three cases." The Minister of National Defence (Claxton), "having been designated by the Prime Minister for this purpose", then wrote directly to the Governor General, 20 July 1951. It is not clear when this was forwarded to London, but on 21 August 1951 Major-General H.F.G. Letson (Secretary to the Governor General) wrote to Claxton - "Word has been received from the Private Secretary to The King to the effect that His Majesty has been pleased to approve the Prime Minister's recommendation that the Air Force Cross be awarded to Flight Lieutenant P.L. Gibbs and Flying Officer R.T.S. Glaister, and the British Empire Medal to Sergeant D. Wright. It remained only for gazetting to be arranged in the Canada Gazette of 15 September 1951; on 12 September 1951 Air Marshal W.A. Curtis (Chief of the Air Staff) wrote letters of congratulation to all three. The above all found in RCAF file 45-26-1 "Honours and Awards - Service Recommendations - Captain" (the operation was called "Captain"), found in RG.24 Vol.5378.

 

Flight Lieutenant Gibbs acted as captain of a Dakota aircraft assisting in the search operations for a missing Canadian Pacific Airlines passenger aircraft in the British Columbia section of the Canadian Rockies. On the morning of the 23rd December, 1950, after receiving reports that a wrecked aircraft had been sighted on Okanagan Mountain, he undertook to proceed to the designated location despite extremely adverse flying weather and dangerous icing conditions. Arriving over the crash scene he quickly appreciated that it would be only a matter of minutes before the whole area was completely obscured by cloud. Although the cloud base was then indeterminate at 5,500 feet and the high ground (7,200 feet) was obscured, he chose the only possible flight path which offered the Para Rescue Team a clear and accurate drop, even though this entailed a definite element of risk. The crash was at the 4,000 foot level and this officer, ensuring that the Para Rescue Team should have every possible advantage, made the necessary test runs at 5,000 feet, picking up considerable ice while doing so. As a result of Flight Lieutenant Gibbs' skilful and resolute flying the Para Jumpers and medical supplies reached the survivors minutes after leaving the aircraft. He then landed at Penticton where he was appointed local search co-ordinator. Working in close co-operation with Canadian Pacific Airlines officials, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and local civilians, he planned the successful evacuation of the survivors, showing a high degree of organizational ability and leadership. The courageous, exacting and skilful flying displayed by this officer contributed materially to the success of the rescue operation and set an example that was an inspiration to those under him.

 

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GLAISTER, Flying Officer Robert Thomas (27926) - Air Force Cross - No.123 Search and Rescue Unit, Sea Island - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 15 September 1951 and AFRO 566/51. Born at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, 17 March 1922. Educated there. Enlisted in Regina, 26 June 1942; commissioned 1943. Completed one tour overseas with No.191 Squadron. Released 29 October 1945; re-enlisted 9 April 1948. Had served in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Summerside, Vancouver, Trenton and Centralia as of award. Incident occurred 22-23 December 1950. See Gibbs, AFC, for comments about procedure.

 


This officer was captain of a Dakota aircraft detailed to search for a Canadian Pacific Airlines passenger aircraft reported missing over the Canadian Rockies in the province of British Columbia. Although encountering extremely adverse climatic conditions and violent air turbulence in wintry December weather, after many hours of arduous flying he located what appeared to be signal fires on the eastern slopes of Okanagan Mountain. In order to ascertain definitely that the signals were being made by crash survivors, Flying Officer Glaister reduced height to a point where, by switching on his landing lights, he was able to distinguish people waving firebrands and improvised signals. This was accomplished despite the fact that the crash was at the 4,000-foot level while the high ground in the immediate mountainous terrain was covered in cloud and extended to 7,200 feet. This precise pin-pointing of the crashed aircraft, skilfully executed in hazardous flying conditions, enabled a ground search party to proceed directly to the disaster and immediately evacuate eight of the sixteen surviving passengers within a few hours. This officer's exceptionally skilful and courageous devotion to duty was in keeping with the finest traditions of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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GLOVER, Flight Lieutenant Ernest Arthur (17484) - Distinguished Flying Cross - 334th Squadron, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 17 January 1953 and AFRO dated 23 January 1953. Born in Niagara Falls; educated Toronto; joined RCAF October 1941; flew Hurricanes and Typhoons with No.1 Squadron until shot down (POW, May 1943). Joined postwar RCAF; promoted to Flight Lieutenant, June 1952; posted to Korea that same month; joined 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Kimpo Airfield (Seoul), 20 June 1952; flew first sortie on 4 July but saw no enemy aircraft until 26 August 1952, after which he encountered them almost every day. Damaged two MIG-15s on 30 August 1952. On 8 September, flying as No.4 in a flight, he encountered two MIGs. The Sabres closed but MIG evasive action frustrated some; they made a hard right turn which the No.1 and 2 Sabre pilots could not follow; Glover, in an advantageous position, fired and observed hits. The MIGs dived from 40,000 to 15,000 feet; during a violent pull-up, the No.2 MIG lost control and plunged into ground; Glover pursued the other to the Yalu River. On 9 September, escorting Thunderjets attacking North Korean Military Academy at Sakehu, some 175 MIGs tried to intervene. Six MIGs shot down; Glover claimed one which had been closing on an F-84 when he fired. On 16 September, leading three Sabres, he attacked twenty MIGs, one of which he set on fire. He completed his tour on 12 October 1952 and was struck off strength of Special Force (Korea) 18 October 1952. Had flown 50 missions (71 hours 15 minutes combat time) plus ten hours and five minutes non-combat flying. Medals and logbooks displayed by RCAF Memorial Museum, Trenton, Ontario. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964. Died in Belleville, Ontario, 9 September 1991; medals displayed at RCAF Memorial Museum, Trenton.

 


Flight Lieutenant Glover, while attached to the United States Air Force, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, in the Korean theatre, displayed the most commendable aggressive spirit coupled with excellent fighting ability. Because of his above average qualities as a combat pilot he was rapidly promoted to flight leader, and whilst so employed, completed his duties with distinction, valour and merit. During his tour of duty he destroyed three MIG-15 aircraft and seriously damaged two others. This excellent record not only brings credit to Flight Lieutenant Glover, but has greatly enhanced the reputation of the Royal Canadian Air Force in this theatre.

 

GLOVER, Flight Lieutenant Ernest Arthur (17484) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 14 March 1953.

 

Flight Lieutenant Ernest A. Glover distinguished himself on 8 September 1952 by extraordinary achievement as the pilot of an F-86 aircraft, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force in Korea. Flight Lieutenant Glover was flying number four position when a two ship element of MIGs was intercepted. The F-86 flight closed, but in the evasive action the MIGs made a hard right turn which the number one and two men were unable to follow. Flight Lieutenant Glover, being in a more advantageous position, fired, observing immediate hits. The MIGs dived from 40,000 to 15,000 feet and during one violent pull up, the number two MIG went out of control and plunged into the ground. The lead MIG with Flight Lieutenant Glover still firing reached the sanctuary of the Yalu River. By this demonstration of tactical skill Flight Lieutenant Glover destroyed one MIG and inflicted damage on another, reflecting the highest credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Force.

 

GLOVER, Flight Lieutenant Ernest Arthur (17484) - Air Medal (United States) - 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Date uncertain; under RCAF policies as laid down in 1952, Glover was not permitted to receive this award, as he had also been awarded an American DFC.

 

Flight Lieutenant Ernest A. Glover distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial combat as a pilot of an F-86 aircraft, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force, from 4 July 1952 to 29 August 1952. As well as being frequently outnumbered by enemy jet fighters, adverse weather conditions were often a factor which added greatly to the difficulties encountered in successfully carrying out the assigned mission. As a result of his valour, proficiency and devotion to duty on these occasions, he has reflected great credit upon himself, his comrades in arms of the United Nations and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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GOLDSMITH, Flying Officer John Edward, DFC (20430) - Air Force Cross - No.413 (Photo Survey) Squadron, as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948. Born in Halifax, 21 February 1922; enlisted in RCAF, 21 February 1942. Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 28 August 1942) and No.8 AOS (graduated 21 December 1942). Awarded DFC, 4 November 1944 for services with No.156 Squadron. Cited with F/L J.F. Drake (which see for citation). Engaged in 1948 "POLCO" follow-up.

 

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GOMMER, Leading Aircraftman John Joseph (203887) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Chatham - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959 and AFRO 132/59 dated 20 February 1959. See Press Release 8968 dated 6 February 1959. Cited with Corporal Theodore Gustave Onarheim (34470), Leading Aircraftman David Clinton Meier (60885) and Leading Aircraftman Robert William Henderson (255646).

 

On 6 August 1957, at RCAF Station Chatham, New Brunswick, a Sabre aircraft crashed on take-off and burst into flames at the west end of the airfield. At the time of the accident the above mentioned airmen were proceeding to this area to recover an aircraft that had landed there due to technical trouble. Flight Lieutenant Marsh, who was already on the scene, tried unaided to extricate the pilot, realized that he could not carry out the rescue alone. Observing four persons in the distance he called for help and the above noted four airmen immediately came to his assistance. With great difficulty and considerable risk with no mean skill, the five men extricated the pilot, who was complaining of a broken back, and moved him to safety in such a way that his injuries were not aggravated. There can be no doubt that without the prompt action of the rescue group, the pilot would have died in the aircraft. The courage and unselfishness displayed by the above airmen, and the complete disregard for their own personal safety in this hazardous operation, are worthy of recognition.

 

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GROSE, Corporal Edgar Clarence (16396) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952. Born at South River, Ontario, 25 November 1927; enlisted 30 September 1946. Recommended by W/C C.H. Mussells, 26 December 1951; approved by G/C Z.L. Leigh, same day. With No.2 Air Movements Unit, Lachine at that time.

 

Corporal Grose served on the Korean Airlift as an Air Traffic Assistant, being a member of 426 Transport Squadron which was attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on the 26th July 1950. He flew a total of 700 hours over the 11,000 nautical mile route, often through hazardous icing and fog conditions. Throughout his tour Corporal Grose's devotion to duty, enthusiasm and initiative were a source of inspiration to all.

 


This Non-Commissioned officer's untiring efforts were a splendid contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's participation in support of the United Nations' effort in Korea.

 

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HALE, Group Captain Edward Birney, DFC, CD (19514) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 16th Squadron, 51st Fighter Wing (USAF) - Award effective 24 January 1953 as per Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1953 and AFRO 55/53 dated 6 February 1953. Born 30 May 1914 in Toledo, Ohio; enlisted in RCAF, 27 November 1939. Awarded wings at Camp Borden, 15 February 1940. At Station Trenton, 23 February to 1 August 1940; at Camp Borden, 2 August 1940 to 9 March 1941; at No.13 EFTS, St.Eugene, 10 March to 19 May 1941; at No.3 EFTS, London, Ontario, 20 May to 4 September 1941; with No.116 (BR) Squadron, 5 September 1941 to 1 November 1942; Station Shelburne, 2 November 1942 to 27 April 1943; Station Dartmouth, 28 April to 4 May 1943; No.161 (BR) Squadron, 5 May 1943 to 1 November 1944; Station Yarmouth, 2 November to 26 December 1944; No.12 (Communications) Squadron, Rockcliffe, 27 December 1944 to 15 November 1945; Station Rockcliffe, 16 November 1945 to 20 August 1946; Canadian Joint Staff (Washington), 21 August 1946 to 7 June 1947; NWAC, Edmonton, 8 June 1947 to 31 January 1949; Station Trenton, 1 February to 30 April 1949; Station Chatham, 1 May 1949 to 18 July 1951; Station North Luffenham, 19 July to 30 September 1951; No.1 (F) Wing, 1 October 1951 onwards. Served in Korea, 22 April to 29 May 1952. Flying Officer as of 27 November 1939; Flight Lieutenant, 1 March 1941; Squadron Leader, 1 October 1942; Wing Commander, 1 October 1944; Group Captain, 20 July 1951. On strength of Special Force (Korea), 22 April to 29 May 1952; flew 26 sorties (38 combat hours) plus five hour 40 minutes flown non-combat. In a report he stated, "Two MIG-15s and one locomotive attacked. Hits seen on one MIG-15 and locomotive but claim not entered due to lack of photographic or eye witness corroboration." See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Group Captain Edward B. Hale distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 25 May 1952 over North Korea. He was leading a flight of two F-86E type aircraft providing top cover for friendly fighter bombers. Because the fighter bombers were late arriving at their target, most of the F-86s were forced to withdraw because of lack of fuel leaving only Group Captain Hale and his wingman in the target area. Group Captain Hale sighted a flight of four MIG-15 type aircraft firing on two F-84s. Although very low on fuel he immediately initiated an attack upon them, but as he closed for the kill, he was sighted by the enemy who immediately broke off the attack. The fighter bombers were successfully escorted back to friendly territory by Group Captain Hale and his wingman. Through his personal courage, outstanding leadership and devotion to duty, Group Captain Hale has brought great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the United Nations forces in Korea.

 


HALE, Group Captain Edward Birney (19514) - Air Medal (United States) - date uncertain; not allowed to accept or wear as he already had an American DFC.

 

Group Captain Edward B. Hale, attached 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Group, during the period 4 May 1952 to 17 May 1952, distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial combat missions against the enemy over North Korea as a pilot of an F-86E type aircraft. Many times, despite superior numbers of the enemy, his aggressiveness and unfailing performance of assignments contributed greatly to the success of the missions. Through his personal courage, outstanding airmanship and high devotion to duty, Group Captain Hale has brought great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the United Nations forces in Korea.

 

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HARE, Squadron Leader Christopher Edwin Lawrence, DFC (19798) - Air Force Cross - Air Transport Command, Lachine - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 June 1951 and AFRO 379/51. Born in Montreal, 10 April 1922; educated in Toronto; enlisted in Toronto, 22 June 1940. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 27 July 1940), No.10 EFTS (graduated 11 November 1940) and No.5 SFTS (graduated 28 January 1941). Sergeant in January 1941; Flight Sergeant, July 1941; WO2, January 1942; commissioned February 1942; Flying Officer, August 1942; Flight Lieutenant, February 1944; Squadron Leader, January 1944; reverted to Flight Lieutenant, July 1946. Arrived in UK, February 1941; to No.103 Squadron (Bomber Command), May 1941; to No.458 Squadron (RAAF, Bomber Command), September 1941. With that unit to Malta and Middle East, March 1942; to No.37 Squadron, July 1942. Shot down over Africa in August 1942, evaded nearly three weeks but captured and made POW. Mentioned in Despatches, 2 June 1943. Escaped in September 1943 and reached Allied lines in October 1943. Assigned to RAF Central Gunnery School, February 1944; to No.150 Squadron (Bomber Command, Flight Commander), October 1944. Awarded DFC, July 1945. With BAFO HQ, Germany and No.120 (T) Wing, March 1946. To No.435 (T) Squadron, Edmonton, October 1946. To 901 ATHU, Edmonton, October 1947. Exchange officer in UK, January 1949 to June 1951. Working as staff officer at Lachine until 6 April 1953 when posted to No.426 Squadron. To Station Bagotville, 17 May 1954; to Staff College, September 1957; to No.2 FTS, Moose Jaw, August 1958; to No.2 AFS, Portage la Prairie, August 1958; to No.1 AFS, Saskatoon, December 1958; to Station Cold Lake, January 1959; to No.414 Squadron, North Bay, May 1959.

 

This officer has fulfilled the duties of RCAF Liaison Officer and pilot to Air Transport Development Flight in the United Kingdom for the past 18 months. During this time he as acquitted himself as a pilot of outstanding courage and ability, particularly in the following circumstances:

 


(a) In April 1949 he was captain of a Halifax aircraft which had been adapted for carrying a "Paratechicon" underneath. This paratechicon was sufficiently large to carry a gun and jeep inside and was fitted to the belly of the aircraft in such a manner that it could be dropped and brought to earth by means of cluster parachutes. Little was known of the handling characteristics of the Halifax with the paratechicon fitted. On the very first flight from the manufacturers' works Squadron Leader Hare was the captain, when the aircraft suffered a No.1 engine failure. Squadron Leader Hare would have been fully justified in jettisoning the new paratechicon as little enough was known of the handing characteristics of the Halifax with the paratechicon fitted when flying on four engines let alone three. However, having regard to the high cost of the paratechicon and the fact that on this first flight parachutes were not fitted and thus any jettisoning would have led to the destruction of the paratechicon apart from danger to people on the ground, Squadron Leader Hare continued to fly on three engines until he felt confident and familiar with the aircraft. He then carried out a successful three engine landing at RAF Brize Norton.

 

(b) In the spring of 1950 he was appointed task officer in charge of a Lancaster aircraft equipped with prototype cumulo-nimbus cloud warning equipment. During April and May the aircraft was detached to Singapore where trials were to be carried out. The directive suggested that penetration of cloud encountered was desirable if found possible. Under Squadron Leader Hare's leadership over 100 penetrations of cumulo-nimbus cloud were made and some 30 penetrations of thunderstorms in which lightning was present. Four of these latter penetrations were made over Singapore Island in view of personnel at Changi airport. The information which the detachment brought back is of invaluable help towards the progress of safer aviation and the lightning penetrations made over Singapore Island helped considerably to "lay a few bogies" prevalent amongst flying personnel who watched the performance. There is no doubt that the example set by Squadron Leader Hare and his determination to fulfil the task to the utmost of his ability contributed largely to the success of the expedition and his investigations have helped to tear down some of the veils of ignorance which cloud man's knowledge of flying conditions in cumulo-nimbus cloud and thunderstorms.

 

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HARVEY, Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Abraham, CD (237260) - Air Force Cross - Station Namao - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 July 1966 and AFRO dated 29 July 1966 for courage when he refused to bale out of crippled jet fighter near Edmonton, 3 March 1965. See Flight Comment, September/October 1966. This award is thoroughly documented in Secretary of State papers (RG.6 D.1 Volume 359, file 114-2-A1-3 "Awards - Specific - Air Force Cross (Granted)". On 18 February 1966 the recommendation (citation below) was sent by letter of Air Commodore G.F. Jacobsen to Mr.J.Miquelon (Chairman, Decorations Committee, Secretary of State), 14 March 1966. On 24 May 1966 he writes that the Decorations Committee had met on 11 May 1966 and concurred in awards for Campbell and Harvey. Based on affidavit sworn 25 August 1965 by Flying Officer L.J. Smyth. On 3 March he had been DATCO [Duty Air Traffic Control Officer ?] at Namao. He reported that at time of emergency, Runway 11 was active so Runway 29 cleared for straight-in approach. When engine quit five miles out, heavy black smoke visible. After landing the F-84F rolled 10,000 feet and turned off on the high-speed cut off. F/L Harvey then climbed out and walked to rear of aircraft which was still smoking from tailpipe. Affidavit also sworn by Corporal D.J. Bray on 12 August 1965 who confirms the above.

 

On 3 March 1965, Flight Lieutenant Harvey was returning for a landing after completing a successful acceptance flight in an F-84F aircraft. When approximately ten miles from his base he experienced severe engine vibrations accompanied by loud banging. An emergency was declared and arrangements made for a downwind emergency landing. Approximately five miles from base and over a densely populated area, the vibrations and banging increased; then the engine failed completely. Rather than abandon the aircraft, which he could have been fully justified in doing, where there was the distinct possibility of the aircraft crashing into the populated area and causing untold damage to property and possible loss of life, Flight Lieutenant Harvey elected to remain with the aircraft to attempt an engine-out landing. With the aircraft operating on emergency hydraulics, Flight Lieutenant Harvey continued his approach to base and successfully manoeuvred the aircraft to a safe landing. By his courage and devotion to duty, Flight Lieutenant Harvey, by remaining with the aircraft, not only protected the lives and property of innocent people, but also prevented the loss of a costly aircraft.

 

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HATTON, Flight Cadet Brian George (45258, released) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Summerside - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 27 December 1952 and AFRO 1/53 dated 2 January 1953. Born in Toronto, 16 June 1933; joined there, 29 August 1951. See SPICER, Flying Officer Carson Carlyle (28017) for citation. NOTE: name might be George Edwin Brien

 

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HAWKINS, Corporal Lorne David (21042) - King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.112 Transport Flight, Station Rivers - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948, together with Corporal James P. Rae (awarded AFM, which see for citation) and Sergeant Kenrick C. Swinford (Commended), for work on Operation CANON. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995. The following, from DHist files, may be considered as supplemental to the official citation:

 

Corporal Hawkins in late September 1947 was detailed to fly and act as a maintenance crewmen of a Dakota aircraft which had been detailed to attempt the evacuation of Canon J.H. Turner at Moffett Inlet, 1,700 miles north of Winnipeg. To bring aid to the injured missionary and to successfully complete the evacuation of Canon Turner and his family, required a total of four extremely hazardous return flights. Despite the shortage of servicing facilities this Non-Commissioned Officer displayed extraordinary skill and devotion to duty in maintaining the aircraft in a serviceable condition in order that every emergency would be met. He assisted on three occasions in starting the starboard engine by hand, using a length of rope as an aid.

 

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HEFFERN, Leading Aircraftman Clifford Ray (36692) - No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Awarded as per AFRO 110/56 dated 8 March 1956 and Canada Gazette dated 3 May 1956. Born 26 September 1931 in Kelvington, Saskatchewan; joined RCAF in Toronto, 7 March 1951. Trained as Airframe Technician, No.2 Technical Training School, Camp Borden (graduated April 1951); posted to Trenton. Assigned to No.426 Squadron, June 1952; to No.104 Communications Flight, St.Hubert, January 1953. A few months later posted to Station Chatham where he stayed until September 1954; transferred to No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit, St.Hubert and detached to Keflavik, Iceland. October 1955 to No.1 (F) Wing, Marville, France.

 

On 21 February 1955, Leading Aircraftman Heffern was on duty with Number One Overseas Ferry Unit at Keflavik Airport, Iceland, when a Sabre aircraft ran out of control and crashed into two parked Sabre aircraft causing two of them to burst into flames. LAC Heffern ran to the scene of the accident and assisted Corporal Hyatt in attempting to remove the cockpit canopy by electrical and manual release methods to extricate an airman trapped inside, but their efforts were in vain. By using a fire extinguisher, the canopy was broken and LAC Heffern, Corporal Hyatt and LAC Ste.Marie helped the airman, who was overcome by smoke and fumes, out of the burning aircraft to a safe distance from the fire where they awaited an ambulance. LAC Heffern, without regard for personal safety, in company with two others, displayed courage and presence of mind in the rescue of an airman trapped inside a burning aircraft when danger of explosion was imminent.

 

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HENDERSON, Leading Aircraftman Robert William (235646) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Chatham - Awarded as per AFRO 132/59 dated 20 February 1959. See Press Release 8968 dated 6 February 1959. Cited with Corporal Theodore Gustave Onarheim (34470), Leading Aircraftman David Clinton Meier (60885) and Leading Aircraftman John Joseph Gommer (203887). See Gommer for citation.

 

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HETMAN, Flight Sergeant Walter, CD (4291) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Vancouver - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 13 April 1957. Born in Arborg, Manitoba, 19 October 1916; enlisted 13 September 1939 when living in Vancouver. Served continuously thereafter. DND file 900-380 Volume 1, "Public Relations: Honours and Awards" (RG.24 Volume 17895) has citation as well as sworn affidavit by Cyril B.Andrews and Frederick Thomas Delgarno re Hetman.

 

On 3 November 1955, 4291 Sergeant Walter Hetman, a motor boat crewman of RCAF Station Vancouver, was called upon to assist in the evacuation of seven or eight persons marooned on a bush and rubbish pile formed in the flooded Alouette River near Haney, British Columbia. Sergeant Hetman with three volunteers embarked in a 25-foot fibre glass boat equipped with two 25-horse power motors and attempted to reach the marooned people. Logs and debris being carried downstream by the swift current prevented the rescue boat from reaching the stranded party and permitted an approach to a point approximately midway between the island and the mainland. Sergeant Hetman, attired in service uniform, parka and rubber gum boots, realizing that the people on the makeshift island could not be reached by boat, tied a rope around himself and jumped overboard chest high into the swift and cold waters of the river and waded towards the stranded people. Sergeant Hetman remained in the water approximately five hours from 0100 hours until 0530 hours. During this time he reached the marooned persons and brought them back to safety. The courage and unselfishness displayed by Sergeant Hetman, and the complete disregard for his own personal safety in this hazardous operation, are worthy of recognition.

 

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HILLMAN, Sergeant Aleck Burnett (10096) - King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.438 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 28 August 1948 and AFRO 524/48 dated 3 September 1948. As of award he was with No.438 Squadron Reserve Support Unit, Montreal. Aero engine mechanic and flight engineer.

 


Sergeant Hillman was the Flight Engineer of the Magnetic Pole Survey Canso which undertook a pioneering operation in the Arctic archipelago in 1947. An extremely high standard of technical maintenance was required in order to avoid disaster and this was achieved largely by the single-handed efforts of this outstanding non-commissioned officer. Without any normal facilities he worked tirelessly on the aircraft in remote inlets and lakes under the most extreme physical handicaps. He risked his life on two notable occasions at night to save his aircraft from destruction during gales which had torn it loose from anchorage and brought the menace of ice floes. Sergeant Hillman laboured continually to avert any delays in take-off which would risk the detachment. His efforts, far beyond the call of duty, were responsible for the readiness of the aircraft and consequently the most successful outcome of the expedition.

 

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HONEGGER, Squadron Leader Walter John, CD (9961) - Airman's Medal (United States) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 October 1965 and AFSO 42/54 dated 12 November 1965. Born 3 September 1925; joined RCAF 2 August 1943 as an Aero Engine Mechanic and becoming a Radar Technician. Commissioned 1 January 1949. The following is from Canada Gazette.

 

The Minister of National Defence has announced that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to grant unrestricted permission for wearing of the following decoration which has been conferred upon the undermentioned in recognition of bravery in the saving of life while serving as Exchange Officer with the United States Air Force.

 

NOTE: A more detailed recommended citation was submitted to Government House when the award was being considered. This is given below as it provides much more detail:

 


On 27 June 1964, Squadron Leader Honegger, a Royal Canadian Air Force exchange officer with the Headquarters Electronic Systems Division at Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A., saved the life of A3C Benjamin M. Perry, AF 13753447, a member of the United States Air Force at Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Bedford, Massachusetts. At approximately 1600 hours Airman Perry was swimming in the ocean at "Fourth Cliffe", the Hanscom Field recreation area located at Scituate, Massachusetts. Squadron Leader Honegger heard a cry for help from Airman Perry. It was apparent that Airman Perry was in grave danger of drowning. In complete disregard for his personal safety, Squadron Leader Honegger left the beach and swam to the rescue of Airman Perry. With great difficulty Squadron Leader Honegger located Airman Perry, extracted him from the water, and swam back to the shore with Perry's virtually lifeless body. When he arrived back on the beach, Squadron Leader Honegger immediately started artificial respiration, and directed the efforts of onlookers to get blankets and to notify the rescue units. Squadron Leader Honegger interrupted his efforts only to wrap Airman Perry in blankets, then continued artificial respiration efforts until Airman Perry's breathing became regular and his pulse somewhat normal. His concern and vigilance continued until rescue units of the Scituate Fire Department arrived. It is apparent that Squadron Leader Honegger's courage, his disregard for his own safety, and his skill in lifesaving techniques were directly responsible for the saving of Airman Perry's life.

 

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HOWARD, Sergeant George (25880) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron but at time of announcement at No.4 (T) OTU, Lachine. Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 3 January 1953 (Queen's Honours List) and AFRO 10/53 dated 9 January 1953.

 

Sergeant Howard served with 426 Squadron on the Korean airlift from July 1951 to June 1952. During his tour of duty as a Flight Engineer on North Star aircraft, he participated in eleven round trips to the Far East in support of United Nations operations in Korea. Throughout, his devotion to duty was far in excess of that normally required. On many occasions, under adverse conditions, he performed outstanding feats in the maintenance of aircraft serviceability. The skill and initiative he displayed in carrying out aircraft repairs was exceptional and contributed a great deal to the success of the Korean airlift.

