Born: April 20, 1899
Died: June 11, 1918
Place of Birth: Stonewall, Manitoba
At 18, Alan McLeod was the youngest Canadian to ever win the Victoria Cross.
He attempted to join military service from the age of 14 until he was accepted at 18.
McLeod then reported for flight instructions and made his first solo flight after five days of training.
A keen learner, he qualified as a pilot in less than two months.
He sailed to England for further training and was assigned to the 83nd Squadron at Waddington.
He could not go to the front with his unit because he was still under 19.
At that point, Alan McLeod was transferred to a home defense unit, the 51st Squadron.
He finally was able to persuade a commanding general to let him join a bombing unit that served in France.
In the short time he served, he proved to be a very effective pilot, sometimes using his bomber as if it were a lighter fighter plane.
One of his kills was the bringing down of a German observation balloon; a difficult task for a heavy bomber.
Alan McLeod received his VC when, although wounded several times and with his craft on fire, he was able to crash land and
save the life of his observer. He did so by climbing out on the wing and slip-slid the plane until it crashed.
His death, not too much later, was from the influenza that was raging at the time.
Alan McLeod was a very brave and honorable young man. His story deserves to live on in Canada.
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