"His lifetime dedication to aviation in both war and peace, particularly his outstanding effort to preserve and present the human aspects of aviation for the purpose of increasing public knowledge and appreciation for Canada's aviation heritage has been of considerable benefit to Canadian aviation and to the nation.“
William Newson joined the RCAF in 1939 and learned to fly at Camp Borden, Ontario. His first assignment was to fly coastal operations, escorting convoys on the Atlantic crossings, often under very difficult weather conditions. He transferred to the United Kingdom Ferry Command and was later posted as Squadron Commander of No.431 Squadron.
In October 1944 Newson served as Commanding Officer of the famous Pathfinder Squadron, where he remained until war's end. Brigadier General William Newson, DSO, DFC and Bar, CD, was one of Canada's most outstanding bomber pilots of the Second World War.
From 1964 to 1968, BGen William Newson was Commander of the North American Radar Air Defense (NORAD) 36th Division in Topsham, Maine. There, he was responsible for the air defense of the northeastern approaches to North America. He was the first Canadian to command a NORAD base on American soil.
He retired from the Armed Forces in 1972 after accumulating nearly 6,000 flying hours. Newson was approached in 1977 to take on the role of Executive Vice President of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. Accepting the position, he successfully brought to fruition the concept of this unique institution and preserved the human aspects of Canadian aviation heritage for the benefit of the nation. He was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 1984.
Born: 19 July 1917, Calgary, AB
Died: 24 Mar 1988
Awards: DSO, DFC, CD