Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ace pilot 'Duke' Warren passes

Reprinted from the Comox Valley Echo by Philip Round, Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One of the Valley's most decorated veterans has passed away.
Ace pilot Douglas 'Duke' Warren died in Comox on Saturday aged 89 and his funeral will be held at the Protestant chapel at 19 Wing this Friday (2 p.m.)
His battle and civilian honours were not only bestowed by Canada and Great Britain, but also by France, America and Germany.

The service he and his late identical twin brother, Bruce, gave in World War Two led to both being awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses - presented personally by King George VI at Buckingham Palace.
At the time, the King reportedly told them he had never before presented simultaneous honours for outstanding service to twins.
Douglas and Bruce were born in 1922 in Nanton, Alberta, and both took a very early interest in aircraft.
Both ended up with the nickname 'Duke' from their schooldays, doubling the confusion to all who became acquainted with them.
They joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as soon as they were eligible, and trained together throughout 1941 until going to England to fly legendary Spitfires with the Royal Air Force.
"For most of our young lives, we had this overpowering wish to fly," Douglas once wrote. "Now we were on the way and we were terribly enthusiastic about the thrill of flying."
He later recalled: "We Spitfire pilots ensured air superiority as well as doing armed recee and fighter-bomber attacks. Losses were heavy, both in the Typhoon squadrons and the Spitfire squadrons doing fighter-bomber work.

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