Thursday, September 13, 2012

70 Years Later- It's Still A Small World

This story is exactly one reason why I am doing this blog.  I was so moved by the way this event unfolded.  I pray that this site can bring more exceptional experiences to families like the one I just shared with Grant Workman and Wally Peacock, brother of F/0 Billy Peacock.  

Billy Peacock flew with the RCAF 111 & 440 (f) Squadrons in WW2.  He was born in a town called Swastika, Ontario on April 1, 1920 and joined the 111(f) Sqn on November 25, 1941. After the war in Alaska was over, the 111 (f) squadron got recommissioned as the 440(f) and were stationed over seas where they got a chance to fly the more advanced fighters.  Sadly Billy was killed in action on May 4, 1944, when his typhoon struck a barrage balloon cable and crashed over Eastleigh, Hampshire. He was 24.  

 Bill Peacock in his P-40 Kittyhawk
RCAF 111(f) Squadron 1942
I recently got the great pleasure of communicating with his brother Wally, who was 8 when Billy died.  He shared with me that he carries around a small blue bible gifted to the Canadian figher pilot by the navy fellows: H.T. Armerding, Lt. Sherwood and Cmndr. Boggs from the USS Whicita.  In the his own inscription in the bible, the airman goes on to say that  "Bill Pigden, Ken Caldwell and self had supper and saw a show. Had wonderful time and I think the U.S. Navy is a great outfit."  dated August 2nd, 1943, Aleutian Islands, Alaska. 

RCAF F/O Billy Peacock 

So as I was preparing to write this blog about Wallys brother, the veterans name- Billy Peacock, kept repeating itself inside my head as if I had heard it before.  I got out my grandfathers flight log book and began to search for the name and that is when it hit me, there pasted into my grandfathers flight log book was a picture of a group of his fellow airmen, and Billy Peacock was one of them. 

RCAF Pilots L-R: F/O Bill Pigden,  F/O Frank Skelly,  F/O Ed Merkley,
F/S Gerry Johnson,  F/S Gordon Baird,  F/O  Bill Peacock
February, 1942 

Incredible.  I just love that this blog is beginning to connect people, which is another reason you need to share this blog with everyone and anyone you know.  I am working on word of mouth here and although you personally may not know of anyone who fought in World War 2 in Alaska, the person you pass this on to, very well may.  You never know someone's family history.  So c'mon please hit that share button and let's see if we can make some more tear jerking connections with the families of those who proudly served. 

Note: Of those six RCAF pilots who are listed above, only 1 survived WW2 and that was F/O Bill Pigden. Wow.


  1. I came across your blog through the 111(f) squadron site. I discovered (confirmed, actually) that my uncle, Bill Pigden, was with the squadron through the campaign. (He's the pilot pictured on the far left of the Sgt./pilots' photo, above. Bill remained in the RCAF, eventually flying CF-100's with Air Div. out of Marville, France.

    1. Neal,
      Great to hear from you!! How long did he stay in the RCAF? I would love to hear Billy's story and then share it to my blog. Please email me so we can continue communicating I just love how this site is creating these connections from such an important generation almost completely passed. Thank you for commenting.

  2. David,
    Can you get in touch with me please at please?