Market Garden Profile of Courage: Flight Lieutenant Peter William Bickford

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Flight Lieutenant Peter William Bickford was rejected by the American military because he was a British citizen. So he came north to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, and eventually found himself in the thick of the action during Operation Market Garden.

Peter was born in Bristol, England, on July 16, 1920. His family immigrated to North America in 1925 and ten years later settled in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

He graduated from the Monongahela High School in 1939 and became a sports editor for the local newspaper, The Daily Republican. In his spare time, he took courses at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.

In the months following the Japanese attack on American forces at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, he attempted to enlist in the United States Army, planning to become a flyer. However, he was a British citizen and was turned down. He then travelled to Toronto in April 1942 and was welcomed with open arms into the Royal Canadian Air Force. Read the rest of the article . . .

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