Allan Todd Home Page
Flying Officer Allan Douglas Todd Military Service - August, 1942 to February, 1945
Allan was wartime member of 427 Lion Squadron based at Leeming and as a Navigator carried out 31 sorties on German targets between August and December1944. Since the first "Gathering of the Lions" at Petawawa in 1976, he has attended almost all of the Squadron anniversaries. He is a long term member of the 427 Squadron Association and is presently its representative for the Ottawa area.
Allan was born of Scottish stock in 1922, in the village of Merrickville in Eastern Ontario. After completing High School, he attended Ottawa Technical School. In May 1940 he was hired by Albright and Wilson in Buckingham, Quebec as a Laboratory Technician.
In 1942, he enlisted in the RCAF, going first to No. 1 Manning Depot at Toronto and then doing Tarmac Duty at Uplands. Following this he was posted to No. 1 ITS at Belleville, selected to become a Navigator and sent to No. 1 AOS at Brampton. In October, 1943, he received his Navigator's Wing and his commission as a Pilot Officer.
In November 1943, he sailed for England aboard the MV Mauretania, going first to the holding Unit at Bournemouth, followed by a Commando Course at Sidmouth. Next he was posted to No. 10 AFU at Dumfries, Scotland, then No. 22 OTU at Wellsbourne, No. 1666 HCU at Wombleton and then 427 Squadron at Leeming.
Flying the Halifax Mk III, he and his crew carried out 31 sorties on German targets in France, Germany, Holland and Norway. Most of these were at night. Damage in combat was limited to numerous shrapnel holes to the fuselage. One stressful event occurred while returning from a mine laying sortie early Christmas morning, near Oslo. Due to weather the aircraft involved in this op were diverted to RAF Fighter Base at Peterhead in Northern Scotland. As F/L Earl Mayo made his approach from over the sea, with flaps and wheels down, the lights on the runway were abruptly turned off. Unable to see, Earl had to abandon the approach and circle until communications were restored and the lights switched on. After landing, Earl had a "hot discussion" with the tower person on duty.
In early December , 1944 while on a week leave in Edinburgh Allan met a very attractive girl, Irene Purves. With a tour completed and indefinite leave granted, an intense courtship evolved. Irene and Allan were married on January 20, 1945 at the Charles Wesleyan Church in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In March, 1945 Allan received his discharge, and returned to work for Albright and Wilson. Over the years, he was Assistant Works Chemist, Works Chemist and Supervisor of Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the Professional Chemists of Quebec, the Chemical Institute of Canada and served several years as a member of the Environmental Committee of the Canadian Chemical Producers Association.
Irene and Allan had five children. Anne the eldest, passed away in the year 2000. They have sixteen grandchildren, two adopted grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Their recreation life is busy, having had a family cottage since 1958. Sailing is a hobby and at age 65 Allan commenced windsurfing which he continued until he was 82. In his earlier years he enjoyed trout fishing and deer hunting. In community activities, he was a School Board Trustee and Chairman for ten years, a Board Member and Trustee of St. Andrews United Church for 27 years, and a Boy Scout Leader and Member and Chairman of the Scout Group Committee for several years.
Irene and Allan have stated that they have had a very rewarding life and enjoyed the closeness of their family members and their many long time friends. Sadly Irene, Allan's spouse of 63 years, passed away in 2008.
F/O (R) Allan Todd's Military Awards
- 1. Canadian Defence Medal
- 2. Canadian Volunteer Service Medal And Bar
- 3. British War Medal
- 4. British "France Germany Star"
- 5. British " 1939 - 45 Star"
- 6. Bomber Wings - For completion of an operational tour
Allan was the Navigator for F/L Earl Mayo's crew during his tour. During that tour F/L Mayo was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
This picture was at Leeming in 1944. Allan Todd is second from right. Don Hepburn is far right and Pat Mitchell is in front. No other names.
Petawawa - November 5, 1983
Left to Right: Allan Todd, Stan Miller, Harry Hollands, George Storey, Dan Foster, Vernon White, Jack Smith, Les Horton, Al d'Eon
Note the ceremonial SWORD presented to the Squadron by WW II members
Royal Canadian Air Force
They tell us the twilight is falling,
Falling on heads turning grey.
That soon there will be no remembrance
Of warriors long gone away.
They say we romanticize killing,
That War is a curse and a blight.
Dear Father in Heaven, they knew it
They knew it, but still went to fight.
Why prate of ideals when the goose-step
Was heard from behind bolted doors?
They poured from this land in their thousands
To keep all that hell from our shores.
Perhaps it is twilight for veterans.
It comes to us all with the years.
At least we have rich, hallowed memories,
And poppies, and crosses, and tears.