Willard Whitfield MacKeracher

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Willard MacKeracher

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F/L MacKeracher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Colin MacKeracher of Plato, has been awarded the D.F.C. for great gallantry in the performance of his duty while serving with the 427 Squadron of the R.C.A.F. The citation reads:
"This officer has completed numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which he has displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."
F/L MacKeracher was born near Tyner in 1921, and moved to the Plato district in 1927. He received his education at Kildare School and Richlea High School.
He worked in the nickel mines in Sudbury until February 1942, when he joined the R.C.A.F. He went overseas in July 1943, and married a Manchester girl in August 1944. They have a son, born June 8, 1946.
F/L MacKeracher has 33 flights to his credit and is still flying In England.

F/L MacKeracher

  F/L MacKeracher


Born 31 January 1921 in Tyner, Saskatchewan.
Home in Plato, Saskatchewan.
Enlisted in Sudbury, Ontario, 27 March 1942.
To No.5 Manning Depot, 13 April 1942.
To No.31 OTU (guard), 5 June 1942.
To No.3 ITS, 31 July 1942.
Graduated and promoted LAC, 26 September 1942 but
Not posted to No.4 EFTS until 21 October 1942
(May have graduated 23 December 1942) but not
Posted to No.8 SFTS until 9 January 1943.
Graduated and commissioned, 30 April 1943.
To "Y" Depot, 14 May 1943.
To RAF overseas, 22 June 1943.
Promoted Flying Officer, 30 October 1943.
Involved in a forced-landing in Whitley AD674 of 24 OTU*
Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 30 April 1945.
Repatriated 23 November 1945.
Retired 17 December 1945.
He returned to England & flew mail from there to other points on the continent.
Living in Manchester, England as of 1949.
Delivery of DFC difficult; twice mailed to him and returned in 1949.
Died in Manchester, England, 6 June 2001.
He was buried on the 14th.

No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."
DHist file 181.009 D.1729 (RG.24 Vol.20607) has recommendation dated 18 January 1945 when he had flown 30 sorties (169 hours) from 7 August 1944 to 16 January 1945.

Will's brother Norman trained pilots in Canada.
At some point, he and a student pilot were badly injured in the crash of a training plane.


* The website "Aviation Archaeology" has this to say about Will's crash :

"04/12/1943 Whitley AD674 of 24 OTU was forced to land on one wheel at Long Marston, where it swung on to soft ground.  F/O Cresswell, F/O Calder RCAF, P/O MacKeracher RCAF were all unhurt.  This Whitley had had an almost identical incident, almost exactly a year before, with American Sgt D H Reed RCAF in the pilot’s seat"


MacKERACHER, F/O Willard Whitfield (J25923) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.427 Squadron
Award effective 10 May 1945 as per London Gazette dated 25 May 1945 &
AFRO 1291/45 dated 10 August 1945

This captain has completed thirty heavy operational bombing attacks against the enemy. His work in general has been of a very high calibre. His ability to make instant decisions in emergency, skilful piloting and cool judgement have been a contributing factor to the success of his trips.


Will MacKeracher Willard MacKeracher




Thanks to nephew Jim for the photos & infos !

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