Name:

WALLACE, Alexander Cameron "Cam"

Nationality:

Canadian

Regiment/Service:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Rank:

Flight Lieutenant

Service No.:

J/11946

Date of Birth:

1921

Date of Death:

January 26, 2000

WALLACE, F/L Alexander Cameron (J11946) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.109 Squadron - Award effective 15 March 1945 as per London Gazette dated 23 March 1945 and AFRO 721/45 dated 27 April 1945. Home in Woodstock, Ontario; enlisted London, 23 July 1941. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 6 December 1941), No.4 BGS (graduated 25 April 1942) and No.2 ANS (graduated 25 May 1942). Award sent by registered mail 6 May 1949. No citation other than "completed...many successful operations against the enemy in which [he has] displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty." Public Records Office has recommendation dated 18 December 1944 when he had flown 89 sorties (275 operational hours).

* denotes daylight sortie
# denotes marker sortie

4 Apr 43 Kiel 8 July 44 Scholven
10 Apr 43 Frankfurt 14 July 44 Les Handes Vielle et Neuves #
14 Apr 43 Stuttgart 16 July 44 St. Phililbert Ferme *
16 Apr 43 Mannheim 19 July 44 Thwerny *#
20 Apr 43 Rostock 20 July 44 Homberg #
4 May 43 Dortmund 25 July 44 St. Cyr #
12 May 43 Duisburg 28 July 44 Forest de Nieppe *
13 May 43 Bochum 31 July 44 Forest de Neippe #
11 June 43 Dusseldorf 1 Aug 44 Anderbelck *#
13 June 43 GARDENING, Gironde 2 Aug 44 Foret de Nieppe
19 June 43 Le Creusot 3 Aug 44 L'isle Adam *#
21 June 43 Krefeld 5 Aug 44 Navelle en Chausse *
22 June 43 Maulheim 8 Aug 44 Bellecroix *#
24 June 43 Wuppertal 18 Aug 44 L'isle Adam *#
25 June 43 Gelsenkirchen 23 Aug 44 Castrop Rauxel
28 June 43 Cologne 25 Aug 44 Brest #
3 July 43 Cologe 27 Aug 44 Homberg
28 Aug 44 Leverkusen
31 Aug 44 Lumbres *#
5 Sept 44 Le Havre *#
11 Apr 44 St. Trond 9 Sept 44 Le Havre *#
13 Apr 44 Duren 10 Sept 44 Le Havre *#
24 Apr 44 Dusseldorf 11 Sept 44 Le Havre *#
30 Apr 44 Duren 14 Sept 44 Wassenaer *#
1 May 44 Chambly # 17 Sept 44 Boulogne *#
2 May 44 Leverkusen 17 Sept 44 Westkapelle *#
7 May 44 St. Valery # 18 Sept 44 Rhine
9 May 44 Berbebal # 20 Sept 44 Calais *#
10 May 44 Ghent # 25 Sept 44 Calais *#
14 May 44 Courtrai 26 Sept 44 Calais *#
26 May 44 Lison 5 Oct 44 Frankfurt *#
27 May 44 Le Clipon # 6 Oct 44 Dortmund #
29 May 44 Xanten 11 Oct 44 Fort Frederick #
2 June 44 Laval 14 Oct 44 Duisburg #
4 June 44 Sangatte # 14 Oct 44 Duisburg #
5 June 44 St. Pierre du Mont # 23 Oct 44 Essen #
6 June 44 Vire # 28 Oct 44 Walcheren #
7 June 44 Versailles # 29 Oct 44 Walcheren #
12 June 44 Arras # 30 Oct 44 Cologne #
14 June 44 Douai # 31 Oct 44 Cologne #
16 June 44 Renescure # 2 Nov 44 Hallendorf
22 June 44 Swacourt *# 6 Nov 44 Gelsenkirchen #
24 June 44 Flers # 18 Nov 44 Munster #
27 June 44 Forest d'Eawy 30 Nov 44 Duisburg
6 July 44 Coquereaux *# 4 Dec 44 Karlsrube #
7 July 44 Vaires # 6 Dec 44 Osnabruck

 

This navigator will shortly finish his tour with this squadron, having now done 90 trips with Bomber Command of which 72 were with us; 53 of these have been marking trips.