 

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HYATT, Corporal Kenneth Bernard (18477) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 3 May 1956 and AFRO 110/56 dated 8 March 1956. Born 24 February 1926 at Wheatley, Ontario. A source says he served as a Flight Engineer during Second World War and was discharged September 1945 - unlikely if birthdate is correct; enlisted 17 March 1949 at Windsor, Ontario as instrument technician. Trained at Centralia; posted in July 1949 to Camp Borden. In March 1950 he was switched to No.412 Squadron. In January 1954 to No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit. Posted to No.4 OTU, Trenton, June 1955.

 

On 21 February 1955, Corporal Hyatt while on duty with Number One Overseas Ferry Unit at Keflavik Airport, Iceland, when he noticed a Sabre aircraft moving along the ramp at too fast a speed. After the aircraft crashed into two parked Sabre aircraft and burst into flames, Corporal Hyatt grabbed a fire extinguisher and rushed to the burning aircraft which had an airman inside and tried to open the canopy by using the electrical push button. Being joined by LAC Heffern, they tried to release the canopy by means of the external jettison cable but to no avail. Another airman, LAC Ste.Marie, had started to fight the fire with an extinguisher and Corporal Hyatt took it from him and broke the side and top of the canopy with it. Corporal Hyatt and LAC Ste.Marie then helped the airman, who was overcome by smoke and fumes, out of the aircraft and to a safe distance from the burning aircraft where they awaited the ambulance. Corporal Hyatt, without regard for personal safety, in company with two others, displayed courage and presence of mind in the rescue of an airman trapped inside a burning aircraft when danger of explosion was imminent.


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JANZEN, Flight Lieutenant Russel Huby (18115) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct in the Air - Central Experimental and Proving Establishment (Edmonton) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 24 October 1953 and AFRO 662/53 dated 6 November 1953. Joined RCAF in 1941 as aero engine mechanic; remustered to aircrew (pilot training), January 1943. Instructor until release in 1945. Rejoined in 1948, took refresher training and then became instructor at Centralia. Later posted to Trenton for instructor's course and then a test pilot course in United States (graduated June 1952). Also awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 1953.

 

Flight Lieutenant Janzen has, throughout his flying career, consistently displayed the utmost zeal and enthusiasm and the highest order of airmanship. During an arduous winter of experimental flying, his leadership and determination have enabled his project to be completed, under severe difficulties, in a most successful manner. Recently, while flying a high-performance aircraft, relatively unfamiliar to him, this officer, through his coolness and superior flying ability was responsible for saving the aircraft from serous damage which would have caused costly delays in the winter test program. On another occasion, Flight Lieutenant Janzen experienced a fire in the air while testing another experimental aircraft. His sound judgement under duress, and skilful handling, enabled him to save the aircraft from possible complete destruction and to obtain valuable data for corrective action. At all times, Flight Lieutenant Janzen's conduct has been worthy of the finest traditions of the service.

 

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JONES, Sergeant (now Flight Sergeant) Lawrence Oswald (4027) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Lincoln Park - Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 7 August 1954 and AFRO 448/54 dated 13 August 1954.

 

While Sergeant Jones was instructing a party undergoing training at Sarcee Camp, Alberta, one trainee, who had already successfully thrown one grenade, became panic stricken, placed the grenade which was fused with a four second fuse on the parapet and stood looking at it. Sergeant Jones, who had withdrawn to a safe position, returned to the grenade throwing bay at considerable risk to his own life and hustled the trainee to safety. The quick thinking, courage and action of this Non-Commissioned Officer did, without doubt, save a man from death or serious injury.

 

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KILLENS, Sergeant Nelson Bruce (215104) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - 4 Fighter Wing - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 1 August 1959 and AFRO 156/59.

 


Sergeant Killens, Royal Canadian Air Force Police, in company with the Orderly Sergeant was on the night of the 7th August 1958, carrying out a security check of the civilian guards of 4 Fighter Wing at Baden Soellingen, Germany, when he saw one of the guards being savagely attacked by a ferocious Alsatian police dog. Sergeant Killens immediately grappled with the dog and pulling it from the guard's throat held it captive enabling the Orderly Sergeant to attend to the wounded guard. There is no doubt that by his prompt action and complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Killens was largely responsible for saving the life of the wounded and exhausted German guard.

 

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LAFRANCE, Flight Lieutenant Joseph Claude Andre (30003) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 16th and 39th Squadrons, 39th Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per AFRO 153/53 dated 20 March 1953. Medal presented in France, February 1957. Born in Quebec City; enlisted 1947. Attached to Special Force, 14 May 1952; 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron 20 May 1952 to 31 May 1952; 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron 1 June 1952 to 20 September 1952. Struck of Special Force 29 September 1952. Flew first sortie on 28 May 1952 and a total of 49 Sabre and one T-33 operational missions (67 hours 15 minutes on Sabres, one hour 50 minutes on T-33) plus 12 hours 35 minutes non-combat on Sabres. Combat was at 1540 hours close to Sariwon; he scored hits all over enemy fuselage and engine area; pilot seen to eject. Rose to Major-General. In 1969 activated No.433 (Francophone) Squadron; later commanded CFB Winnipeg; was Director General Policy Planning at NDHQ and commander of No.10 Tactical Air Group, St.Hubert. Retired April 1981 to become senior civil servant. Tunics in Canadian War Museum. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Flight Lieutenant Claude A. Lafrance distinguished himself by outstanding airmanship and bravery while participating in a flight for four F-86 type aircraft on 5 August 1952. After sighting a flight of two MIG-15 type aircraft Flight Lieutenant Lafrance immediately set up his attack. He succeeded in destroying one MIG-15 type aircraft. He then aided in driving the remaining fighter across the Yalu River. Flight Lieutenant Lafrance finally returned to his home base on a minimum of fuel supply. By his high personal courage and devotion to duty, Flight Lieutenant Lafrance has brought great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Force.

 

LAFRANCE, Flight Lieutenant Joseph Claude Andre (30003) - Air Medal (United States) - date uncertain and not allowed to accept as he already had been awarded U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross.

 


Flight Lieutenant Claude A. Lafrance distinguished himself by meritorious achievement as a pilot while participating in aerial flight in the Korean conflict from 28 May 1952 to 3 August 1952 as a pilot in F-86 type aircraft. Many times, often against superior numbers of the enemy, he has displayed courage, skill and aggressiveness, which has contributed greatly to the success of the mission. Through his skill and airmanship, and unfailing devotion to duty, Flight Lieutenant Lafrance has brought great credit upon himself, his comrades in arms of the United Nations, the United States Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

NOTE: Headquarters Far East Air Forces AP0925 dated 9 September 1952 gives following account of his MIG kill:

 

First Lieutenant [sic] Claude A. Lafrance...is officially credited with the destruction of one MIG-15 type aircraft in aerial combat at 1540I on 5 August 1952 near Sariwon, Korea. Flying number three position in a flight of four F86 type aircraft, Lieutenant Lafrance closed on the leader of an element of two MIG-15s. Lieutenant Lafrance opened fire, scoring hits over the entire fuselage and engine section of the MIG. The enemy pilot was observed to eject himself in the vicinity of Sariwon.

 

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LAMBROS, Flying Officer Andrew, DFC (49644) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 39th Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 14 November 1953 and AFRO 742/53 dated 11 December 1953 and Canada Gazette dated 14 November 1953. Home in Wiarton, Ontario; enlisted in Ottawa, 18 December 1940. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 16 May 1941), No.19 EFTS (graduated 15 July 1941), and No.11 SFTS (graduated 7 October 1941). Awarded DFC, 13 February 1945 for services with No.438 Squadron. Attached to Headquarters, USAF, 28 August 1952; to Travis Air Force Base, 15 October 1952; taken on strength, 39th Squadron, Suwon, 22 October 1952. First sortie on 2 November 1952. Appointed Deputy Commander, "D" Flight, 23 December 1952. Damaged one MIG-15 on 22 January 1953. Acted as Wing Leader for three squadrons, 23 January 1953. Damaged another MIG-15, 31 January 1953. Wing Leader for three squadron on 17 February 1953. Tour completed 24 February 1953; struck off strength of Special Force (Korea) 10 March 1953. Had met MIGs on nine of 50 sorties including four with close brushes. Flew 50 sorties (80 combat hours plus 20 hours 30 minutes non-combat). See PL-36295 for good wartime photograph. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Flying Officer Andrew Lambros distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight in the Korean conflict as a pilot of F-86 type aircraft, 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Fifth Air Force from 2 November 1952 to 18 December 1952. Many times, often against superior numbers of the enemy, he has displayed courage, skill and aggressiveness which has contributed greatly to the success of the mission. Through his skill and airmanship and unfailing devotion to duty, Flying Officer Lambros has brought great credit upon himself, the United States Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 


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LECKIE, Sergeant George Brown (21341) - Air Force Medal - Station Edmonton - Awarded as per Canada Gazette on 1 December 1951 and AFRO 798/51 dated 7 December 1951. Born in Winnipeg; received vocational training there; enlisted May 1940; served overseas with No.429 Squadron. and at No.63 Base, 1942-1945. Demobilized in 1945; rejoined February 1946. Telegram in DHist file 181.009 D.3411 (RG.24 Vol.20639) states this was "in recognition of outstanding gallantry and leadership displayed in the rescue of two civilian occupants of a Canadian aircraft which crashed in the American Rockies in May 1949." SE Technician. Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953 while at Station Edmonton. Public Relations release 8014 (4 December 1951) noted that his AFM exploit was the second award that year to RCAF Para-Rescue personnel (see Wright, BEM); teams were stationed at Vancouver, Whitehorse, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Churchill, Trenton, Greenwood, and Torbay. This year (1951) fifteen medical personnel (including four nurses) had graduated as jumpers after training at Edmonton and Jasper.

 

Sergeant Leckie was the jump-master of the Royal Canadian Air Force para-rescue team detailed to carry out the rescue of two civilian occupants of a Canadian aircraft which crashed on Mount Hozomeen in the American Rockies, State of Washington, U.S.A., on 2nd May 1949. On his arrival over the scene of the crash, Sergeant Leckie assessed the situation, noting that the terrain in the area of the crash was particularly rugged, being heavily wooded, interlaced with deep gorges and studded with jagged rocks. Fully aware of the dangers involved in operations of this nature, he decided that the circumstances warranted the risk involved and that the para-rescue team should attempt a landing by parachute. The team made a successful descent and under the leadership of Sergeant Leckie, efficiently performed their arduous task of effecting the rescue from the heavily wooded mountainous terrain. Sergeant Leckie's display of leadership and gallantry were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Canadian Air Force and have resulted in a high state of morale and confidence amongst his subordinates.

 

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LEIGH, Group Captain Zebulon Lewis, OBE, ED (19502) - Legion of Merit (United States), Degree of Commander - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 12 March 1949 and AFRO 102/49 dated 11 March 1949. Born at Cheshire, England, 19 June 1906. Joined RCAF (Reserve) 4 January 1932 in Winnipeg. McKee Trophy winner, 1946; Queen's Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953 (Air Transport Command Headquarters); appointed Member, Order of Canada, as per Canada Gazette dated 8 July 1989; author of autobiography, And I Shall Fly. American award for services during Operation "Attache", for which see entries under COSTELLO, LEMIEUX and VIRR.

 


For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of overseas services to the government of the United States as Commanding Officer of a search and rescue group at The Pas, Manitoba, from September 12 to 25, 1948. Through his keen judgement and insight into the tremendous problems at hand, Group Captain Leigh was able to plan, co-ordinate and personally direct a search carried out by 35 Canadian and United States aircraft for the personnel lost in a United States Navy Beechcraft on September 12, 1948. Constant and untiring in his efforts throughout the twelve day search in the wilds of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Group Captain Leigh by his leadership and devotion to duty, was instrumental in bringing to a successful termination the largest and one of the most difficult searches ever conducted in Canada and in saving the lives of four United States and one British personnel. His conduct reflects great credit on Group Captain Leigh and the RCAF.

 

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LEMIEUX, Sergeant Joseph Rene Paul Gerard (200605) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 16 September 1967. Cited with Corporal B.J. Fitzgerald (which see for citation).

 

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LEMIEUX, Flying Officer Rene Joseph (20505) - Legion of Merit (United States), Degree of Officer - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 12 March 1949 and AFRO 102/49 dated 11 March 1949; for services during Operation "Attache"; see also entries for COSTELLO, LEIGH and VIRR.

 

For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of overseas services to the government of the United States as pilot of a Lancaster plane in the RCAF in connection with the search for and rescue of lost personnel of a United States Navy Beechcraft in the wilds of northern Saskatchewan from September 12-24, 1948, the largest and one of the most difficult searches undertaken in Canada. Flying Officer Lemieux persistently conducted an intensive night and day search for the missing aircraft and personnel in the face of extremely difficult conditions. A skilled airman, Flying Officer Lemieux, by his untiring efforts and alertness, finally succeeded in locating the lost plane on September 24, 1948 and secured additional air assistance to effect the rescue, thereby contributing greatly to the saving of the lives of four United States and one British personnel. His exemplary leadership and devotion to duty reflect great credit on Flying Officer Lemieux and the RCAF.

 

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LEVESQUE, Squadron Leader Joseph Auguste Omer (19794) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - awarded as per AFRO 490/51 dated 10 August 1951, "in recognition of services rendered in action in Korea on 30 March 1951." Second World War veteran and former POW; postwar with No.410 Squadron; transferred 1 June 1950 to 4th Fighter Group, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. On conversion to Sabres, assigned to 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Moved with that unit to Korea, 1 December 1950; first sortie on 17 December 1950 and flew approximately 58-60 sorties until 1 June 1951. Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 1953. American awards presented at Johnston AFB, Japan, January 1951. For more on Canadian Sabre pilots in Korea see H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964. The following is an excerpt from DFC (US) citation, quoted in RCAF Press Release of May 1951.

 

Flight Lieutenant J.A.O. Levesque, RCAF, performed an act of heroic and extraordinary achievement as a member of a flight of four F-86 type aircraft on a combat air patrol south of the Sinuiju-Yalu River area, North Korea.

 

Flight Lieutenant Levesque's flight engaged enemy high performance jet aircraft in a battle which varied in altitude from 30,000 feet to 3,000 feet. Through aggressive and skilful maneouvering, he made repeated daring attacks upon the enemy which resulted in his personal destruction of one enemy aircraft. His brilliant evasion of other enemy aircraft added immeasurably to the success of his mission.

 

Flight Lieutenant Levesque's heroic and extraordinary achievement and meritorious devotion to duty has brought great credit upon himself, his comrades in arms of the United Nations, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Force.

 

LEVESQUE, Squadron Leader Joseph Auguste Omer (19794) - Air Medal (United States) - awarded as per AFRO 490/51 dated 10 August 1951, "in recognition of meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight from 17 December to 21 December 1950."

 

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LINDSAY, Squadron Leader James Douglas, DFC (20361) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 39th Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 1 May 1953 and AFRO 284/53 dated 15 May 1953. Home in Arnprior, Ontario; enlisted in Ottawa, 11 February 1941. Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 3 July 1941), No.21 EFTS (graduated 1 September 1941) and No.9 SFTS (graduated 21 November 1941). Commissioned November 1941. Remained in Canada as an instructor for some time. Overseas with No.403 Squadron (8 October 1943 to 3 August 1944 and again from 2 April 1945 to 20 April 1945; with No.416 Squadron, 20 April 1945 to 15 March 1946. Aerial victories as follows: 7 May 1944 - one Bf.109 destroyed, one FW.190 damaged; 19 May 1944 - one FW.190 destroyed (shared with F/O R.H. Smith); 26 June 1944 - one Bf.109 destroyed; 29 June 1944 - one FW.190 destroyed west of Lisieux; 2 July 1945 - the Bf.109s destroyed; 5 July 1944 - one FW.190 damaged; 3 August 1944 - one Bf.109 destroyed, one Bf.109 damaged; 17 April 1945 - one FW.190 damaged. Awarded DFC, 8 August 1944. Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953 while with No.1 (F) Wing. Photos PL-26564 (standing in door); PL-26643 (in Spitfire); PL-5400 (in flying gear, No.413 Squadron, postwar); PL-104986 (studio portrait, 1958). Taken on strength of Korean Special Force, 15 July 1952. Taken on strength of 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 21 July 1952. Struck off strength 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 28 November 1952. Struck of strength Special Force, 3 December 1952. He flew 50 sorties (73 hours 20 minutes in combat) plus five non-combat missions (five hours 55 minutes) on T-33. A form he signed claimed 70 missions (73 hours 20 minutes) but this seems improbable because the RCAF limit at that time was 50 trips, and because 70 sorties would have translated into a much higher combat time count. Claims as follows: two MIG-15s damaged, 5 September 1952; one MIG-15 destroyed, 11 October 1952 (29th mission); one MIG-15 damaged, 25 October 1952. One MIG-15 destroyed, 26 November 1952 (49th mission). Presented at 4 ATAF, Trier, Germany, on or about 10 May 1955. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964. Offered USAF Air Medal, 1953 but not authorized due to RCAF policy adopted in 1952 that no more than one American award could be accepted.

 

Squadron Leader James D. Lindsay, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, distinguished himself in aerial combat over North Korea on 11 October 1952. Squadron Leader Lindsay was leading a flight of four F-86 type aircraft on a fighter sweep along the Yalu River, when he sighted approximately twelve enemy MIG-15 type aircraft crossing the Yalu River at a very high altitude. Squadron Leader Lindsay immediately started climbing to intercept the enemy aircraft. The enemy flight started a turn which enabled Squadron Leader Lindsay's flight to cut them off and close with them. Picking out the last flight of four MIG-15 aircraft Squadron Leader Lindsay began his attack on the number four man of the enemy flight and scored decisive hits on the enemy aircraft. This enemy aircraft then began a steep spiralling dive and was observed to crash and explode. Squadron Leader Lindsay then completed his mission and led his flight back to their home base. Throughout his service with the Far East Command, Squadron Leader Lindsay has displayed outstanding courage, aggressiveness and devotion to duty and has reflected great credit on himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force,, and the United States Air Force.

 

NOTE: Details of combat provided in letter dated 18 September 1963 from Aerospace Studies Institute to Air Historian (RCAF):

 


Squadron Leader James D. Lindsay and Lt. Harold E. Fischer were flying together in the combat that you mention on 26 November 1952 and Fischer was evidently the wingman. The report of combat in Fifth Air Force, Daily Intelligence Summary No.205, 27 November 1952, is as follows: "At 261505/I over BA7859, altitude 46,000 feet Python 1 and 2 (two F-86s flying counter air) attacked a flight of 21 MIGs that were leading 150 degrees. As friendlies attacked, two of the MIGs broke from the rest of the formation in a climbing right turn. Friendlies followed these two MIGs with Python 1 firing at the lead MIG at which time friendlies were attacked by another two MIGs that fired on Python 2. Python 1 broke into the attacking MIGs firing a 90 degree deflection shot at one of the MIGs from 300 feet range. The MIG pilot ejected his canopy and bailed out. The MIG was observed to crash at BA8545. During the encounter Python 2, who had become separated from Python 1, pulled in behind one of the 12 MIGs, closing to within 1,200 feet and firing several bursts. Hits were observed on the tail...The MIG was observed to crash at BA8545 and the pilot was observed descending in his chute. Total claims: Two MIGs destroyed pending film assessment. Negative friendly damage...S/L Lindsay was the formation leader and...Lt. Fischer was the Number 2...The place of the combat was specified as being near Kanggye, North Korea."

 

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LORD, Squadron Leader William Henry (1874) - Member, Order of the British Empire - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952, London Gazette dated 5 June 1952 and Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 with Queen's Birthday List. Born in Ottawa, joined RCAF in 1930 and was involved in northern photo surveys before the war. Press clippings dated 6 November 1942 and 19 November 1942 place him on RCAF service in Alaska.

 

Squadron Leader Lord has served on the Korean Airlift since its inception as 426 Squadron's Chief Technical Officer, having been attached to Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on the 26th July 1950. He has been directly responsible for the aircraft maintenance, servicing and logistical support of the complete operation of the Royal Canadian Air Force in its contribution to the United Nations effort. The record that 426 Squadron has established both from the maintenance aspect and for flying safety is directly attributable to this officer's exceptional ability, resourcefulness and leadership.

 

These qualities have been demonstrated forcibly by the Squadron's ability to meet and frequently exceed its commitments. To do this it has been necessary to work maintenance staffs long hours under the most tiring conditions, in addition to ensuring a continual flow of aircraft around the 11,000 nautical mile route. Maintenance detachments were established under his supervision around this route which additionally imposed an extremely heavy load on Squadron Leader Lord, but his ingenuity, determination and years of experience overcame all problems and resulted in the utilization rate of North Star aircraft being comparable to that of any carrier on the Korean Airlift.

 

His untiring efforts have been a vital contribution to the success of the RCAF phase of this operation.

 

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LOWRY, Flight Lieutenant Robert Emmett (17923) - Air Medal (United States) - 25th Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 9 May 1953 and AFRO 284/53 dated 15 May 1953 for Korean operations. Presented 14 September 1956 by Mr. Paul C. Hutton, U.S. Consul General, in Winnipeg. Enlisted in RCAF, January 1943; obtained pilot's wings, April 1944. Was still at OTU in Britain when war ended; served in Occupation Air Force, November 1945 to March 1946 with No.443 Squadron. Released in 1946; rejoined November 1948 and after taking a Flying Control Course was posted to Station Summerside (March 1949) as Flying Control Officer and pilot. To No.1 (Fighter) OTU, August 1951 and then to No.430 Squadron. Served in Korea, 15 July to 3 December 1952, with 25th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Flew 50 sorties (70 hours 40 minutes combat time pus 11 hours 45 minutes non-combat time). Photo PL-56694 refers. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964. Died on Ottawa, 2 September 1997.

 

Flight Lieutenant Robert E. Lowry did distinguish himself during the period 8 August 1952 to 7 October 1952 by completing twenty combat missions against the enemy over North Korea as pilot of an F-86 type aircraft. His exceptional flying ability and aggressive spirit against superior numbers of enemy aircraft contributed greatly to the mission of the United Nations Forces. By this display of skill and heroism, Flight Lieutenant Lowry has brought great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Force.

 

 

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MacKAY, Squadron Leader John, DFC (19727) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 26 June 1954 and AFRO 362/54 dated 24 June 1954. Born in Winnipeg, 1920; home in Cloverdale, British Columbia; enlisted in Toronto, 3 September 1941. Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated 16 January 1942), No.21 EFTS (graduated 27 March 1942) and No.9 SFTS (graduated 3 July 1942); commissioned 3 July 1942. Served in No.401 Squadron, 5 August 1944 to 30 April 1945. Aerial victories as follows: 25 October 1944, one Me.262 destroyed (shared with four others); 25 December 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed; 1 January 1945, one Bf.109 destroyed, two FW.190s destroyed, one Me.262 damaged (shared with another pilot); 14 January 1945, three FW.190s destroyed; 1 March 1945, one FW.190 destroyed, one Bf.109 damaged, one FW.190 damaged; 28 March 1945, two Bf.109s destroyed; 16 April 1945, three Ar.234s damaged on ground; 20 April 1945, one Bf.109 destroyed. Awarded DFC, 3 April 1945 and Bar to DFC, 15 May 1945. For additional details see H.A. Halliday, The Tumbling Sky. Taken on strength Special Force, 15 March 1953; taken on strength 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, 20 March 1953; struck off strength of 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, 10 July 1953; struck off strength of Special Force, 15 July 1953. Flew 70 hours 45 minutes in combat plus 32 hours 25 minutes non-combat. Destroyed one MIG-15, 30 June 1953. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 


Squadron Leader John MacKay distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as pilot of an F-86 type aircraft, 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Fifth Air Force, from 1 April 1953 to 9 May 1953. During that period, Squadron Leader MacKay demonstrated outstanding professional ability during sustained combat air operations over North Korea. Despite adverse weather conditions, hazardous terrain and numerically superior enemy fighter aircraft, Squadron Leader MacKay accomplished numerous missions which contributed substantially to the success of United Nations operations. Through his keen flying ability,, courage and exemplary devotion to duty, Squadron Leader MacKay reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

NOTE: Details of combat given in Far East Air Forces Order No.329 dated 23 July 1953, quoted in letter from Aerospace Studies Institute, 18 September 1963.

 

Squadron Leader John MacKay, 19727 Royal Canadian Air Force, 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, is officially credited with the destruction of one MIG-15 type aircraft in aerial combat at 1412I on 30 June 1953 near Yongsansi, Korea. Leading a flight of four F-86 aircraft, Squadron Leader MacKay saw a lone MIG on the tail of four friendly aircraft. He closed to within range and fired, scoring hits in the tail section. The MIG pilot ejected himself near Yongsansi.

 

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MacLEOD, Flight Lieutenant David Everett (203844) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station North Bay - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 12 February 1955 and AFRO 77/55 dated 18 February 1955. Born in Brule, Nova Scotia, July 1925; home in Pictou, Nova Scotia. Enlisted March 1943 and trained as an air gunner. Served as gunnery instructor in Canada to war's end when he left to enrol in Acadia University (B.Sc., 1949). Enrolled in Dalhousie University, graduating in medicine in 1953. While attending Dalhousie he re-enrolled in RCAF (Medical Branch) and was assigned to active duty at North Bay in June 1954.

 


On the night of Wednesday, 8 September 1954, a CF-100 aircraft swung off the main jet runway at RCAF Station North Bay and crashed into two aircraft which were parked on a taxi strip adjacent to one of the hangars. The crew of the CF-100 were killed on impact and a fierce conflagration was started involving the three aeroplanes. Flight Lieutenant MacLeod was the Medical Officer on duty at the time of the accident and he was on the scene minutes after the crash occurred. The pilot and the crew member of the CF-100 were still seated in the aircraft and could be plainly seen by the light of the flames. Flight Lieutenant MacLeod, disregarding his own safety, climbed onto the fuselage of the burning aircraft to determine whether or not the occupants were still alive. The heat of the flames was so intense that he had to be continuously sprayed with water while he was finding out if life still remained. He remained until he had definitely proven to his own satisfaction that the two occupants were in fact dead and only then did he leave the aircraft. During the time that he was examining the occupants, the explosive charges in the ejection seats and the explosive charges in the canopy mechanism might have gone off at any instant and without any doubt whatever would have caused instant death to this officer. His great personal bravery and his deep humanitarian instincts which prompted him to do what he did are worthy of the highest commendation and praise. In short, he took his life in his hands when he walked into what was practically a raging inferno and his conduct on this occasion was in the highest traditions of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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MALO, Leading Aircraftman John Warren (26852) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - No.123 Search and Rescue Unit, Sea Island - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 11 April 1953 and AFRO 217/53 dated 17 April 1953. Born in Taber, Alberta, October 1921. Enlisted in Montreal, July 1941 (aero engine technician). Posted overseas in May 1943. Discharged in 1945; rejoined in Calgary, September 1947. Posted to Goose Bay, August 1950; later to No.123 Rescue Unit, Sea Island. Incident described was one of those involving F/L D.R. Cuthbertson (awarded AFC).

 

In the early morning of 2 October, 1951, a request was received at Goose Bay from Saglek Bay, some three hundred and seventy-five miles up the bleak Labrador coast, for the evacuation of a civilian who was in critical condition due to frost bitten and gangrenous feet. Despite the fact a strong north-east wind was blowing, causing a five hundred foot ceiling at Saglek Bay and clouds close to ground level for most of the route, a float-equipped Norseman aircraft with Flight Lieutenant Cuthbertson as pilot and Leading Aircraft Malo as crewman, took off to effect the evacuation. Although heavy swells were rolling into Saglek Bay, the pilot carried out a masterful landing. Notwithstanding that waves from four to six feet high were breaking over the mooring buoy, Leading Aircraftman Malo with complete disregard for his own safety, tied a rope around his waist and took up his position on the float of the aircraft in order to secure it to the mooring buoy. Twice washed off the float by the turbulent seas and immersed in the near freezing waters, Leading Aircraftman Malo with great fortitude and determination regained his position and remained at his post until the difficult mooring was completed. As the patient was being loaded on the aircraft, it was discovered that the right float had spring and was leaking badly. An immediate take-off was made under the same hazardous conditions. After seven hours and thirty minutes of rough instrument flying and a landing and take-off in practically impossible conditions, the weary crew and patient arrived safely at Goose Bay. By his outstanding courage and devotion to duty, Leading Aircraft Malo was instrumental in the successful completion of the rescue mission.

