Spooner, Kenneth Gerald

Date of birth:
May 24th, 1922 (Smith Falls/Ontario, Canada)
Date of death:
May 14th, 1943 (Lake Erie, Canada)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Graves Hillcrest Cemetery
Row: 15. Grave: 225.
Service number:
R179314
Nationality:
Canadian (1931-present, Constitutional Monarchy)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leading Aircraftman
Unit:
No. 4 Air Observer School, Royal Canadian Air Force
Awarded on:
January 7th, 1944
Action:
Citation:
"This airman, a student navigator with no pilot training, displayed great courage, resolution and unselfishness in the face of harassing circumstances when the pilot of the aircraft fainted at the controls. While other crew members were vainly trying to remove him from his seat he temporarily regained consciousness and froze on the controls, causing the aircraft to lose altitude rapidly. Immediately after the pilot became indisposed, Leading Aircraftman Spooner, with extreme coolness and courage, assumed charge, ordered the remainder of the crew to bail out while he took over the controls and endeavoured to keep the aircraft at safe height. Three members of the crew bailed out as instructed and shortly after the aircraft crashed, carrying the unconscious pilot and Leading Aircraftman Spooner to their death. The crash occurred approximately one hour after the pilot had lost control. This airman, with complete disregard for his personal safety and in conformity with the highest tradition of the Service, sacrificed his life in order to save the lives of his comrades."
Details:
In fact, there were three fatalities, not two as suggested by citation. Crew was:
- Pilot- Sergeant D.A. Nelson (R137915), missing.
- Wireles Operator/Air Gunner- Sergeant W.J. Brown (R132466), missing.
- Air Bomber Under Training - LAC J.A. Curtis (R151200), uninjured.
- Navigator Under Training - LAC K.G. Spooner (R179312), missing.
- Navigator Under Training - LAC R.H. Bailey (R179709), uninjured.
George Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
With clasp
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal

Sources

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