IMG_0889You may have read a previous post “Two Very Brave Young Men”, in which Robert Thomas Waters was introduced.  There was actually a second brave young man involved in the same rescue.  This was Albert Richard DeCuyper, originally from St. Boniface, Manitoba.  Though he served in the Army during WWII, at the time of the crash, he was working as a civilian at the RCAF Station in Comox.

According to The London Gazette of Tuesday, December 22, 1953, the citation read, “A Lancaster aircraft which was returning from an instrument practice flight crashed and caught fire near the R.C.A.F. Station at Comox.  Mr. DeCuyper, who had been working on a farm nearby, immediately ran to the scene… In order to reach the aircraft, it was necessary for them to fight their way through heavy bush and swamp.  On reaching the burning machine DeCuyper saw one of the occupants endeavouring to free himself and immediately went to his aid.  As he reached the port wing of the aircraft he was hurled into the air by the force of an explosion but was uninjured.  Undaunted by his narrow escape from serious injury, DeCuyper unhesitantly approached the now blazing machine and was successful in removing the injured man.”  DeCuyper had rescued FO M.L. Wright.  “By his unselfish act of heroism, during which he twice hazarded his own life, was undoubtedly responsible for the saving of the second pilot’s life, and is worthy of the highest recognition.”

For his bravery he was awarded the George Medal.  Unfortunately he was unable to attend the same ceremony at which Robert Thomas Waters received his.