 

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MARSH, Flight Lieutenant William James (30028) - George Medal - Station Chatham - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959 and AFRO 132/59 dated 20 February 1959. From Toronto. Corporal Theodore Gustave Onarheim (34470), Leading Aircraftman J.J. Gommer (203887), Leading Aircraftman David Clinton Meier (60885) and Leading Aircraftman Robert William Henderson (255646) all received Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct.

 

On 6 August 1957, at RCAF Station Chatham, New Brunswick, a Sabre aircraft crashed on take-off and burst into flames at the west end of the airfield. Flight Lieutenant Marsh was proceeding by private motor car to this area at the time of the accident to pick up another pilot who had landed there because of technical trouble. When Flight Lieutenant Marsh observed the aircraft disappear in a large mushroom of smoke, far off the end of the runway; he drove his car at high speed in the direction of the smoke and was able to reach a point within 100 yards of the aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Marsh then proceeded on foot at a full run to the scene of the accident and circled the burning aircraft using natural cover to minimize the hazard from flames and exploding ammunition, to determine beyond doubt that hope was lost. As he circled the aircraft he heard the pilot call for help. With complete disregard for his own safety, Flight Lieutenant Marsh struggled through the bush to the cockpit area and saw the pilot lying halfway out of the aircraft, the aircraft being on its side. After trying unaided to extricate the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Marsh realized he could not carry out the rescue alone. Observing four persons in the distance he called for help and four airmen immediately came to his assistance. With great difficulty and considerable risk, the five men extricated the pilot, who was complaining of a broken back, and moved him to safety in such a way that his injuries were not aggravated. Flight Lieutenant Marsh's prompt and courageous rescue efforts undoubtedly contributed to saving the life of the pilot, who survived his injuries. The splendid courage displayed by Flight Lieutenant Marsh notwithstanding the extreme risk of serious injury or death warrants praise of the highest order.

 

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McKENZIE, Flight Lieutenant Ian Kenneth, CD (39050) - George Medal - Station Centralia - Awarded with effect from 23 January 1963 as per Canada Gazette dated 9 February 1963 and AFRO 8/63 dated 22 February 1963. Born in Calgary, 1922; PT instructor with YMCA before enlisting in RCAF, December 1940. Trained as a pilot, saw action in Britain and India with RAF units. Returned to civilian life as youth worker but rejoined RCAF, 1951. On staff of Centralia, April 1959 to June 1962, when transferred to AFHQ. Cited with S/L Francis Earl McLaren.

 


On the morning of 6 April 1962, Chipmunk 18050 crashed near the north end of the tarmac at RCAF Station Centralia. Both fuel tanks were ruptured by the crash and fire immediately resulted from short-circuiting, which continued for some time. This dissuaded the first people to arrive at the scene from making any attempt at rescue, despite the fact that one of the pilots, Flying Officer Gillette, was alive and conscious and asking for help. At this point Squadron Leader F.E. McLaren accompanied by Flight Lieutenant I.K. McKenzie arrived on the scene and immediately set about extricating Flying Officer Gillette. By this time both the aircraft and the ground around it were burning, the fire truck had not yet arrived, and there was grave danger of explosion, or, at the very least, of the fire getting out of control. Squadron Leader McLaren and Flight Lieutenant McKenzie, with great difficulty, were able to extricate Flying Officer Gillette, but not before they themselves had received painful burns. Squadron Leader McLaren and Flight Lieutenant McKenzie then directed the efforts of others to extricate the body of Flying Officer Thomson who, it was learned later, had been killed by the initial impact. Squadron Leaser McLaren and Flight Lieutenant McKenzie displayed leadership and courage of a very hugh order at grave risk to themselves, and their action undoubtedly inspired others who later arrived at the scene of the crash to do likewise. Had it not been for the action taken by these two officers, Flying Officer Gillette undoubtedly would have died in the cockpit.

 

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McKNIGHT, Sergeant William Samuel McKnight (22223) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 May 1953 and AFRO 360/53 dated 12 June 1953; native of Port Arthur, Ontario.

 

Sergeant McKnight, in his capacity as flight engineer, has, during his tour of duty with 426 (Transport) Squadron on the Korean Airlift, participated in twenty-six round trips to the Far East in support of United Nations operations in Korea. He has worked long hours under the most rigorous conditions in order to keep aircraft on schedule and by his constant devotion to duty has been instrumental in the successful completion of many flights. His exceptional knowledge, resourcefulness and willingness to work long and hard, make him an outstanding member of his trade and has provided a source of inspiration for more junior personnel of the squadron.

 

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McCOY, F/O Kenneth Alexander (20209) - King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.413 (Photographic) Squadron - Award effective 3 September 1948 as per Canada Gazette dated 28 August 1948 and AFRO 524/48 dated 3 September 1948. Operation POLCO; wireless operator. With No.426 Squadron when gazetted. Certificate forwarded 3 May 1951.

 


Acting as both Wireless Operator and Radio Technician aboard the Magnetic Survey Canso in 1947, Flying Officer McCoy worked tirelessly to maintain signals communications between his aircraft and distant points. It was necessary to overcome the unusual atmospherics encountered about the Pole. This officer's fine technical knowledge and determination to success produced results beyond expectation, and enabled the detachment to maintain vital contact with the mainland. Being the only skilled operator present, Flying Officer McCoy sacrificed long periods of rest at a time operating his sets in order to ensure continuous safety of the crew. His devotion to duty enabled the detachment to take advantage of the best weather conditions and thereby contributed in no small way to the eventual success of the operation.

 

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McLAREN, Squadron Leader Francis Earl, DFC, CD (19900) - George Medal - Station Centralia - Awarded with effect from 23 January 1963 as per Canada Gazette dated 9 February 1963 and AFRO 8/63 dated 22 February 1963. Born in Kingston, Ontario, 1919; home in Winnipeg; enlisted there 17 October 1940. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 17 December 1940), No.4 EFTS (graduated 16 July 1941) and No.9 SFTS (graduated 25 September 1941). Commissioned 1943. Shot down twice in his career. Awarded DFC, 15 October 1943 for service with No.104 Squadron. See F/L Ian Kenneth McKenzie for citation.

 

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McLEISH, Squadron Leader Wallace Angus Grayton, DFC (19982) - Air Force Cross - No.123 Search and Rescue Unit (but with Training Command Headquarters when gazetted) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 14 April 1951 and AFRO 203/51. See file 45-26-1 (McLeish), "Honours and Awards, Recommendation, 19982 S/L Wallace Angus Grayton McLeish", in RG.24 Volume 5378. Born in Toronto, 27 April 1915; school teacher before the war; home in Hamilton when he enlisted, 11 April 1941 (but dates of "war service" are also given as 16 September 1940 to 30 September 1946. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 6 December 1940), No.15 EFTS (graduated 28 January 1941) and No.32 SFTS (graduated 10 April 1941). P/O 9 April 1941; F/O 9 April 1942; F/L 9 April 1943; S/L 29 November 1943; W/C 9 May 1944 (CO of No.428 Squadron); G/C 10 February 1945 (CO, Base Dalton); to W/C on 31 January 1946 and S/L 1 October 1946. Joined permanent force, 1 October 1946. No.103 Search and Rescue Flight, 9 August 1948 to late 1950 when posted to Training Command; with JSES, Churchill, February 1952 to August 1953; at AFHQ, August 1953 to early 1956 (Director of Air Equipment Engineering); commanded No.440 Squadron, March 1957 to uncertain date, taking it overseas in May 19957. Recommended by W/C G.A. Hiltz, Station Greenwood, 6 April 1950; A/C R.G. Gordon (Group Commander, Maritime Group) approved on 22 May 1950 and added his own comments. To Training Command, which approved by undated memo signed by A/V/M Slemon and received by AMP/AFHQ, 2 June 1950. This was considered at a meeting of the RCAF Awards Committee (date uncertain) and a decision made to re-write the citation, which was considered too lengthy (as was that for F/O O.G. Nelson). These went back to the RCAF Honours and Awards Committee (five Air Commodores), all of whom wanted further re-writes. This was done again, and the Committee approved the recommendations on 12 October 1950. Passed to Personnel members Committee, 17 October 1950. This met on 19 October 1950; the decision is recorded by memo dated 25 October 1950 (Secretary of Personnel members Committee to Secretary of Defence Council). The Defence Council met and approved on 29 December 1950, bouncing it back to Personnel Members Committed to prepare final submissions. At the same time, the Chairman of the Defence Council asked that the Personnel Members Committee "consider the matter of setting up standards covering the type of awards to be made in relation to the deed." Personnel Members Committee met on 18 January 1951, ready to act on McLeish and Nelson awards. However, they stated "As so many factors enter into determining the degree of bravery performed in any one incident, it would be almost impossible to catalogue deeds of bravery and lay down the type of award to be made." Claxton sent the recommendations to Government House, 13 February 1951. On 16 March 1951, Norman Robertson (Secretary to the Cabinet) wrote to Claxton stating that the Private Secretary to the King had advised that the King would be happy to grant the awards. Congratulatory signals sent to them, 10 April 1951; announced in Canada Gazette of 14 April 1951. Presented by Governor General, 22 February 1952.

 

The first incident began 21 October 1949 using a Lancaster flying Greenwood-Frobisher Bay-Baffin Island. On the morning of the 23rd the forecast showed poor conditions all the way to Resolute Bay with a good probability of impossible landing conditions. However as the patient's condition was grave, McLeish elected to take off at dawn in a snow storm and gale that was so strong that the landing flares blew out immediately they were lighted - hence the need to use two trucks at end of runway. At Resolute, with ceiling 100 feet, he had to make several passes at field before landing. Returned to base safely, total flying time 24 hours 55 minutes, the last 20 hours continuous except for refuelling and loading.

 

Second Incident was 3 March 1950; details much as in citation; "The landing surface was very rough and the aircraft careened considerably fore and aft and laterally but with cool skill S/L McLeish completed the landing successfully. The snow was so thick that more than half throttles on all four engines was required to taxi the aircraft. The aircraft was rough but successfully completed and the aircraft had an uneventful trip back to Goose Bay."

 

A/C Gordon's description of the landing on 3 March 1950 is more detailed: "After carefully looking over the area and dragging the landing area twice, Squadron Leader McLeish finally set his big Lancaster down on the snow surface. Letting his aircraft down literally an inch at a time and prepared to take off again if the drag of the snow on the undercarriage became too great, Squadron Leader McLeish did not close his throttle until he felt solid ice under the wheels. The ice surface was rough, however, and as the aircraft lost speed, it was subjected to violent jolting but with a cool skill, the pilot completed the landing run successfully."

 

NOTE: the file contains a reference "terms of reference approved by Defence Council at its 40th Meeting on 27th May 1949, i.e. 'Acts of bravery during peacetime should be recognized by the grant of an award."

 


In October 1949, this officer rescued a gravely injured man on Cornwallis Island, Resolute Bay. Despite indicated adverse weather conditions for the entire trip he took off from Baffin Island at dawn in a blinding snowstorm using the lights of two motor transports for guidance, as the runway flares would not stay alight in the gale. Although experiencing heavy cloud and extreme icing conditions, with 100 foot visibility at Resolute, and took off again, safely reaching his home base. Due to unfavourable weather conditions the flight was accomplished without aid of astronomical observations, visual pinpoints or radar fixes, in addition to a magnetic compass made unreliable by proximity to the North Pole. A total of 24 hours 55 minutes flying time was entailed in this mission, the last 20 hours of which was continuous except for loading and refuelling. In March 1950, Squadron Leader McLeish accomplished a mercy flight to Clyde River on the North East coast of Baffin Island to bring out a ten year old Eskimo boy suffering from malnutrition and gangrenous frozen feet. A Lancaster was the only aircraft capable for a flight of this distance. No previous attempt had ever been made by the Royal Canadian Air Force to land an aircraft of this size on an unknown and unprepared ice surface. After making a decision that he could land his heavy aircraft safely on the Clyde River, he touched down using extreme caution. His landing run, although violently rough, was completed successfully with great skill. After a hazardous take off, he flew with the patient to Halifax without further incident. Squadron Leader McLeish's courage, skill and marked determination have been an inspiring example not only to his unit but his comrades throughout the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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McLAUGHLAN, Leading Aircraftman Ralph Wayne (132517) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - 2 Fighter Wing - Awarded 27 July 1963 as per Canada Gazette dated 27 July 1963 and AFRO 31/63 dated 2 August 1963. Home in Moncton. See Cole (British Empire Medal).

 


On the night of 27 April, 1962, a fire occurred in a third floor apartment of the RCAF married quarters located at St. Avold, eleven miles from 2 Fighter Wing, Grostenquin, France, in which a boy of twelve and three infants, aged two years and below, were sleeping. The youngest infant perished in the fire. Leading Aircraftman McLaughlan, who was in bed in a neighbouring building, upon hearing a shout of "Fire", proceeded immediately to the burning apartment, donning gas cape and mask as he went. Notwithstanding the intense heat and heavy acrid smoke, he penetrated to the master bedroom, the seat of the fire. Assuming that no one could be alive in the main bedroom, he then made his way towards another bedroom, he then made his way towards another bedroom where an airman handed him a child whom he conducted to safety. In spite of the hazardous conditions, he continued searching the apartment to ensure no occupants remained. He then made his way at great personal risk along a narrow ledge outside the fourth floor of the building to an apartment where several people considered themselves trapped and assisted another airman in leading them through the dense smoke to safety. Following this, he returned to the top floor to ensure that the other apartments situated there were empty. On leaving the building he collapsed and required hospitalization. Throughout this emergency, Leading Aircraftman McLaughlan conducted himself bravely, displaying exceptional fortitude, persistence and presence of mind. His actions contributed to the saving of on human life and possibly more.

 

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McMILLAN, Flying Officer Clifford Campbell (20097) - Air Force Cross - No.112 Transport Flight, Station Rivers - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948; cited with the Commendations for F/L A.A. Morabito, DFC and Flying Officer K.O. Moore, DSO. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995.

 

Late in September 1947, these officers were detailed for aircrew duties as radio operator, co-pilot and navigator respectively, of a Dakota aircraft which had been ordered to attempt the evacuation of a wounded Anglican missionary, Canon John H. Turner, at Moffet Inlet, an Arctic outpost 1,700 miles north of the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The successful completion of this task was due to the high personal attributes and resolute action of these members of the aircrew. To bring aid to the wounded missionary and to evacuate him and his family required a total of four hazardous return flights, each of which involved more than 1,000 miles of flying over barren Arctic waters and islands, in the face of unpredictable and severe early winter storms and sub-zero temperatures, with the minimum of meteorological and navigation aids. Flight Lieutenant Morabito co-ordinated the radio facilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Department of Transport and Canadian Army signalling centres so effectively that he was at all times able to keep the pilot and navigator informed concerning the known conditions existing throughout the operating area. Flying Officer Moore, the co-pilot, displayed professional skill and devotion to duty in the highest degree and his initiative and determination in ensuring the successful completion of the mission, irrespective of the hazards and difficulties encountered over a period of several weeks, reflects great credit in his personal qualities. Flying Officer McMillan, the navigator of the aircraft on each of the successive flights from Coral Harbour to Moffet Inlet, displayed skill of the highest degree, despite the fact his aircraft compass was practically unreliable, available charts of this northern zone were extremely inaccurate, and the sun or stars were rarely visible in the Arctic light for astro navigation. In spite of these difficulties, and the hazards encountered, Flying Officer McMillan exhibited extraordinary navigational skill and directed his pilot accurately on every occasion. The initiative and untiring efforts of these three officers, their courage, and the splendid manner in which they conducted themselves throughout the entire operation was undoubtedly responsible in large degree for the successful execution of the mission and their example provides an inspiration to all ranks of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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McNAIR, Wing Commander Robert Wendall, DSO, DFC (21047) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 7 August 1954 and AFRO 448/54 dated 13 August 1954. Born in Springfield, Nova Scotia, May 1919. Home in Battleford, Saskatchewan. Enlisted in 1940. Trained at No.1 ITS, No.7 EFTS and No.31 SFTS (graduated 24 March 1941). Awarded DFC, 22 May 1942; Bar to DFC, 30 July 1943; second Bar to DFC, 26 October 1943; DSO, 14 April 1944. For biographical details see H.A. Halliday, The Tumbling Sky or Second World War RCAF data base. NOTE: This was originally raised as a George Medal recommendation but downgraded inside NDHQ as it was deemed that McNair, being part of the crew, has a special responsibility with respect to passengers.

 

Wing Commander McNair was flying as a crew member in one of the crew rest positions of North Star 17503 when it crashed at Vancouver, British Columbia on 30 December 1953. The aircraft ended its crash landing run in an inverted position and as a result, all crew and passengers found themselves suspended in mid-aid in an upside down position. Self-preservation was uppermost in the minds of practically everyone because of the imminent danger of fire or explosion but Wing Commander McNair, cognizant of the large number of passengers being carried and the state of turmoil that must be existing, threw caution to the winds, remained in the aircraft and fought his way to the passenger compartment. Here, he set to work, restored calm and through prodigious effort assisted all passengers in evacuating the aircraft as quickly as possible. Still not content, Wing Commander McNair remained in the aircraft and personally searched through the debris on the off chance that someone might have been overlooked. Only then did he abandon the aircraft. It is to be remembered that this officer was soaked in gasoline at the time of this incident from an overturned Herman Nelson heater, a condition which would immediately bring to mind the fact that he had been badly burned by fire in his aircraft during the war and therefore should have been acutely aware of his precarious position under the present set of circumstances. The fact that the aircraft did not explode or did not take fire should not be allowed to detract in any way from the magnitude of Wing Commander McNair's deeds, for it was only by an act of God that neither calamity occurred.

 

McNAIR, Wing Commander (Acting Group Captain) Robert Wendall, DSO, DFC (21047) - Bronze Star Medal (United States) - This award was offered to McNair through official channels in 1954 but RCAF policy precluded acceptance because "offers of foreign awards for purely administrative or organizational services rendered outside the Korea area, which normally should be considered to include Japan, will not be accepted." This policy was stated in memo, A/M C.R. Slemon to Minister of National Defence, 26 February 1954. For the record, the American citation was as follows:

 


Group Captain Robert W. McNair distinguished himself by meritorious service in connection with military operations against an enemy as Royal Canadian Air Force Liaison Officer to the Far East Air Forces from 27 June 1951 to 27 July 1953. During that period, Group Captain McNair monitored the administration and operation of the Exchange Officer Program between the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Force. He gave unstintingly of his own time to ensure that this program functioned smoothly and mutually aided the United Nations cause in Korea; for he rendered exceptional service through his sound advice on operational techniques and maintenance procedures. The overall significance of Group Captain McNair's effort was that major advantages accrued to the United Nations Air Forces operating over Korea. By his spirit of cooperation, initiative and professional skill, Group Captain McNair reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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McPHERSON, Sergeant Ian James, CD (120420) - British Empire Medal - No.102 Composite Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette and AFRO 84/58, both dated 15 March 1958. This award had been approved 31 October 1957 by the Decorations Committee.

 

On the morning of 28 June 1956, Sergeant McPherson was Flight Engineer on a Canso aircraft from RCAF Station, Sea Island, British Columbia, which was attempting to rescue two fishermen from a sinking vessel near Galiano Island in the Straits of Georgia. At this time, the bow of the sinking ship was protruding above the water approximately six feet with the two survivors clinging to the side. The seas were extremely rough with waves running up to eight feet high and at times submerging the two men. As the aircraft approached, the vessel sank out of sight, and the two survivors were left struggling in the water. Without hesitation, Sergeant McPherson with complete disregard for his own safety, left the crew compartment and climbed onto the wing of the aircraft. Sergeant McPherson at this time had a broken hand in a cast, and yet he managed to maintain his perilous position on the wing of the violently pitching aircraft in close proximity to the milling propellers with heavy seas at times breaking over the top of the wing surface. He proceeded to the wing tip and tossed a line to the survivors. He maintained tension on the rescue line and the two men were pulled to safety. Sergeant McPherson despite a broken hand in a cast, by his unselfish act, during which he hazarded his own life, was undoubtedly responsible for the saving of the survivors.

 

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MEIER, Leading Aircraftman David Clinton (60885) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Chatham - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959 and AFRO 132/59 dated 20 February 1959. See Press Release 8968 dated 6 February 1959. Same incident as that bringing awards to Corporal T. Onarheim, LAC John J. Gommer (203887), and Leading Aircraftman Robert William Henderson (255646) - assisting F/L March in rescue of a pilot at Chatham, 6 August 1957. See Gommer for citation.

 

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METKA, Corporal George John, CD (226216) - British Empire Medal - Station Uplands - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 9 December 1967. Recommendation apparently began with a statement sworn on 9 June 1967 by J.W. Singer, Station Operations Manager for Air Canada at Ottawa; subsequently supported by affidavits sworn on 12 June 1967 by Kenneth Duncan (Chief of Police, Gloucester Township) and F/L A. Bendall (Duty Medical Officer, CFB Uplands). Invested with award at Government House, 23 May 1968.

 

On 20 May 1967 an Air Canada DC-8 crashed at Uplands Airport, Ottawa, Ontario, killing all three crew members and totally demolishing the aircraft. On his own initiative, Corporal Metka entered the burning wreckage to search for survivors, working with bare hands and in short sleeves. In spite of numerous explosions, Corporal Metka proceeded with his self-assigned task, and was personally responsible for the recovery of the remains of the three crew members before they could be consumed by fire.

 

NOTE: The Canada Gazette citation is a condensation of the original recommendation found at the Chancellery which is much more detailed:

 

On the evening of 20 May 1967 at approximately 1937 hours an Air Canada DC-8 crashed at Uplands Airport, Ottawa, killing all three crew members and totally demolishing the aircraft. From first reports it was believed that six or seven persons were aboard. In response to a crash alarm Corporal Metka proceeded immediately to the burning and exploding wreckage of the DC-8, and on his own initiative immediately entered the burning wreckage and search for survivors, working with bare hands and in short sleeves. At one point, a sizeable explosion occurred in the area of the front undercarriage. In spite of this hazard as well as other small explosions, Corporal Metka proceeded with his self-assigned task of searching the wreckage, and was personally responsible for the recovery of the remains of the three crew members before they could be consumed by fire. This task was made more difficult by the condition of the remains and was further hindered by the oncoming of night. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, and clearly showing that his concern for others was far greater than for himself, Corporal Metka worked in a most efficient and thorough manner throughout the evening of the crash, although in the course of his efforts his hands were burned. His selfless actions materially assisted the Medical Investigation Team to have intact as much of the evidence as possible for a proper study to be done of the accident. Corporal Metka's actions throughout the ordeal, by displaying conspicuous courage and outstanding devotion to duty, are most praiseworthy.

 


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MILLER, Flight Lieutenant James Burton (17600) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Award effective 5 June 1952 as per Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952. Serving at AFHQ/AMP/DPM when announced; certificate forwarded 17 July 1952.

 

Flight Lieutenant Miller served on the Korean Airlift since its inception as a captain of North Star aircraft, having been attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, as a member of 426 Transport Squadron since the 26th July 1950. He flew over 1,000 flying hours over the great circle route through the aleutian Chain to Japan carrying troops and vital supplies and the mid-Pacific route evacuating casualties. Frequently the northern flights were flown through hazardous weather conditions which are considered to be the worst in the world. His exceptional ability, resourcefulness and leadership were instrumental in the completion of these missions without mishap. His untiring efforts have been a direct contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's phase of this operation.

 

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MITCHELL, Squadron Leader James Frederick, DFC (19973) - Air Force Cross - No.105 Communications Flight - awarded effective 24 November 1951 as per Canada Gazette dated 24 December 1951 and AFRO 1/52. Born in Toronto, April 1916. Enlisted in Toronto, 1 July 1940. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 30 September 1940), No.5 EFTS (graduated 28 November 1940) and No.3 SFTS (graduated 14 February 1941). Posted overseas in 1942. Awarded DFC and Bar. Attended RAF Staff College before returning to Canada in 1946. Served two years as Secretary to Chief of Air Staff. Appointed Officer Commanding, No.105 Communications Flight (Edmonton). To SHAPE, Paris, late 1951. Appointed to directing staff, RCAF Staff College, 1954. In July 1957 he was appointed Commanding Officer, No.408 Squadron. Promoted to Group Captain one year later and made CO, Station Winnipeg. In August 1962 to attend National Defence College, Kingston. See photo PL-97063. NOTE: Press Release 8027 dated 28 December 1951 says the takeoff from Eureka Sound was with JATO

 


On 20 September 1950, word was received that a Mr. Charles Haven, one of the weather station staff at Eureka Sound, was suffering from severe blood poisoning and requiring immediate medical attention. Two alternatives were offered - either to fly in and drop a medical officer or attempt to land and bring the patient back for treatment. Either alternative represented an extremely hazardous undertaking. Eureka Sound lies some 700 nautical miles north of the Arctic Circle and within 500 nautical miles of the North Pole in a rugged uncharted area. Because of distance and unusual atmospheric conditions, normal radio aids to navigation were negligible. In addition, the proximity of the Magnetic North Pole renders the magnetic compass useless. Facilities for forced landings en route are non-existent; the nearest alternative suitable for landing in event of an emergency is Thule in Greenland. A flight into this region is further handicapped by a lack of meteorological information and the possibility of encountering unexpected bad weather either en route or at the destination. Squadron Leader Mitchell, Officer Commanding Northwest Air Command Communication Flight, fully understanding the risks involved, volunteered to carry out this perilous flight in a Dakota aircraft. He displayed masterful planning on such difficult problems as the correct gasoline load required on the run from Resolute Bay to Eureka Sound. He had to ensure the lightest possible landing weight for a very short runway at the destination and still have sufficient fuel for a flight to the alternative at Thule in case of inclement weather. The aircraft departed from Edmonton at 1315Z 20 September 1950 after a last-minute weather briefing, which subsequently proved to be the only complete one received during the entire trip. Refuelling stops were made at Baker Lake and Resolute Bay. On arrival at Eureka it was found that the landing surface consisted of a rough strip only 2,000 feet long marked out with oil barrels. Rather than drop a doctor and leave him stranded, Squadron Leader Mitchell decided to attempt a landing. This he accomplished very skilfully. Two hours later the aircraft was again airborne with Mr. Haven aboard. The return flight was made by way of Resolute Bay to Churchill through extremely trying weather conditions. On arrival at Churchill, this officer, although by this time exhaustingly fatigued, made a successful instrument landing against a 40 degree cross wind which was gusting to 36 knots. The dangerously sick man was delivered to hospital at 0530Z hours 22 September 1950. During the 40 hours and 15 minutes from the time of take-off until arrival at Churchill, Squadron Leader Mitchell had flown a distance of 3,139 nautical miles in 28 1/2 flying hours and had had only 3 1/2 hours sleep. When the aircraft returned to Edmonton at 2140Z 22 September 1950, a total of 3,857 nautical miles in far northern territory had been covered - the longest mercy flight in the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force. This officer's determination, bravery, fortitude and devotion to duty in the arduous undertaking of "Operation Haven" has set an inspiring example and is worthy of the highest praise.

 

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MOORE, Flying Officer Kenneth Owen, DSO (21099) - King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.112 Transport Flight, Station Rivers - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948. Trained at No.7 ITS, No.6 EFTS, and No.4 SFTS; DSO awarded 22 August 1944 Cited with AFC to Flying Officer C.C.McMillan and the Commendation for F/L A.A. Morabito, DFC (Operation CANON - see McMillan for text). See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995. The following may be treated as supplemental to the official citation.