Flight Lieutenant Wallace has consistently shown a high degree of reliability, the result of keenness to operate and sound knowledge of our equipment. Apart from his keen desire to fly and fight he has unstintingly given of his time in planning operations. He is a willing worker and a splendid member of aircrew.

To this the Officer Commanding, RAF Station Little Staughton, adds on 22 December 1944:

This officer has shown outstanding skill in the manipulation of the special equipment with which his aircraft is fitted. He has at all times shown very much above average ability as a Navigator, and is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

SOURCE: Air Force Association of Canada website.

ALEXANDER CAMERON WALLACE
by David Wallace, son

Cam Wallace flew 90 operations on two tours of operations with Bomber Command, the first on Stirlings with No. 214 Squadron, he then did Oboe marking with No.109 Squadron of the Pathfinder Force.

My father felt incredibly lucky to finish 90 operations and no one was more surprised to be alive at the end of the war than he was. He had lost many, many, friends during the war. One thing I found after he died was a handwritten list of just the Canadians he knew that died in the Air Force during the war and there were more than 130 names on it. It included 17 of the Dambusters, one Great Escaper who was executed by the Gestapo, and 2 pairs of brothers (one were twins), who managed to crew together and also died together flying. During the 5 months he was on operations with 214 Squadron RAF (approximately 16 aircraft - about 112 men) there were 130 men killed, 24 taken as POWs and 12 wounded - nearly a 150% casualty rate. Only about a dozen of them were Canadians so its fair to estimate he lost 200-250 friends by the end of the war when you include the Brits, Australian and New Zealanders in the units he served with. He never forgot these men and I think he felt a special bond to those who didn't survive the war like Freddie Forrest, Mac Johnson, Arnie Billings, Jean Louis Viau and Rollie Pilon because he saw himself as one of them who somehow got a miraculous reprieve and lived. The men who served with Bomber Command were all very special men.

Post-war Cam finished medical school and became a Pathologist whose work focused on Cancer research and later on, research  dealing with organ transplantation. He was a Professor of Pathology and a long time Director of the National Cancer Institute, serving President from 1978 to 1980. He died Jan.26, 2000 in Nassau, Bahamas.

No.1 Initial Training School, Toronto Graduated December 6, 1941
No. 4 Air Observer's School, London  - Graduated March 16, 1942
No. 4 Bombing & Gunnery School, Fingal Graduated April 25, 1942
No.2 Advanced Navigation School, Pennfield Ridge, NB Graduated May 25, 1942
No.9 Advanced Flying Unit, Penros Wales August 8, 1942 September 7, 1942
No. 14 Operational Training Unit, Cottesmore Rutlands September 8, 1942 December 30, 1942
No.1657 Heavy Conversion Unit, Stradishall Suffolk January 1, 1943 February 27, 1943
No.214 Squadron, Chedburgh Suffolk March 1, 1943 July 29, 1943

Stirlings 17 Operations completed
Crew
Pilot P/O Geoff Shattock
Navigator F/O Cameron Wallace, RCAF
Bomb Aimer Sgt. Howard Hunt, RCAF
Wireless Operator Sgt. John Smith
Flight Engineer Sgt. David Lamming
Rear Gunner Sgt. Bud  Dickenson, RCAF (USA) Later transferred to USAAF
Mid-Upper Gunner - Sgt. Frederick Trinder


F/Lt A.C. Wallace far right, Frederick (Tommy) Trinder third from right, others are unknown

No.28 Operational Training Unit, Wymeswold Leicestershire July 30, 1943 February 14, 1944
No.1655 Mosquito Training Unit, Marham Norfolk - February 15, 1944- March 30, 1944

No.109 Squadron, Little Staughton Bedfordshire April 2, 1944 December 21, 1944

Mosquitoes Oboe marking, Pathfinder Force 73 Operations completed (30 daylight)
Crew
Pilot - W/C W.G. Foxall, DSO, DFC
Navigator F/L Cameron Wallace, RCAF

Arrived back in Canada: February 1, 1945
Struck off the roll March 12, 1945
Awarded DFC March 15, 1945

"N" for Nuts
by F/L A.C. Wallace

The following is an excerpt from a letter F/L Wallace wrote to Geoff Shattock in 1996 (pilot) in where he describes a raid on Rostock on the 20th of April 1943 when they were approaching the target (Heinkel Works) and nervous a rear gunner in the Stirling in front of them opened fire on them shooting Geoff through the leg and generally ventilating the plane.

