Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bruce Warren DFC 1922-1951

Identical twins Bruce and Douglas Warren were born in Nanton in 1922. Joining the Royal Canadian Air Force at age 18, they completed their elementary flying training at No5 EFTS at High River. During their training they often flew over their hometown of Nanton. As part of No. 165 Squadron they flew Spitfire fighters on three sorties in support of the Canadian Army at Dieppe, sharing in the destruction of a DO217 bomber.

During 1944, the twins served as Spitfire pilots with No. 66 Squadron where Bruce was "A" Flight Commander and Douglas was "B" Flight Commander. They both had the nickname "Duke" and were known a "Duke Mk I" and "Duke Mk II." Having identical twins as flight commanders on the same squadron was a unique situation. The majority of the pilots could not tell the twins apart but this was no problem as they assumed whoever was giving them orders knew which flight they were commanding. In March, 1945 the identical twins were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by King George VI.

Following the war, Bruce Warren continued his career with the RCAF. He was an ETPS graduate and was granted 2 years leave from the RCAF to join AVRO Canada to assist in the flight test program of the CF-100. He flew the No2 prototype 18102 but was killed in the crash of that prototype in 1951 when the aircraft suffered an oxygen system malfunction. The CF-100 was the only Canadian designed and manufactured fighter aircraft to see operational use.

He had flown over 2,200 hours on 28 aircraft types.