A group of five Second World War medals, including the prestigious Distinguished Flying Medal, will cross the block during a June auction in Kitchener, Ont. Instituted for the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth in 1918 and discontinued in 1993, the medal recognized “an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty performed whilst flying in active operations against the enemy,” according to the Veterans Affairs Canada website. Canadian troops received 556 Distinguished Flying Medals while another 136 medals were awarded to other Commonwealth personnel serving in Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) squadrons. Among those recipients was Flight Sgt. William Hugh Magill, of the RCAF’s 429 Squadron (also known as the Bison Squadron). Born in Toronto in July 1925, Magill worked in munitions production before enlisting in the military at age 18 in 1943. Promoted to sergeant a year later, he participated in at least 15 attacks on enemy targets, most of which were against heavily defended targets in the Ruhr, the heart of Nazi Germany’s heavy industry. Continue reading →
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