F/O Aleck Whiting of Toronto (left) & Wilf Banks, the former having won a pool when
Banks destroyed the 100th enemy aircraft credited to Dal Russel's wing
RCAF Shoots Down 26 Enemy Planes
Born at Hazenmore, Saskatchewan, 21 January 1920;
Died in Ottawa, 12 January 1997.
BANKS, F/O Wilfred John (J12311) - Distinguished
Flying Cross - No.412 Squadron
Award effective 22 September 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 2274/44 dated 20 October 1944.
This officer has completed many sorties. He has invariably displayed a high degree of skill and courage and is a keen and resolute pilot. Flying Officer Banks has destroyed six enemy aircraft, three of them in one sortie.
By William Stewart
An RCAF Airfield in France, July 25 (CP). — Three Toronto Spitfire pilots today told how a routine Weather reconnaissance turned into a smashing victory for the RCAF when they ran into a formation of 40 German fighters and destroyed seven without loss.
FO. W. J. Banks of Leaside. Flt. Lt. O. M. Linton. York Mills Rd., Toronto, and P.O. D.R. Jamieson 140 Symington Ave., Toronto, were just about to return from a look at the weather Monday afternoon when they sighted 20 Nazi planes over Lisieux, about 27 miles east of Caen.
Jamieson saw them first, and the Spits gave chase as the German formation was joined by another group of similar size.
'They began to orbit in two sections, and we came in from above and attacked individually," Jamieson said. In a short, swirling dog-fight, Banks doubled his total score of destroyed planes by knocking down three, and Linton and Jamieson each got two.
Banks' tactic for each of his three was almost identical. In each instance he closed to within 50 to 75 yards before opening fire with cannon and machine guns. Each Nazi plane burst into flames and plummeted to earth.
Jamieson's first victim broke in two when he concentrated his fire behind the German's cockpit. The second went out of control following strikes on the tail. It hit the ground and exploded.
Linton, who was leading the section, shot down his first with a two-second burst from 300 yards. "Then I climbed to 9,000 feet and engaged another one," Linton said. "I was lucky enough to knock off at least half his port wing. He flicked over, spiraled down and went straight into the ground."
An R.C.A.F. Airfield in Holland, Dec. 6, 1944 —
(CP Cable) — Five Canadian Spitfire pilots of the Falcon Squadron,
patrolling over the Wesel area of northwestern Germany near the Netherlands
frontier, took on more than 50 Messerschmitt 109's yesterday, shot down
four and probably destroyed a fifth. One Spitfire was lost, but the pilot
is believed safe.
Leading the attack, FO. Fred Murray, of Saint John, N.B., made two certain "kills" and probably destroyed another enemy plane. Flight-Lieut. Bill Banks, D.F.C., of Toronto's Leaside district, shot down the other pair.
Banks, who has ten German planes to his credit, became the top scorer now on operations with his wing of the R.A.F. 2nd Tactical Air Force. It was the first score for Murray.
An Advanced RCAF Airfleld in Holland, Dec. 18 (CP). —
Fliers of a Canadian Spitfire wing under Group Capt. G. R. McGregor
and Wing Cmdr. Dal Russel, both of Montreal,
became the second to pass the 200 mark in German aircraft destroyed since
the wing’s formation, when they shot down a pair of FW190's over
Geldern in Germany.
First to establish the mark was the wing commanded jointly by Group Capt. W. R. MacBrien of Ottawa, and Wing Cmdr. Johnny Johnson, whose fliers shot down five aircraft Oct. 8, raising their total to 202, and subsequently to 207. The McGregor-Russel wing's total stands at 201.
The two Canadian units have destroyed 314 Huns between them since D-Day, scored more than 15 probables and damaged upwards of 200. In addition to crippling German road and rail transport with dive-bombing, as well as machine-gun and cannon offensives.
The first Jerry destroyed by McGregor-Russel pilots, July 19, 1943, was a FW190, joint victim of Sqdn. Ldr. Ian Ormston of Montreal, and Sqdn. Ldr. Bob Hayward of St. John's, Nfld. Since then many aces have been born within the wing. The most, recent being Flt. Lt. Don J Laubman, of Edmonton, with 15 destroyed; Sqdn. Ldr. R. I. Smith, Regina, 11 destroyed; Flt. Lt. W. J. Banks and F.O. D. R. Jamieson, both of Toronto, each with eight destroyed.
BANKS, F/L Wilfred John, DFC (J12311) - Bar to
DFC - No.412 Squadron
Award effective 19 February 1945 as per London Gazette dated 27 February 1945 and
AFRO 721/45 dated 27 April 1945.
Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has taken part in many more operational sorties. In September 1944 he participated in the Arnhem paratroop landings and in one combat against a superior force he destroyed two enemy aircraft. On the following day he destroyed another two in air combat bringing his total victories to at least ten enemy aircraft destroyed. On another occasion the propeller of this officer's aircraft was hit by fire from the enemy's defences and half of one blade was knocked off but with great skill he brought his aircraft safely back to base. At all times Flight Lieutenant Banks has set a fine example of courage, efficiency and leadership.
Ottawa, Feb. 27, 1945 - (CP) - Air Force Headquarters announced today the award of the bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross to three members of the RCAF serving overseas and the DFC to three others. Ontario recipients:
Victories Include :
28 June 1944,
one Bf.109 destroyed;
--- Canadian Aces ---
On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources, newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC) as well as other sources both published and private