Squadron Leader Wilbur Pierce - 433 Squadron  

Squadron Leader Wilbur Clark Pierce - DFC, RCAF



Born in Reston, Manitoba, Wilbur Pierce worked as a grocery clerk before enlisting at Regina on the 13th of August 1942.

Trained as No 7 ITS (graduating on 5.3.1943)

6 EFTS (graduating 30.4.1943)

4 SFTS (graduating 20.8.1943)

Commissioned in 1943.

Wing Commander Tambling sent his detailed recommendation on the 15th of January 1945 when Squadron Leader Pierce had flown 29 sorties(163 hours) from 25.7.1944 to 14.1.1945.

“On the night of January the 14th 1945,this officer was Captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Grebenbroitch in Germany, when setting course over base, the port engine went unserviceable due to an oil leak. Nevertheless he continued in and flew most of the way to the target at 6000 feet. Just prior to reaching the target he unfeathered the unserviceable engine in order to gain the maximum amount of height before all the oil was lost. The engine was feathered again and the run through the target was made on three engines and at the minimum permissible height. Through the entire trip, the artificial horizon of Squadron Leader Pierce’s aircraft was completely unserviceable and it was necessary for him to let down through cloud in order to get back to base.

The exceptional skill and determination displayed by this officer in carrying out this operation despite extremely difficult conditions, is only indicative of the sustained courage and unusual initiative he has consistently shown throughout all his operational sorties. As Flight Commander of “B” Flight, his excellent qualities of leadership and fine offensive spirit have been a constant inspiration to the entire Squadron and I consider his splendid record fully merits the immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.”

Squadron Leader Pierce  was  awarded the D.F.C.on the 11th of June 1949

His crew for the operation for which he was award the Distinguished Flying Cross consisted of:

Name Service Trade
S/L W.Pierce  RCAF Pilot
F/Sgt F.Haynes  RAFVR Flight Engineer
F/O F.Covert  RCAF Navigator
W/O2 E.Hutton  RCAF Bomb Aimer
F/S D.Maclean  RCAF Air  Gunner
F/S G.McMurchy  RCAF Air  Gunner



Photo courtesy of the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, Yorkshire, research by Linda Ibrom.