Don was born in Nottingham, England on January 4, 1924, After secondary school, Don spent two years in the pre-cast business. His interest in flying was enhanced by two years in the air cadets.
Don enlisted in the RN in August 1942. His training took place on HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness; HMS St. Vincent Barracks, Portsmouth; #14 EFTS Birmingham; #31 SFTS Kingston and he
received his Pilot Wing at Kingston in May 1943. He was posted back to the UK.

Donís advanced training took place at AFU Errol, Perth; RN Air Torpedo and Dive Bombing School, Crail. Scotland. He further studied (and practised) the intricacies of naval aviation at Deck Landing School, Easthaven, Scotland; Direct Deck Landing School , HMS Ravager, Clyde, Scotland and #1 Operational Training Unit, Fearn, Scotland.
Don served with HMS Victorious (#829 and #831 Squadrons) and HMS Smiter (#815 Squadron) and at various times was on shore stations in Scotland, India and Ceylon, and he was for a time seconded to the RAF Coastal Command, Mullaghmore, Northern Ireland.
Don left the service at Warrington in May 1946.
Don returned to the pre-cast concrete industry and took part-time technical training. He became a partner in a small business, then emigrated to Canada in May 1957. He managed a small branch plant in Monteal 1960 - 62 and returned to Toronto for the City Hall project, then to Calgary to manage a plant in late 1977. He returned to Toronto again in late 1984, was marketing manager to the end of 1990, mostly on USA projects and including pre-cast concrete on Skydome.

Don met his future wife, Patricia, at the Air Torpedo School, Crail, Scotland where she was a WREN torpedo mechanic. They were married in 1946 and a daughter, Pamela, was born to them in 1955.