Bill was born on the 3rd line, Dixie, Peel County, Ontario on April 18, 1924. Moved to Toronto at an early age, attended Maurice Cody Public School. Prior to the war, moved to England: parents returned and older brother
and sister remained in Canada. Grammar school education in England. In RAF at age 17 1/4. Deferred service and scholarship to Cambridge University. Active service commenced September 1942. Graded “Pilot” in England and sent to South Africa
Graduated sergeant pilot December 4, 1943. Spitfire OTU in Egypt. Served on #213, 238, & 249 Sq.
Most Memorable Experiences
Joined #238 Squadron RAF in June 1944 in Corsica flying Spitfires 8s and 9s. Participated in southern France invasion August 1944. Squadron moved to Hyeres, France, withdrawn to Italy in October 1944. Transferred to #249 Squadron flying Mustang 3s. First operation on #249 Squadron on December 1, 1944 had a bomb hang-up in bad weather, lighting strike, baled out after being lost and with fuel expired. Reached the coast with the help of partisans. Took a boat to Italy and was back in Squadron. Next op on December 18. Continued operations over Baltic until March 20, 1945 when had to bale out because the target - a train - exploded. Picked up by Chetniks commanded by General Mikhailovich. Life with the Chetniks was unpleasant because they were constantly barassed by the partisans. Eventually, the Chetnik army was destroyed and I was taken prisoner by partisans and later moved to Belgrade. While passing through Belgrade, I attracted the attention of a US Police patrol who took me into protective custody at gunpoint. Taken to the British Embassy and a few days later was flown to Italy. I returned to the Squadron around June 15 and shortly after received an award of an “immediate” DFM for my last operation. In August 1945, I was transferred to #213 Squadron (Mustang 4s) and flew out with them to Palestine - Ramat David airport. At the beginning of December, was sent to England. While waiting for leave and posting, at Fighter Command HQ Uxbridge, found that I had been commissioned for two months. On the strength of P51 experience, I avoided aircrew redundancy program and was posted to #61 OTU as a staff instructor. Found that P51s had been replaced two months before by Spitfire 14s and 16s. Was retained as staff instructor.
Bill was demobbed on November 11, 1946 in Britain and returned to Canada in March 1950.
“Retreaded” into RCAF November 1950 and served until May 1970 in Training Command, Maritime Command Transport Command. Returned to England in November 1970 and joined British Airways Training Shool as staff instructor. Returned to Canada in January 1975 and joined Seneca College as a flying instructor. Retired from Seneca in June 1985.