Skip to comments.The Americans who died for Canada in WWII finally get their due: 'These men are my heroes'
Posted on 01/01/2014 5:19:01 AM PST by albertabound
By: Mitch Potter Washington Bureau, Published on Tue Oct 22 2013 E 2 Reddit thXPLORE THIS STORY 2 PHOTOS Save to Mystar Share on Facebook
inShareis! Republish WASHINGTONRichard Fuller Patterson was a strapping young flyer with a world of promise when he died, alone and forgotten, almost 72 years ago in the cockpit of his Spitfire. Shot down over Belgium at age 26, with a Canadian insignia on his arm and his American citizenship in doubt. Thats how the end came for this graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. Patterson was an heir to a name that still means something in Virginia: the Pattersons of Richmond founded the iconic Lucky Strike tobacco brand that the whole world, it seemed, was smoking during the Second World War. Fuller, as the charismatic fighter pilot was known, was the golden boy. He was also a gun-jumper: one of the more than 840 American volunteers who would not wait until their country joined the war against Hitler. Instead, they put their passports on the line, joining, training and, eventually, dying as members of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Photos View photos Margaret Ashbrook, left, and Flora Ballard, the sisters of Second World War casualty Thomas Withers, greet Karl Kjarsgaard of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada at the unveiling of a memorial plaque for 16 Virginians who died serving in the RCAF.zoom Why are they forgotten? For one thing, the U.S. didnt look kindly on the cross-border surge, going so far as to warn those heading to Canada that they might not be welcome back. In Pattersons case, it didnt help that his luck ran out on arguably the most ominous day of the 20th century Dec. 7, 1941,
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I had a friend, Notre Dame grad, that flew for the Canadians.
That would be the RCAF, then and now again.
Under U.S. law, at least as recently as 1975, any citizen, native born or naturalized, could lose their U.S. citizenship if they served in the Armed Forces of a foreign country, or traveled on a foreign passport.
Nowadays, anyone with an Irish grandfather carries an Irish passport, and no one looks askance at an American serving in the IDF.
US Law? Oh, that’s just for the little people.
In the Vietnam era the opposite happened- a lot of Canadians enlisted in the US Military.
Albert, Thank you for posting this reminder of those who went to defend freedom by joining the Canadian and British military services before Dec 7, 1941.
Happy New Year to ya Squawk 8888
and thanks for the ping, a bit of WW-II history that is not widely known.
Thanks for the ping.
Imagine a story like this coming from the Toronto (red) Star??!!