Fly­ing Ace

Pay­ing trib­ute to one of our many Cana­dian war he­roes

More of Our Canada - - Contents - By Al­lan Cameron, Syl­van Lake, Alta.

Read about the ex­ploits of this true Cana­dian war hero, in his own words.

Iam the founder of Vet­eran Voices of Canada. Our or­ga­ni­za­tion strives to ed­u­cate the pub­lic about Canada’s mil­i­tary his­tory through the eyes of the peo­ple who were there, our vet­er­ans.

One such hero was Colonel ( Ret.) James “Doug” Dou­glas Lind­say.

Doug was born in Arn­prior, Ont., on Septem­ber 16,1922. He flew in Europe with the 403 and 416 Fighter Squadrons and, while in Korea, he flew with the Amer­i­can 39th Fighter In­ter­cep­tor Squadron. He earned The Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Cross ( DFC) with Bar— an in­cred­i­bly pres­ti­gious award.

Here, Doug de­scribes some of his ex­pe­ri­ences in his own words:

“I was very in­ter­ested in the air force re­sults in World War I, and I read up on ev­ery­thing I could about Billy Bishop and sev­eral other Cana­di­ans who be­came aces in the First World War. I thought that was what I would like to do.” “It was about my tenth or eleventh sor­tie, and Buzz Beurl­ing was num­ber three in the four­some, and I was num­ber four. We were fly­ing top cover and es­cort­ing B-17s, Amer­i­cans…and Beurl­ing called out that en­emy air­craft were at­tack­ing the bombers and said he was go­ing down. I didn’t see what he was after, be­cause I was watch­ing his tail…and in watch­ing him I no­ticed he was fir­ing his guns

be­cause there was smoke com­ing off the wings, but I didn’t see what he was shoot­ing at. He then pulled up, so I fol­lowed him and pulled up as well, and climbed back into the for­ma­tion. I didn’t know that he had shot down an air­craft un­til we landed back at Kin­ley. That was my first, real op­er­a­tional ex­pe­ri­ence.” “We were in the mid­dle of roughly 40-plus ME-109S and 12 of our air­craft and we were go­ing around in cir­cles fir­ing around. Any­time we got any­thing lined up and let go of a burst I knew my num­ber 2 wasn’t go­ing to keep up with me; he needed to look after him­self fir­ing his guns and all the other chaps do­ing the same thing, and I fig­ured I was on my own. I made sure no­body was shoot­ing at me and was look­ing for an­other en­emy air­craft. I fi­nally latched onto an­other chap—got strikes on him and slowed him down enough that I caught him… he bailed out. The next thing I knew I was all by my­self, there was not an­other air­craft in sight. It was just dead si­lence. I called the rest of my flight and didn’t get an an­swer from any­body, so I thought I’d bet­ter get the hell out of there and I headed home. I got three... in all we knocked down about nine of their air­craft out of the 40. Some of the boys who were in the scrap, well they didn’t make it back. They ei­ther bailed out or tried to land in the wa­ter. We were al­ways wor­ried about get­ting back, and quite of­ten we had to land at coastal aero­dromes to re­fuel and then go back to our base.” “It was a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence that very few peo­ple had…or will ever have.”

Doug Lind­say was cred­ited with 6.5 fighter air­craft shot down, and five dam­aged dur­ing op­er­a­tions in Europe dur­ing World War II. This made him an a fighter ace.

He re­turned to Canada, re­main­ing in the air force as an in­struc­tor. Dur­ing the Korean War, he flew F-86 Sabres with two en­emy air­craft de­stroyed and an­other three dam­aged, for a to­tal of 8.5 shot down and eight dam­aged. He earned both the Cana­dian and the Amer­i­can Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Cross.

Doug now re­sides with his wife in Red Deer, Alta. ■

Clock­wise from above: Doug in his Spit­fire while in Eng­land; Doug and his F-86 Sabre fighter jet while serv­ing with the 39th Squadron, 51st Fighter-in­ter­cep­tor Wing (USAF) in Korea; Doug in Eng­land with the 403 Squadron; a close-up of Doug in uni­form.

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