 


Flying Officer Moore in late September 1947 was detailed to fly as co-pilot of a Dakota aircraft which had been ordered to attempt the evacuation of Canon J.H. Turner at Moffet Inlet, 1,700 mils north of Winnipeg. Each of the four flights involved more than 1,000 miles of flying over barren Arctic waters and islands, in the face of unpredictable and severe early winter storms and sub-zero temperatures, with the minimum of meteorological and navigational aids. Flying Officer Moore as co-pilot displayed professional skill and devotion to duty in the highest degree.

 

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MORABITO, Flight Lieutenant Anthony Bruno, DFC (19922) - King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.112 Transport Flight, Station Rivers - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948. Born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, 1915. Home in Creston, British Columbia; enlisted in Vancouver, 22 November 1940. Trained at No.5 BGS (graduated 18 August 1941) and No.2 WS (graduated 3 March 1941). Commissioned 1942; awarded DFC, 30 November 1943. Cited with AFC to Flying Officer C.C.McMillan and the Commendation for Flying Officer K.O. Moore, DSO (Operation CANON - see McMillan for text). See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995. The following may be taken as supplemental to the citation:

 

Flying Officer Morabito in late September 1947 was detailed to fly as radio operator of a Dakota aircraft which had been detailed to attempt the evacuation of Canon J.H. Turner at Moffet Inlet, 1,700 miles north of Winnipeg. To bring aid to the wounded missionary and to evacuate him and his family required a total of four hazardous return flights. Flying Officer Morabito co-ordinated the radio facilities of the RCAF, Department of Transport and Canadian Army signalling centres so effectively that he was at all times able to keep the pilot and navigator informed concerning the known conditions existing throughout the operation area.

 

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MORGAN, Flight Lieutenant Robert Gordon (15175) - George Medal - No.439 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 March 1957 and AFRO 34/57 dated 5 April 1957. Born in Saskatoon, 27 October 1930. Educated in Vancouver. Joined RCAF, December 1949. Trained at Centralia and Chatham. In May 1951 sent to No.416 Squadron (Uplands). To No.439 Squadron, July 1954; to Canada, October 1955; at Flying Instructors School, Trenton, to May 1956 when sent to No.2 Flying Training School, Moose Jaw, May 1956. Presented by Governor General in Winnipeg, 16 May 1957. This award, and the same one to LAC Waters, caused some embarrassment to the RCAF in that the Ottawa Journal of 9 February 1957 reported they had been recommended for the George Medal. Apparently an Order in Council dated 31 January 1957 had referred to "recommendation to Her Majesty the Queen for awards of George Medal". See DND file 900-380 Volume 1, "Public Relations: Honours and Awards" (RG.24 Volume 17895).

 


On the 21 July 1955 at 1 Fighter Wing, Marville, France, a Royal Canadian Air Force jet aircraft stalled on the final approach to the aerodrome, crashed short of the runway and burst into flames. Flight Lieutenant Morgan, who was on runway control duty in the vicinity, sprinted the 150 yards that separated him from the crash. With complete disregard for his own safety, ignoring the flames and exploding ammunition he attempted, while standing on the wing over partially filled fuel tanks which were in imminent danger of exploding, to open the jammed canopy which had trapped the pilot. He was joined by Leading Aircraftman Waters who had been working nearby and saw the accident, and together they tried without success to free the canopy. Despite the mounting danger Flight Lieutenant Morgan attempted to break the canopy with a stone and was finally successful when he secured an axe from the fire truck which had then reached the scene. He, with Leading Aircraftman Waters, succeeded in removing the pilot who was partially conscious and later found to be suffering from a broken back. Flight Lieutenant Morgan's prompt, courageous and sustained rescue efforts undoubtedly largely contributed to saving the life of the pilot, who survived his injuries. The splendid courage displayed by Flight Lieutenant Morgan notwithstanding the extreme risk of serious injury or death warrants praise of the highest order.

 

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MORRISON, Squadron Leader Howard Allan, DSO, DFC (19984) - Air Force Cross - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952, London Gazette dated 5 June 1952 and Canada Gazette, 7 June 1952. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, December 10th, 1919; enlisted in Winnipeg, September 25th, 1940. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated November 12th, 1940), No.10 EFTS (graduated January 4th, 1941) and No.5 SFTS (graduated March 20th, 1941). Awarded DFC, September 1st, 1944 and DSO, October 27th, 1944, for services with No.405 Squadron. Joined No.426 Squadron in 1948. Rose to Brigadier General in Canadian Forces.

 

Squadron Leader Morrison served on the Korean Airlift as second in command of 426 Transport Squadron at the lift's inception. As a captain of a North Star aircraft he flew a total of 300 hours from McChord Air Force Base, Washington, over the northern great circle route through the Aleutian chain carrying troops and vital supplies to Japan. These flights were made through weather conditions which are considered to be the worst in the world.

 

In his role as Chief Operations Officer of the squadron he was directly responsible for all RCAF operations over the Pacific. He had previously pioneered this route in a North Star flight around the world. The information and experience that he gathered was vital in establishing the airlift. The accident-free record of 426 Squadron is partially attributable to his exceptional ability, resourcefulness and leadership.

 


His qualities as a pilot frequently have been demonstrated forcibly. In one instance while carrying a vital load of troops and ammunition between Elmendorf, Alaska and Tokyo, Japan he was forced to carry out an approach and landing with assistance of GCA in the most adverse weather conditions. The visibility and ceiling were reported as being less than 1/8 mile and fifty feet.

 

This officer's determination and operational experience have been a direct contribution to the successful participation of 426 Squadron in support of the Korean Airlift. Squadron Leader Morrison's devotion to duty and his effective solution to the myriad operational problems associated with the lift have been an inspiration to all and are deserving of the highest praise.

 

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MUSSELLS, Wing Commander Campbell Haliburton, DSO, DFC (19523) - Officer, Order of the British Empire - awarded as per AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952 and London Gazette dated June 5th, 1952. Enlisted in Montreal, January 29th, 1940. Awarded DFC, July 5th, 1945 and DSO, July 17th, 1945, for services with No.405 Squadron. Later awarded Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (AFRO 91/53).

 

Wing Commander Mussells has commanded 426 Transport Squadron, RCAF, on duty with the United Nations forces on the Korean Airlift since the commencement of the operation on 19 July 1950. Throughout these operations Wing Commander Mussells' exceptional leadership has been reflected in the excellent achievements of his unit. His organizational ability, devotion to duty, enthusiasm and example has given him a well co-ordinated and effective unit which has surpassed in all respects the commitments assigned to it.

 

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NELSON, Corporal Charles Henry Roy (232210) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - 2 Fighter Wing - Awarded 27 July 1963 as per Canada Gazette dated 27 July 1963 and AFRO 31/63 dated 2 August 1963. Home in Lethbridge. See also LAC R.G. Cole (British Empire Medal).

 


On the night of 27 April 1962, a fire occurred in a third floor apartment of the RCAF married quarters located at St.Avold, eleven miles from 2 Fighter Wing, Grostenquin, France, in which a boy of twelve and three infants, aged two years and below, were sleeping. The youngest infant perished in the fire. Corporal Nelson, who occupied an apartment in the building, upon hearing a shout of "Fire", immediately proceeded to the burning apartment to render assistance. Notwithstanding the intense heat and thick, acrid smoke, he followed another airman into the apartment and assisted in a search for children whom he knew lived there. During the search he was handed a child whom he conducted to safety. He then rendered assistance to fire fighters until he was finally overcome by smoke and had to be hospitalized. Throughout this emergency, Corporal Nelson conducted himself bravely, displaying exceptional fortitude and persistence. His actions undoubtedly contributed to the saving of a young life.

 

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NELSON, Flight Lieutenant Oland Grant (20144) - Air Force Cross - No.103 Search and Rescue Unit - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 14 April 1951 and AFRO 203/31 dated 15 April 1951. Born in St.Thomas, Ontario, 1921; educated at public schools and University of Michigan. Enlisted September 1941. Trained as pilot and went overseas, December 1942. Served in Coastal Command and No.413 Squadron, Ceylon (latter November 1943 to February 1945). Flew briefly in No.407 Squadron and then took up staff duties with RCAF Overseas Headquarters. Medal presented 19 June 1952.

 

On 5th October 1949, Flight Lieutenant Nelson on the eve of posting from No.103 Search and Rescue Flight, Greenwood, volunteered to captain an aircraft detailed to undertake mercy flights to remote settlements. On the following day, after flying to Goose Bay, he took off in a Canso for St.Mary's on the Labrador coast but was forced to turn back due to gales and the extremely adverse and hazardous weather and water conditions prevailing when he reached destination. On the 7th October, under very bad conditions he reached Nutak on the northern coast and picked up a severely injured Eskimo. On the 9th he returned to St.Mary's, picking up a small boy dangerously ill with a ruptured appendix. Although not originally planned, he proceeded to St.Anthony on the northern Newfoundland coast and emplaned several seriously ill Eskimos. Exceptional skill and determination was exhibited landing and taking off on these flights as well as boarding his patients from small boats with heavy seas and cross currents threatening harm to the personnel and aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Nelson landed at Halifax, after completing a total of twenty hours flying during which a distance of twenty-six hundred miles was covered. By his skill and fortitude he was instrumental in saving at least two lives. Throughout all his operations entailing twelve hundred hours flying with 103 Search and Rescue Flight he has displayed utmost keenness, efficiency and leadership. His personal courage and cheerful enthusiasm warrant the highest praise and have been an inspiring influence to all his associates.

 

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NICHOLS, Flight Lieutenant Grant Harmon (30004) - Air Medal (United States) - 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 14 November 1953, AFRO 742/53 dated 11 December 1953 and Canada Gazette dated 14 November 1953. Taken on strength of Special Force, Korea, 14 January 1953; taken on strength 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 24 January 1953; struck off strength of 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 6 May 1953; struck of strength of Special Force, 9 May 1953. Flew 73 hours 35 minutes in Korean combat; claimed on MIG-15 damaged on 7 April 1953 (possibly upgraded to "probably destroyed). Medal presented at Baden Sollingen, German, summer 1954. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Flight Lieutenant Nichols distinguished himself by meritorious achievement during the period 29 January 1953 to 23 March 1953 while participating in twenty combat missions against the enemy over North Korea as pilot of an F-86 type aircraft, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force. During frequent encounters with high performance enemy jet aircraft, his courage, aggressiveness and proficiency contributed to the ultimate success of the assigned mission. Through his valour, outstanding airmanship and devotion to duty on these occasions, Flight Lieutenant Nichols has reflected great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the United States Air Force.

 

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NIXON, Flying Officer William Gene (14565) - Air Medal (United States) - 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1953 and AFRO 55/53 dated 6 February 1953. Born 12 February 1928 in Watts, Alberta. Joined RCAF, 24 February 1950. Trained at Centralia, Trenton, and No.1 OTU (Chatham - 14 April to 31 July 1951). Obtained wings and commission, 26 January 1951. To No.413 Squadron, August 1951. Detached to USAF, Korea, 10 March 1952; joined 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 14 March 1952; switched to 25th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 4 June 1952; left that unit, 9 July 1952; struck off strength of Special Force (Korea), 19 July 1952, returning to No.413 Squadron. Flew 50 sorties ((77 hours 30 minutes combat time, eight hours non-combat on Sabres, four hours 50 minutes non-combat on T-33s. Struck off strength RCAF, 25 January 1957. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Flying Officer William G. Nixon, attached to 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Group, during the period 2 April 1952 to 2 May 1952, distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial combat missions against the enemy over North Korea as a pilot of an F-86E type aircraft. Many times, despite superior numbers of the enemy, his aggressiveness and unfailing performance of assignments contributed greatly to the success of the missions. Through his personal courage, outstanding airmanship and high devotion to duty, Flying Officer Nixon has brought great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the United Nations Forces in Korea.

 

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ONARHEIM, Corporal Theodore (34470) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Chatham - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959 and AFRO 132/59 dated 20 February 1959. See Press Release 8968 dated 6 February 1959. Same incident as that bringing awards to LAC John J. Gommer (203887), Leading Aircraftman David Clinton Meier (60885) and Leading Aircraftman Robert William Henderson (255646) - assisting F/L March in rescue of a pilot at Chatham, 6 August 1957. See Gommer for citation.

 

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PARKER, Flying Officer Donald Franklin (56135) - Air Force Cross - No.416 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 4 January 1964 and AFRO 2/64 dated 10 January 1964. This award is thoroughly documented in Secretary of State papers (RG.6 D.1 Volume 359, file 114-2-A1-3 "Awards - Specific - Air Force Cross (Granted)" Parker was first recommended by his Commanding Officer, W/C E.D. Kelly, on 7 May 1963. The station commander, G/C A.F. Banville, concurred the same day; A/V/M M.M. Hendrick concurred on 29 May 1963. This was duly considered by the Personnel Members Committee at AFHQ; on 18 July 1963 A/V/M W.A. Orr (acting Chairman of the Committee) forwarded recommendation to Chairman of Decorations Committee, Secretary of State. The Decorations Committee met on 1 October 1963 and approved.

 


On the morning of 10 April 1963, Flying Officer Parker was the navigator of a CF-101B aircraft of No.416 All-Weather Fighter Squadron participating in a tactical exercise. During the second mission in which he and his pilot participated, while making an attack on a target aircraft at 20,000 feet, Flying Officer Parker was surprised to observe his aircraft turning in the wrong direction for the intercept manoeuvre which was underway. Upon querying the pilot, Flying Officer Parker deduced from the replies that the pilot was in difficulty and suspected that a malfunction of oxygen equipment was the cause. He calmly, but emphatically, directed the pilot to descend and follow emergency oxygen procedures. When this action produced no tangible results, and from further remarks made by the pilot, Flying Officer Parker realized that the pilot was seriously ill. He then commenced to direct the pilot to return to base and prepare to land the aircraft. Although the situation was obviously hazardous, Flying Officer Parker did not even declare an emergency in his radio transmissions since he had reasoned that this would unnerve the pilot completely. Nevertheless he elected to remain with the aircraft and to attempt to save it and the pilot. Handling all radio transmissions himself, he soothed, persuaded and encouraged the pilot through the approach and landing in less than ideal weather conditions, in spite of the pilot's uncertain and often incorrect reactions which caused the aircraft to repeatedly approach critical performance limits. Following the landing, the pilot collapsed almost completely and was helpless. Flying Officer Parker climbed forward to shut down the engines and assist groundcrew and medical personnel in removing the almost unconscious pilot from the cockpit. Throughout a dangerous situation, Flying Officer Parker demonstrated exceptional courage, devotion to duty and loyalty to his pilot, in hazarding his own life when he might have safely ejected from the aircraft. His cool and skilful direction, which made full use of the pilot's severely limited ability, was instrumental in saving both their lives and a valuable aircraft.

 

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PAYNE, Flying Officer Donald Melvin, DFC (26365) - Air Force Cross - No.426 Squadron - awarded as per AFRO 406/52 and London Gazette dated 5 June 1952 and Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952. Home in Toronto; enlisted in Hamilton, July 10th, 1942. Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated April 3rd, 1943), No.10 EFTS (graduated July 24th, 1943) and No.1 SFTS (graduated November 12th, 1943). Awarded DFC, July 22nd 1946 for bravery with No.428 Squadron. Instrument flying specialist at Saskatoon, 1955-1958 when he was promoted to Squadron Leader. AFC presented 27 November 1952 by AOC of Transport Command. NOTE: on 28 December 1950, already a veteran of the Korean Airlift, he para- dropped a special package of oxygen equipment needed for a boy with double pneumonia at Lake Harbour, south coast of Baffin Island, 1,100 miles northwest of Goose Bay. The equipment was put aboard at Lachine and packed for the drop at Goose Bay by Corporal R.W. Crebo of Moose Jaw, described as a "crack para-rescue man"; Crebo accompanied the flight and supervised the drop. The drop was so successful that it landed 100 yards from hospital door and was in use within half an hour. Others in crew were F/O G. Waddell of Montreal (co-pilot), F/O R.G. MacNeil of Halifax (Radio Officer), F/O A. Knapper of Ripon, Yorkshire (navigator), LAC J.L.Lanteigne of Moncton (air traffic assistant), Corporal J. Leblanc of Shediac (Flight Engineer) and Sergeant W. Smith of Saskatoon (Flight Engineer). Aircraft had left Dorval on the 27th, overnighted at Goose Bay, and carried on to Frobisher Bay.

 

Flying Officer Payne served on the Korean Airlift since its inception as a captain of a North Star aircraft, having been attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, as a member of 426 Transport Squadron since the 26th July, 1950. He flew approximately 500 hours over the great circle route through the Aleutian chain to Japan carrying troops and vital supplies. Frequently these flights were flown through hazardous weather conditions which are considered to be the worst in the world. His exceptional ability, resourcefulness and leadership were instrumental in the completion of these missions without mishap.

 

These qualities were demonstrated forcibly on a flight from Shemya in the Aleutians to Tokyo, Japan on the 2nd October, 1950. When approximately 700 miles southwest of Shemya the number three engine of the aircraft he was flying suddenly went out of control; attempts to feather it proved useless and the only means of reducing the RPM was by decreasing speed. When it became apparent that either the propeller or complete engine assembly might break loose at any moment, Flying Officer Payne sent out a distress signal and prepared his crew for ditching. However, as s result of his outstanding ability, he was able to keep the aircraft airborne without further damage, allowing him to return to Shemya. Had it not been for the superior skill and resourcefulness shown by this officer, a valuable aircraft and crew might have been lost.


His untiring efforts have been a direct contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's phase of this operation.

 

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PEARCE, Flight Lieutenant Douglas Roland, DFM (20368) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services Conduct in the Air - Attached RAF - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 13 March 1954 and AFRO 117/54 dated 5 March 1954. Born 1920; home in Edmonton. Trained at No.5 BGS and No.3 WS. DFM awarded May 1943 for services with No.78 Squadron, 1943.

 

On the morning of the 22nd July 1953, Flight Lieutenant Pearce was the signaller of Hastings flying from Idris, in Libya, to Habbaniya in Iraq. Some one and one half hours after take off from Idris a state of emergency arose owing to the failure of two engines, followed shortly by a failure of a third engine. Flight Lieutenant Pearce was ordered by the captain to send out a distress message. He had his wireless equipment set up on the distress frequency and despatched a distress message with admirable expedition. On receiving an acknowledgement from a ground station, he clamped his key and then rendered very valuable assistance to his captain by fitting the safety waistcoat and adjusting his straps whilst the captain was fully occupied in feathering engines and controlling the aircraft. When the aircraft came to rest on the water Flight Lieutenant Pearce displayed coolness and efficiency in the way in which he made his exit from the cockpit through the astro dome and in assisting other crew members to escape. Once in the dinghy, Flight Lieutenant Pearce took charge of the dinghy radio and radar equipment, and operated them to the limits of the equipment performance.

 

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PEARSON, Flight Lieutenant Lawrence Bell Pearson (17479) - Air Force Cross - No.103 Rescue Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 June 1951 and AFRO 379/51 dated 29 June 1951. Born in Woodstock, Ontario; joined RCAF 1941; served in Canada and completed a tour with No.423 Squadron overseas. Has since served at Belleville, Aylmer, Lachine, Summerside and Toronto.

 


This officer, the captain of a Canso of No.103 Rescue Unit, successfully completed a mercy mission of 18/19 June 1950, that was an outstanding example of practical flying skill and personal courage in the face of extremely hazardous weather conditions in the air and adverse landing and take-off areas on the ground. Flying from Greenwood, Nova Scotia, via Goose Bay and Fort Chimo, the weather encountered required the pilot to rely solely on instruments as radio aids were useless due to precipitation static, and severe carburettor icing caused the engines to cut out intermittently. On discovering that the designated landing area at Payne Bay on the western shores of Ungava Bay was frozen solid far out to sea, he proceeded a further 60 miles north to Emilik where the mouth of a shifting running river was practically clear of ice, and offered a possible landing space. Although he realized that an attempted landing might end in disaster because the area of open water was extremely small and entirely surrounded by ice, remembering that a boy's life entirely depended upon his ability to set the Canso down on the water and take it off again, Flying Officer Pearson decided to take the risk. After landing in the exceptionally confined area of open water and anchoring his aircraft it was noticed that the swells caused by the landing were breaking off large pieces of ice from the frozen section of the river which began drifting down in the swift current towards the aircraft. If allowed to strike the aircraft they would have caused serious damage to the hull and wing floats and possibly jeopardize the take-off. Flying Officer Pearson exercised every possible precaution and displayed great ingenuity. In preventing this from happening, he positioned two men on the wing and directed them to run from one wing tip to the other as necessary in order to raise the wing floats whenever ice was drifting dangerously close. At the same time he had other crew members fend off floating ice with boat hooks and oars and use sleeping bags as buffers when it was impossible to prevent ice from pressing too close in against the hull. This officer directed his crew with such skill that in the 45 minutes the aircraft was on the water waiting for the boy to be brought out no damage was caused to the aircraft by the drifting ice. With extremely delicate manoeuvring he took off successfully from the treacherous waters and flew his patient southward to hospital. This officer's daring initiative, resourcefulness and undoubted skill and determination in this instance, and in other equally spectacular phases of rescue flying, has set a splendid example and is worthy of the highest praise.

 

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POTEKAL, Sergeant Ludwig Cyril (23347) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 8 January 1953 and AFRO 10/53 dated 9 January 1953.

 

Sergeant Potekal has, during his tour of duty with No.426 Squadron on the Korean Airlift, participated in twenty round trips to the Far East, in support of the United Nations operations in Korea. Throughout these trips he has exhibited exceptional skill in his capacity as Flight Engineer and Technician. His ability to analyze unserviceabilities and carry out repairs to his aircraft with limited facilities and despite adverse weather conditions made possible the maintenance of schedules which otherwise could not have been accomplished. He has on many occasions gone without rest following flights of long duration and voluntarily worked for lengthy periods of the maintenance of his aircraft. Sergeant Potekal's devotion to duty has been a contributing factor to the successful achievements of No.426 Transport Squadron.

 


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RACE, Flying Officer Robert Carson (19932) - George Medal - No.112 Transport Flight - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948. Born 5 January 1919; enlisted in Edmonton, 14 March 1941; at No.2 Manning Depot, 14 March to 1 May 1941; at No.5 BGS, 2 May to 2 July 1941; to No.2 ITS, 3 July to 18 August 1941; promoted to LAC, 19 August 1941 and posted to No.6 EFTS; posted to No.4 SFTS, 9 October 1941; awarded wings and promoted to Sergeant, 2 January 1942; to No.1 "Y" Depot, 3 January 1942; taken on strength of RAF overseas, 23 January 1942, flying transports in Africa and Asia; FS, 2 July 1942; WO2, 2 January 1943; commissioned, 30 June 1943; F/O, 30 December 1943; F/L, 1 March 1945. Repatriated to Canada, 7 June 1944; to No.6 OTU, 21 July 1944; to No.1 BGS, 21 September 1944; to No.6 OTU, 7 November 1945; took part in Operation MUSKOX; accepted for Permanent Force on Short Service Commission, 1 October 1946; granted Permanent Commission, 1 October 1950. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995.

 


Flying Officer Race was detailed during the autumn of 1947 to carry out the air evacuation of Canon Turner, an Anglican missionary lying seriously wounded at Moffet Inlet, an Arctic outpost 1,700 miles north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The successful completion of this task was due to the high personal attributes and resolute action of Flying Officer Race, working in conjunction with a detachment of Canadian Army personnel. To bring aid to the missionary and to complete the evacuation required a total of four return flights, each of which involved more than 1,000 miles of flying over barren Arctic waters and islands in the face of unpredictable and severe early winter storms and sub-zero temperatures, with the minimum meteorological and navigation aids. On the first flight into Moffet Inlet, low clouds made location of the Inlet extremely difficult, and maneouvering the aircraft below them in the midst of rugged terrain highly hazardous. Nevertheless, Flying Officer Race by virtue of skill and resource was able to locate a suitable frozen lake close to the Inlet and to drop successfully four Army paratroopers, among them a doctor. At great personal risk and with full knowledge that his fuel supply was dangerously dwindling, Flying Officer Race continued to circle the Inlet to make certain that the paratroopers were dropped in the best possible spot, and subsequently to ensure that they could scale the high cliffs surrounding the lake and safely reach the mission. After assuring himself of the welfare of the paratroopers, the fuel supply he had remaining was only just sufficient to reach base at Coral Harbour. By the time he returned to his base, the weather had closed down to a 150-foot ceiling, the wind was blowing very strongly across the glare ice surface of the runway, and it was only by the greatest skill that he landed his Dakota aircraft successfully. Despite this unnerving experience, Flying Officer Race made two subsequent flights in which he carried and dropped supplies to the party on the ground. On the evacuation flight, Flying Officer Race landed his aircraft, again under substantial difficulties of ice, fog and blowing snow on the ice of a small lake, untested except by ground parties. In order to take advantage of the good weather at base and also to minimize the risk of exposure to the wounded missionary, Flying Officer Race, using an improvised flare path, took off his heavily laden aircraft successfully the same night, and a few hours later the invalid missionary was receiving hospital attention in Winnipeg. Canon Turner subsequently died as the result of his injuries. Throughout the entire operation, lasting over a period of several weeks, Flying Officer Race displayed very high measures of skill, judgement, resolution, initiative and courage. His conduct in the face of difficulties and dangers reflects the sterling qualities of this officer and these personal attributes were responsible for the successful completion of this operation.

 

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RAE, Corporal James Paterson (24000) - Air Force Medal - No.112 Transport Flight, Rivers, Manitoba - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948; cited with Sergeant K.C.Swinford and Corporal L.D. Hawkins (both Commended for Valuable Services in the Air). Born at Cupar, Saskatchewan, 4 August 1915; educated there to 1932 and at Balfour Technical School, Regina, 1939. Enlisted in Regina, 1 June 1940. He nevertheless states on a form dated 14 February 1958 that from 1940 to 1944 he was an Instructor, Dominion-Provincial Youth Training as an LAC; in 1944 he was at No.10 Repair Depot, Calgary. Communications Flight, Winnipeg, 1945-47, Rivers, 1947-51, No.426 Squadron at Tacoma and Lachine, 1951-56, and Station Comox, 1956-58 as crewman on Dakota, Lodestar, Beechcraft, Norseman, North Star, CF-100 and C-119 aircraft. Commissioned about 1956; trade was Tech/AE. He summarizes his work as Operation Musk Ox (1946-47), Survey of Arctic Coast, Korean Airlift, Operation Canon and Indo-China Airlift (1955). Married Gladys MacFarlane of Nokomis and had sons Don (born 26 July 1949), Doug (born 26 July 1951) and Dave (born 1 July 1955). Medal presented at Government House, 12 June 1953. Died in Calgary, 17 February 1997. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32; Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995; Brian Brennan, "Prairie Boy Solid as the Land", Calgary Herald, 20 March 1997.

