Bio / Text:
Courtesy of rcafassociation.ca ...
BOCKUS, F/L David Edgar (J14759) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.67 Squadron - Award effective 8 August 1945 as per London Gazette dated 17 August 1945 and AFRO 1507/45 dated 28 September 1945. Born in Belleville, 1922; home in Toronto; enlisted there 14 October 1941. Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated 10 Aril 1942), No.20 EFTS (graduated 19 June 1942) and No.8 SFTS (graduated 9 October 1942). Award sent by registered mail.
This officer joined his present squadron in October 1943 and since then he has flown on a large number of operational sorties. On many occasions his aircraft was forced down in the Burmese jungle but each time he evaded capture by the enemy and returned to our lines. By his consistent keenness and efficiency Flight Lieutenant Bockus has set an inspiring example to the other pilots in his squadron.
NOTE: In January 1997 the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society (Canadian Branch) presented to the National Aviation Museum a "dossier" (actually more like an album) with extended autobiographical notes on members (catalogued in the museum as D.805 C3 L96 1995 NMM). This included much information on Bockus. This indicated that he had not been absent from No.67 Squadron early 1944, supporting Chindit operations in Burma, principally flying L-5s to and from jungle clearings but also flying Dakotas to bases in China. Of this experience he wrote, in part:
"Two U.S. planes and I landed in China for a triple pickup when I crashed on takeoff. The attacking Japanese burned my plane; the U.S. planes and my passenger escaped. [Terence] O'Brian's book, Out of the Blue, 1984, tells of the report of the execution of myself and others found in the area. After several encounters with Japanes troops I joined the Chinese guerrillas led by an OSS Captain. Their hit-and-run tactics were almost pleasant compared to the Chindit jungle warfare. Later a U.S. plane landed me back at "Broadway" [the Chindit base]. In mid-May, the Chindits were ordered to pull out of "Broadway" as it could not be held any longer.
After 2 months behind enemy lines and Eric [Loken, RCAF] with malaria in the rear seat, we took off. We met two enemy fighters and Eric's comment was, "We're finished" did not come about as with the help of trees, bad weather and mountain terrain, we escaped.
After hospitalization, I rejoined 67 Squadron, Spitfires, in July 1944 and flew another 12 months of scrambled, bombing, strafing and escorting. I was awarded a DFC - an operation on January 11th, 1945, near Myebon resulted in a baleout into shark infested Japanese waters, but was rescued by a Sea Otter and Spitfires. Returned to Canada in October 1945."
He returned to Canada in 1945. He has the following badges; Caterpillar, Goldfish, Chindit and a badge from US 1st Air Commandos. After the war, Bockus married Ivy Jackson and they had three children; Larry, Diana, and Sharon.