James Edwin "Jim" Collier

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Jim Collier

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COLLIER, F/L James Edwin (J8648) - Mention in Despatches - No.250 Squadron
Award effective 14 January 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944.


Born 20 April 1919 at Vancouver, BC
Enlisted in Toronto, 11 February 1941
Trained at
No.3 ITS (graduated 21 June 1941)
No.14 EFTS (graduated 20 August 1941) &
No.11 SFTS (wings 7 November 1941)
Arrived in the UK 13 December 1941
Posted to the Middle East where he flew with
No.250 Squadron (June 1942 to June 1943)
Further work in Egypt before
Posting to the UK in February 1944 & then
To Canada in March 1944
Returned to Britain in May 1944
With 403 Squadron 4 July 1944 to 22 February 1945
To Canada in May 1945
Released 25 June 1945

See "Desert Kittyhawks - Flying with 250 Squadron RAF",
Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society,
XXII No.4 (Winter 1984).


F/L Cecil Brown 403 Squadron, 127 Wing :
"July 16 was a most interesting flight. Just one squadron of us went out to do a patrol to see if we could run into anything, shoot up anything on the ground or in the air. One fellow had engine trouble and had to go back. That left 11 of us. Andy MacKenzie was leading one group of six Spitfires and I was leading the other six as Deputy Flight Commander.
"We had found shortly after we got to France that the best way to operate was to get enough pilots for two teams - 24 pilots - 2 Flight Commanders and Squadron Leaders and Squadron Commander. Each flight had a deputy commander so we made two teams up, and we took everything that went on from 1 o'clock today to 1 o'clock the next day and then we'd have a day off. We began rotating like that.
This particular night, I was a deputy flight commander. I think Andy was a flight commander and he happened to have the other six since we were flying in two sixes. But one turned out to be five planes.
"And I looked over and below us and I saw some Typhoons heading back to our lines hell bent for leather. I wondered what was chasing them. I looked behind and I saw a whole mass of German 109s coming. I thought this was a good chance for us to go down and have a go at them. So I called Andy: 'Come on over, we've got some joy (action) over here.'
"And Andy said: 'No thanks. I've got all I can handle here.' And he ran into the same thing.
"We found when we got back that it was quite a well known German formation led by the Jerry ace Walter Nowotny and he flew a Focke-Wulf 190 and led two groups of 55 Messerschmitts. And this was what we had tangled with. We really hadn't planned on that many. Once into it, there was nothing much you could do but fight.
"So when we got back, the Intelligence people reported they'd been listening on the radio and monitoring the German transmissions and told us who we'd been fighting. I knew too who we'd been fighting when I saw the 190 and the mass of 109s.
"Eleven of us got in a hell of a scrap with those Messerschmitts. We were west of Argentan for this one.
"F/O H.V. (Harry) Boyle, of Toronto, got 3 planes (2 & 1 damaged -jf); Andy MacKenzie got 2; and Jim Collier was credited with 1. We lost one, Drury O'Kelly who was shot down early in the fight. He was flying No 2 to me and his job was to protect the guy in front.
"I looked around when I saw all the bullets (tracers) coming by me and my guy was gone. He never said a word, so I don't know what happened to him. We never saw him again. So we got 6 and lost 1. This was the biggest scrap I was ever in.
"S/L Jim Collier did two tours, one in the North African Desert and the other with us. He was an accomplished artist and when he got home, he set up a business called ADS-Art & Design Studio. His group did all the design and art work for ad agencies, and at one time, he had about 60 artists working for him. He served in Squadrons 250 and 403."

from "We Were There - RCAF & Others" by Jean E. Portugal


COLLIER, S/L James Edwin (J8648) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.403 Sq.
Award effective 27 April 1945 as per London Gazette dated 8 May 1945 and
AFRO 966/45 dated 8 June 1945.
Award presented 30 November 1949.

Squadron Leader Collier has completed two tours of operational duty. He has served with distinction in the Tunisian campaign. Since July, 1944, he has operated from bases in France, Belgium and Holland. A keen and resolute pilot and a reliable leader, this officer has destroyed at least two enemy aircraft and damaged others. In addition he has inflicted considerable damage on the enemy's mechanical transport.


Victories Include :

19 Nov 1942
  2 Jan 1943
26 Feb 1943
16 Jul 1944
25 Dec 1944

1/2 Ju88
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me262
destroyed [1]
probable  [2]
destroyed [3]
in FR344
in FL899
in FR302
in MK628
in SM338

3.5 / 0 / 1
2.5 / 1 / 1

[1] Lt. Shurst & crew of 10/ZG26 killed
[2] Me109G2 of 11/JG77 was actually destroyed
[3] The RCAF's 1st Solo Jet Kill

details from "Those Other Eagles" by Chris Shores


Hundred to Get War Decorations At RCAF, Toronto

Trenton, Nov. 24, 1949 — Over 100 officers and airmen of the permanent and reserve air forces will receive decorations and awards from the Lieutenant-Governor Ray Lawson of Ontario at the drill hall, RCAF Station 1107 Avenue Rd. Toronto, on Nov. 30.
The decorations were announced during the war, but it was not possible then to hold the investitures.
Those to be decorated are;

F/L J. W. Perry, Woodbridge.

