"His winning of the Victoria Cross in aerial combat must be regarded as one of the most outstanding contributions possible to Canadian aviation."
David Ernest Hornell was educated at Toronto and Mimico where he worked for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company from 1927 to 1940. He entered the RCAF in January, 1941. He was posted to Reykjavik, Iceland in 1944 with No. 162 Squadron when a German U-boat fully surfaced and Flight Lieutenant Hornell attacked. The U-boat crew opened fire on the aircraft but despite his precarious position, Hornell targeted and successfully sank the submarine.
However, the aircraft was badly damaged and Hornell and the crew were forced to crash land into the sea. They spent 21 hours in the water, taking turns between riding in the small dinghy and clinging to the side, after which they were rescued. Sadly, Flight Lieutenant Hornell succumbed to his exposure to the elements shortly after being picked up. For this outstanding feat of bravery, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Born: 26 Jan 1910, Lucknow, ON
Died: 25 June 1944