Observation/Article 3, March 13, 2011
Charles W. Fox, Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C.) & Bar – a short Biography
Charley Fox was born February 1920, in Guelph, Ontario. He signed up with the R.C.A.F. in the spring of 1940. He was an instructor at Dunnville, Ontario from October 1941, to May 1943, when he went to an Operational Training Unit at Bagotville, Quebec. While there, on June 1st, he had a narrow escape when a Hurricane collided in mid-air with the Harvard he was flying. Although injured, he was able to bail out safely.
In August 1943, he went overseas and checked out on Spitfires. In January, 1944, he began his tour with 412 Squadron. Charley served continuously on ops until January 1945. His duties included escort, armed recce and dive bombing. On D-Day (June 06, 1944), he flew three times.
On June 18, 1944, the squadron moved to B4 airstrip in Normandy at Beny-Sur-Mer.
He specialized in ground attack and prided himself on accurate marksmanship. His success at this is neatly summed up in the official commendation for a bar to his DFC: “This officer has led his section against a variety of targets, often in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire. He has personally destroyed, or damaged twenty-two locomotives and thirty-four enemy vehicles, bringing his total to 153 vehicles destroyed, or damaged. In addition, he has destroyed at least a further three enemy aircraft and damaged two others. In December 1944, Flight Lieutenant Fox led his squadron on an attack against enemy airfields in the Munster area, and personally destroyed another enemy aircraft, bringing his total to 4. Through his quick and accurate reporting, a further 4 enemy aircraft were destroyed. Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has continued to display outstanding skill, coolness and determination.”
He ended his tour in January, 1945, at Heesch in Holland, after which he did a six week stint as a test pilot for # 410 Repair & Salvage Unit. Then he became Operations Officer in the Intelligence Section of 126 Wing. He was a member of the flight of four who flew the last operational sortie of the war for 126 Wing. (Landing at eight a.m. on May 5, 1945)
In the peacetime R.C.A.F. he served with 420 Reserve Squadron, flying Harvards, P-51 Mustangs and T-33 jets. He was instrumental in helping the squadron win the McBrine Marksmen Trophy for air to air, and air to ground firing.
In September 1956, he began a career with a large shoe & slipper manufacturing firm. He retired in 1998.
His love of flying has been pursued for many years as a member, and past president of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association.
Charley Fox passed away in 2008 (accident, read my blog)he acted as ground control for Harvard Formation Flypasts on special occasions for them. He also did colour commentaries at airshows throughout the United States, and Canada.
Copied and Updated By; Joy Kissoon/Mar. 13/2011
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