Siblings visit grave of RCAF father 57 years after his death overseas

A woman and a man stand behind a white cross tombstone in a cemetery.
Kerry Balcom (right) and his sister, Anne Marie Pearle, recently visited the grave of their father, RCAF Sergeant Gordon R. Balcom, in France, for the first time in more than 50 years. The trip was made possible by the charity “Wish of a Lifetime Canada” and its corporate partner, Astellas Pharma Canada. PHOTO: Submitted

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Kerry Balcom was only seven years old in 1962 when his father, Sergeant Gordon Balcom, suffered a heart attack while on operations on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The siblings were not permitted to attend their father’s burial and, though they had a chance to quickly visit his gravesite in France a year later before returning to Canada, they’ve both felt a lack of closure around their father’s death for decades.

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