A. Bruce Whiteford


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Ralston Leads Cheers After Award of 'Wings'

(By ANDREW W. HAMILTON Staff Writer, The Globe and Mail) Camp Borden, 30 Sept. 1940 - First products of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan received wings of the Royal Canadian Air Force at a ceremony here this afternoon, while a much impressed Minister of National Defense, Hon. J. L. Ralston, admitting that he was violating stiff military formality, momentarily took command and called for three cheers from the entire air force establishment.
Censorship prohibits publication of the exact number to achieve the coveted goal, but the substantial total represented all parts of the Dominion, other sections of the Empire, and there was, even one from the United States.
As their inspiration, members of the wings parade were under command of Flight Lieut. Wallace Barton, native of Lindsay, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor over Dunkirk. Colonel Ralston referred to the graduates as all being candidates for that distinguished award.
Not a single member of the Empire class bears the rank of a commissioned officer. They rate as leading aircraftmen and must prove their worth in stiffer trials before being awarded commissions. There were three pilot officers in today’s group, but they represented the last of another training class.

Command Handed Over
Today’s ceremony was a double-barreled affair, in that no sooner had the wings presentation been concluded and Colonel Ralston had departed by air for Ottawa, than Group Captain A. T. N. Cowley handed over command of the Station to Group Captain R. S. Grandy, O.B.E. who had much to do with putting the finishing touches to the No.1 Fighter Squadron now giving such a noble account of itself in defense of London, under Squadron Leader Ernest McNab. Group Captain Grandy, referred to by Group Captain Cowley as “one of the most famous pilots in Canada,” comes from the post of officer commanding at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, while Group Captain Cowley will proceed to Regina as officer commanding No. 4 Training Command.
In a few words, Group Captain Cowley said farewell to his men and then marched off the airdrome. His successor gave the command and already was under way the task of bringing off the mass production line the second batch of Commonwealth pilots.
While the lads who received their wings were commended for their courage and were accorded the glory which goes with a ceremony of this nature, they received at the same time from Air Commodore G. O. Johnson, member of the Air Council, a stern and fatherly talk as to what Canada and the Empire will expect of them.

Good Conduct Counselled
It was Commodore Johnson who pinned the wings on the airmen’s chests, but first he reminded them that they are a sample by which others who follow them will be judged.
"You have reasonable prospects of giving good accounts of yourselves,” he counselled. “But the fact that you are getting wings does not make you experienced pilots. You have a lot to learn yet.”
He warned that above all they must resist the youthful urge to show those dear to them that they are masters of an aircraft.
“No matter how bright your future may seem now, in a few minutes of folly you can wreck that future," he warned.
“You are the custodians of your trained bodies,” continued Commodore Johnson, forcibly reminding the pilots that each represents a considerable investment on the part of the Canadian people. He told them that the Air Council has ordered drastic action against any man guilty of infringement of flying regulations, provision being made for trial by court martial, imprisonment and “invariably dismissal from the service with disgrace.”
“So I implore you to think twice before you try to kid the public,” he went on. “Also remember alcohol and gasoline don't mix very well. For your own good and the good of the service, lay off stimulants. No matter how good a pilot you are, the public judges you by your conduct on the ground."

Says Milestone Marked
Colonel Ralston, who had just concluded a tour of the army establishment here, told the men that the simple ceremony represented an important milestone in the history of the Empire.
"This marks just the beginning of the output that is going to take place from the sixteen flying schools across Canada,” he commented. "If money and materials come as fast and as enthusiastically as men have come, there is no doubt of the success of the Canadian war effort.
In saying farewell, Group Captain Cowley told the graduating class that Commodore Johnson's warnings were “sensible” and had his full endorsement.
Presentation of the wings concluded, Colonel Ralston took the salute as the full establishment marched past on the airdrome, and in a few minutes was aloft in a twin-engined bomber Ottawa-bound.
Among those who received their wings were: D. E. T. Wood, Ottawa; J. T. Reed, Ottawa; A. L. Prendergast, Norwood, Man.; R. F. Patterson, Richmond, Va.; J. T. Davis, Westmount, Que.; F. C. Colburne, Calgary; A. L. De la Haye, Vancouver; W. G. McElrea, Winnipeg; W. M. Douglas, Haileybury; L. M. Linnell, Morse, Sask.; T. Burke, Regina; A. W. Regimbal, Transcona, Man.; A. B. Whiteford, Saskatoon; D. H. Armstrong, Gananoque; H. Freeman, St. James, Man.; J. H. Thomson, Winnipeg; J. W. McIntosh, Winnipeg; J. D. Orr, Elm Creek, Man.; J. K. Dawson, Chicoutimi, Que.; R. H. Cousins, New Westminster, B.C.; N. R. Farnham, Aroostook, N.B.; T. A. Barr, Edmonton; H. A. Jones, Buffalo, N.Y.; N. N. Lougheed, Calgary; T. C. Mears, Port Arthur; D. F. Raymes, Saskatoon; R. J. Mullin, Kenora; A. D. Angus, Montreal; J. E. J. Hutchinson, Toronto; J. R. C. Bishop, Fort Garry, Man.; J. D. Layden, Montreal; J. E. R. Martin, Winnipeg; R. J. DeBeaupre, Hawarden, Sask.; G. F. Ryan, Winnipeg; J. H. Simpson, Kingston; E. C. Williams, Bermuda; C. A. Rawson, Brandon.


