Mike was born on a farm at Welcome, Ontario, a village about 2 miles northwest of Port Hope on Hwy. No 2. He was educated at Port Hope High School. In 1936 Mike was offered a position in the Engineering Department of
Matthew’s Conveyer Co. on graduating top in mathematics a PHHS. He began training as a Mechanical Engineer but left after 2 years to join the RAF as a pilot on a Short Service Commission.
After graduating as a pilot from Flying Training School, he was posted to #44 Bomber Squadron, at RAF Station Waddington; a squadron that was part of Bomber Command’s 5 Group.
The squadron was equipped with the Handley Page Hampden. Mike completed a tour of Ops. on 44 squadron.
A tour during which he completed 36 Ops. After a rest as a Link Trainer Officer at Station Waddington, he was posted Dec 1, 1940 to 207 Sqdn. at Waddington, which was the first squadron to be equipped with the Avro Manchester. He did a second tour with 207 Sqdn. completing a further 24 Ops. Following a week’s leave, he was to be transferred back to 44 Sqdn. to convert their pilots to Lancaster’s as 44 Sqdn. was the first Sqdn. to be equipped with Lancs. However 2 days before reporting to 44 Sqdn. his old CO asked him to do an extra OP. That OP (to Berlin) on the night of Sept.7/8, 1941 resulted in his Manchester aircraft being shot down by a German night fighter and as a result spending 3 years and 8 months as a POW.
Mike returned to England following VE Day during May 1945, transferred to the RCAF and came home to Canada in July, 1945. He served a further 20 years in the RCAF. Some of his more interesting postings were;
412 Sqdn. RCAF VIP Squadron at Rockcliffe 1946-48
Test pilot at the RCAF Central Experimental & Proving Establishment 1948-50
Commanded the Flying Wing at Winnipeg 1952-54
RCAF Staff College 1954 - 55
Staff Officer in the Chief of Staff’s Branch at SHAPE, Paris, France 1955 - 58.
Mike spent his last 7 years in the RCAF’s Maritime Air Command; 3 years with 405 Sqdn. as Operation Officer & OC Standard Flight and the last 4 years, 1961 -- 65 as CO of the Maritime Command Operational Training Unit.
Mike was awarded a Mention in Dispatches in August 1940 and the immediate award of the DFC in Sept/40.
He retired from the RCAF at the rank of Wing Commander.
He is married to Dorothy and have two sons, William and Robert.