Second World War flying ace to receive overdue public recognition

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TRURO - A Second World War fighter pilot who is buried in Truro will finally get the public recognition he is due, Mayor Bill Mills says.

"We're trying to talk to Veteran's Affairs Canada and we're working on some kind of a plaque to be erected in Deryk's memory, with all of his accomplishments on them," Mills said, regarding Hamilton Charles Deryk Upton, a one-time Truro resident and a Second World War flying ace who participated in the Battle of Britain and flew fighter planes for both Canada and the United Kingdom.

Upton was a fighter pilot during the Second World War with both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force. He is credited with shooting down 10 planes by himself, while helping to shoot down another one. His feats earned him the distinguished Flying Cross, among other medals.

Born in England in 1912, he spent his latter years in Truro before his death in 1965.

Upton is buried in the Truro Cemetery, but there is nothing at his gravesite or elsewhere in town to indicate his patriotic and heroic past, a factor that Mills has been attempting to rectify.

"So we're hoping to have all those issues addressed, by (the anniversary of) the Battle of Britain ," Mills said.

The plaque is to be erected in the new town park beside the Salmon River bridge and Mills said town council has an agreement to have the site named as Veteran's Memorial Park.

The town had also sent an invitation to Charles, Prince of Wales, to have him attend the Upton ceremony but it received a reply letter saying he would not be coming to the event.

AT A GLANCE

Hamilton Charles Deryk Upton

Born: Manchester, Eng. March 13, 1912.

Died: Truro, Nova Scotia Aug. 1, 1965.

Joined the R.A.F.: June 16, 1939;

Transferred to R.C.A.F.: July 24 1945. Retired from that force on Dec. 1, 1953 with rank of Squadron Leader

Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross (among other medals), in 1942.

 

Organizations: Royal Air Force, Canadian Air Force

Geographic location: TRURO, United Kingdom, Canada England Salmon River Veteran's Memorial Park Manchester Nova Scotia

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