Pay­ing trib­ute to his dad’s dis­tin­guished mil­i­tary ca­reer

Our Canada - - Commemorating Our Men And Women In Uniform - David Wilkin­son, Ot­tawa

My fa­ther, David Sin­clair Wilkin­son, was born in Mon­treal on June 27, 1916, and was a mem­ber of the 17th Duke of York Royal Cana­dian Hus­sars Army Re­serves. He en­listed in the Royal Cana­dian Air­force (RCAF) on June 6, 1942, and was posted to the aux­il­iary train­ing fa­cil­ity at No. 5 Man­ning De­pot, where he fol­lowed the re­quired mil­i­tary train­ing for newly en­listed mem­bers.

Af­ter com­plet­ing the air force train­ing re­quire­ments of the Bri­tish Com­mon­wealth Air Train­ing Plan ( BCATP), in­clud­ing Ini­tial Train­ing School (ITS) and Ser­vice Fly­ing Train­ing (SFTS), he was pro­moted to Lead­ing Air­crafts­man (LAC). This was fol­lowed by Bomb­ing and Gun­nery Train­ing (BGS), from which he grad­u­ated as Air Bomber, and Air Ob­server Train­ing ( AOS), from which he grad­u­ated and was com­mis­sioned as Pi­lot Of­fi­cer on June 11, 1943.

Later that month, Dad was sent over­seas to team up with Bri­tian’s Royal Air Force (RAF). He was pro­moted to Flight Lieu­tenant on Novem­ber 1, 1943, and to Fly­ing Of­fi­cer on De­cem­ber 11, 1943. Be­tween Oc­to­ber 27, 1943, and Oc­to­ber 25, 1944, he com­pleted 30 sor­ties as an air bomber, which in­cluded at­tacks on many tac­ti­cal tar­gets in the oc­cu­pied coun­tries of France and Hol­land, and oth­ers on strongly de­fended Ger­man tar­gets, such as Leipzig, Stuttgart, Frank­furt, Essen and Ber­lin.

In the words of his su­pe­rior, “His work as Air Bomber in Squadron 460 was of the high­est or­der and his con­sis­tent skill and ap­ti­tude for his job were in no small part in­stru­men­tal in his crew’s fine record of pre­ci­sion bomb­ing. His de­ter­mi­na­tion to press home all at­tacks de­spite any op­po­si­tion en­coun­tered has been out­stand­ing. On long trips over en­emy ter­ri­tory his calm­ness and courage gained the ad­mi­ra­tion and the con­fi­dence of all the crew. In re­ward for his out­stand­ing gal­lantry and most praise­wor­thy ser­vices, I rec­om­mend the award of the Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Cross.“

Awarded the Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Cross (DFC) on Fe­bru­ary 5, 1945, he was in­vested with the award by King Ge­orge VI on June 27, 1945. He mar­ried the love of his life, Ruby, a mem­ber of the RAF’S Women’s Aux­il­iary Air Force (WAAF), on June 9, 1945, in London, Eng­land. He re­tired from the RCAF on July 30, 1946, upon his re­turn to Canada, and Ruby ar­rived here a month later. Dad passed away on Au­gust 22, 1981.

Above: Fly­ing Of­fi­cer David Sin­clair Wilkin­son, DFC.

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