Wally Metcalfe was born in Toronto and grew up in the Great Depression. In 1942, at the age of 18 and looking for adventure, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) receiving his wings as an airgunner in Mont-Joli, Quebec. He first trained on Wellingtons with 408 Squadron. Then he was posted and served with the #6 Canadian Heavy Bomber Group in Yorkshire, England flying Halifax Bombers.
As a flying officer, he did two tours; the first with 432 Leaside Squadron and the second with 427 Alliance Squadron. As part of the D-Day attacks, he and a small group of fifty were sent up to fly at a low level (2,000 feet) and bomb out a strategic bridge near Utah Beach. One image that Wally will never forget, was when he looked down from the sky and saw 5,000 boat wakes and boats in the water. It was at that moment, he realized that they were part of something big.
In 1950, following the Second World War, Wally volunteered once again and joined the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry as a rifleman to serve in the Korean War. He took part in the Battle of Kapyong, an important episode in the Korean War. For heroic efforts, he and his unit received a United States Presidential Citation – a rare honour for a Canadian unit.Donate now