DFC and Bar
S/L. G. J. Brownell, Toronto.

Squadron Leaders — J. W. Aldred, Toronto; W. F. Brown, Owen Sound; J. E. Collier, Lansing; F. S. Gilbertson, Toronto; G. L. Gonyou, St. Catharines; H. J. Hogarth, Jackson’s Point; J. E. Marier, Toronto; J. F. Roberts, Toronto. F/Ls. R. A. Andrew, Hamilton; R. V. Barnett, Toronto; W. M. Bateman, Toronto; G. W. Bell, Kapuskasing; H. D. Biggs. Toronto; W. H. C. Boyd, Toronto; E. A. Campbell, King; H. N. Cuming, Brampton; J. H. Donovan, Toronto; R. B. T. Field, Toronto; W. C. Foderingham, Toronto; J. A. L. Ford, Fergus; R. J. Garvin, Niagara Falls South; D. T. Hepburn, Toronto; A. M. Herring, Long Branch: I. B. Jackson, Toronto; R. J. Jones, Toronto; L. J. Kennedy, Toronto; S. Kinnear, Toronto; F. C. Kruger (Fruger?), DFM, Toronto; M. S. Kyte, Etobicoke; E. W. M. Mark, Toronto; A. S. Matthews, Toronto; J. S. McQuire, Hamilton; H. E. McNeil, Drayton; G. Miller, Toronto; W. R. Mitchell, Oakville; D. W. Morrison, Toronto; J. V. Mulholland, Toronto; J. Y. T. Ogle, Toronto; G. D. Parry, Toronto; J. D. Playford, Waterloo; R. W. V. Purvis, North York; W. S. Robertson, Toronto; J. A. Russell, Toronto; T. S. Sheppard, Hillsburgh; J. E. Sisman, Aurora; J. P. L. Storms, Toronto; L. W. Wright, Leaside.
Flying Officers — D. R. Andrews, East York; N. L. Austen, Toronto; A. W. Ballard, Toronto; T. V. Barber, Toronto; J. P. R. C. Benoit, Toronto; W. L. Black, Toronto; S. Borkowitz, Toronto; R. J. T. Bourque, Toronto; J. A. Crew, Toronto; N. Demareo, Toronto; L. E. Doll, Southampton; J. K. Fernie, Toronto; W. R. Foster, Toronto; M. G. M. Gillespie, Toronto; W. J. Griffith, Toronto; W. G. Henderson, Toronto; A. Horne, Toronto; J. W. Howard, Dryden; C. C. Huff Toronto; A. W. Hutchins, New Toronto; L. J. Jodrell, Toronto; W. G. Kingston, Toronto; M. W. Kitson, Toronto; E. P. J. Mahony, Toronto; C. A. McKenzie, Aurora; R. A. A. Merlin, Leaside; H. D. Millson, Bowmanville; W. G. Muldowney, Weston; J. A. M. Nash, Concord; W. M. Ogle, Toronto; A. L. Potter, Toronto; F. N. Prebble, Toronto; I. Rebick, Toronto; H. C. Redmond, Peterborough; W. F. Riley, Toronto; E. K. Seigel, Toronto; W. J. Sheppard, Hamilton; W. A. Skinner, Bracebridge; W. B. Smith, Toronto; J. E. Thompson, Parry Sound; W. E. P. Thomp­son. Toronto; R. J. Tierney, Toronto; S. D. Turner, Calgary and Toronto; J. E. Walker, Weston; W. J. L. Wallace, Toronto; R. C. Webster, Toronto; J. A. Weir, Toronto; C. F. D. Williams, Toronto; T. P. Wilson, Toronto; G. H. Wissler, Elora.
Pilot Officers — F. P. Langley, Toronto; S. E. Morris, Toronto; A. J. Williams, Penetanguishene.

Bar to DFC
S/L R. M. Newitt, Toronto.

S/Ls — J. F. M. Bell, Toronto; D. P. Maclntyre, Leaside; C. W. Stockford, Downsview.
F/Ls — M. F. Brunelle, Penetanguishene; H. E. McNeil, Drayton; F. H. Smith, Toronto.

F/L J. E. Moriarty, Toronto.

AEA (Air Efficiency Award)
Warrant Officer 1 H. D. McCallum, Etobicoke.

CEM (Canadian Efficiency Medal)
P/O T. A. Sadeski, Newmarket.

LS & GCM (Long Service and Good Conduct Medal)
Flight Sargeants G. A. Green, Toronto; L. Landreville, Barrie & L. A. Standing, Toronto




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