 


Late in September 1947, these Non-Commissioned Officers were detailed to fly and act as maintenance crewmen of a Dakota aircraft which had been ordered to endeavour to effect the rescue of Canon John H. Turner, an Anglican missionary who had been critically wounded in a shooting accident at his isolated mission at Moffet Inlet on Baffin Island, an outpost approximately 450 miles within the Arctic Circle. To bring aid to the injured missionary by way of Canadian Army paratroopers, and finally successfully complete the evacuation of Canon Turner and his family, required a total of four extremely hazardous return flights, each of which involved more than 1,000 miles of flying over barren Arctic waters and islands in the face of unpredictable and severe early winter storms and sub-zero temperatures. Sergeant Swinford, Corporal Rae and Corporal Hawkins, over and above flying on each hazardous flight during the course of the mission, were required to maintain the aircraft under extremely difficult conditions at their advance base at Coral Harbour. This base lacked hangar storage space and the other modern facilities which normally contribute to the ease of aircraft maintenance. Despite the shortage of servicing facilities these Non-Commissioned Officers displayed extraordinary technical skill and devotion to duty in the face of sub-zero weather conditions and maintained the aircraft in a readily serviceable condition in order that every emergency would be successfully met. In one instance it was discovered the starboard starter motor had burned out and it was necessary to work throughout the night in sub-zero weather in an attempt to repair it in time for take-off on the final leg of the journey to Moffet Inlet the following morning. Unfortunately, due to adverse weather and lack of proper equipment and tools, and despite their untiring efforts, it was not possible to effectively carry out the required repairs. Displaying a high degree of initiative and ingenuity, one of the Non-Commissioned Officers started the starboard engine by hand, using a length of rope as an aid. On three succeeding flights a similar method of starting the starboard engine was used. The resourcefulness, initiative and ingenuity of the three Non-Commissioned Officers, their courage and determination in the face of adverse conditions encountered throughout the hazardous operation were undoubtedly responsible in preponderant measure towards the successful completion of the mission and their example is an inspiration to their comrades in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

NOTE: The following may be regarded as supplemental to the above official citation, specifically describing Rae's part in the operation:

 

Corporal Rae in late September 1947 was detailed to fly and act as a maintenance crewman of a Dakota aircraft which had been ordered to attempt the evacuation of Canon John H. Turner at Moffet Inlet, 1,700 miles north of Winnipeg. Corporal Rae, over and above flying on each flight during the course of the mission, was required to assist in the maintenance of the aircraft under extremely difficult conditions at the advance base at Coral Harbour. Despite the shortage of servicing facilities, Corporal Rae displayed extraordinary technical skill and devotion to duty in the face of such zero weather conditions. In one instance it was discovered that the starboard motor had burned out and due to the adverse weather conditions and lack of proper equipment and tools, it was not possible to carry out the required repairs. Corporal Rae started the engine by hand, using a length of rope as an aid. On three succeeding flights a similar method of starting the engine was used.

 

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RATCLIFFE, Squadron Leader Russell Edwin David, DFC (17706) - Commended for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Award effective 5 June 1952 as per Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952. Born in Kingston, Ontario, 1919; home there. Trained at No.1 ITS, No.9 EFTS, No.5 BGS and No.6 AOS. Commissioned 1942. Navigator in W/C W.H. Swetman's crew; posted from No.426 Squadron to Station Leeming, 30 April 1944 on completion of tour. DFC awarded 24 May 1944 for services in No.426 Squadron in its bomber role.

 

Flight Lieutenant Ratcliffe served on the Korean Airlift as navigation leader of 426 Transport Squadron which was attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on the 26th July 1950. He flew a total of 600 hours over the great circle route through the Aleutian Chain to Japan carrying troops and vital supplies. Frequently these flights were navigated through hazardous weather conditions which are considered the worst in the world. His exceptional ability and resourcefulness were instrumental in the completion of these missions without mishap.

 

Flight Lieutenant Ratcliffe's untiring efforts have been an outstanding contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's participation in the United Nations' effort in Korea.

 

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REED, Corporal Gerald Rexford (25233) - Air Force Medal - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 May 1953 and AFRO 360/53 dated 12 June 1953. Born 4 August 1924 in North Bay, Ontario; enlisted 1943, having been employed as a toolmaker with Dominion Engineering.

 

Corporal Reed has, during his tour of duty with 426 Transport Squadron on the Korean Airlift, participated in thirty-seven round trips to the Far East, in support of the United Nations operations in Korea. Throughout these trips he has exhibited exceptional skill as a flight engineer and technician. On a flight between Shemya, Alaska and Misawa, Japan, he displayed a typical example of his resourcefulness. This particular flight had taken unduly long as a result of the loss of an engine en route and excessive head winds. Due to a mechanical failure, the nose wheel became damaged on landing at Misawa and the flight was unable to proceed to Tokyo as scheduled. Unable to obtain the necessary replacement parts and despite the fact he had been on duty for approximately sixteen hours, Corporal Reed proceeded to manufacture the replacement brackets required, carried out retraction tests and finished off the remaining necessary adjustments practically single handed. The aircraft was the able to proceed to Tokyo where permanent repairs were effected. Corporal Reed has been responsible on numerous occasions for keeping his aircraft serviceable under adverse conditions by dint of hard work and constant, unswerving devotion to duty.

 

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REED, Squadron Leader John Thomas, DFC (16928) - Bronze Star Medal (United States) - awarded as per AFRO 490/51 dated 10 August 1951. Born 17 June 1918 in Algonquin, Ontario; home in Ottawa (bank clerk). Enlisted and commissioned, 29 January 1940; trained at Toronto Flying Club; to Station Trenton, 8 May 1940; to Camp Borden, 18 July 1940 for training at No.1 SFTS; promoted to Flying Officer, 5 October 1940 (Flight Lieutenant, 1 August 1942; Squadron Leader, 15 September 1944). To Trenton, 4 November 1940; instructed at No3 SFTS, 7 January 1941 to 8 May 1942; to RAF overseas, 9 May 1942; served with No.422 Squadron, 23 November to 19 December 1942; with Marine Experimental Establishment, Helensburg, 24 February 1943 to 6 January 1944; with No.131 OTU, 6-18 January 1944; posted to No.512 Squadron, 19 January 1944 and flew with them on D Day; with No.437 Squadron, 14 September 1944 to 3 July 1945. As of 22 July 1945 he claimed 306 hours on Sunderlands, 634 hours on Dakotas, 201 hours on Catalina. DFC awarded 8 June 1945. Citation given variously as "in recognition of meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight from 17 December 1950 to 21 December 1950" and "in recognition of meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight from 5 September 1950 to 30 November 1950". He was on strength of Canadian Joint Staff, Washington, 2 October 1949 to 17 August 1951 and specifically with the 314th Troop Carrier Wing, 1 September to 20 December 1950. A newsclipping (unidentified and undated) in his file states that he was Production Control Officer, 314 Combat Cargo Wing, going on to say: "Squadron Leader Reed showed exceptional skill and resourcefulness in the performance of his duty in that capacity. By virtue of such distinguished service he brought great credit upon himself, the United States Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force." Lieutenant-Colonel B.M. Carleton wrote a letter (also on file) dated 1 October 1950 describing his as Assistant Wing Director of Operations and saying:

 

Squadron Leader Reed's performance of duty during the past year has been outstanding. He has adapted himself to the procedures and methods of the United States Air Force in a manner which is indicative of the exceptional qualities of initiative and loyalty which he possessed. He has accepted every assignment given him with a fine spirit and by determined effort and an inherent ability to grasp the essential elements of each situation he has produced superior results. He has become what I consider to be my most able assistant.

 

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ROSS, Flying Officer Lloyd Thomas (300236) - Air Force Cross - No.419 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 25 May 1957 and AFRO 42/57 dated 25 March 1957. Joined RCAF in 1941; trained as pilot, flying with bomber reconnaissance squadrons in eastern Canada and a wartime transport unit at Dorval. Demobilized in 1945; rejoined 1951. Took refresher training at Calgary, then CF-100 instruction. Joined No.433 Squadron at Cold Lake (later at North Bay), April 1955.

 


On Friday, 13 July 1956, Flying Officer Ross was carrying out an operations training mission under adverse weather conditions in a CF-100 aircraft. While climbing in dense cloud at about 20,000 feet, a heavy explosion occurred in the port engine which resulted in the top engine covering being blown off and a fierce fire developing. He coolly carried out required emergency procedures and, although he could not be sure that the fire had been extinguished, decided against abandoning the aircraft. As he was flying in the vicinity of the city of North Bay and the adjacent populated districts, his decision may well have prevented the loss of many lives resulting from the crash of the aircraft. He experienced extreme difficulty in approaching the aerodrome due to unreliability of both ground radar assistance and his aircraft radio compass caused by atmospheric effects. Furthermore, he was flying in solid cloud on instruments, a particularly noteworthy feat because of the considerable weight differential in fuel loads in the two wings, the port engine having been shut down at the time of the explosion. The cloud base was very low upon his return and eventually he was forced to make three landing attempts before achieving success. It is considered that Flying Officer Ross' courage, presence of mind and exceptional airmanship resulted in the possible saving of lives, and certainly in the saving of a costly aircraft which he could have abandoned without fear of criticism. He is a most competent and reliable pilot, and his devotion to duty has served as an inspiration and fine example to fellow aircrew. He is a highly recommended as being most worthy of the Air Force Cross.

 

NOTE: The incident is also described in Flight Comment, July/August 1957, under the heading Good Show:

 

Piloting a Mk.IVB Canuck, Flying Officer Ross took off from North Bay on an IFR exercise...He entered cloud at 2,200 feet and climbed on up. Just as he reached 20,000 feet, he heard a rumbling in the aircraft. Shortly after, an explosion occurred and fire erupted through the top of the port engine cowling. The pilot closed the high pressure cock and activated the fire extinguisher. Apparently the fire was reduced but not extinguished, because the fire warning light came on. However, when the pilot closed the low pressure cock, all indications were that the fire was out.

 

Flying Officer Ross decided finally to return to base rather than eject over Lake Nipissing. He made an emergency call to GCI and received a reply. GCI was unable to fix the aircraft, so the pilot requested that they obtain for him an unrestricted approach to North Bay. Contact was made with North Bay, clearance for a GCA approach obtained, and the VHF/DF steer given. Holding briefly at 10,000 feet, Flying Officer Ross saw the airfield and passed his position to GCA. At 5,000 feet GCA established contact.

 

The fire warning light was flickering occasionally, but because of his altitude, the condition of the aircraft, and the apparent absence of fire, the pilot decided to attempt a landing. Two overshoots on approach were made by GCA, and a third was necessary because of intermittent GCA contact. Finally a semi-visual circuit and approach were made and a successful landing accomplished.


Flying Officer Ross is to be complimented on the skill with which he handled the Canuck under extremely adverse weather conditions and in the face of complete engine disintegration and fire in the air. Other factors making his problem more severe were abnormal GCA conditions, and a fuel load which was both excessive for landing and impossible to balance properly. Such coolness and ability in emergencies warrant praise and recognition.

 

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SABOURIN, Flight Lieutenant Robert Emery, CD (201755) - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959 and AFRO 132/59 dated 20 February 1959. See Press Release 8968 dated 6 February 1959 and photograph PMR-7940. Minutes of the Second Meeting of the Decorations Committee (31 October 1957), found in File 114-2-Q-1 (Secretary of State Records, RG.6 D.1 Vol.361) indicate this came to the Committee as an AFC but left as a George Medal.

 


On Wednesday, 9 January 1957, at Rivers, Manitoba, Flying Officer Sabourin was carrying out an air to ground rocket firing exercise in a T33 jet aircraft armed with rockets with explosive heads instantaneous fused. He had completed one attack firing four rockets and as he pressed the firing button coming around for the second attack, there was a loud explosion under the port wing which caused temporary loss of control of the aircraft. Flying Officer Sabourin extended dive brakes, reduced power and regained control of the aircraft at about 500 feet. Certain that the fuel tanks on the port side had been punctured by the explosion and because of the vaporization of the fuel, Flying Officer Sabourin thought that his aircraft was on fire and prepared to force land straight ahead. He transmitted the international distress call of "MAYDAY" and attempted to jettison the remaining rockets but because of damage to the electrical system, these would not jettison. As the fuel vaporization cleared he could see that there was no fire although his port wing was severely damaged. He found that he could control the aircraft at 200/250 knots and as the engine appeared to be functioning normally, he decided to try to make the field at Shilo, Manitoba, where a forced landing could be carried out with crash equipment on standby. On route he climbed to 5000 feet and found he could control the aircraft down to 185 knots and then decided to try to make Rivers Airfield and land there. Because he could not carry out stall tests with the aircraft at that altitude, he made his approach to the runway at approximately 185 knots with wheels down and flaps up, flaming out the engine as he crossed the fence just short of the runway; and finally brought the aircraft to a full stop at the far end of the runway, causing no further damage to the aircraft. By complete disregard for his own personal safety, Flying Officer Sabourin not only saved a very expensive aircraft but also eliminated any possibility of the abandoned aircraft crashing into civilian or military accommodation in the area. Flying Officer Sabourin's courage in remaining with the aircraft, despite the fact it was twice suggested that he should abandon the aircraft, is highly commendable. He is highly recommended as being most worthy of the George Medal.

 

NOTE: The incident is written up in Flight Comment, September/October 1957, which gives the following account under the heading Good Show:

 

Flying Officer Sabourin, flying a T-33, was conducting rocket firing trials on the air-to-ground range, and he had completed one attack during which he fired four rockets.

 

When he pressed the firing button on the second attack there was a loud explosion under the port wing, followed by a temporary loss of control. By reducing power and extending the dive brakes the pilot regained control of the aircraft at about 500 feet. A rocket motor had exploded a few feet forward of the wing, causing extensive damage which included ruptured port fuel tanks.

 

Because the escaping fuel looked like smoke, Flying Officer Sabourin thought his aircraft was on fire. He transmitted a "Mayday and then attempted, unsuccessfully, to jettison the remaining rockets. By this time he was too low to eject and was considering landing straight ahead when he realized that the T-33 was not on fire. His Mayday call was answered by another pilot in another T-33 who flew alongside to assess the damage.

 

Flying Officer Sabourin found that the engine was functioning normally and that the aircraft could be controlled at 200 to 250 knots, so he climbed to 5,000 feet and decided to try to make a satellite field where fire fighting equipment was available. Experimenting en route, he discovered that he could control the aircraft at airspeeds down to 185 knots, so he elected to try to reach his home base. At base he made a successful gear-down, flapless landing, flaming out the engine as he crossed the airfield boundary.

 

Flying Officer Sabourin displayed both coolness and good judgement in this emergency, and his flying skill enabled him to bring a disabled T-33 safely back to base.

 

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SCHULZ, Leading Aircraftman Heinz Friedrich (63404) - British Empire Medal - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 16 May 1964 and AFRO 21/64 dated 22 May 1964

 


On 31 October 1963, Leading Aircraftman Schulz was travelling as a passenger in an Argus aircraft en route from Trenton, Ontario to Greenwood, Nova Scotia. During the approach to Greenwood, at an altitude of fifteen hundred feet, a warning light cautioned the pilot that the main cargo door had become insecure. A crew member, Flying Officer Rowe, was ordered to check the door fastenings and, whilst he wad doing so, the door opened completely and he was sucked partially out of the aircraft by the airstream. Leading Aircraftman Schulz, who was standing nearby, quickly grasped the officer's arm with one hand and, holding onto an upright support in the aircraft with the other hand, pulled him to safety. Leading Aircraftman Schulz's great presence of mind, instant reaction, and utter disregard of his own safety unquestionably saved Flying Officer Rowe's life.

 

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SCOTT, Flight Lieutenant Douglas Gerald (27799) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 May 1960. Recommended in June 1959; presented 3 May 1960 by Brigadier General Norman L. Peterson, Vice Commander, Air Weather Service, MATS, at McClellan Air Force Base, Sacremento, California. Cards carry notation, "See file C384-1C4 Vol.3." Born in Ottawa, 9 April 1926. Home in Russell, Ontario; served in RCAF, 29 November 1943 to 25 April 1945; Canadian Army (Trooper), 26 April to 27 November 1945. Rejoined RCAF, 1 March 1948. On Korean Airlift with No.426 Squadron, 26 July 1950 to 3 February 1952.Detached from No.408 Squadron to Canadian Joint Staff, Washington and attached on 12 February 1959 to Air Weather Service, 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (WB-50s). Detachment 3 was based at McChord AFB, Washington. At time of incident was reported to have flown 24 missions with USAF Air Weather Reconnaissance units and had 7,060 flying hours.

 

Flight Lieutenant Douglas G. Scott, Royal Canadian Air Force, distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight on 29 June, 1959, 450 miles north of Point Barrow, Alaska, over the Arctic ice pack. While serving as aircraft commander of a WB-50, assigned to the 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, 17 1/2 inches of a propeller blade on the Number Two engine separated and entered the fuselage, severing the control cables, power sources, hydraulic lines and the bomb bay door actuator, causing heavy drag and buffeting. Flight Lieutenant Scott analyzed the serious emergency and calmly made every needed compensation. He regained control and successfully returned his aircraft over 900 miles without additional damage, thereby saving a valuable aircraft and eleven crew members from possible injury or death. By his exemplary performance in the face of extreme danger, Flight Lieutenant Scott reflected great credit upon himself, the United States Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

The following is from Air Weather Service Observer, July 1959:

 

CANADIAN LANDS DAMAGED 55th RECON PLANE IN ALASKA

 


Typifying the cool and efficient control of an experienced flyer, Canadian pilot Flight Lieutenant Douglas G. Scott landed a 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron WB-50 safely at Eielson AFB, Alaska, after a 17-inch piece of propeller had almost incapacitated the aircraft.

 

The incident, termed as "extreme in-flight emergency" by Lt.Gen. William H. Tunner, MATS commander, occurred June 29 on a "Ptarmigan" flight of Detachment 3 over desolate, mountainous country in the 49th state.

 

Flying on a regular weather route as a "loan" pilot, Flight Lieutenant Scott's normal run was interrupted by a terrifying crash into the fuselage of a deadly 17-inch propeller piece, which had broken off in flight. The lethal metal cut power cables, air lines, bomb bay actuating rods and prop control of Number One engine, producing in General Tunner's word, "a potentially disastrous situation".

 

With the level-headed lieutenant [sic] at the wheel, backed by a smoothly operating, non-panicky crew, the big weather plane flew for five hours above wild, icy Alaskan wastes, finally landing intact at Eileson AFB. Originally, the WB-50 had started its flight from Ladd AFB, Alaska on the lonely Ptarmigan weather mission into the polar area. Following the savage crash of the propeller section into the aircraft's body, the Canadian pilot reversed his direction for the 1,200 mile run back to the emergency landing strip at Eielson.

 

General Tunner extended a "well done" message to the Flight Lieutenant and his Detachment 3 crew for their "superior judgment and airmanship" in handling the emergency. His sentiments were also reflected in a statement by Major General H.H. Bassett, AWS Commander. The general's praise included such phrases as "extraordinary display of skill and leadership", "inspired your crew to a superlative team performance" and "superior airmanship".

 

The November/December 1959 issue of Flight Comment carried the following message from Lieutenant-General William H. Turner, Commander, Military Transport Service, USAF:

 

Please extend a Well Done to Flight Lieutenant Douglas G. Scott and crew of the 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Detachment No.3, McChord AFB, for their superior judgement and airmanship in handling an extreme in-flight emergency on 29 June 1959. The loss of 17 inches of a propellor blade which entered the fuselage severing power cables, air lines, prop control to No.1 engine, and bomb bay actuating rod produced a potentially disastrous situation. The crews skill in flying the crippled WB-50 aircraft for five hours over rugged arctic terrain to a safe landing at Eielson Air Force Base is indeed commendable.

 

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SIMPSON, F/O Robert John Veitch (54003) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - United Nations Emergency Force - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 16 September 1967; awarded with F/O J.T.S.L. Gagnon (Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air).

While flying a United Nations Caribou aircraft on a flight from El Arish to Gaza on 17th May, 1967, Flying Officers Simpson and Gagnon were the pilot and co-pilot respectively. After entering the Gaza Strip they were harassed on three occasions by two Israeli fighter aircraft who, coming dangerously close, attempted to make the United Nations aircraft follow them into Israeli-held territory. On one occasion several warning shots were fired. This harassment did not deter these officers who remained calm and determined, displaying sound judgement and professionalism, placing the safety of the aircraft and passengers foremost at all times. Although still followed by the two fighter aircraft, the United Nations aircraft was able to make a safe landing at the Gaza airstrip.

 

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SMITH, Squadron Leader Eric George, DFC (24334) - Air Medal (United States) - 334th Squadron, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 9 May 1953 and AFRO 284/53 dated 15 May 1953. Born 1921 in Navan, Ontario; home there. Educated at University of Ottawa. Trained at No.5 ITS, No.14 EFTS and No.1 SFTS. Commissioned 1942. Awarded DFC, 29 June 1945 for service in No.17 Squadron. Joined Special Force (Korea), 14 August 1952; with 334th Squadron, 15 August to 11 December 1952; struck off strength of Special Force (Korea), 19 December 1952, reporting back to Canada 23 December 1952; flew missions from 10 September to 10 December 1952 (50 sorties of which 34 were CAP, 11 escorts and five Ground Controlled - 75 combat hours). Also flew 18 hourrs 55 minutes non-combat on Sabres, one hour five minutes non-combat on T-33. Photos RE-22039-1 (in Sabre), RE-22041-2 (at Kimpo airfield); RE-22042-1 (with Andy Mackenzie); RE-21082 (in Korea); PL-128765 (formal shot). See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 

Squadron Leader Eric G. Smith distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial combat as a pilot of an F-86 aircraft, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force, flying missions against enemies of the United Nations from 10 September 1952 to 14 October 1952. While flying combat air patrols and various other type missions deep into enemy territory, many times against a superior number of enemy aircraft, his dedication to duty and demonstrated skill were a magnificent contribution to the successful completion of the assigned mission. As a result of his fortitude and courage on these occasions he has brought great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Force.

 

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SMITH, Flight Lieutenant William (20405) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952 and Canada Gazette of that date. At Tactical Air Group, Edmonton, when awarded. Born in Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland, 26 August 1920. Educated in Winnipeg. Enlisted in RCAF, Montreal, 23 June 1941; held on strength of No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto, June to September 1941; trained as a Wireless Air Gunner, at No.4 Wireless School, Guelph (September 1941 to March 1942) and graduating from No.9 BGS, Mont Joli, 13 April 1942 (Sergeant). Commissioned as Wireless Operator, 1 September 1944; Flying Officer, 1 March 1945. Served in Ferry Command, British West Indies, 1 July 1942 to 31 October 1943; served in No.168 (HT) Squadron, 1 November 1943 to 8 March 1946. Grant short service commissioned as Flying Officer, 1 October 1946; permanent commission, 1 October 1950; Flight Lieutenant, 19 June 1951. Postwar service included 12 Communications Squadron (April-May 1946), No.13 (Photo) Squadron (May 1946 to April 1949), No.426 Squadron and CJS (Washington).

 

Flight Lieutenant Smith has served on the Korean Airlift as a Radio Officer in North Star aircraft since its inception, being a member of No.426 Transport Squadron which was attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on 26th July 1950. He flew a total of 1,000 hours over the 11,000 nautical mile route, often through hazardous icing and fog conditions. Throughout his tour Flight Lieutenant Smith displayed outstanding professional ability which he used with imagination and initiative to ensure expeditious handling of all radio despatches in the face of these extremely difficult weather conditions.

 

This officer's untiring efforts have been a direct contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's participation in the United Nation's effort in Korea.

 

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SNIDER, Corporal George William, CD (24302) - British Empire Medal - 913th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (USAF), Pagwa, Ontario - Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 16 May 1964 and AFRO 21/62 dated 22 May 1964. Born 9 March 1921 at Apple Hill, Ontario; educated in Ottawa (dairy worker, labourer, clerk); enlisted 31 August 1942. General duties; trained at No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto, before going on to a series of wartime and postwar bases - No.13 Explosives Depot (Angus), No.10 Repair Depot (Calgary), No.2 TTS (Regina), Station Rockcliffe, Station Goose Bay, No.30 AMB (Langar), Station Pagwa and (as of 25 April 1964) Station Namao. Had remustered as a vehicle mechanic, 1 October 1946, Mechanical Equipment Operator in April 1949, and promoted to Corporal on 1 October 1952.

 


On 16 May 1963 Corporal Snider, a member of the RCAF detachment with the 913th Aircraft Control and warning Squadron (USAF) at Pagwa, Ontario, was working with several other RCAF airmen in the motor vehicle building. A retaining chain on one of the entrance doors, which weighed approximately one thousand pounds, broke, allowing the door to fall, hit one of the airmen across the shoulders and pin him to the ground in a squatting position. Upon seeing the door fall and hearing the other airman's cries for help, Corporal Snider, without regard for his own safety, crawled beneath the door on his hands and knees, lifted and held it off the injured airman who then fell forward and was pulled clear of the door by others present. Unable to sustain the weight of the door, Corporal Snider attempted to extricate himself but the door fell further, trapping his legs. A front-end loader operating nearby was used then by the others present to lift the door and free Corporal Snider who had suffered painful injuries to both legs. The other airman sustained a severe fracture and compression of a vertebra of the lower spine. Corporal Snider's quick, decisive and prodigious rescue action was performed in the face of a grave threat to his own well-being and, in fact, resulted in severe injuries to him. There is no doubt that this heroic act saved a fellow airman from extreme injuries and paralysis, if not death.

 

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SPICER, Flying Officer Carson Carlyle (28017) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Summerside - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 27 December 1952 and AFRO 1/53 dated 2 January 1953, with Flight Cadet Brian George Hatton. Born 16 February 1926 at East Apple River, Nova Scotia; enlisted in Moncton, 18 August 1943, trained as a navigator, commissioned 3 November 1944; released 9 January 1946; re-engaged in Halifax, 30 March 1949. Began again as Communications Technician (Air), but commissioned in Aircrew Branch (Navigation), 22 May 1951. Certificate forwarded to Training Command, 10 January 1953. Also cited was 4067593 Pilot Officer Alfred Richard McQuillan, RAF.

 

These personnel displayed courage of a high order on the occasion of a Lancaster aircraft accident at RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island, on 25 April 1952. Arriving at the scene of the crash within moments after its actual occurrence, they did, despite the fact that the forward section of the aircraft was burning fiercely, force their way into the rear of the fuselage where the tail assembly had been severed on impact, and removed several of the injured occupants. Further attempts to rescue other members of the ill-fated crew were thwarted due to the intense heat and fire. The gallant and heroics actions of these personnel were instrumental in saving the lives of several members of the Lancaster crew and they are to be commended for their noble efforts throughout this unfortunate incident.

 

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SPURR, Flight Lieutenant Laurence Esmond (17807) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 25th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Wing (USAF) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1953 and AFRO 55/53 dated 6 February 1953, for services in Korea. Born in Middleton, Nova Scotia, 15 June 1923; home there; enlisted in Halifax, 22 June 1942; trained at No.6 ITS (graduated 19 February 1943), No.12 EFTS and No.6 SFTS (wings on 20 August 1943). Attended No.1 OTU, Bagotville; served overseas with Nos. 41 and 416 Squadrons. Overseas he damaged one Me.262 and shared in the destruction of a Do.217. Attained rank of WO2, 20 November 1944; commissioned with effect from 8 October 1944; Flying Officer, 8 April 1945. Released, 13 May 1946; re-engaged in Halifax, 4 November 1948. Served in Korea, 10 April to 29 July 1952; flew 50 sorties (76 combat hours) plus ten non-combat hours; reported he had straffed several ground targets (troops, small factories), On strength of No.1 OTU, Chatham when award announced. See H.A. Halliday, "In Korean Skies", Roundel, December 1963 and January 1964.

 


Flight Lieutenant Spurr distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a pilot, 25th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Group, on 14 July 1942. As a Flight Leader of four F-86 type aircraft acting as a screening force for fighter-bombers, Flight Lieutenant Spurr displayed superior airmanship and tactical ability while leading his flight near Sakchu, Korea. Sighting a group of MIGs, Flight Lieutenant Spurr separated his flight into elements and pressed an attack on one of the MIGs. After scoring hits on the MIG, it lost power, and Flight Lieutenant Spurr was forced to roll around it until he regained firing position. He then scored several more hits, causing the MIG to burn and fall out of control. Only then did Flight Lieutenant Spurr break off his attack and take evasive action from several MIGs pressing attacks against him. As a result of this mission, enemy fighters were prevented from breaking through to the fighter-bombers, and Flight Lieutenant Spurr's aggressiveness and flying skill accounted for the destruction of one MIG-15. Through his outstanding airmanship and exemplary devotion to duty, Flight Lieutenant Spurr reflected great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Far East Air Forces.