"It was on April 20, and we took off at 2157 on `N' for nuts. Weather was very good and we could get a landfall as we crossed the coast somewhere around Cromer. Got good Gee fixes for a while then took some Polaris shots when we ran out of Gee range. We were routed a long way north, and crossed the Danish coast pretty well on track at nearly 56 degrees N., at the south end of Rinkabing Fjord. There was some flak, and by this time you had come right down to treetop height.

From there on it got quite exciting, probably one of the most exciting times of my life. Having got a good pinpoint at the coast and having no further nav aids, I came up and sat with you prepared to map read us the rest of the way.  We could see the tank defences along the coast (mainly big sort of angle iron contraptions). The trees went by in an alarming way, and we could see doors being flung open and even people standing in the light of their homes. Dickie remarked that we could almost tell people we'd been in Denmark rather than over it. We crossed Denmark fairly fast (Jutland, that is), and crossed Fyn, Langland and Lolland. These are what they are called now but I'm not sure they were that on my chart. At one point there was a lot of light flak around and some of it was coming right at us. I should recall that the term `light flak ` refers to the type (Bofors with tracer) rather than to the severity! Hunt was in the front turret and started yelling "Those sons of bitches!", and opened fire on them. Tommy and Dickie joined in and I'm not sure whether we shut them up or just drew attention to ourselves.

As we reached the open Baltic Sea, you climbed to about 3000 ft., and all was clear as day. I could see all the land marks and we turned on about 200 T. to Rostock, soon in sight. However, as we drew closer, it was obvious that Jerry had put up a massive smoke screen over the whole area; in fact, the "Bomber Command War Diaries", a remarkable publication, states that as a result, the bombing was scattered. This was no town blitz - we were after the Heinkel Works. As we started our target run as best we could, I saw a Stirling weaving a bit ahead of us. Then there was a rather unpleasant bang, and you said something like "Oh, Jesus Christ!" Then you said `take that!', referring to the control stick. Then you called "Hunt, come up here quick!" As the only even remotely qualified second pilot, he let the bombs go and came up and took over the controls.

I gave Hunt a course to steer. I told him to steer 015M for 10 minutes and then turn on 315. Then I went and found a flashlight and got your flying boot off. It was full of blood and there was a hole through your leg below the knee. I got the medical kit and put a shell dressing on it, but didn't try any fancy homeostasis because I was sure it would quit bleeding O.K. All this messing around in the dark took a while, about 20-25 minutes, and when I got back up with Hunt he was still steering 015 - either he hadn't heard me or didn't have a watch. I looked out and could see clearly the Copenhagen area right ahead. So we turned on about 270 and headed for home. In answer to your recent comment, I can't imagine that anyone even remotely thought of bailing out.

The trip back was pretty uneventful. You described the amount of pain you had as about equal to a severe toothache. You soon took over the controls and declined any more help. I offered to shoot some codeine into you with some very neat little gadgets in the medical kit, but you were obviously scared it might destroy your razor-sharp awareness. Smitty radioed ahead something like: Pilot wounded; all O.K. When we got to base the Waaf on Flying Control asked: "What is the nature of your wounds?" and you answered that you had a bullet in the calf of your leg. You set it down perfectly and were whisked away to the hospital. Next day the ground crew found that ONE bullet had cut off the cockpit lighting, cut out the hydraulic exactor control of one port engine, gone through your leg, mangled some of my charts, and still had enough zip to make a dent in the armour plating beside my navigation table.

It was a bad night for 3 Group (20/04/1943) - we lost 8 of 80 planes and didn't do a good job. Also a lot of people who got back were shot up with some killed including one gunner from 214."

Return to Remembering Those Who Served Page
Return to Pennfield Ridge Air Station Page
Return to Pennfield Parish Home Page