Donald Francis Church


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Borden Graduation

Camp Borden, Jan. 16. 1942 - (CP) - Six United States fliers and one Australian, were included in a Royal Canadian Air Force class which graduated today from No. I Service Flying Training School here.
Graduates from Ontario included: W.T. Blakeney, R.F. Reid, G.R. Hare, J.L. McManus, F.J. Silk, M.G. Cleworth, J.L. Lush, R.W. Orr, P.K. Gray, R.C. Yeates, H.K. Hamilton, J.H. Slimon, Toronto; L.D. Manzer, Ingersoll; R.S. Gage, Oshawa; C.J. Walker, G.E. Mott, Sarnia; M.R. Thompson, Windsor; J.C. Montieth, Paris; D.F. Church, Peterborough; G.R. McConnell, Sault Ste. Marie; H.J. Ross, St. Catharines; A.G. Hare, St. Catharines; R. Thomson, North Hamilton; C.E.A. O'Brien, Thorold; C.R. Coome, Hamilton; J.D. Douglas, St. Pauls; A.S. Meilly, North Galford; E.A. Magee, Wallaceburg; W.P. Paris, Weston; J.P. Lumsden, Hamilton.


Born 10 October 1917 in Gravenhurst, Ontario
Home in Peterborough
Enlisted in the RCAF in September 1940 as WAG
Remustered as a Pilot
Trained at:
10 EFTS Mount Hope
01 SFTS Camp Borden
Graduating 16 January 1942
Joined 14 (F) squadron later in the month
Posted to 126 Sq. (RCAF) at Dartmouth in May
Then to 130 Sq. at Bagotville in 1943
Commissioned P/O
He & 130 Sq. moved to Goose Bay in October
Sent to UK in February 1944 (now a F/O)
61 OTU in May
83 GSU in July
Joins 401 Sq. 4 August 1944
Stays with 401 until 19 April 1944
Joins Bomber Command in May (6 Group RCAF)
Returns to Canada in August
Released from service in September



October 22, 1943 - R.C.A.F. headquarters yesterday announced that the following air crew members serving in the Dominion have been appointed to commissioned rank: A. Whitelaw, R. S. Ewart, J. H. Bellinger, W. E. McLean, F. A. Dixon, P. N. Hart, H. L. McKenzie, F. R. Aitken, J. E. McInerney, J. Buda, W. Wright, W. K. Clarke, D. Watson, J. C. G. Moore, P. J. Weber, and H. J. Powell, all of Toronto.
K. C. Gallinger and S. F. L. Cuthbert, both of Port Colborne; T. C. Wager and W. C. Nobes, both of Kingston; E. W. Page, K. Norris and J. J. Halcrow, all of Hamilton; W. Campbell, R. N. Elvin and L. J. Walter, all of Windsor; G. L. Smith and S. W. Fechet, both of Fort Frances; B. H. Biggar and J. G. McNamara, both of Niagara Falls.
N. W. McAlpine, Tillsonburg; M. V. Smyth, Chatham; W. C. Lawrence, Galt; G. A. Smith, Sudbury; W. C. Maxwell, Mount Dennis; D. H. Neelin, Merritton; W. R. Hibbert, Sioux Lookout; G. L. Passmore, Hensall; W. E. Cairns, Weston; J. W. Chapman, Napanee; F. R. Skelly, Kirkland Lake; D. F. Church, Peterborough; G. Baker, Stouffville; S. W. Smith, Riverside;
W.I. Williams, Merlin; K R. Liss, Uxbridge; B. D. Henry, Muskoka; A. M. Park, Fort William; C. B. Dockrey, Port Arthur; E. R. Millbank, Simcoe; J. A. Thompson, Port Dover; N. E. Patterson, Welland; D. J. Shapter, Bracebridge; J. O. Payton, St. Thomas; P. J. Hurley, Owen Sound; J. P. Duggan, Petrolia; W. A. King, Collingwood; J. R. Poste, Woodstock; J. W. Butcher, Brantford; and J. T. Evans, Georgetown.


Don Church and his Spitfire
Don Church with a Spitfire - probably 401 Sq.


Canadians Down 8 Nazi Planes; Audet Gets 2 Jets

London, Jan. 23, 1945 – (CP) – Canadian fighter pilots in continuous strikes today destroyed at least eight German aircraft in combat, damaged as many others and blew up ground targets with withering cannon and machine-gun fire.
Five of the destroyed planes and six of those damaged were twin jet-propelled ME262s.
They fell to the planes of the Ram and Grizzly Bear Spitfire Squadrons in two separate engagements. This is believed to be a record day’s bag of jet-propelled aircraft.
Two of the jets were shot down by F/L Dick Audet, DFC, of Lethbridge Alta., and the double kill brought his score to 11½. Audet, a Grizzly Bear Squadron pilot, only started scoring a few weeks ago when he destroyed five German planes in one dogfight, in one of the greatest single triumphs of aerial warfare.
The latest victims were about to land at an airfield near the city of Rheine on the Ems River, 65 miles north of Dortmund.
Ram pilots destroyed the three remaining jet craft when they encountered more than 15 of the jets either landing or taking off an airfield near Osnabruck. F/O D. F. Church of Peterborough, Ont., was credited with one.

Attack Near Hamm
Remainder of the planes destroyed were FW190’s. The Red Indian Squadron pounced on several near Hamm, big rail center east of the Ruhr, and shot down two in flames. F/L M. J. Gordon of Edmonton and F/O Fred Evans of 310 Durle St. Toronto shared one of them.
During the day Spitfires of this wing destroyed a locomotive and damaged four others and 15 freight cars. They also destroyed eight motor vehicles.
RCAF squadrons flew almost 400 sorties and among other achievements, 17 cuts were made in German rail lines carrying supplies and reinforcements to the front.
The day-long activities cost the RCAF five planes but one of the pilots is safe.

Audet Is Modest
F/L Dick Audet, the young Canadian who made air-war history in a Spitfire over Germany by destroying five German aircraft in a single dogfight failed to claim a fifth kill at first interrogation, the Maple Leaf reports from Holland.
It wasn’t until he and his squadron mates returned from a subsequent mission and retraced the battle Hun by Hun that the 22-year-old Lethbridge Alberta pilot claimed two Me109s and three FW190s destroyed.
It was all the more remarkable in that it was his first success in the air. He had no luck at all on his first operational tour from English bases.
Audet’s five-to-seven minute dream battle materialized 14,000 feet over Osnabruck where, leading a section of the high-scoring grizzly Bear Squadron, he spotted a mixed gaggle of 12 MEs and FWs


250 Mark Passed By Canadian Wing

An RCAF Airfield In the Netherlands, Jan. 25, 1945 - (CP) - A Canadian Spitfire wing in the 2nd Tactical Air Force has become the first to pass the 250 mark in enemy aircraft destroyed since D-Day, last June 6, it was announced today.
The wing's total now is 254, and a haul of six German planes Tuesday by the Grizzly Bear and Ram Squadrons was what put the wing past the quarter-thousand.
Honor of bagging the 250th plane went to F/O D. F. Church, Peterborough, of the Ram Squadron.
The wing also has an excellent record in rail and road transport destroyed or damaged, and rail lines cut.


Victories Include :

10 Dec 1944
14 Dec 1944
  1 Jan 1945

23 Jan 1945

one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one FW190
one Ar234
NE of Hengelo
NW of Rheine
Rheine Airfield
Bramsche Airfield


3 / 0 / 2

Score from "Those Other Eagles" by Christopher Shores

After your 3rd kill, it was customary to be awarded a DFC




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