Donald Savigny Paterson

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Donald S. Paterson 1918 - 2006 - What we will all remember and cherish about Donald Paterson was his humanity. He was an honorable man who adored his family, cherished his friends and thought well of us all. Donald was the son of Senator Norman Paterson and Eleanor MacDonald. He was raised in Thunder Bay and Ottawa. His studies at Bishops University were interrupted in 1940 when he enlisted in the royal Canadian Air Force. A Flight Lieutenant piloting Lancaster bombers, he completed 29 missions.
For his dedicated service to country he was awarded:

The Distinguished Flying Cross
The France and Germany Star
The 1939 - 1945 Star
The Defense Medal
The CVSM and Clasp

After the safe return of a plane full of holes, two engines out (one on fire), he received thank you letters from the mothers of seven crew members. His comment was “they forget that I was on the plane too."
A renowned adventurer who loved the outdoors he had been to both poles and was on the first civilian expedition to the South Pole. He had visited Easter Island, the Galapagos and had piloted himself across Africa in the 1950s.
Donald was the honorary Chairman of Paterson Global Foods Inc. and spent 66 years in the grain business. He was a kind and generous man who served both his country and his community well.
His friends, colleagues, and all who had the opportunity to know him, will cherish his memory for many years to come


Born 1918 in Fort William, Ontario
Home in Toronto
Enlisted Fort William, 20 June 1940
Trained at
No.2 ITS (graduated 30 June 1940)
No.2 EFTS (graduated 17 August 1940) &
No.2 SFTS (graduated 10 December 1940)
Commissioned in 1941

Medal presented 28 February 1946


PATERSON, F/L Donald Savigny (J3523) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.630 Sq.
Award effective 5 February 1944 as per London Gazette dated 11 February 1944
and AFRO 644/44 dated 24 March 1944

No citation other than "...completed...many successful operations against the enemy in which [he] displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty."

Public Records Office Air 2/8782 has recommendation dated 19 December 1943 when he had flown 21 sorties (128 hours ten minutes).

NOTE: These were flown with No.57 Squadron except for the last two trips, 26 November and 2 December 1943, which were with No.630 Squadron.

Dy Mth Yr Target     (H.Mn)

15 Aug 43 Milan      (7.36, with S/L Smith)
22 Aug 43 Leverkusen (5.09)
23 Aug 43 Berlin     (7.25)
27 Aug 43 Nuremburg  (7.40)
30 Aug 43 Munchen    (4.45)
31 Aug 43 Berlin     (7.30)
05 Sep 43 Mannheim   (6.55)
22 Sep 43 Hanover    (5.00)
23 Sep 43 Mannheim   (6.45)
29 Sep 43 Bochum     (5.40)
02 Oct 43 Munich     (8.00)
03 Oct 43 Kassel     (5.35)
07 Oct 43 Stuttgart  (7.10)
08 Oct 43 Hanover    (5.00)
18 Oct 43 Hanover    (5.15)
20 Oct 43 Leipzi     (7.10)
22 Oct 43 Kassel     (5.45)
03 Nov 43 Dusseldorf (4.10)
10 Nov 43 Modane     (7.40)

With No.630 Squadron

26 Nov 43 Berlin     (8.00)
02 Dec 43 Berlin     (7.00)

Flight Lieutenant Paterson of the RCAF was posted to 630 Squadron on 15th November, from 57 Squadron. He had already completed 19 sorties involving 120 hours with the latter squadron. Since joining 630 Squadron he has completed two sorties involving 15 hours flying. He has taken part in many attacks on strongly defended targets in Germany including Berlin, Kassel, Munich, Stuttgart, Hanover and Nuremburg. He has also completed a successful attack on Milan.

Flight Lieutenant Paterson has always shown very high qualities of courage and determination in making his attacks. He has completed every sortie for which he has been detailed. On the ground Flight Lieutenant Paterson is a deputy Flight Commander and has commanded his flight with success during various periods in the absence of his Flight Commander. When called upon to do so he has organised training in the Flight in a satisfactory manner and he has shown leadership in the handling of inexperienced crews.

Flight Lieutenant Paterson has now completed over two-thirds of a very good operational tour. He is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.




Obituary text & photo provided by Don's nephew Alexander. Thanks!
You can check out Alexander's Fighter Pilot dad (Don's brother) here

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