Bio / Text:
Francis Hugh Belcher was the son of Frank Belcher a farmer from Roblin, Manitoba who had emigrated from England in 1906.
Frank served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France during WW1, being awarded the Military Medal.
Francis joined the RCAF completing his initial training in Canada in March 1941. Travelling to England he completed his training and joined the newly-formed Canadian 412 Squadron as a Sergeant pilot at the beginning of July. He was posted to 403 Squadron on 23 August 1941.
Having been promoted to Warrant Officer he left 403 on 6 April 1942 for an overseas posting. The ORB states that 'W/O Belcher was away today for his overseas posting. Nice chap, Belcher, quiet and unassuming, he does his work well; we wish him the best of luck.' Before the end of the month he flew to Malta as part of Operation Calendar joining 601 Squadron.
While on Malta he claimed for a damaged Re2001 (Spitfire serial unknown).
At the end of June he travelled with 601 to Egypt. On the 6 July he took part in an operational flight of four Spitfires. They met 3 Ju 88s and 3+ Me 109s and flak was also experienced. Belcher and one other pilot, William John Edgar Hagger, failed to return. Belcher became a POW but Hagger was killed.
Francis returned to Canada after the war and died in 2000.