William Richard "Bill" Tew

RCAF   F/L   -   DFC

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Bill Tew

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Sergeant Tew Is First To Get Wings in Aylmer

Aylmer, Sept. 24, 1941 (Staff) – When Wing Commander G. N. Irwin pinned pilot's wings on Sergeant W. R. Tew today, the first man [to have] graduated from No. 14 Service Flying Training School here. The school was opened only a few months ago. The Toronto sergeant-pilot was top man in the class which graduated today and was the first to have the Wings pinned on his uniform.
Present for the graduation of the Ontario class was Wing Commander L. W. Dickens, D.F.C., A.F.C. in charge of training in No. 1 Command. He addressed the class briefly before the presentation.
"I won't say anything about the war, you'll find out about that soon enough," he told the graduates. "It will be a more serious proposition when you get to England."
He cautioned the class members not to consider receiving their wings as the end of their training period and informed them there would be more training in England with a different type of plane.
"I am certain you will be able to meet any requirements you may be up against," he continued,
"I think an airman is like a captain of a ship — he wants an open sea; so, if you are going to go mucking around in a plane and stunting give yourself plenty of room; it doesn't matter so much then," he warned.
"However," he added, "if you have to bail out, don't blame me for telling you to go ahead."
Leading Aircraftman Reynolds of Houston, Texas, escaped with minor bruises when the Harvard training plane he was piloting from the school crashed on a farm near the school before the presentation. Wreckage of the plane was strewn for hundreds of yards in a ditch and over fields.
The graduating class and other airmen marched onto the field while the band from Fingal Bombing and Gunnery School played. A large crowd of friends and relatives of the graduating airmen attended the ceremony.
Graduates were from Ontario, with practically all sections of the Province from Windsor to Montreal represented. A few were from Toronto. Student fliers are trained as single-seater fighter pilots.
Americans in the graduating class were: W. E. Dunsmore, Pittsburgh; E. L. Gimbel, Chicago; S. B. Walcott, Providence, R.I.; E. Ives, Springwater, N.Y.; R. L. Alexander, St. Anne, Ill.
The Canadians were: W. R. Tew, Toronto; H. K. Lefroy, Oakville; C. S. Yarnell, Toronto; J. W. Hicks, Niagara Falls, Ont. J. H. Ryan, Toronto; J. M. Brodie, Saint John, N.B.; A. D. Melville, Winnipeg; I. C. Carson, Hamilton; A. H. McLaren, Montreal; H. T. Mossip, Thorndale; W. C. Wigston, Whitby; E. A. Glover, Toronto; N. C. Pow, Toronto; E. F. Horton, Owen Sound; S. M. Scott, Toronto; N. C. H. Howe, Toronto; R. H. Lean and R. A. Frith, Toronto.


Born in Toronto, 19 April 1918
Home there - mechanic
Enlisted there 7 December 1940
Former member of the Royal Canadian Artillery

Trained at
No.3 ITS (graduated 16 May 1941)
No.11 EFTS (graduated 3 July 1941) &
No.14 SFTS (graduated 25 September 1941
   as a Pilot Officer
Arrived overseas in October 1941
Further trained at
No.56 OTU (18 Nov. 1941 to 20 Feb. 1942)
No.3 Squadron (20 February to 29 August 1942)
534 Sqn. (1 September 1942 to 21 Jan.'43)
Promoted to F/O, 25 September 1942
132 Sqn. (21-30 January 1943)
401 Sqn. (30 January 1943 to 24 July 1944
Promoted to F/L, 25 September 1943
Shot down 24 July 1944
Reported safe behind U.S. lines, 24 Aug. 1944
Sent back to Canada, 29 September 1944 then
Returned to the UK, 5 December 1944
401 Sqn. again, 11 January to 23 June 1945
Returned to Canada, 6 August 1945
Released from service, 26 September 1945
Re-enlisted at Trenton, 10 May 1946
DFC sent by registered mail, 28 June 1949
Had an extensive postwar career in fighter &
   fighter control duties in Canada and Europe
Promoted to Squadron Leader, 1 June 1950
   while with 410 Squadron
Promoted to Wing Commander, 1 July 1957
   while with 427 Squadron in Europe
Retired 19 April 1967

Wartime Hours :

Harvard II
77 hours
114 hours
6 hours
253 hours
682 hours

Known photos:

PL-142140 (postwar portrait)
PL-39958 (Blue Devils, seen below)
PL-30225 (wearing Mae West)
PL-24046 (studio portrait)
PL-22010 shows him (his back only) playing
   cards with other pilots of 401 Sq., Oct. '43
   see Klersy


Air Force Casualties

Ottawa, Sept. 11, 1944 — The Department of National Defense for Air today issued casualty list 985 of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Showing next of kin of those named, those from Ontario include :

Previously Reported Missing, Now Reported Safe:

TEW William Richard, F/L - Mrs. G. T. Tew (mother), 361 Bloor St. E., Toronto.



