He was a Canadian, born in Revelstoke, British Columbia on 14th March 1915 to English immigrant parents. After his parents separated he was brought up by family members in both Canada and England. He was educated in Warwickshire, England but later enrolled on an agriculture course at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1935. That same year he enrolled in the Royal Air Force and was a member of the RAF Guard of Honour at the Cenotaph in London on 11th November 1935.
He trained as a navigator and a wireless operator/air gunner and flew in Bristol Blenheims and Vickers Wellingtons. At the outbreak of war he was training student navigators but he transferred to 304 Squadron in November 1940 as a member of one of the British liaison crews.
He was the only survivor of the crash of Wellington R1473, shot down by flak on a mission to bomb Bremen on 9th May 1941. He became a Prisoner of War and was interned in Camps 18A and 357 amongst others in Germany, Poland and East Prussia.
He survived the war and returned to Canada in 1946 and worked as a telegraph operator for the Canadian Pacific Railway out of Vancouver, British Columbia. He was married on Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA in 1952 and moved home to Birtle, Manitoba, Canada. He became a farmer until his retirement in 1979. He died in Birtle on 9th June 2006.
Photo courtesy of Chris Kropinski