May 1940
June 1940
30 Sept 1940
Jan 1941
Mar 1942
Mar 1943
May 1943
Oct 1943
Apr 1944
June 1944
July 1944
Oct 1944
Feb 1952
May 1952
May 1953
July 1953
Oct 1954
Mar 1956
Sep 1960
Began flight training at the Regina Flying Club
Soloed after 10h10m – Gipsy Moth
Received Wings at No.1 SFTS Camp Borden
Began Instructor’s Course CFS Trenton
Began instructing at #3 SFTS, Calgary as a F/Sgt
Warrant Officer then Pilot Officer in same month
57 OTU Eshott – Spitfire conversion
Joined 411 Squadron, Redhill
To Biggin Hill
To Tangmere
To France [B4]
Completed 125th "Do"
Began 2nd instructor tour at No.3 SFTS, Calgary
Resigned his commission
FIS Trenton
No.4 FTS
No.1 IFS, Centralia
No.4 FTS, Penhold
CFS Supervisory Instructor’s Course – T-33s
435(T) Sqn - C47s, Namao, Alberta
Retired from the RCAF
"Final Flight"


Calgarian Shoots Down Two Nazis

LONDON, July 6, 1944 - (CP) - Canadian Spitfire pilots, their 28-year-old English leader, Wing Cmdr. James E. (Johnny) Johnson again setting the pace, destroyed seven German aircraft over Normandy Wednesday, raising to 65 the number of enemy planes knocked down by Canadian fighter wings in one week.
Johnson, leading Allied air ace in the European theatre, shot down two planes Wednesday to bring his score to 35. F/O R. C. McRoberts, of Calgary, also got two “kills” in Wednesday’s triumphant sweep by the Canadian fliers that followed their spectacular success of July 3, when they got 19 of the 21 German planes destroyed over Normandy that day. The Canadians shot down 13 planes June 30 and 26 on June 28.
(F/O McRoberts is the son of Mrs. Jessie McRoberts, of 1827 17-A St. W. Another brother, Lieut. W. C. McRoberts, R.C.N.V.R. is in Ottawa.)

Johnson’s kills brought his score to three more than the mark set during the Battle of Britain by Group Capt. A. G. (Sailor) Malan, who is not now on active operations, and the late Paddy Finucane, lost in action last year. Unofficially, Finucane was credited with 33 planes.
Lt.-Col. Francis Gabreski, 25-year-old fighter-pilot, today became the leading ace of the United States Air Force, when he shot down a ME109, near Evreux, France, for his 28th victory.

Air records also were broken in Russia, it was announced today. It was announced in Moscow that the record of 53 German planes shot down by Maj. Alexander Pokryshkin has been equaled by two other Soviet fliers, Lieut. Nikolai Gulayev and Capt. Gregory Rechkalov.
Top Canadian fighter ace is Flt. Lt. George Beurling, of Verdun, Que., with 31 shot down, most of them over Malta. He now is back in Canada.
McRoberts’ victims were Me 109’s. Both fell near Bernay. Another kill yesterday was recorded by F/L A. B. Whiteford, Midnapore, Alberta.


Whiteford Photo Album

Instructing at 3 SFTS
Bruce Whiteford (right) instructing at 3 SFTS, October 1941


Whiteford on a BSA Motorcycle
Now with 411 Squadron & sporting a BSA


George Beurling & Sid Mills
George Beurling & Sid Mills


Whiteford with a 411 Squadron Spitfire
Whiteford with a 411 Squadron Spitfire


Charlie Trainor & Bruce Whiteford
Charlie Trainor & Bruce Whiteford


Whiteford & Spitfire DB-E
Whiteford & Spitfire DB-E


Russ Orr
Russell W. "Russ" Orr


Tommy Wheler & Whiteford
"Tommy" Wheler & Bruce Whiteford


Whiteford & Wheler
Another shot of Whiteford & Wheler


Joe McFarlane, Bruce Whiteford & Charlie Trainor
Joe McFarlane, Bruce Whiteford & Charlie Trainor


Whiteford & Spitfire DB-E
Whiteford & Spitfire DB-E


Victories Include :

4 July 1944 one Me109 damaged S. of Caen

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Bruce gets the CD
Bruce receives the CD




Thanks to son Norm for the photos & infos !

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