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Bill Walton, F/SGT Navigator

When Bill Walton was 18 years old, he made a decision which would result in the most most life changing experience he would ever have. In February of 1943, Bill joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. As WWII ravaged Europe, Bill served his country as a navigator. The momentous test flight of Operation Manna on Bad Penny would prove to be one of his last missions; the Germans surrendered on May 8, 1945.

After the war, Bill found gainful employment at the post office and later moved on to work for the Toronto Board of Education until his retirement. Bill married Alma Metcalfe in 1945 and they raised two children, Eric and June, and four grandchildren. Thirty-five years ago, Bill met his second wife, Shirley Reeves.

Bill has a keen interest in reading and building models in his spare time. One of the most memorable models was a scale model Lancaster bomber, which resembled Bad Penny. Bill also accumulated an extensive stamp collection and became an avid fisherman at his summer cottage on Rice Lake.

Bill no longer had anything to do with aviation on a professional level, except for his love of model planes. During the test flight of Operation Manna, Bill remembered a circle of German tanks with their guns aimed right at them. During the entire flight he prayed to “the big man up above” that they would not be shot down.


Bill and Shirley live in North York, Ontario, and they still visit Rice Lake frequently during the summer months.

(information provided by Bill’s grandson Steven.)

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