Jim was born on June 2, 1922 at Winnipeg, Manitoba. He received a Junior Matriculation and worked one year at the Imperial Bank as a junior clerk.
He enlisted in the RCAF at Toronto on July 30,1941. He did training at St.Hubert, Valcartier, Manning Depots, ITS Victoriaville, #17 EFTS Stanley, N.S., #8 SFTS at Moncton where he was awarded his Pilot Wing in May 1942. He was posted overseas aboard the HMS Batory landing in the UK on April 30, 1942.
His advanced training at #17 (P) AFU, #59 OTU.sentence. Posted to #151 OTU, India .
He was posted to #146 Squadron R A F, 1759 Calibration flight, Ceylon (non op tour)
Flew Hurricanes, Thunderbolts on ops, flew Vengeance (crew of 2) in Ceylon.
First night flying trip in at Hurricane at OTU, blew a tire on take off. At 1000 ft., looked down and saw stars! Badly shaken- flew straight and level to quiet nerves. Got lost. Luckily, OTU on east coast of England, shot up rockets, and Jim landed safely.
Jim was a student at #151 OTU in India taking a refresher course, engine in Hurricane seized due to main bearing failure. Pumped wheels and flaps down . As Jim glided toward the airfield, he realized that he wasn’t going to reach it. He tried to stretch the glide. The aircraft was stalled and was destroyed. Jim walked away with just a few scratches.
Three #146 Squadron pilots in Thunderbolts, flew to target. They flew above cloud and could not find a hole in cloud so they returned to base. The sortie was repeated in the afternoon but they flew below the cloudand followed rivers onto the target. Each carried two 500 lb. bombs. Jim(“luckily” he says), got a direct hit on the target.
He was demobbed in Toronto in 1945
Received Senior Matriculation at Rehab. School (Now Ryerson). Took BA.Sc. in mechanical engineering at
U of T. in 1953. Worked for office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario, inspecting buildings, investigating fires, for
32 years. Retired, then worked part-time for Dominion Fire Commissioner for four years.
Married twice. Two children, boy and girl.
Jim makes wine and beer as a bobby and has built two small boats.