 

NOTE: Original recommended text of this award differed in detail from that released officially:

 

On 14 July 1952 Flight Lieutenant Lawrence E. Spurr displayed extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. As flight leader of a unit of four (4) F-86 type aircraft, Lieutenant Spurr displayed superior airmanship and tactical ability while leading his flight near Sakchu, Korea as a screening force for fighter-bombers. After sighting condensation trails above him, Lieutenant Spurr pursued them and found ten (10) MIG-15s descending to his altitude. The flight became separated into elements with Lieutenant Spurr and his wingman pursuing two (2) MIGs for several minutes until well within range since they were as yet unnoticed by any of the enemy aircraft. The MIG broke left after his first burst which caused the MIG to lose power and forced Lieutenant Spurr to roll around the MIG until he was slowed enough to get into firing position again. Lieutenant Spurr continued to score damaging hits until the enemy fighter was burning and falling out of control. Lieutenant Spurr was then forced to break off and take evasive action from several MIGs pressing attacks. As a result of this mission, enemy fighters were prevented from breaking through to the fighter-bombers' protective screen and a MIG-15 aircraft was destroyed. As of this recommendation, Flight Lieutenant Spurr has flown a total of 45 (45) combat sorties in the Korean Theatre.

 

NOTE: Headquarters Far East Air Forces General Order 417 dated 20 August 1952 has the following account of his combat:

 


Flight Lieutenant Lawrence E. Spurr, 17608 (RCAF), 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing is officially credited with the destruction of one MIG-15 aircraft in serial combat at 1010I on 14 July 1952 near Yongsansi, Korea. Leading a flight of four F-86 aircraft, Lieutenant Spur observed a flight of ten MIG-15s. After the initial contact the MIGs split. Lieutenant [sic] Spurr positioned himself on one of them. Lieutenant Spurr began firing, observing hits in the tail section. Pieces were seen coming off the MIG and it began smoking. When the MIG was last observed, it was not taking evasive action and the pilot appeared to be dead. Action took place near Yongsansi.

 

NOTE: American authorities also wished to bestowe an Air Medal upon him; this was not allowed owing to RCAF limitations placed on Korean War decorations:

 

Flight Lieutenant Lawrence E. Spurr distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Pilot, 25th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Intercept Group, from 29 April 1952 to 29 May 1952. During that period, Lieutenant Spurr completed twenty combat missions over North Korea. These missions were flown over areas heavily defended by anti-aircraft fire, where attack by enemy aircraft was at all times probable and expected. Lieutenant Spurr's exceptional flying ability and aggressive spirit against superior numbers of enemy aircraft contributed greatly to the mission of the United Nations Forces. Through his keen professional skill and outstanding devotion to duty, Lieutenant Spurr reflected great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Far East Air Forces.

 

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ST.LOUIS, Flight Lieutenant Peter Bordon (17666) - Member, Order of the British Empire - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 (or 8) June 1950 and AFRO 276/50 dated 16 June 1950. No citation on awards card. Air Ministry Newsletter No.443 dated 22 July 1955 states that in 1949-50 eleven men of the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey were stranded at Base "E", Stonington Island, southwest Graham Land (Antarctica) due to ice and weather. Survey vessel John Biscoe attempted to take them off but was frustrated by pack ice. Twelve months laster the ship returned with RAF and RCAF personnel. Flying Officer P. St.Louis flew a Norseman from ship to shore to evacuate five of the party and ship embarked the remainder. Biographical file says he was on strength of Joint Air Station, Rivers and being transferred to No.412 Squadron; presented at Government House, 12 November 1951. The following appears to be the digest of a citation:

 

Flying Officer St.Louis successfully evacuated five members of survey party from Stonington Island in two lifts. Flights carried out in conditions of considerable hazard and difficulty and are a testimony of his skill and determination reflecting great credit upon this officer and the force to which he belongs.

 

NOTE: Citation provided for investiture was as follows:

 


During January 1950, in the face of extremely adverse weather conditions, this officer made three outstanding flights to rescue five members of a scientific survey party, marooned on an island in the Antarctic. His skill and determination during these operations was undoubtedly responsible for saving the lives of those in a perilous position.

 

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STE.MARIE, Leading Aircraftman Joseph Rodolphe Albert (39015) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 3 May 1956 and AFRO 110/56 dated 8 March 1956. Born 7 May 1931 in Benjamin River, New Brunswick. Home in Verdun, Quebec; enlisted in Montreal 12 March 1951. Trained as a communications technician, No.1 Radar and Communication School, Clinton, Ontario. (graduated July 1951). Posted to Trenton. In May 1952 posted to Station Saskatoon. April 1953 to Station St.Jean, Quebec. October 1953 to No.426 Squadron. June 1954 to No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit, detached at Keflavik, Iceland. Subsequently at No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit, St.Hubert.

 

On 21 February 1955, Leading Aircraftman Ste.Marie was on duty with Number One Overseas Ferry Unit at Keflavik Airport, Iceland, when a Sabre aircraft ran out of control and crashed into two parked Sabre aircraft causing two of them to burst into flames. Leading Aircraftman Ste.Marie took a fire extinguisher and ran to the scene of the accident and towards an aircraft which was enveloped with flames, under the impression that a person was trapped in the aircraft. When he was warned away from the aircraft, he rushed to the other burning aircraft and aided Corporal Hyatt in breaking the canopy by using the fire extinguisher and helped the trapped airman out of the aircraft and away from the fire where they awaited the ambulance. Leading Aircraftman Ste.Marie, without regard for personal safety, in company with two others, displayed courage and presence of mind in the rescue of an airman trapped inside a burning aircraft, when danger of explosion was imminent.

 

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STEVENSON, Sergeant Douglas Edgar, CD (16111) - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1957 and London Gazette dated 20 February 1957. Incident occurred 10 July 1956. See RCAF Press Release 8968 of 6 February 1957.

 


On 10 July 1956, a fire occurred in a shipment of aviation fuel being unloaded at Montmedy, France. Sergeant Stevenson, who was acting as deputy Fire Chief, performed two acts of bravery which enabled the fire section to bring the fire under control and finally to extinguish it;. In the first occasion he climbed to the top of a sealed tank car which was in danger of exploding because of extreme heat and after repeated efforts managed to release the manhole cover lock. This relieved the pressure building up in this tank car and prevented an explosion which would have made this fire completely uncontrollable. Later, when the fire was being kept under control but could not be extinguished, Sergeant Stevenson protected only by a heat mask and a stream of water played on him by other Fire Fighters proceeded to the top of a blazing fuel tender, and successfully introduced a foam line through the manhole cover, and thus brought the fire under complete control. Both of these acts were carried out with full knowledge of their necessity and of the dangers involved. The courage and unselfishness displayed by sergeant Stevenson, and the complete disregard for his own personal safety on this occasion was in the highest traditions of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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SWINFORD, Sergeant Kenrick Charles (10117) - King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.112 Transport Flight, Station Rivers - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948; cited with Corporal James P. Rae (DFM, see for citation) and Corporal L.D. Hawkins (Commended), Operation CANON. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995. The following may be treated as supplemental to the official citation:

 

Sergeant Swinford in late September 1947 was detailed to fly and act as a maintenance crewman of a Dakota aircraft which had been detailed to attempt the evacuation of Canon John H. Turner at Moffet Inlet, 1,700 miles north of Winnipeg. To bring aid to the injured missionary and to successfully complete the evacuation of Canon Turner and his family, required a total of four extremely hazardous return flights. Despite the shortage of servicing facilities this non-commissioned officer displayed extraordinary skill and devotion to duty in maintaining the aircraft in a serviceable condition in order that every emergency would be met. He assisted on three occasions in starting the starboard engine by hand, using a length of rope as an aid.

 

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TALSON, Corporal Elmer Harold (24985) - King's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Rockcliffe - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 12 May 1951 and AFRO 259/51 dated 11 May 1951. Born in Benalto, Alberta; educated in Siama and Eckville, Alberta. Air Cadet in 1941- 1942. Enlisted in 1943 and trained as an air gunner; went overseas and flew a tour with No.420 Squadron. Commissioned during tour. Repatriated early 1945; left service in March 1945; re-engaged in July 1946, initially as Clerk (Admin) and more recently as Service Police. Certificate forwarded to Rockcliffe, 7 June 1951.

 


On Saturday, 14 October 1950, Corporal Talson was driving to Montreal. Then, on approaching Brewery Creek, on the outskirts of Hull, Quebec, he noticed a young woman running across the road taking off her coat. Surmising she intended to jump into the creek, Corporal Talson stopped his car and called to her. However, she climbed the railing and let herself down over the side. As Talson approached the woman he tried to dissuade her but was unsuccessful as, when he reached for her wrist, she let go and fell into the rapidly flowing stream below. At this point another man appeared and Talson, shouting to him to call the police and an ambulance, slid down a forty foot embankment and pushed into the stream ahead of where the woman was being carried by the current. Up to his neck in water and with the woman floating past out of reach, Corporal Talson lunged in over his depth in an attempt to grasp her skirt. He succeeded and brought the woman to shore. The woman was taken to hospital and recovered. Corporal Talson exhibited courage beyond the call of humanitarian duty when, unable to swim, and without regard for personal safety, he rushed beyond his depth into a swift flowing and treacherous stream to successfully carry out the rescue.

 

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TEMPLE, Flying Officer Lloyd Douglas, CD (2570) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 27 December 1952 and AFRO 1/53 dated 2 January 1953. Born 20 January 1919 in Parry Sound, Ontario; enlisted in Toronto, 11 May 1939 as an aero engine mechanic; trained as a pilot at No.20 EFTS and No.14 SFTS; commissioned with wings 9 July 1943; served overseas with Nos.57 and 433 Squadrons. Reverted to Sergeant in trade of Aero Engine Technician, 1 October 1946; commissioned as a pilot, 19 May 1951. Incident involved Lancaster aircraft accident at RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island, on 25 April 1952. PR Release dated 19 December 1952 describes his role as follows:

 

Arriving on the scene of the crash within moments after its actual occurrence, Flying Officer Temple immediately assisted in removing one of the occupants from the rear of the burning aircraft. Pausing momentarily to assist an airman, who was wedged beneath a fence, clear of the aircraft, he entered the fuselage of the aircraft through an opening in the rear where the tail assembly had been severed on impact and assisted in removing two injured airmen. He again re-entered the wreckage and proceeded forward as far as the rear bulkhead. Thwarted in his statements to proceed further, due to the intense heat and fire, he left the wreckage. Flying Officer Temple's gallant, heroic actions were instrumental in saving the lives of several airmen and he is to be commended for his noble efforts throughout this unfortunate incident.

 

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TRENT, Corporal (now Sergeant) Reginald Walter Stephen (22726) - Soldier's Medal (United States) - No.103 Rescue Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 20 February 1954 and AFRO 102/54 dated 26 February 1954. See "Bad Day at Trinity Bay", Airforce, Volume 18, No.2 (Summer 1994), p.52. Born in Melfort, Saskatchewan, 12 October 1921; served in RCAF as an Airframe Mechanic, 21 May 1941 to 18 September 1945; arrived in UK, 26 December 1941; to No.415 Squadron, 13 January 1942; to Station Cosford, 22 December 1943; to No.8415 Servicing Echelon, 18 January 1944; to No.8432 Servicing Echelon, 9 June 1944; to No.8415 Servicing Echelon, 9 July 1944; to No.62 Base, 1 November 1944; to Repatriation Depot, 12 December 1944. In RCAF Special Reserve, 7 February to 30 September 1946; in RCAF Regular Force, 1 October 1946 to 12 May 1972. Career ranks as follows: AC2, 21 May 1941; AC1, 1 November 1941; LAC, 31 March 1942; continues as LAC through war and early postwar period; Corporal, 1 April 1949; Sergeant, 1 October 1953. Serving with No.103 Rescue Unit, 8 September 1950 to 12 October 1953; Station Goose Bay, 13 October 1953 to 14 June 1955; No.108 Communications Flight, Bagotville, 13 June 1955 to 16 January 1956; No.108 Communications Flight, Rockcliffe, 16 January 1956 to 1 February 1957; No.111 Communications and Rescue Flight, Winnipeg, 2 February 1957 to September 1961; Station Namao, 26 September 1961 to 5 May 1963; No.102 Composite Unit, Trenton, 28 June 1965 to 1 September 1966; Air Transport Command Headquarters for latter part of career. Awarded Canadian Centennial Meal, 30 November 1967. NOTE: On 13 August 1948 Lieutenant Clarence I. Altemeier, USAF Detachment 122-6, AACS (Airways and Air Communications Service) Liaison Unit, Station Kittigazuit, NWT wrote to CO, No.122 AACS Liaison Unit, Station Edmonton.

 

1. It is desired by the undersigned to reflect officially the quick thinking and swift, unhesitating actions of LAC Trent, R.W.S. 22726 in evacuating the Canso type aircraft, Number 11081, after it had crash landed at Kittigazuit, N.W.T on 28 July 1948.

 

2. LAC Trent, a member of rescue unit based at RCAF Station, Edmonton, official address unknown, was seen by this officer to unlatch both blisters during the approach and check them to see that they opened freely.

 

3. As the aircraft stalled after the second skip he gave the order to "get down" and threw the starboard blister open as the aircraft struck the water. He had one life raft out and inflated immediately after the aircraft came to a stop and before anyone else in the blister compartment realized that the aircraft was sinking. He remained in the blister compartment after the passengers had evacuated to get the second raft out.

 

4. It is believed that had it not been for LAC Trent's actions this accident probably would have taken more lives, since none of the passengers knew how to clear the blister and the crew found it impossible to get to the blister compartment inside the aircraft and subsequently had to get out through the front escape hatches.

 

For the above he was commended by the AOC, NWAC.

 

On 2 April 1953 Lieutenant-Colonel David I. Lieman, USAF, Strategic Air Command, wrote to A/C A.D. Ross, AOC Maritime Group Headquarters, Halifax:

 


1. Reference is made to the crash of RB-36 9267, on 18 March 1953, near Burgoyne Cove, Newfoundland. It is with pleasure that this office expresses appreciation to an organization under your command, and in particular to Flight Lieutenant C.R. Ensom, 17913, Corporal J. Couturier, 26732, and Corporal R.W.S. Trent, 22726.

 

2. The number 103 Air Rescue Unit, stationed at Torbay Airport, upon receiving notification of the crash, immediately alerted Para-Medic personnel of the organization for a jump into the crash area. Due to inclement weather, it was impossible to get by air to the crash area until late in the afternoon. However, under marginal weather conditions, and just prior to darkness, two personnel of the 103rd Air Rescue Unit did parachute into the area, with the altitude at considerable personal risk. In addition the area of jump was exceptionally difficult terrain and as mentioned, poor weather existed at the time.

 

3. During the next forty-eight hours , both the Para-Medics worked unceasingly in assisting with the evacuation of bodies. Only upon the completion of this task did they return to their home station. During the foregoing period the Para-Medics were faced with extremely poor weather conditions, and existed under the most difficult circumstances.

 

4. It is gratifying to realize that if any crew members has survived the crash, your personnel would have been able to render medical services on the spot. It is felt that personnel of the 103rd Air Rescue Unit conducted themselves under the highest possible standards, and are to be commended for the assistance that they rendered.

 

5. It is with sincere appreciation that this letter is forwarded. It possible, it is desired that the organization concerned be appraised on the contents. It is our hope that services of this nature are infrequently required; yet we know that when they are, a job well done will be performed.

 

Reference was later made to United States Department of the Air Force Washington General Order No.33 dated 20 August 1953 re Soldiers Medal to Corporal Trent.

 

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TRUDEL, Corporal Jean Baptiste Paul Aime (24068) - British Empire Medal - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 1 January 1953 and AFRO 10/53 dated 9 January 1953. Born in Levis, Quebec, 1921. Born 1921 in Levis, Quebec. Joined RCAF in 1942, trained as a pilot and served overseas. Released in 1946 but subsequently rejoined as an aero engine technician.

 


Corporal Trudel, as a member of 426 Transport Squadron servicing crew stationed at Haneda Air Force Base, Tokyo, has, by his skill in the maintenance of aircraft and devotion to duty, contributed immeasurably to the efficiency with which the Korean Airlift has been conducted. Despite the limited maintenance facilities available in that area and without the support of a regular maintenance organization, he has rectified many major aircraft unserviceabilities and carried out maintenance assignments which under normal circumstances would have required the service of highly qualified technicians of more senior rank. He has carried out his duties in a most creditable manner under all circumstances and has ben an inspiring influence to his fellow workers.

 

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VILLENEUVE, Squadron Leader Joseph Armand Gerard Fernand (32286) - Air Force Cross - Station Chatham. Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 20 May 1961. Born in Buckingham, Quebec. Associated with "Golden Hawks" aerobatic team. Secretary of State papers (RG.6 D.1 Volume 359, file 114-2-A1-3 "Awards - Specific - Air Force Cross (Granted)" has much documentation. Recommended by W/C K.C. Lett (OC, No.1 Fighter OTU) on 30 November 1960. Affidavit by S/L S.R. Smith (Duty Flying Control Officer) dated 5 December 1960 stated that his last transmission just before crash was, "I can't leave now - it's pointing at the houses". It was sent to Secretary of State Decorations Committee on 26 January 1961. Committee met on 28 February 1961 and concurred. Invested with award by Governor General, Government House, 6 July 1961.

 

On the night of November 7, 1960, Squadron Leader Villeneuve was the pilot of an F-86 Sabre aircraft on a local night training exercise in the vicinity of Chatham, New Brunswick when he experienced rapid deceleration and possible engine failure became evident. Squadron Leader Villeneuve had just completed an overshoot and was between the Chatham aerodrome and the town of Newcastle. He chose to turn away from the built-up area before ejecting rather than chance a crash in the town. He completed his turn but had to flame the engine out as he noted sparks coming out through the tail area and a strong burning odour. At this point he again made the decision to remain with the aircraft rather than eject as he was approaching another built-up area. The controls then switched to the alternate system and he selected the gear down, dive brakes out, and flaps down. Just prior to landing at the Chatham aerodrome the controls seized and the aircraft hit hard and bounced. He then levelled the wings with coarse use of rudder before the second impact. The aircraft skidded along the runway on fire and the pilot ejected the canopy and escaped but sustained a compression fracture of the spine. Squadron Leader Villeneuve's skill, courage and determination in landing his aircraft rather than ejecting precluded the possibility of the aircraft crashing into a built-up area with tragic results. The actions of Squadron Leader Villeneuve were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 


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VIRR, Flight Lieutenant Robert Vernon (20251) - United States Legion of Merit (Degree of Legionnaire) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 12 March 1949 and AFRO 102/49 dated 11 March 1949; for services during Operation "Attache". See also entries for COSTELLO, LEIGH and LEMIEUX.

 

For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of overseas services to the Government of the United States as pilot of a Canso plane in the RCAF, in connection with the search for and rescue of lost personnel of a United States Navy Beechcraft in the wilds of northern Saskatchewan from September 12-24, 1948. Participating in the largest and one of the most difficult searches ever undertaken in Canada, Flight Lieutenant Virr persistently conducted an intensive night and day search for the missing aircraft and personnel in the face of extremely difficult conditions. Directed to the vicinity in which the lost plane was located on September 24, he found the survivors and, after guiding them to the nearest rescue point, skilfully landed his plane under extremely hazardous conditions and effected the rescue of four United States and one British personnel. His airmanship and courageous efforts were instrumental in saving the lives of the survivors and reflect great credit on Flight Lieutenant Virr and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

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WATERS, Leading Aircraftman Harry John (203017) - George Medal - No.1 Fighter Wing - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 March 1957 and AFRO 34/57 dated 5 April 1957. To No.411 Squadron, 1956.

 

A Royal Canadian Air Force Sabre jet crashed and burst into flames on the aerodrome at 1 Fighter Wing, Marville, France, on 21 July 1955. Leading Aircraftman Waters, an aero engine technician who was at work in the vicinity immediately ran approximately 250 yards to the aircraft. Without hesitation, completely disregarding his person safety, he rushed into the flames despite exploding ammunition, to assist Flight Lieutenant Morgan, who was already on the scene, to free the trapped pilot. Leading Aircraftman Waters endeavoured to pull the jammed canopy back but without success. He continued his efforts in concert with Flight Lieutenant Morgan although aware of the increasing danger, until the canopy was broken open and the pilot, who was semi-conscious and later found to have sustained a broken back, was removed to safety. Leading Aircraftman Waters' prompt and courageous conduct played a significant part in saving the life of the pilot, despite grave risk to himself of serious injury or death. His unselfish act of bravery is worthy of the highest praise.

 

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WEST, Flying Officer Roland Burgess, DFC (20309) - Air Force Cross - No.101 Composite Unit - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 and AFRO 463/48 dated 30 July 1948. Born at Medford, Nova Scotia, 25 January 1919. Educated there and Kentville before becoming a boat pilot, Bay of Fundy. Home in Canning, Nova Scotia. Enlisted in Halifax 19 August 1941. Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 13 February 1941), No.21 EFTS (graduated 24 April 1942) and No.16 SFTS (graduated 11 September 1942). Awarded DFC, 7 July 1945, having flown with No.117 (BR) Squadron some 1,600 hours (704 operational - 84 sorties). Postwar he attended Staff School Toronto (1946); posted to No.103 Rescue Unit, Greenwood. Award sent by registered mail 18 October 1950. Awarded AFC, 31 July 1947. Awarded McKee Trophy, 1948. Later recruiting officer in Brandon, Manitoba (1949) followed by duties at Centralia. Sent to command Air Navigation School, Summerside (1952) where he was promoted to Squadron Leader. Later to Goose Bay and then to jet training (1956); commanded No.416 Squadron (20 August to 30 November 1959). Later in infra-red research and with RCAF/CARDE (Canadian Research and Development Establishment) in Operation Lookout, Cape Canaveral, Florida, tracking missile re-entry. In 1964 to Air Material Command HQ. Retired 1966; Member, Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, 1973. Press Release 7383 dated 28 July 1948 gave details, including identity of patient, Mrs. Alexander Munge. See entry for his DFC (7 July 1945) for more biographical details. AFC sent by registered mail, 21 December 1950.

 

For a period of over two years Flying Officer West has been continuously employed on search and rescue operations along the east coast of Canada. During many hazardous and difficult mercy flights and searches along the eastern seaboard and over the western Atlantic he has proved himself to be an outstanding captain and extremely capable pilot, successfully completing many special missions. On 1st January 1948 this officer was detailed as captain of a Canso aircraft which had been ordered to attempt the evacuation of a woman who was critically ill at her home at Mutton Bay, Labrador. Although climatic conditions were extremely poor, heaving clouds fog and driving snow being encountered, and very adverse sea conditions existed in the confined harbour at Mutton Bay, he succeeded in reaching his objective and executed a safe landing. Under substantial difficulties of sub-zero weather, billowing seas, and attendant hazardous circumstances, the patient was safely placed on board the aircraft. Although the aircraft was heavily-laden with ice from flying spray, and water was pouring into the hold from a faulty nose-wheel door, Flying Officer West accomplished a most successful take-off. With the same resolute determination and initiative he fulfilled his return mission, a total distance of nearly one thousand miles, and landed at base where the patient was transferred to the hospital. Throughout all his operations with search and rescue flight, and in particular the Mutton Bay mission, he has displayed utmost keenness, efficiency, leadership and high devotion to duty. His personal courage and cheerful enthusiasm merit the highest praise and have been an inspiring example, not only to his flight but to all his associates in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 


Press Release 7493 issued 12 May 1949 covers the award of the McKee Trophy to West. The release described him as a veteran of more than 2,000 flying hours in Search and Rescue alone. The citation to the McKee Trophy was as follows:

 

Flying Officer West enlisted in the RCAF in August 1941, and was trained as a pilot. His wartime service included a tour of duty with 111 Operational Training Unit, Nassau, British West Indies, as an instructor and an operational tour of duty with the Canso squadron operating on the east coast of Canada, in the course of which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. It was during this period that Flying Officer West gained the intimate knowledge of the east coast which later proved so invaluable to him in his many mercy flights. On the cessation of hostilities, Flying Officer West was posted to the Communications Flight at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and whilst at this unit, performed a number of mercy flights along the east coast. On these flights Flying Officer West was frequently required to land at tiny villages along the Eastern Quebec, Labrador and Arctic coasts where no aircraft had previously landed.

 

Upon the formation of No.103 Search and Rescue Flight, Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Flying Officer West was posted to this unit and, as a captain, has flown approximately two thousand hours on search and rescue work.

 

Flying Officer West's flying operations include so many outstanding examples of personal skill and initiative that it is possible to recount only a few of the more notable flights carried out in 1948. In January, 1948, this officer carried out a mercy flight from Halifax to Harrington Harbour to evacuate a seriously ill woman. During this flight conditions of snow, fog and severe icing was encountered but the patient was successfully evacuated to Goose Bay, Labrador. While at Goose Bay, Flying Officer West was detailed to proceed to Mutton Bay, Labrador, to evacuate another seriously ill woman. Extremely poor weather prevailed for the duration of the flight but despite this and the very adverse sea conditions existing in the confined harbour at Mutton Bay, he executed a safe landing and enplaned the patient. Because of weather and sea conditions, the aircraft became seriously damaged; nevertheless Flying Officer West made a successful take-off and delivered his patient to the hospital authorities in Halifax. In recognition of these two outstanding search and rescue flights, Flying Officer West was awarded the Air Force Cross. Another example of Flying Officer West's flying skill may be indicated by the fact that on one operation he landed at Cartwright, Labrador, in seas which were so rough that the patient could not be brought aboard the aircraft. These flights, together with the many other search and rescue operations carried out by this officer, have made a laudable contribution towards the attainment of the excellent reputation the RCAF Search and Rescue Organization holds today.

 


In addition to his Search and Rescue operations, Flying Officer West was employed as Captain of an aircraft on special flying operations in the far north during 1948. Many of these flights were to landing strips in the Eastern Arctic where he acquired further knowledge regarding northern operations. During the spring floods in British Columbia, Flying Officer West flew many long hours carrying sandbags and other vital materials across the Rockies into British Columbia. In June, 1948, he was chosen to perform the first large-scale "Rain Making" operation in Canada, This operation was successful in producing large quantities of rain over the drought stricken area north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

 

Flying Officer West has invariably displayed a keen desire to pass on to other aircrew all the information he has acquired as a result of his various flying operations. In addition, he frequently took inexperienced co-pilots on such flights, in order that they might benefit from his knowledge and instruction. This officer was also responsible for converting many new pilots to the Lancaster, Canso and Dakota aircraft.

 

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WHITAKER, Flight Lieutenant George Cosgrove, CD (333) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - No.2 (Fighter) Wing - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 August 1954 and AFRO 448/54 dated 13 August 1954. Home in Vancouver. Previously awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 3 June 1953 with No.2 (F) Wing. Certificate forwarded 25 August 1954.

 

On 27 November 1953, the cartridge of a Sabre aircraft canopy failed to function during an attempted bail out in flight. On landing, a detailed examination of the canopy ejector mechanism disclosed no reason for the malfunction, though the firing pin had been released. As an alternative to prolonged grounding of 2 (Fighter) Wing aircraft and possible all 1 RCAF Air Division aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Whitaker, the Wing Armament Officer of 2 (Fighter) Wing volunteered to disassemble the defective cartridge manually, with the full knowledge that the cartridge was aline and that during the disassembly the firing pin might be unseated. He was also aware that any resulting explosion would undoubtedly cause serious physical injuries to himself. Flight Lieutenant Whitaker disassembled the cartridge without further incident. However, the fact that the malfunction proved to be of a type not liable to lead to an explosion cannot detract from the noteworthy courage and devotion to duty displayed by this officer.

 

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WHITELEY, Squadron Leader John William (13347) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Station Uplands - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 30 May 1959 and AFRO 148/59 dated 12 June 1959. Born 2 October 1923, Edmonton; home in Dawson Creek, British Columbia (bank clerk); enlisted in RCAF 3 October 1941. Trained as pilot; flew search and rescue missions out of England. Left 25 December 1946 to become commercial pilot but rejoined 30 November 1948 Served at OTU in North Bay, commanded No.410 Squadron, served with No.2 Advanced Flying School and No.1 Flying Instructor School (Portage la Prairie); chief operations officer at No.3 Wing, Zweibrucken; Officer Commanding No.9 Tactical Air Wing (Petawawa); Director of Senior Appointments (NDHQ) and Canadian Forces Attache in Tokyo. Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 25 October 1953 while a Flight Lieutenant in Training Command. Retired in July 1978. Incident described in Press Release 8991 of 12 June 1959.

