There unfortunately is not very much information I could find on Wing Commander Pleasance. Born in Port Arthur Ontario and
made Calgary his home.
Enlisted very soon after the beginning of the war, November 1st 1939. Appear to be the only background information
As S/L Pleasance he was posted to 419 Squadron on October 26th 1943 from 431 Squadron. Moose squadron had just lost
it's Commander W/C McMurty two days earlier. The weather conditions on that day reflected the feelings of the men
of the squadron W/C McMurty had only been assigned the post of Squadron Commander a few short weeks earlier.
On November 11/12 W/C Pleasance and his crew flew their first operation.
W/C Pleasance's crew on arrival were:
Navigator F/O Lorne A. Rotstein
Bomb Aimer F/O David R. Taylor
WAG Sgt. Robert M. Emsley
F/E Sgt. Morley D. McGill
M/UG Sgt. Sgt. Jack F. Tagg
R/G F/Sgt. Edward H. Ihde
At this point in time the squadron was flying Halifax bombers. He and his crew stayed together through the whole Tour
moving on to the Lancaster where they completed their Tour in the last days of August. The crew went on to perform training duties
at OTU and HCU bases.
The Royal Visit
On August 11th 1944, the King, the Queen and Princess Elizabeth visited the 419 Squadron at Middleton St. George. The
weather was not cooperating for the visit, but luckily someone had the forethought of having a hanger prepared with
banners, flags and bunting, and so the awards were completed indoors. The main
part of the visit was the ceremony to investing seven of the Moose squadrons men with DFCs and a DFM. This included
In addition to being personally presented his DFC by the King, W/C Pleasance was presented by the King of the
official Squadron Badge.
DFC and Bar
This officer has displayed high powers of leadership, great skill and determination, qualities which have
contributed in a large measure to the high standard of operational efficiency of the squadron he commands.
Wing Commander Pleasance has taken part in very many sorties, including a number of mine-laying missions
which he has completed with great success. His example has proved most inspiring.
On Lancaster VR-E
One night in June 1944, these officers were pilot and flight engineer respectively of an aircraft detailed
to attack the railway junction at Versailles. In the take off both the port engines faltered at a time when
the aircraft had barely left the ground. Wing Commander Pleasance was unable to climb but, by just clearing
immediate obstacles and by taking advantage of low-lying ground, he flew on for twenty miles at a height of
about 200 feet. By then Pilot Officer McGill had succeeded in restoring power to the engines and
Wing Commander Pleasance went on to the target and bombed it. Both these officers displayed
great coolness and skill in a difficult and dangerous situation.
P/O Morley McGill also received a DFC for this action.
W/C Pleasance's crew on completion of Tour:
Navigator F/O Lorne A. Rotstein, August 29th to No. 84 OTU
Bomb Aimer F/O David R. Taylor, August 31st. to No.1664 HCU
WAG P/O Robert M. Emsley, August 31, Instructional duties, not noted where
F/E P/O Morley D. McGill DFC, August 29th. to No.1664 HCU
M/UG P/O Sgt. Jack F. Tagg October 3rd. not noted where
R/G P/O Edward H. Ihde October 3rd.not noted where
W/C Pleasance continued on with the RCAF until retirement in July of 1958.