Relatives, friends, colleagues and military representatives gathered in Courtenay, B.C. on Friday to bid Godspeed to James “Stocky” Edwards, a Second World War fighter ace whose contributions to aviation, his community and his family continued until his death at 100 last week. Edwards had 19 confirmed kills (the Germans tallied 22) in the West African campaign and ended the war as CO of 127 RCAF Wing. He stayed in the RCAF, retiring as a Lt. Col., whose experience as a combat pilot benefitted the training of the next generation of pilots.
As impressive as his military service was, his work for environmental causes, notably Ducks Unlimited, made a mark on the wider community. He earned numerous honours and distinctions including the Order of Canada, induction into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and even as a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honour.