Friday, September 23, 2011

William Barker, Canada's Most Decorated Serviceman is Formally Recognized in Toronto

Billy Barker. the forgotten WW1 flying ace was honoured yesterday in Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Wikipedia reports that Barker was the most decorated serviceman in the history of Canada and in the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth. Please click here. 

Reports tell of Barker's only lost sortee came when he was attacked by 15 German aircraft. He managed to shoot down 4 of the enemy craft, before escaping after being wounded. It was his only lost battle.

The story of Barker, sliding into relative anonymity is, in some respects, an archetypal Canadian story.  Radio reports today tell of Barker's interment in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto being attended by about 50,000 people and a fly past. . But, yet in a few short years he became all but a memory.

Barker is accredited to being the initiator of the Toronto Island Airport and he served as the first president of the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey team. He and Billy Bishop created Canada's first airline and he flew the first commercial flight into the States, from Canada.

The media leaped to life today with an abundance of reports which can be readily found by search engine.

The picture at the top left in this posting, appears to be of a statue of him, found in his birthplace of Dauphin, Manitoba.  Please click here. I find myself like many artists wanting to know who the sculptor is and if he/she was appropriately recognized.  Any reader response to this query would be appreciated.

To see the unveiling of the Toronto memorial, which was appropriately veiled with a parachute hanging over it. please click here .

The video is presented by the Toronto Sun and is accompanied with article written by Jenny Yuen.

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