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Appleby, Arthur William

Date of birth:
1916 (Sand Point/Ontario, Canada)
Canadian (1931-present, Constitutional Monarchy)


Service number R53561 (NCO) J21402 (officer).

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Marine Section, RCAF Station Dartmouth, Royal Canadian Air Force
Awarded on:
June 11th, 1942
"At about 2225 hours, G.M.T., 9 September 1941, Catalina Z2139 crashed while landing in a heavy sea about two miles off shore at Northwest River, Labrador. Although the sea was so heavy as to discourage the most experienced water men of the settlement from going out in small boats, Sergeant Appleby put out immediately in an RCAF dinghy with an outboard motor and by consummate skill and daring reached the scene of the crash in time to rescue six of the eight occupants of the aircraft. The survivors were clinging to the wing over which the seas were breaking and, numbed by the cold, could not have lasted much longer. After taking the survivors off the wing and transferring them to a larger boat when it arrived, Sergeant Appleby continued to search the surrounding waters until it was too dark to see. He also stayed with the aircraft until it sank and then circled the spot until a large boat came out with the equipment to buoy the position. All survivors, and witnesses aboard other boats and ashore, were unanimous in the praise of the skilful and daring seamanship displayed by this NCO at great personal risk. But for his coolness and gallantry more lives might easily have been lost before other boats reached the scene of the crash. His courage and devotion to duty have set a fine example to all members of the Service."
British Empire Medal (BEM & EGM)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Flight Lieutenant
No. 684 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
April 3rd, 1945
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
"This officer has carried out 28 operational sorties over Burma and Siam flying long range reconnaissance Mosquitoes and has at all times displayed exceptional boldness in the execution of his duties. This fearlessness and veracity [tenacity ?] has enabled him to reach targets in the extremely bad weather conditions on the monsoon period and on the 30th October 1944 he succeeded in making the 900 mile journey to Victoria Point flying through frontal conditions to obtain photographs of enemy shipping located there which were urgently required by the Staff. Not only did he get there but he pressed on to the port of Khao Huagang covering the 60 miles stretch of railway across the Kra Isthmus to Jumbhorn and visiting Paknam for the first time where six coasters were located, returning to base with much valuable information after a trip of 7.05 hours in a short range aircraft involving a distance of 2,008 air miles."


  • - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35587 published on the 5 June 1942
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37012 published on the 30 March 1945
    - Air Force Association of Canada