Squadron Leader James Donald Dickson RCAF. DFC. AFC. DFM. CD . WW2, Korea – bomber, transport and Sabre pilot

Notes on Squadron Leader James Donald Dickson RCAF RAF North Luffenham

One of the war graves in North Luffenham churchyard is that of Squadron Leader Dickson, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). This airman clearly had an eventful career flying in the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force. His service started on October 23, 1940 and appears to have continued until his death on 26 July 1953.

Commissioned in Jun 1942. I have not verified the fact, but it appears his cause of death was polio. There were epidemics in the 50s of polio. it seems cruel that having survived many 2 wars, operational sorties, night fighters, bad weather and all the other hazards associated with military operational flying that he was cut down by what we now see as preventable disease.

The citation for his Air Force cross is shown below. I have not yet been able to ascertain how many hours he had recorded in this logbook, but clearly flying Wellingtons on operations in 57 Squadron RAF and being awarded his distinguished flying medal (DFM) must be an interesting story.

Followed by the award of a distinguish flying cross (DFC) flying Halifax’s on 419 Squadron also must have many stories. He also received mention in dispatches. I’ll try and see if I can find the citations for these decorations.

it also appears that Dixon had another connection with North Luffenham on 8 October 1942 when he was piloting Wellington X3 719 which hit a power line near North Luffeham. Heavy damage was caused to the aircraft nose, both propellers and starboard main plane but he was not court-martialled.

The award of the Air Force Cross (AFC) relates to outstanding leadership and flying in support of the Korean war airlift. The citation is below. A truly outstanding aviator.

3 thoughts on “Squadron Leader James Donald Dickson RCAF. DFC. AFC. DFM. CD . WW2, Korea – bomber, transport and Sabre pilot”

  1. Hi there. Any info you have on SL Dickson is appreciated, he was my mother’s first cousin. My mum was Joan Cunningham Dickson, from Hampton.

    Would love to read any other stories.
    Thank you
    Heather Scott Moreau

    1. Hi Heather, thank you for contacting me. You have seen what I have written so far. It seesm to me he had an extarordinary time – living through the bomber days and then Korea etc. Many of his comrades failed to make it. I would welcome some help in getting the citations for each of his decorations, any picture of his medal. Does the family have his log books? Please let me know if theer is anything you want to add or if there are any errors in the blog post? best rgds Gareth

    2. Heather, My Name is also Don Dickson and I am the nephew of JD Dickson. I have several scrap books with newspaper clippings and pictures. Once he became Squadron Leader he started refusing promotions. His quote “You can not fly a desk”.

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