 

On 29 October 1958, while flying a CF-100 aircraft on an operational training mission over James Bay, Ontario, it was discovered that the control column would not move laterally, consequently the aircraft could not be turned. After several attempts, a ten degree bank was obtained and a wide circuit towards base was completed. Shortly thereafter, the controls became so restricted the nose of the aircraft could not be raised above the horizon. Although fully aware of the danger of remaining with the aircraft under conditions of control difficulties, experiments were carried out controlling the aircraft by use of elevator trim, available ten-degree bank, increased power and speed brakes. Under extremely difficult conditions, a subsequent successful landing was completed at base. By his courage, resolute action and flying skill, he possibly saved the life of the observer as well as his own and a CF-100 aircraft. In addition, by clear thinking and knowledge of the aircraft, he brought to notice a dangerous but remediable condition of water freezing around the bell-crank of the controls which could have caused serious accidents if it had remained undetected.

 

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WILSON, Flying Officer John Pierce (25597) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 1 January 1953 and AFRO 10/53 dated 9 January 1953.

 

Flying Officer Wilson has served with 426 Transport Squadron on the Korean Airlift since April 1951, as a radio officer on North Star aircraft. Throughout his many flights to the Far East, in support of United Nations operations in Korea, he has exhibited trade knowledge and diligence of a high order. His superior skill in long range operations under very adverse weather conditions has been instrumental in maintaining safety and efficiency in the squadron's flights over the Pacific. Flying Officer Wilson's outstanding service has been an invaluable contribution to the successful achievements of 426 Squadron.

 

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WOLKOWSKI, Flight Lieutenant Edward Raymond (25486) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air - No.426 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 1 January 1953 and AFRO 10/53. Born in Buchanan, Saskatchewan, 1925; home in Tiny, Saskatchewan. Joined RCAF in 1943; served as aero-engine mechanic until 1948 when selected as a Flight Cadet and received pilot training. Certificate forwarded 16 January 1953 and presented in February 1953.

 

Flight Lieutenant Wolkowski has served with No.426 Transport Squadron on the Korean Airlift since its inception. In his capacity as pilot and captain of North Star aircraft he has completed thirty round trips to the Far East in support of United Nations operations in Korea. His keen, aggressive spirit and determination to successfully complete his many arduous missions has been a source of inspiration to the more junior members of the squadron. His skill and resourcefulness as a pilot have contributed in a large degree to the successive achievements of No.426 Transport Squadron.

 

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WRIGHT, Sergeant Delbert (21867) - British Empire Medal - No.123 Search and Rescue Unit - Awarded BEM as per Canada Gazette dated 15 September 1951 and AFRO 566/51 (same date). Born in Vancouver, 8 February 1918; enlisted 23 August 1940 and served until 4 October 1945. Re-engaged 14 March 1946. See Gibbs, AFC, for comments about procedure.

 

This non-commissioned officer was detailed as Jump Master of the operation to locate a missing Canadian Pacific Airlines aircraft lost in the British Columbia portion of the Canadian Rockies. The Para-Rescue Team flew to the scene of the crash in an aircraft piloted by Flight Lieutenant P.L. Gibbs, DFC, and reached their destination on Mount Okanagan at 1112 hours, 23 December 1950. In spite of adverse weather conditions (low clouds and icing), preparations for the jump were made immediately. The last man left the aircraft at 1145 and within a matter of minutes the entire team and their medical supplies were assembled at the crash. The arrival of the Para-Rescue party, led by Sergeant Wright, was sufficient by itself to gibe a tremendous lift to the morale of the survivors. The physical comforts they were able to provide did much to maintain that morale until the arrival of the ground search party. Sergeant Wright and his team were of invaluable assistance in the evacuation of some of the survivors that same evening and were a great comfort to those who remained on the mountain during the night. In addition, this non-commissioned officer accepted the responsibility for the removal of the bodies of the deceased captain and first officer, the latter having been cared for and comforted by the Para-Rescue Team until he died. The courage and skill displayed by this non-commissioned officer contributed largely in the successful rescue of the sixteen civilian passengers, and the splendid example he set by his devotion to duty was an inspiration to his comrades, and in keeping with the highest traditions of the service.

 

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PART B - AWARDS TO CANADIAN ARMY PERSONNEL

 

BULL, Lieutenant Albert Paul (ZL-2984) - United States Air Medal - - Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1953.

 

Lieutenant Albert P. Bull distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as an Observer in an unarmed T-6 type aircraft, Fifth United States Air Force, from 6 March 1952 to 10 April 1952. From an airstrip in Korea to target areas behind enemy lines, Lieutenant Bull flew twenty missions, penetrating areas of ground activity to locate enemy targets and to direct close support aircraft. Through his courage, ability and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Bull reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the Canadian Army.

 

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COOK, Sergeant Clifford - British Empire Medal - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 for Operation CANON - Born in Calgary, 2 December 1921. Served in 13 District Signals, NPAM, Calgary, May 1938 to 26 September 1939 (boy soldier). Served in Canadian Army, 27 September 1939 to 13 July 1969. Hist first Army posting was to Barriefield (1st Canadian Division Signals), but he was judged too young for overseas service and sent to Ottawa on Fixed Wireless duties. In 1941 he was posted to the Northwest Territories, serving at Yellowknife, Port Radium, Norman Wells and Edmonton. After the war he volunteered for a parachute course at Shilo. From there he went to Rivers to operate wireless and landlines with the Air Support Signal Unit. His training also encompassed a Communication Chief's course taken at the American Airborne School, Fort Benning. On return to Canada he was appointed to instruct in wireless and landline communications. Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, 3 November 1952, he served in Korea with the Signals Troop assigned to 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. On return to Canada he was annually involved in winter exercises held at Churchill and summer exercises at Wainwright, Petawawa, and Gagetown. In 1955 he was posted as second-in-command to the Airborne Signals Squadron, Kingston; in 1958 on promotion to Captain he was posted as second-in-command to 2 Signals Squadron, Camp Borden. In 1958 he was posted to the Royal Canadian School of Infantry as Communications Instructor and OC Communications and Transport Division. In 1963-64 he served as second-in-command to 56 Canadian Signals Squadron, UNEF. On return to Canada he was OC Signals Troop, Camp Gagetown (1964-68). Upon retirement he joined the Maritime Life Assurance Company (manager of Alberta Armed Services Division) until resigning in 1988. As of 1985 he had been President and CEO of Cedarmine Resources Inc. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995.

 


On September 30, 1947, a rescue team was despatched by air from the Canadian Joint Air School at Rivers, Manitoba, under the command of ZD.2247 Captain L.G. D'Artois, DSO, for the purpose of aiding Canon John H. Turner who had by accident seriously wounded himself. Canon Turner was at Moffet Inlet, an isolated mission on the northern tip of Baffin Island. As it was not possible to land an aircraft anywhere near the mission, it was necessary for the team to parachute to its objective. Their task was to keep Canon Turner alive until ice formed of sufficient strength to permit the landing of an aircraft to evacuate him, his family and the party. Sergeant Cook and Sergeant Judd of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals were ordered to accompany the rescue party in the capacity of wireless operators. They successfully completed the parachute drop in rugged and dangerous country and took charge of collection of stores on the dropping zone while Captain D'Artois was on his way to the mission. On October 14 it was necessary to move the wireless set No.52 from the lake on which it was dropped to the mission. This necessitated the manhandling of heavy section of equipment over slippery and rocky ground and terminated by their descent down a 600-foot cliff in the rear of the mission at night in an Arctic blizzard. The 52 set was damaged in the drop and there were no spare parts with which to repair it. However, Sergeant Cook never gave up and tried improvising pieces to be substituted. These failing to work, he tried some parts from a small 58 set which proved successful. These non-commissioned officers maintained communication with their base and with the Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft under the most difficult conditions. At all times Sergeant Cook and Sergeant Judd worked untiringly and unmindful of long hours. Sergeant Cook also aided Mrs. Turner to care for her injured husband. By his display of bravery, character and technical skill, Sergeant Cook contributed greatly to the success of this expedition and was a credit to his corps and the Canadian Army.

 

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D'ARTOIS, Captain Lionel Guy, DSO (ZD-2247) - George Medal - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 for Operation CANON - Home in Montreal, joined the RCAMC but transferred to Royal 22e Regiment in UK and then posted to First Special Service Force, United States Army. Trained as a parachutist; served in the Aleutians (Kiska expedition). Then employed by War Office in London, making parachute landings in Occupied France, working with the Maquis (his wife was also a Maquis agent and was awarded the MBE). Captain D'Artois received the DSO. On return to Canada he joined the training staff of the Joint Air School, Rivers. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995.

 


In late September, 1947, an Anglican missionary, Canon J.H. Turner, was reported wounded following a hunting accident at his isolated station at Moffet Inlet on Baffin Island, approximately 450 miles within the Arctic Circle. Captain D'Artois commanded a party of our paratroopers who were dropped from a Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft on 4 October 1947 to effect a rescue. Due to the distance from its base, the aircraft could only remain a short time over the area and the dropping zone had to be most hurriedly chosen by observation from the aircraft. After a quick reconnaissance, Captain D'Artois decided that the ground around the mission was most unsuitable. The dropping zone finally chosen was at some distance away in unknown country. It was an area of some 250 by 100 yards, strewn with boulders and surrounded by rocky hills. The jump therefore was most hazardous and any injury or worse to a member of the party might well have meant disaster. Despite the fact that each man of the team well knew the hazard, the jump was carried out successfully.

 

Following the drop, Captain D'Artois was responsible for making contact with the mission, and moving his party and supplies there, for establishing communication with the aircraft and his base, for the reconnaissance and selection of a landing strip for the Royal Canadian Air Force rescue aircraft, for the collection and reporting of meteorological data, for guiding the aircraft to the selected landing strip and for the movement of the patient and party by dog sleigh to the waiting aircraft. This required seven weeks of unremitting effort.

 

Although he had no previous experience in the Arctic, Captain D'Artois carried out his duties under primitive conditions, severe weather and limited daylight, with the greatest determination, energy and complete disregard of his personal safety. He travelled hundreds of miles on foot over rugged country and treacherous shifting ice in search of a suitable landing strip for the rescue aircraft. On one of these trips he fell through thin ice and might well have lost his life. Regardless of the danger, he pressed on with the search, selecting a strip 23 miles from the mission. Here he camped for eleven days collecting meteorological data which was vital to ensure a safe landing for the returning aircraft. He then returned to the mission, arranged for the landing of the aircraft, and carried out the difficult movement of the party by dog team. Canon Turner, his family and the rescue party were then flown to Winnipeg.

 

As a result of the strenuous and courageous efforts of the rescue team led by Captain D'Artois, Canon Turner received all possible medical care and attention although he subsequently passed away in hospital. This combined effort has opened a new field for rescue operations which should be of great help in the development of the North. Throughout the whole operation, Captain D'Artois displayed outstanding qualities of leadership. His bravery, ability and powers of decision were of the highest order and were in a large measure responsible for the success of the land operation. Captain D'Artois' brilliant and daring execution of this operation provides an inspiration to all ranks of the Canadian Army.

 

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DRAPEAU, Captain Lewis Rene, DCM (ZD-2265) - Air Medal (United States) - 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1953. Note: American forces sometimes thrust awards upon Canadians which Canadian authorities declined to accept, in whole or in part. This may have been for the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.


Captain Lewis R. Drapeau distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 8 November 1951. As observer of an unarmed T-6 type aircraft on a reconnaissance mission in the vicinity of Sanjon, Korea, Captain Drapeau sighted approximately one thousand enemy troops moving south toward friendly lines. Informing a flight of four fighter planes of his intent, Captain Drapeau's pilot made two rocket passes at the target, both unsuccessful because of misfires. At this time the enemy attempted to dupe the fighters by exploding two rounds of white phosphorous at a false location. Captain Drapeau, however, informed the fighters of this ruse and requested the pilot to make another pass. Diving through intense small arms and automatic weapons fire he succeeded in marking the target with a coloured smoke grenade. Having identified the target, this officer then directed the fighters as they attacked with napalm, 100-pound bombs, and 20-millimetre cannon fire. At the conclusion of the strike, a reconnaissance of the target revealed two hundred casualties, three secondary explosions and one large oil fire. As a direct result of this mission, reinforcement and supplies vital to the enemy were destroyed, greatly increasing the difficulty of his defence. By his personal courage and devotion to duty, Captain Drapeau has brought great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces.

 

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HOWARD, Captain John Henry (ZE-252), Canadian Army - Air Medal (United States) - Royal Canadian Horse Artillery - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1953. Died in Ottawa 2 April 1995, aged 79. Described in obituary notice as veteran of Second World War (twice mentioned in despatches) and holder of American DFC and Air Medal. There is no Canadian record of his receiving an American DFC, which may have been given him informally but which he was not authorized to accept or wear.

 

Captain John H. Howard distinguished himself by participating in thirty aerial flights in support of the Republic of Korea and United Nations Forces from an airstrip in Korea in target areas behind enemy lines during the period 2 September 1951 to 24 October 1951. Willingly and with full knowledge of the hazards involved, Captain Howard flew as observer in an unarmed T-6 type aircraft which penetrated areas of ground activity to locate enemy targets and direct close support aircraft. By his courage, ability and devotion to duty, Captain Howard has brought great credit upon himself and the United Nations Forces in Korea.

 

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JUDD, Sergeant William Wallace - King's Commendation for Brave Conduct - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 for Operation CANON. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995.


On September 30, 1947, a rescue team was despatched by air from the Canadian Joint Air School at Rivers, Manitoba, under the command of ZD.2247 Captain L.G. D'Artois, DSO, for the purpose of aiding Canon John H. Turner who had by accident seriously wounded himself. Canon Turner was at Moffet Inlet, an isolated mission on the northern tip of Baffin Island. As it was not possible to land an aircraft anywhere near the mission, it was necessary for the team to parachute to its objective. Their task was to keep Canon Turner alive until ice formed of sufficient strength to permit the landing of an aircraft to evacuate him, his family and the party. Sergeant Cook and Sergeant Judd of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals were ordered to accompany the rescue party in the capacity of wireless operators. They successfully completed the parachute drop in rugged and dangerous country and took charge of collection of stores on the dropping zone while Captain D'Artois was on his way to the mission. On October 14 it was necessary to move the wireless set No.52 from the lake on which it was dropped to the mission. This necessitated the manhandling of heavy section of equipment over slippery and rocky ground and terminated by their descent down a 600-foot cliff in the rear of the mission at night in an Arctic blizzard. These non-commissioned officers maintained communication with their base and with the Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft under the most difficult conditions. Although he had no previous experience in the Arctic, Sergeant Judd served faithfully as a member of the team and made a real contribution to the successful completion of the mission. The bravery, ability and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Judd provide an inspiring example to his corps and to the Canadian Army.

 

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MacLEOD, Lieutenant Donald Gordon (EK4435) - Air Medal (United States) - 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 26 June 1954.

 

Lieutenant MacLeod distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights from 29 May 1951 to 20 August 1951. Serving on temporary duty with the 6147th Tactical Control Group, Fifth Air Force, from the Canadian Army, Lieutenant MacLeod participated in numerous aerial flights in support of United Nations forces to target areas behind enemy lines. Despite the hazards involved, Lieutenant MacLeod flew as observer in an unarmed T-6 type aircraft which penetrated areas of ground activity to locate enemy targets and direct close support aircraft. Through his outstanding airmanship, courage and devotion to duty, Lieutenant MacLeod contributed substantially to the success of United Nations operations in Korea, and reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the British Commonwealth forces.

 

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MAGEE, Lieutenant Arthur G. (ZB-4012) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 13 February 1954.

 

Lieutenant Arthur G. Magee, serving on temporary duty with this unit from the First Battalion of the Canadian Army, distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as observer in an unarmed T-6 aircraft on 8 October 1952. While attached to the 6147th Tactical Control Group, Fifth Air Force, on a special mission near Kaesong, Korea, Lieutenant Magee and his pilot directed three flights of fighter-bomber aircraft in a series of attacks on enemy installations by marking these installations with smoke rockets. As his pilot circled the target area at low altitude in the face of intense small arms and automatic weapons fire, Lieutenant Magee directed the fighter-bombers in their attack runs. The strikes resulted in the destruction of five personnel shelters, four automatic weapon positions, two houses, one bunker, and one command post. In addition, one secondary explosion was observed and twelve enemy troops were counted killed. His high personal courage and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Magee has brought great credit upon himself, the Canadian Army, and the United States Air Force.

 

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PLOUFFE, Captain Joseph Fanide Orphila (ZD-4132) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 13 February 1954.

 

Captain Orphila J.Plouffe distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as observer of an unarmed T-6 aircraft directing an air strike behind enemy lines near Pyonam-dong, Korea, on 24 May 1952. Captain Plouffe directed his pilot through intense enemy ground fire in a low reconnoitring passing to discover the location of six (6) camouflaged enemy bunkers, four (4) mortar positions, and one (1) artillery position behind a key hill. Disregarding his personal safety, he directed the pilot in making three passes to mark individual targets with smoke rockets for orbiting fighter aircraft. One of the fighters was hit by groundfire during the ensuing attack and his pilot escorted the fighter to the nearest emergency strip. Captain Plouffe ordered the remaining fighters to await his return. Upon returning to the area, he continued to direct the fighters onto the target, resulting in four (4) bunkers, two (2) mortar positions and one (1) artillery position destroyed. By his high personal courage, aggressiveness and devotion to duty, Captain Plouffe has brought great credit upon himself, the Commonwealth forces and the United States Air Force.

 

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ROBERTSON, Second Lieutenant William Cryle, MC (ZL-9929) - Air Medal (United States) - 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1953. MC awarded 28 May 1953; Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, 4 December 1954; Officer, Order of Military Merit (as a Lieutenant-Colonel), 21 June 1980.

 

Second Lieutenant William C. Robertson distinguished himself by participating in twenty aerial flights in support of the Republic of Korea and United Nations forces from an airstrip in Korea to target areas behind enemy lines during the period 4 December 1951 to 9 January 1952. Willingly and with full knowledge of the hazards involved, Lieutenant Robertson flew as observer in an unarmed T-6 type aircraft which penetrated areas of ground activity to locate enemy targets and direct close support aircraft. By his courage, ability and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Robertson has brought great credit upon himself and the United Nations forces in Korea.

 

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TEES, Captain Peter Joseph Angwyn (ZK-3344) - Distinguished Flying Cross - Royal Canadian Artillery and No.1903 Independent Air Observation Post Flight, RAF. Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 14 November 1953. Born in Vancouver, home given as Shilo. Recommended 12 June 1953 by Brigadier G.P. Gregson, Commanding Royal Artillery, 1st Commonwealth Division. Described as a Section Commander in the AOP Flight, with 604 hours 55 minutes in log book, 364 hours 35 minutes flown on duties leading to award.

 

Captain Tees has flown Auster aircraft over the Commonwealth front since September 1952 for a period of 364 hours; this included the extremely difficult winter period. On one occasion he carried out a crash landing due to sub-zero temperatures encountered and on two others he returned to base after engine failures, making successful landings. He has controlled the guns not only of the Division but also the Corps artillery in 185 sorties and conducted 453 shoots engaging enemy troop concentrations, camouflaged guns, bunkers, groups of men and vehicles. In spite of the increase in density of hostile anti-aircraft guns he has ignored his own safety in order to obtain the best observation of his targets. The technical skill shown both in flying and gunnery together with the determination of this officer to destroy the targets that he located from the air have been outstanding.

 

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WARD, Lieutenant William Ernest (ZC-4825) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - Canadian Army (Lord Strathcona's Horse) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 26 June 1954.

 


Lieutenant Ward while serving on temporary duty with the 6147th Tactical Control Group, Fifth Air Force, from 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade, distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as observer of an unarmed T-6 type aircraft on 13 March 1953. While on a tactical control mission near the junction of the Imjin and Sami-Chon Rivers, Korea, Lieutenant Ward expertly directed five flights of fighter-bomber type aircraft in attacks on twenty-four enemy caves. Lieutenant Ward had his pilot mark the targets with rockets because of the nearness of friendly forces. Despite intense anti-aircraft and automatic weapons fire, Lieutenant Ward remained low over the target areas while directing the fighter-bombers in their highly successful attack runs. The strike effectively destroyed eight caves, damaged four caves, and caused six secondary explosions. By his high personal courage, keen airmanship and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Ward reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the British Commonwealth Forces.

 

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WILLOUGHBY, Captain Ross Warrington - Member, Order of the British Empire - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 July 1948 for Operation CANON - Born in Toronto, 29 August 1921. Graduated in Medicine, University of Toronto, 1945. Subsequently employed in RCAMC, first at Shilo and then at Rivers, Manitoba. See "Operation Canon", Canadian Army Journal, May 1948, pp.9-15, 29-32. See also Hugh A. Halliday, "Rescue Mission", The Beaver, April/May 1995.

 

On September 30, 1947, a rescue team was despatched by air from the Canadian Joint Air School at Rivers, Manitoba, under the command of ZD.2247 Captain L.G. D'Artois, DSO, for the purpose of aiding Canon John H. Turner who had by accident seriously wounded himself. Canon Turner was at Moffet Inlet, an isolated mission on the northern tip of Baffin Island. As it was not possible to land an aircraft anywhere near the mission, it was necessary for the team to parachute to its objective. Their task was to keep Canon Turner alive until ice formed of sufficient strength to permit the landing of an aircraft to evacuate him, his family and the party. Captain Willoughby was detailed as medical officer for the rescue mission. He made an accurate diagnosis and instituted treatment to keep Canon Turner alive until he could be flown out for surgery. Medical care was difficult owing to the limited facilities, and the grave nature of the injury, and resulting complications of paralysis and bed sores. This necessitated constant attention for the administration of penicillin and other therapy, and demanded the personal attention of Captain Willoughby every three hours day and night. The condition of the patient on arrival was commended by the civilian surgeon to whom the case was turned over in Winnipeg. The bravery, ability and outstanding performance of medical duties displayed by Captain Willoughby is in the highest tradition of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps and provides an inspiring example to all ranks of the Canadian Army.

 

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YELLE, Captain Joseph Roland Pierre-Paul (ZE-1998) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 13 February 1954.

 

Captain Roland J. Yelle [sic] serving on temporary duty with the 6149th Tactical Control Squadron (Air), 6147th Tactical Control Group, Fifth Air Force, distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement in aerial flight on 15 August 1952. As observer of an unarmed T-6 type aircraft directing two (2) flights of fighter-bombers on targets near Kosong, Korea, Captain Yelle displayed technical skill and aggressiveness, Despite low clouds over the target area, partial failure of his radio equipment, and battle damage to his aircraft, he directed his pilot in marking the targets with his smoke rockets. He the directed the fighters onto the marked targets. As a result of these actions, there were seven (7) supply houses destroyed with two (2) secondary explosions, plus four (4) artillery positions, four mortar positions, and one (1) automatic weapon position destroyed. Four (4) artillery positions were damaged. Through his skill, courage and devotion to duty, Captain Yelle has brought great credit upon himself, his organization, and the United States Air Force.

 

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PART C - AWARDS TO RCN PERSONNEL

 

BEEMAN, Lieutenant-Commander (P) John Henault, CD (O-5390) - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959. Also honoured were Lieutenant-Commander (P) F.R. Fink (George Medal), Petty Officer L.W. Vipond (Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct) and Leading Seaman P.A. Smith (Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct). See also Kealey and Russell, A History of Canadian Naval Aviation, 1918-1962, p.60. This officer was a member of the Corps of Commissionaires at the Canadian War Museum until 1996, when the museum dispensed with the services of that Corps.

 

On November 26, 1955, Lieutenant-Commander J.H. Beeman (pilot), Lieutenant-Commander F.R. Fink (co-pilot) and two seamen were jointly responsible for saving the 21 members of the crew of the Liberian freighter SS Kismet II, which had run aground on the rocky coast of Cape Breton Island against a cliff which rose almost vertically from the sea to a height of some 400 feet and was being pounded to pieces by heavy seas. It was decided by the authorities concerned that the rescue could not be effected from shore while heavy seas and reefs made any attempts from sea impossible.

 

At 0815 hours on November 26, 1955, Lieutenant-Commander Beeman and Lieutenant-Commander Fink and the two seamen who had volunteered to be crew members, flew his helicopter towards the wreck. The wind had veered slightly and he found that along the cliff face, the turbulence was not so great and he was able to approach close to the Kismet II and still maintain control of his helicopter. His co-pilot and crew, by hand signals, were able to make the crew of the ship understand that they wanted the after steering platform cleared away by the removal of ventilators, rails, etc, so that the helicopter could land. This operation was accomplished in short order and Lieutenant-Commander Beeman succeeded in balancing his helicopter on the deck on three wheels; the fact that fairly heavy turbulence was still being encountered and that the cliff was only about 25 feet away, made any attempt at a rescue by hoist, with the helicopter hovering, impractical. He embarked four members of the ship's crew, and by watching his opportunity between gusts, was able to take off from his precarious position and land them ashore.

 

Leaving his co-pilot and one seaman behind, Lieutenant-Commander Beeman made a second trip to the Kismet II, this time removing seven of the crew. Lieutenant-Commander Beeman was considerably fatigued by this time, and the third and fourth trips in which the remaining ten members of the ship's crew were removed, were made by the co-pilot, Lieutenant-Commander Fink.

 

NOTE: The above citation does not describe almost equally dramatic events that occurred the day before this rescue. An RCN Press Release issued in November 1959, adds the following information:


The rescue, which has been called one of the most daring and dramatic of modern times, was effected within 30 hours after the Kismet II, bound for Prince Edward Island, experienced steering trouble during a heavy storm and was driven aground on the rocky Cape Breton coast.

 

Alerted by RCAF Search and Rescue Headquarters in Halifax, an RCN helicopter, piloted by Lieutenant-Commander Beeman, took off on Friday morning, November 25, from Shearwater, for Sydney, 165 miles away. Slowed by numerous snow squalls, the aircraft arrived two hours later. After preparing the helicopter for rescue operations, Lieutenant-Commander Beeman headed for Cape St.Lawrence, 70 miles away and near the scene of the grounding. Heavy snow squalls were met and at times visibility was reduced to zero.

 

He touched down briefly at Cape St.Lawrence and then for nearly an hour attempted to approach the stricken ship from different heights and angles. A heavy gale was whipping across the face of the cliff, and snow showers at times cut visibility to less than half a mile. As the helicopter flew in towards the ship the severe turbulence suddenly dropped it almost to wave-tops, and as suddenly flung it aloft again.

 

Any effort to get in close could only result in the machine being smashed against the cliff or thrown into the sea. Rescue from the air under these conditions appeared impossible.

 

Returning to the lighthouse, Lieutenant-Commander Beeman got in touch with Search and Rescue, and then flew two sorties with RCMP constables, naval dockyard representatives from Halifax and a quantity of rescue equipment to speed up the possibility of rescue from the cliff top by breeches buoy.

 

Following this he returned to Sydney, bucking heavy snow, and there prepared his aircraft for a pre-dawn take-off.

 

At 7:45 a.m., the helicopter was back at Cape St.Lawrence. Again, heavy turbulence was encountered. When it was decided that rescue could not be effected from ashore and heavy seas and reefs precluded any attempts by sea, Lieutenant-Commander Beeman took of at 8:15 a.m. for another sortie. Flying along the cliff face, he discovered the wind had veered enough so that the turbulence was not so great. He approached the Kismet II more closely and found he could maintain control.

 


Hand signals were made to the ship's crew to clear away the after steering platform. With axes and hammers the crew went to work removing ventilator rails and other obstructions, and the helicopter came in under the cliff and balanced precariously on three wheels. Despite still fairly heavy turbulence, four crew members scrambled aboard and Lieutenant-Commander Beeman, waiting his opportunity between gusts, took off and landed them ashore.