Ottawa, July 26, 1945 (CP) — Air Force Headquarters tonight announced 140 awards to members of the Royal Canadian Air Force for service overseas and released a collective citation which said they had shown utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty in operations against the enemy, The recipients included:

Distinguished Flying Gross
F/L K. T. Wallace, 171 Kingsmount Park Rd., Toronto; F/O's W. R. Arnill, Dundalk; S. Ferguson, Niagara Falls; R. A. Forbes, Woodstock; J. W. Fraser, Pape and Danforth Aves., Toronto; G. A. Harpwood, Welland; A. W. Hutchins, 133 Lakeshore Dr., Toronto; I. G. Kerry, Port Perry; E. G. Legrice, 2400 Queen St. W., Toronto; V. L. Mills, Alvinston; F. B. Murphy, Cowley; J. C. Parry, Windsor; E. R. Penner, Beamsville; J. V. Reynolds, 104 Bartlett Ave.; Toronto; R. K. Rosebrugh, Gait; K. C. Roulston, London; H. Rubin, Ottawa.
J. W. Singer, 769 Annette St., Toronto; R. D. Thauvette, Alexandria; R. J. Tierney, 302 Sumach St., Toronto; W. A. Tulloch, Ottawa; S. L Uffelman, Waterloo; B. C. Wallace, 273 Fairlawn Ave., Toronto; G. D. Wilson, Brantford; P/O's T. M. Baird, Waterloo; F. L. Blancher,, Morrisburg; J. E. Bolen, Kenilworth; U. C. Burns, Sault Ste. Marie; A. Campbell, Keewatin; L. W. Clark, Morrisburg; R. F. Clark, South Porcupine; K. F. Pallett, Ottawa; J. C. Schwandt, Singhampton; F. E. Tanner, Apsley; Sqdn. Ldr. M. D. Boyd, Clarkson; F/L's P. C. Green, London; R. N. Rives, Kitchener,. W. R. Tew, 42 Isabella St., Toronto.
F/O's R. F. Doody, Ottawa; F. W. Evans, 310 Darie St., Toronto; K. V. Fraser, Ottawa; R. S. Grant, Weston; C. W. Holstead, London; A. D. Mclnnes, 4 Dawson Ave., Toronto; R. E. Shields, 25 Albany Ave., Toronto; P/O's E. A. Foster, 803 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto; J. N. Maguire, 239 Heath St. E., Toronto.

Distinguished Flying Medal
F/S/s G. B. Smith, 95 Hamilton St., Toronto and J. H. Taylor, Windsor.


Victories Include :

29 Nov 1943
7 June 1944
28 June 1944
7 July 1944
23 Jan. 1945

20 April 1945
one FW190
one FW190
one FW190
one Me109
one Ar 234
1/12 Ar 234
two Me109s
probable &
damaged [1]
destroyed [2]

4 / 1 / 2.08

[1] ...the Wing obtained thirteen victories on the 23rd. The Rams on a morning armed reconnaissance found a number of aircraft taking off and landing at Bramsche, north of Osnabrück. These they took to be Me.262s but on further consideration, after study of aircraft recognition books, they came to the conclusion that they were Arado 234s. F/O G. A. Hardy dived on one which crashed in the woods and took fire. F/L Connell and P/O M. Thomas shot down another which exploded as it hit the ground. The pilot of a third, which also crashed and burst into flames, baled out when attacked by F/O D. F. Church. Another, attempting to take off, nosed into the ground and was claimed as damaged by the squadron as a whole. Claims of one damaged Arado were also made by S/L Klersy, the new commanding officer of the Rams, F/O F. E. Thayer and F/L W. R. Tew respectively while F/L Murray, who got his D.F.C. on the 31st, damaged two more. [RCAF Overseas 3]

[2]...Though the diarist of the Rams recorded that pilots were gnashing their teeth because of the success of the other squadrons on the 19th, the situation was reversed the next day. They destroyed 18 enemy aircraft and 27 vehicles for the loss of one pilot and two aircraft. On their second armed reconnaissance the Rams saw a large number of enemy aircraft taking off from the grass strip southwest of Schwerin. There were more Huns at 10,000 feet and a top cover at 20,000 feet. The squadron immediately attacked and when it was all over the Rams had totalled eleven Me.109s destroyed and three damaged. S/L Klersy and F/L L.W. Woods each destroyed one and shared another, F/O Francis destroyed one and damaged another. F/L W. R. Tew and F/O J. A. Ballantine each destroyed two, F/Ls R. H. Cull and MacKay and F/O J. H. Ashton, D.F.C. each destroyed one and a damaged each was claimed by F/O R. C. Gudgeon and P/O D. W. Davis. F/O R. W. Anderson, however, failed to return. Tew, who now had shot down four enemy aircraft, and Cull, who likewise had destroyed four, were awarded the D.F.C. in July, while F/L MacKay, who had a total of eleven destroyed and a share in a twelfth, was awarded a Bar to his D.F.C. in May. At 1910 hours the squadron was off once more and again a large gaggle of enemy aircraft was seen taking off, this time from Hagenow aerodrome. The enemy were heading east at tree-top level as the squadron attacked. Seven Huns were destroyed and three damaged. F/L Watt and F/Os Francis and Cameron each destroyed one FW.190 and damaged one, F/L Cull and F/O D. B. Dack each destroyed one while S/L Klersy destroyed two which exploded and crashed. Klersy’s score was now 14½. There was no loss from enemy action though one of our aircraft crashed on take-off. The pilot, F/L B. B. Mossing, had a narrow escape since the aircraft had both wings ripped off, the fuselage broke in two, and one half the aircraft went up in flames
but Mossing sustained only a broken leg bone. [RCAF Overseas 3]


The Blue Devils - supposedly 11 June 1949 after an airshow at Rockliffe, Ottawa.
Joe Schultz relaxing in the 'pit with Omer Levesque, Mike Doyle, Bob Kipp, Don Laubman & Bill Tew up front




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