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Rufus Clyde Ward


R.C. Ward learned to fly in the 1930's at Love Field, Dallas, Texas. Learned of the Clayton Knight Committee recruiting American pilots for the RAF in 1940 and first went to RCAF at Camp Borden Toronto as a pilot instructor. After 6 months there, discharged from RCAF, commissioned as Pilot Officer in RAF, sailed for England and assigned to 71 Eagle Squadron. One of the oldest pilots at 28, was nicknamed Pappy, which followed him the rest of his life. Best friends in 71 (Eagle) Squadron were Bill Dunn, Pete Provenzano, Wendell Pendleton. Ended the war in USAAC with over 3,000 flying hours, Senior Service Pilot designation.


Units served with

  • No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    'On 19 September 1940, No. 71 was reformed at Church Fenton as the first 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American personnel. The Squadron received Hurricanes in November and became operational on defensive duties on 5 February 1941. No. 71 converted...


  • Z2389

    Hawker Hurricane IIA Z2389, built at Kingston-on-Thames, assembled and test flown at either Langley or Brooklands, assigned to 71 Eagle Sqn RAF. As part of emergency war supplies for Russia, Z2389 was crated up and loaded on the merchant ship SS ‘S85’...

  • P3103

    Hawker Hurricane P3103 Built at Glosters, assigned to 71 Eagle Sqn RAF.

  • Z2463

    Hawker Hurricane Mk I Z2463. Assigned to 71 Eagle Sqn RAF coded XR-X. Transferred to 43 Sqn 27-Nov-41 coded FT-B. To Taylorcraft Aeroplanes Ltd 1-Apr-42.

Associated Place

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...

  • Sutton Bridge

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Born Brownwood, TX, USA 17 July 1911

Born 17 July, 1911

RCAFSR Canada 18 September 1940 – 9 December 1940

Joined Royal Canadian Air Force Special Reserve. Instructor pilot, rank of Tech Sergeant. Assigned to Camp Borden, Toronto.

RAFVR Sutton Bridge, Spalding PE12, UK 4 February 1941

Commissisoned Pilot Officer in RAF Volunter Reserve, sailed for England from Halifax with 3 other Americans where they would all join 56 OTU for operational training.

Assigned Martlesham Heath, Martlesham, Ipswich, UK 19 April 1941

Assigned to 71 [Eagle] Sqn RAF 19-4-41.

Returned to USA Tulsa, OK, USA 9 September 1941 – 28 June 1943

Civilian flying instructor at Spartan School of Aeronautics.

Commissioned into USAAC San Antonio, TX, USA 30 August 1943 – 22 July 1945

Left Spartan to enlist in US Army Air Corp, direct commission to 1st Lt. Assigned to 8th Service Command training pilots in Brownwood, Brady and Coleman Texas for duration of war.

Died Dallas, TX, USA 24 March 1983

Died March 24, 1983 in Dallas, Texas.


Date Contributor Update
25 February 2017 03:48:11 Andrew Changes to events

Andrew C. Ward, son

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2017 03:21:22 Andrew Changes to middlename, nickname, highest rank, biography, events, place associations and aircraft associations

I am the son of Rufus Clyde Ward. I have his logbooks, and have done extensive research on his military career.

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 22:59:04 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.

Date Contributor Update
13 October 2015 16:14:42 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.