 

Leaving his co-pilot and one crew member behind, he made a second trip to the wreck and this time recovered seven of the crew.

 

Lieutenant-Commander Beeman was considerably fatigued by this time and the two final trips were flown by Lieutenant-Commander Fink, who, along with the other crew member, brought the remaining ten members of the ship's crew to safety.

 

An hour later, Lieutenant-Commander Beeman headed back to Shearwater, via Sydney, leaving behind another rising gale with snow squalls which spelled doom for the ship.

 

* * * * *

 

BLANCHARD, Lieutenant Phillippe Arsene, CD (O-7126) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 17 September 1964. Also awarded the same honour were Lieutenant J.W. McDermott and Leading Seaman K.F. Bowen.

 

While at sea on the night of 18 October 1965, advice was received by HMCS Bonaventure that HMCS Nipigon was on fire and urgently required medical assistance, fire-fighting equipment, and wished to evacuate eight seriously burned members of her crew. Lieutenant Blanchard was pilot of helicopter "Pedro"; Lieutenant McDermott was co-pilot and Leading Seaman Bowen was employed as aircraftman on the helicopter. They made three flights between the two ships delivering fire-fighting equipment and medical supplies, returning with the eight injured crew members. These flights were made despite the hazardous conditions that existed at the time, a dark night with visibility reduced in rain , and flying a helicopter that was not designed for low flying over water at night under instrument conditions. The skill of Lieutenant Blanchard and Lieutenant McDermott, coupled with their devotion to duty and complete disregard for their own personal safety, allowed eight men to receive urgently required medical treatment only available on HMCS Bonaventure.

 

Entirely on his own initiative, Leading Seaman Bowen stationed himself in the main cabin door and directed the aircraft from ship to ship. In the latter stages of the approach, he found it necessary to stand on the main cabin step so he could give the pilots information on deck movement. Without this steady stream of information the pilots, whose vision was restricted by darkness and rain, would have found the mission extremely difficult to complete. In addition, Leading Seaman Bowen supervised and assisted the removal of the casualties. During this entire operation, Leading Seaman Bowen exhibited a high degree of initiative, airmanship and courage which reflects great credit upon himself.


* * * * *

 

BOUCHARD, Able Seaman Jacques Pierre George (35921-N) - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 26 March 1960 and London Gazette dated 29 March 1960. Able Seaman A.K. MacLean also awarded George Medal.

 

On the afternoon of the 20th August, 1959, a CS2F Tracker (1519) aircraft of Anti-Submarine Squadron 880 crashed on take-off while carrying out Field Carrier Landing Practice at the Naval Air Station Shearwater, Nova Scotia. The aircraft stalled at about 150 feet from the ground and went into an uncontrolled slow roll before landing, right side up, in a revetment adjacent to the tower at Shearwater.

 

The co-pilot, Lieutenant (P) Roger D. Nantel, RCN, managed to escape from the plane but the pilot, Lieutenant (P) G.A. Caldwell, RCN, who was unconscious, remained in the aircraft which was on fire. Able Seaman Jacques P.G. Bouchard and Able Seaman MacLean, who had been witnesses to the accident and among the first to reach the scene of the crash, without any regard for their personal safety, entered the aircraft through the after hatch and attempted to remove the harness from the unconscious pilot. Being unable to unlock the overhead latch, both Able Seamen held Lieutenant Caldwell clear of the port side window while it was being smashed by the crash crew and, at the same time, succeeded in removing the harness and other entangled gear from Lieutenant Caldwell.

 

While they were still assisting the pilot, the flames spread aft, a sudden burst of fire engulfing the after fuselage section, and one of the officer (Lieutenant Davis) assisting in the rescue ordered the two Able Seamen out of the aircraft. By this time, however, the port side window had been cleared and it was possible to remove the pilot from the burning aircraft.

 

Throughout the rescue operation which was executed under the immediate threat of an explosion from ruptured gasoline tanks, Able Seaman Bouchard and Able Seaman MacLean displayed considerable courage, coolness and initiative. Shortly after the pilot was rescued the aircraft became a mass of flames and was totally destroyed.

 

* * * * *

 

BOWEN, Leading Seaman Kennedy Francis (O-7126) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 17 September 1964. Also awarded the same honour were Lieutenant P.A. Blanchard (which see for citation) and Lieutenant J.W. McDermott.

 

* * * * *

 


CALLIGHEN, Petty Officer 2nd Class James Ernest - Legion of Merit (Degree of Legionnaire) (United States) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 2 December 1950. Also decorated were Lieutenant-Commander E.T.G. Madgwick, Surgeon Captain E.H. Lee (Legion of Merit, Degree of Officer) and Chief Petty Officer 1st Class W.R. Roberts (Degree of Legionnaire). See Crowsnest, December 1949 and January 1951.

 

In recognition of exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service in the rescue of the crew of a B-29 aircraft of the United States Air Force which crashed near Bermuda in November 1949.

 

NOTE: Account in Crowsnest indicates he was coxswain of HMCS Haida's seaboat which, on 19 November 1949, came to rescue of 18 crewmen of a B-29 which had crashed off Bermuda three days earlier. Honoured for "outstanding initiative and coolness (in taking) his whaler through heavy seas (taking) in tow the survivors' boat and bringing them alongside Haida."

 

* * * * *

 

FINK, Lieutenant-Commander (P) Francis Roger, CD (O-23625) - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959. See BEEMAN, Lieutenant-Commander (P) John Henault for citation. Full medal entitlement at career's end was GM, CVCM, 1939-1945 Star, UN Korea, CD and Bar.

 

* * * * *

 

JAMES, Lieutenant (P) Wallace Elmer (O-36165) - Member, Order of the British Empire - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 4 June 1955. Flying helicopter HUP-3 51-16621; originally proposed as an Air Force Cross.

 

For gallantry in the rescue by helicopter of an injured lighthouse keeper off the coast of Nova Scotia.

 

The original recommendation, in DHist file 75/601 folio 18, was as follows:

 


At 0430 hours, two hours before dawn, on 26 October 1943, Lieutenant James and his crew took off from HMCS Shearwater in a helicopter bound for St.Paul's Island some 70 miles beyond Sydney, Nova Scotia, where a lighthouse keeper lay seriously injured. At 0710 hours they landed at Sydney where a doctor joined them. The weather forecast for the rest of the trip was not very encouraging, with a prediction of winds of 25 knots and low visibility in snow flurries. However, Lieutenant James took off at 0820 hours and proceeded on the final leg. Off the coast of Cape Breton Island where he had eighteen miles of open water to navigate, the weather deteriorated rapidly. The winds became very turbulent and the visibility was seriously reduced, at one time being only a quarter of a mile. Eventually the island appeared through the swirling snow and they managed to land in a small valley. Because of the terrain the winds here were particularly treacherous and consequently Lieutenant James did not stop the rotors. Three-quarters of an hour after landing the doctor returned with the injured lighthouse keeper who had suffered a fractured skull and badly wounded arm in a dynamite explosion. The return trip was accomplished without further incident, though it should be noted that at the time of their return they had been underway for eight and one-half hours, during which time weather conditions frequently precluded adequate visual reference to the ground. The courage and skill displayed by Lieutenant James in carrying out this operation under adverse conditions resulted in the saving of life. It is considered the courage displayed by Lieutenant (P) W.E. James resulted in saving of the life of the injured lighthouse keeper.

 

NOTE: RCN Press Release dated 27 January 1961 describes another rescue effected by this officer. On 24 January two duck hunters went to Baltee, one of three islands in Musquodeboit region of Nova Scotia. They were to return to Tangier Village, but ice blocked their way and they were reported overdue. They were located on the 26th and airlifted to safety by a Sikorsy helicopter of Squadron HU 21 (Shearwater), pilot Lieutenant-Commander W.E. James, Sub-Lieutenant John Leyman and co-pilot and Leading Seaman Ronald Miller as crewman.

 

* * * * *

 

LEE, Surgeon Captain Eric Hammond (O-41250) - Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) (United States) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 2 December 1950. Also decorated were Lieutenant Commander E.T.G Madgwick (Legion of Merit, Degree of Officer) plus Chief Petty Officer 1st Class W.H. Roberts and Petty Officer 2nd Class J.E. Callighen (Degree of Legionnaire). Lee later made a Member of the Order of St.John of Jerusalem. See Callighen for citation to this American award. See also Crowsnest, issues of December 1949 and January 1951. He was Principal Medical Officer aboard HMCS Magnificent, transferring to Haida in treacherous seas, 19 November 1949, to treat survivors of B-29.

 

* * * * *


MacBRIEN, Joseph James, Lieutenant (O-43460) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - Task Force 77 (USN) - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 12 June 1954. Born in Toronto, 1925; joined RCN, 1942; served in the Pacific aboard British and Australian warships. In 1946-47 he received flying training; he flew with the RCN aboard HMCS Magnificent. In March 1952, MacBrien was seconded for exchange duties with the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the carrier USS Oriskany, flying Panther jet fighters with US Navy Squadron 781. The Oriskany joined Task Force 77, operating off the east coast of Korea, in November 1952. In the next six months, MacBrien flew 66 sorties including 50 ground attack strikes directed against billeting areas, industrial centres, rail targets and power plants. Later served with the RCN in Britain and Naval Headquarters, Ottawa; he retired from the RCN in October 1956. For photographs, see O-7147, with wife, and O-6910, portrait. SOURCES AND NOTES: "Honours and Awards - General", National Archives of Canada RG.24 Vol.20152. MacBrien was not assigned to the USN specifically for Korean service; two other RCN pilots (Lieutenants R. Heath and W.J. Walton) had exchange postings with the USN between 1950 and 1953; they served with Squadron VC 3 in Formosa but saw no action (DHist file 74/625, letter from E.C. Russell, Naval Historian to Flying Officer H.A. Halliday dated August 19th, 1963).

 

For extraordinary achievement while flying a jet fighter on a combat mission over Communist-held North Korea on 1 February 1953; Lieutenant MacBrien led a flight of jet aircraft against an enemy supply storage and warehouse area near the town of Pukehong on the vital enemy east coast supply route. Despite marginal weather, which greatly hampered his flight, and intense enemy anti-aircraft fire, Lieutenant MacBrien led repeated bombing and strafing runs, carrying his attacks to minimum altitudes in order to effect maximum damage to the target. Lieutenant MacBrien personally accounted for five direct hits, which led to one secondary explosion, left two warehouse buildings burning and two warehouses heavily damaged. His courageous leadership and outstanding demonstration of pilot skill so inspired his flight that damage assessment photos showed twelve warehouses destroyed or badly damaged and seven warehouses and stockpiles of supplies burning. The daring and devotion to duty exhibited by Lieutenant MacBrien without regard to his own personal safety, materially aided the United Nations interdiction efforts against the enemy. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

 

* * * * *

 

MacLEAN, Able Seaman Angus Kenneth (37499-N) - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 26 March 1960. Able Seaman J.P.G. Bouchard also awarded George Medal (which see for citation).

 

* * * * *

 

MADGWICK, Lieutenant Commander Edward Thomas George (O-45770) - Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) (United States) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 2 December 1950. Also decorated were Surgeon Captain E.H. Lee (Legion of Merit, Degree of Officer) plus Chief Petty Officer 1st Class W.H. Roberts and Petty Officer 2nd Class J.E. Callighen (Degree of Legionnaire). Madgwick later awarded DSC for services in Korea. See Callighen for citation to this American award. See also Crowsnest for December 1949 and January 1951. Commanded HMCS Haida on 19 November 1953 when she rescued 18 survivors from a B-29 which had crashed near Bermuda three days earlier. Crowsnest digest of award says it was for "exhibiting the finest type of seamanship, manoeuvred his ship expertly,and permitting his ship's whaler to be despatched to bring the survivors alongside Haida. His excellent seamanship, his initiative and command under difficult sea conditions successfully completed one of the most extensive sea searches in the history of the Western Atlantic."


* * * * *

 

McDERMOTT, Lieutenant John William (O-48521) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 17 September 1964. Also awarded the same honour were Lieutenant P.A. Blanchard (which see for citation) and Leading Seaman K.F. Bowen.

 

* * * * *

 

MUNCASTER, Lieutenant Douglas Albert ( O-54125) - George Medal - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 30 December 1955 and Canada Gazette dated 31 December 1955.

 

Lieutenant Muncaster, with complete disregard for his own safety, was instrumental in saving the life of a pilot who was trapped inside his flaming aircraft after it had crashed. On the afternoon of 9 March 1955, Lieutenant Muncaster was the co-pilot of a Bell Helicopter which had arrived at the site of an aircraft crash, about one mile south of the Royal Canadian Naval Air Station, Shearwater, Nova Scotia. The aircraft - a Sea Fury, piloted by Sub-Lieutenant (P) J.V. Searle, RCN, O-65687 - had crashed about three minutes earlier, in a heavily wooded area, and it was noted that it had broken in two, the forward section, including the cockpit, being inverted, with the engine on fire.

 

The Helicopter could not land owing to the density of the trees and undergrowth. The pilot, therefore, hovered about fifty yards from the aircraft, where the woods were more sparse, while Lieutenant Muncaster jumped to the ground from a height of about eight feet. As Lieutenant Muncaster ran towards the wreckage, one of the fuel tanks exploded. On nearing the forward section of the aircraft, from sound inside the cockpit, he realized that the pilot was alive. The perspex canopy of the cockpit was resting on the ground and the pilot was pinned inside. Being unable to open the canopy or break the perspex with his hands or feet, Lieutenant Muncaster found a rock and smashed a hole in it. By this time the flames had reached the cockpit and there was imminent danger of the remaining fuel tanks exploding. The pilot was able to push his head and shoulders through the hole made in the canopy by Lieutenant Muncaster who, after considerable pulling, extricated Sub-Lieutenant Searle from the flaming cockpit and assisted him from the immediate vicinity of the aircraft. The remaining fuel tanks exploded a few minutes later.

 

* * * * *

 

REYNOLDS, Lieutenant Loren Henry (0-61835) - Air Medal (United States) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 15 October 1966. The following is from Canada Gazette.

 


The Minister of National Defence has announced that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to grant unrestricted permission for wearing of the following decoration which has been conferred upon the undermentioned in recognition of bravery in the saving of life while serving as Exchange Officer with the United States Air Force and on loan to the United States Coast Guard.

 

* * * * *

 

ROBERTS, Chief Petty Officer 1st Class William Henry - Legion of Merit (Degree of Legionnaire) (United States) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 2 December 1950. Also decorated were Lieutenant-Commander E.T.G. Madgwick, Surgeon Captain E.H. Lee (Legion of Merit, Degree of Officer) and Petty Officer 2nd Class J.E. Callighen (Degree of Legionnaire). See Callighen for citation. See also Crowsnest for December 1949 and January 1951. Involved as a crewman on HMCS Haida in rescue of 18 survivors of a crashed B-29 (19 November 1949); directed lowering of seaboat and operations of rescue crew when survivors brought alongside. Full citation commended "his leadership and energy in directing his men (which) contributed greatly to the success and efficiency" of the rescue.

 

* * * * *

 

SMITH, Paul Arnold, Leading Seaman (35605-N) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959. See BEEMAN, Lieutenant-Commander (P) John Henault for citation.

 

* * * * *

 

VIPOND, Petty Officer 1st Class Lawrence William (50165-N) - Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 7 February 1959. See BEEMAN, Lieutenant-Commander (P) John Henault for citation.

 

* * * * *

 

WOODS, Lieutenant (P) Allan John (O-79575) - Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 28 November 1953.

 

A British "Attacker" jet aircraft was being ferried from RCAF Station Namao to Halifax for loading on board HMCS Magnificent to return the aircraft to Britain. Lieutenant Woods had an engine flame-out at 30,000 feet sixty miles from Sault Ste.Marie and despite only having a 2,000 foot ceiling, he made a successful dead stick landing. The fault was repaired and he headed for Ottawa where once again at approximately sixty miles out, the engine failed again and all attempts at a relight failed. The plane had an ejection seat but Lieutenant Woods chose to save a valuable aircraft and made his second dead stick landing of the trip. He ultimately flew the plane safely to Halifax.


NOTE: The following, from DHist files, differs in detail but gives added information:

 

Lieutenant Woods' resourcefulness and ability have, throughout his service, set a high example to his fellow men. Recently, while flying a ferry mission in a jet aircraft, Lieutenant Woods experienced a flameout at 30,000 feet, Unable to effect a relight he set up a glide for an airfield some sixty miles distant. Through judicious use of radio aids available and excellent handling technique, he descended through a solid cloud layer, based at 2,000 feet, and carried out a successful landing at this airfield. Two days later in the same aircraft, Lieutenant Woods experienced another engine failure and again glided some sixty miles to a successful landing on an airfield. His coolness and excellent judgement in these two emergencies saved a valuable aircraft from damage or destruction and reflect considerable credit on himself and his service.

 

* * * * *


PART D - AWARDS TO MEMBERS, ROYAL CANADIAN AIR CADETS

 

MOORE, H.M. Corporal (Air Cadet) - Cadet Award for Bravery - awarded as per AFRO 1/52 dated 8 January 1954; with No.294 (Kinsman) Squadron, Chatham; posthumous award. This award is not of a type published in the Canada Gazette and details are lacking.

 

* * * * *

 

PETERSON, H.F. Leading Aircraftman (Air Cadet) - Cadet Award for Bravery - awarded as per AFRO 163/52 dated 14 March 1952. With No.507 (Lions) Squadron, Kentville, Nova Scotia. No details.

 

* * * * *

 

VINCENT, Corporal William James - Cadet Award for Bravery - No.511 (Humber) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Awarded as per Air Force Routine Order 16/63 dated 19 April 1963; correspondence in file 900-380, Volume 3 "Public Relations: Honours and Awards", RG.24 Vol.17895 states it was approved by the Chief of Air Staff on 6 March 1963. Memo bearing no date (but no later than 4 April 1963) states that the award had been granted to Air Cadets on four previous occasions since its inception by the Minister of National Defence in 1948, and that on two occasions it had been a posthumous award.

 


On 2nd September 1962, Corporal William James Vincent was one of a group of approximately twenty teen-agers gathered on a wooden bridge spanning the Tickle at Newtown, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland, when one of the guard-rails on the bridge broke and four of the teen-agers were plunged into the water. Two of the victims of the mishap were rescued in seconds by those still on the bridge lifting them from the water. However a brother and sister, Arthur and Ruby Tulk, were carried by the current under the bridge and out into the tickle. Corporal Vincent saw one person float out from under the bridge, and although he was a poor swimmer, he took time only to remove his shoes, then jumped into the water, swam toward the person, and reached her some thirty feet from the bridge. It was Ruby Tulk, a non-swimmer, and she struggled with Corporal Vincent, causing both of them to submerge. He managed to gain control, kept her head above water and began to swim with her to shore. In the meantime, some of the other boys had launched a boat and were rowing towards them. Although Corporal Vincent was tiring rapidly he was able to tread water and hold the girl up until the boat reached them and she was lifted into it. She had not lost consciousness and was alright. Corporal Vincent then swam ashore where he learned that Arthur Tulk was still missing and saw that several boats were now on the water looking for him. He then went home, changed into dry clothing, and returned to the scene of the mishap. Some one and a half hours later, when Arthur Tulk's body was recovered, Corporal Vincent applied artificial respiration until a car arrived to remove the body to hospital. Corporal Vincent displayed courage of the highest order in immediately going to the rescue of Ruby Tulk and, oblivious to the risk to his own life, which was considerable in view of his limited swimming ability, he pursued the rescue with determination and perseverance which undoubtedly resulted in the saving of her life.


PART E - POSTWAR AWARDS TO CIVILIANS AIDING AIR PERSONNEL

 

DECUYPER, Albert Richard - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 19 December 1953 and London Gazette dated 22 December 1953. Deed performed with R.T. Waters (also awarded GM). Farmer, originally from Norwood Manitoba; medal now held by Glenbow Museum, Calgary.

 

On the afternoon of 24 November 1952, a Lancaster aircraft which was returning from an instrument practice flight crashed and burned near RCAF Station Comox, British Columbia. Mr. Albert Decuyper who had been working on a farm in the vicinity of the crash, proceeded immediately to the scene of the crash in the company of a fourteen year old boy [R.M. Waters]. In order to reach the flaming aircraft, it was necessary for them to fight their way through heavy bush and swamp. On reaching the burning wreckage Mr. Decuyper noticed one of the occupants of the aircraft, who was later identified as the second pilot, endeavouring to free himself, and immediately went to his aid. As he reached the port wing of the aircraft, he was hurled into the air by the force of an explosion, nut was uninjured. Undaunted by his narrow escape from serious injury, Mr. Decuyper unhesitatingly approached the now blazing inferno and was successful in removing the injured occupant from the crash. Mr. Decuyper, by his unselfish act of heroism, during which he twice hazarded his own life, was undoubtedly responsible for the saving of the second pilot's life, and is worthy of the highest recognition.

 

* * * * *

 

KOELE, Wilhelm - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 13 September 1952. Born in Oldebroek Geld, Holland, 1 May 1926. Served in Second World War with Dutch "Y" Brigade, South East Asia Command (mines specialist; discharged as Lance-Corporal). Emigrated to Canada, July 1950 and became a wheat farmer near Centralia. No citation in Canada Gazette but the following is from report of Commanding Officer, RCAF Centralia:

 


On 29 May 1951 Mr. Koele was operating a tractor on a farm adjoining the RCAF Station Centralia, Ontario. From his position he noticed an aircraft strike the ground about 300 yards from him. The aircraft, an Expeditor (No.1393), after partially disintegrating came to rest and burst into flames. Mr. Koele, upon arrival at the scene, entered the aircraft and assisted Flight Cadet H.E. Blair from the wreckage through a hole in the fuselage. While so doing he beat out the flames, which were consuming the clothing on Flight Cadet Blair, with his bare hands. Flight Lieutenant A. Harris, an RCAF flying instructor, was thrown clear from the wreckage and although suffering great pain was able to inform Mr. Koele that another cadet, Flight Cadet L.M. Vaughan, was still in the aircraft. Mr. Koele again entered the burning aircraft from the side opposite his previous entry and endeavoured to remove Flight Cadet L.M. Vaughan. He was frustrated in his initial attempt by a lack of knowledge in connection with the "quick release" of the safety belt. This he overcame by using a jack-knife with which he severed the belt. Thereafter he found that Flight Cadet L.M. Vaughan's legs were pinned in the wreckage and he was unable to free them locally. He quickly grasped Flight Cadet L.C. Vaughan bodily and with a titanic effort freed him. He feared he had broken Flight Cadet Vaughan's legs in this action. On emerging he beat out the flames on this Cadet with his bare hands. The palms of Mr. Koele's hands were severely burnt. This he concealed from everyone with a shrug and indicated that his injuries were only limited to the loss of hairs on his forearms. He later received care for his hands.

 

* * * * *

 

WATERS, Robert Thomas - George Medal - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 19 December 1953 and London Gazette dated 22 December 1953. Deed performed with A.R. Decuyper (also awarded GM).

 

On the afternoon of 24 November 1952, a Lancaster aircraft which was returning from an instrument practice flight crashed and burned near RCAF Station Comox, British Columbia. Robert Waters, a lad fourteen years of age, who was in the immediate vicinity was an eye witness to the crash and promptly summoned assistance. In the company of a Mr. Albert Decuyper, he proceeded to the scene of the crash. In order to reach the flaming aircraft, it was necessary for them to fight their way through heavy bush and swamp. On reaching the burning wreckage young Mr. Waters noticed one of the occupants, who was later identified as the pilot, inside the flaming wreckage. Despite the intense heat and the danger of explosions, he displayed complete disregard for his own safety by entering the flaming wreckage and dragging the dazed and injured occupant to safety. This young lad's courageous action under most harassing circumstances is highly commendable and was undoubtedly responsible to a large degree in the saving of the pilots life.


PART F - POSTWAR AWARDS FOR WHICH IMPORTANT

INFORMATION LACKING

 

 

LINDSAY, Corporal W.Z. (W304333) - Mention in Despatches - Awarded as per AFRO 80/49 dated 25 February 1949, with effect from 1 January 1946. Teleprinter Operator. Nothing known of this award; it may have been for Second World War services.

 

* * * * *

 

MacMILLAN, Flight Sergeant Kenneth (number ?). This airman appears to have been recommended for an unspecified award for services arising from events that led to AFC to F/O C.C. Batcock. It is believed that he and F/O Peter G. Zinkman received Chief of Air Staff commendations (no honour can be found in Canada Gazette or Air Force Routine Orders. This entry is included to provide further context for Batcock's award. Born in Brandon, Manitoba. Joined RCAF, 1937 at age 19. During the war he was a motorboat crewman and pilot, instructing at No.7 AOS. The following may not even be the official citation. The incident described is clearly that involving Flying Officer C.C. Batcock (awarded AFC as per Canada Gazette dated 29 October 1960 and AFRO 222/60).

 

On 2 March 1960, at 4 Fighter Wing, Germany, Flight Sergeant MacMillan displayed outstanding professional skill and team work in monitoring the position of a disabled aircraft and accurately relaying this position to the Approach Controller. Flight Sergeant MacMillan's actions contributed to the safe landing of this aircraft of this aircraft and thereby prevented what could have been a major, and possibly fatal accident.

 

A 4 Fighter Wing Sabre aircraft experienced total engine failure approximately 50 miles from base at an altitude of 42,000 feet. The aircraft was guided down through approximately 25,000 feet of cloud to a successful forced landing by the co-ordinated efforts of the 4 Fighter Wing Approach Controller and Flight Sergeant MacMillan, the Ground Controlled Approach Controller.

 

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PRIOR, Aircraftman First Class J.P. (215720) - Croix de Guerre with Silver Star (France) - awarded as per letter 215720 (DPC/PC4) dated 11 June 1953. Nothing in files to indicate why other than "for service in French Air Force".

 

PRIOR, Aircraftman First Class J.P. (215720) - Military Medal (France) - awarded as per letter 215720 (DPC/PC4) dated 11 June 1953. Nothing in biographical file to indicate why.

 

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ROBINSON, Corporal E.J. (W305376) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per AFRO 80/49 dated 25 February 1949 with effect from 1 January 1946. Teleprinter Operator. Nothing known of this award; it may have been for Second World War services.

 

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ZINKAN, Flying Officer Peter G. (number ?) - This officer appears to have been recommended for an unspecified award for services arising from events that led to AFC to F/O C.C. Batcock. It is believed that he and FS K. MacMillan received Chief of Air Staff commendations (no honour can be found in Canada Gazette or Air Force Routine Orders. This entry is included to provide further context for Batcock's award. Born in Toronto; age 23; enlisted in RCAF, September 1956; trained as jet pilot. Posted in July 1958 to No.422 Squadron, No.4 Wing. Selected in May 1960 for Flying Control duties and sent to No.61 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. Information (including citation below) from Press Release issued in October 1960.

 

On 2 March 1960, at 4 Fighter Wing, Germany, Flying Officer Zinkan displayed outstanding professional skill which contributed to the safe landing of another aircraft and thereby prevented what could have been a major and possibly fatal accident.

 

A 4 Fighter Wing Sabre aircraft experienced total engine failure approximately 50 miles from base at an altitude of 42,000 feet. The weather at the time was unfavourable. Cloud extended from a ragged ceiling of 1,000 to 5,000 feet in a continuous layer to 30,000 feet. Beneath the cloud, rain and haze restricted the visibility. On being advised of the engine failure, Flying Officer Zinkan joined the disabled aircraft and flew in a chase position. Throughout the descent which followed, Flying Officer Zinkan provided sound advice to the pilot of the disabled aircraft, monitoring his heading attitude and speed, handled most of the numerous radio transmissions and continuously checked the aircraft for evidence of fire. Flying Officer Zinkan's presence provided moral support as well as assistance to his comrade in effecting a successful forced landing on Soellingen airfield.