William Barker, Canada’s greatest war hero, gets overdue monument in Toronto
When you think about Canadian World War One flying aces, you usually think about Billy Bishop, Canada’s top ace with 72 victories. There is also Raymond Collishaw or Donald MacLaren, who had 60 and 54 victories, respectively. However, few people would name Billy Barker, even though with his 50 air victories, he is the most decorated serviceman in the history of Canada, as well as the British Empire. A monument to William George Barker has been unveiled in Toronto to commemorate this war hero. Writer Steve Mentl wrote about the dedication:
Billy Barker was a childhood hero of mine and anyone interested in the history of Canadian aviation and aerial warfare knows who he is.
But the amazing story of Col. William George Barker, including the incredible dogfight two weeks before the end of the First World War that earned him the Victoria Cross, has faded to obscurity since his death in 1930. He was, and remains, the most decorated war hero in Canada and the British Commonwealth.
That will change on Thursday with the unveiling of a monument at the Toronto cemetery where the former Manitoba farm boy was interred in his wealthy wife’s family crypt after the biggest funeral in the city’s history up to that time.
Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley and three of Barker’s grandsons were on hand to dedicate the memorial that features a plaque with a quote from Canada’s top air ace William (Billy) Bishop calling his friend “the deadliest air fighter who ever lived.”
“If he died at the end of World War I, he might have been (remembered as) a hero in a different way,” Onley told the Toronto Star. “If he lived longer, as Billy Bishop did, maybe he would have been a squadron commander in World War II.”
Read the rest of the story at William Barker, Canada’s greatest war hero, gets overdue monument in Toronto | Daily Brew – Yahoo! News.Google+