William H. Vincent

Air Vice Marshall (rtd) William H. (Bill)


January 31, 1922 – March 31, 2007

Air Vice Marshall (ret) William H. (Bill) VINCENT turned on final with wheels down and locked for the last time on March 31, 2007, passing away peacefully at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox at the age of 85.

Bill was predeceased by his father, Horace Gordon Vincent and mother Alice, brother Peter Gordon killed whilst on active service in 1944, brother Carl Denis in 1988.

He is survived by his loving wife Margaret of 63 years, daughter Ann Patricia of Nanaimo, son Peter Gordon of Saltspring Island, son John of Cumberland, sister Joan (Collins) of Calgary, granddaughter Tracy Lynn (MacInnis) of Edmonton, grandson Cpl. Ryan Stewart (Howlett) of Edmonton, and five great-grandchildren: Michael, Matthew, Trevor (MacInnis) and Jordon and Carissa (Cooney) of Edmonton, AB.

Born in Winnipeg, Man. 31 Jan 1922. Bill graduated from Lord Byng High School, Vancouver 1940. He joined the RCAF graduating as a Sgt. Pilot and proceeded to the UK in 1942 where he trained as a night fighter pilot Bill completed two tours of operations with 409 & 410 night fighter squadrons on Night Fighter and Intruder operations, flying Beaufighter and Mosquito aircraft over UK and Europe for 5 years at the sharp end.

Following WWII Bill remained in the RCAF and became Commanding Officer of 409 Squadron Comox in 1965. Base Commander CFB Cold Lake, AB, 1967. Canadian Air Attaché London, England 1971. His final assignment in his military career was as Commander of Air Defence Command/Fighter Group and 22nd NORAD Region all HQs co-located at North Bay, ON 1975.

After retirement in 1977, Bill wanted to contribute to his community, he was elected an Alderman in the town of Comox and served in that capacity for 18 years. Concurrently he was Director & Chairman of St. Joseph’s Hospital Board in Comox for 10 years. Director & Chairman of the Comox Valley sanitary sewer commission for 15 years, Chairman of the Comox Valley Association for Mentally Handicapped People for 25 years, President of the Canadian Fighter Pilot’s Association (Western Region). He was a member of the Canadian Legion (Comox branch) the Airforce Association, 888 Wing Comox.

He was a volunteer Coroner, investigating light aircraft accidents in BC for a few years in the early eighties. In 2005 Bill became chairman of BC Special Olympics Summer Games held in the Comox Valley in June 2005.

In 2006 Bill was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in appreciation of assistance and friendly relations among peoples of the world.

At a Special Meeting of Comox Council on July 15, 2006 Bill was conferred with the “Freedom of the Town” awarded in recognition of his commitment, dedication, and service to the community.

Bill will be remembered for his contributions and dedication to his country and community.

A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, April 11th at 2:00 pm from St. Michael’s and All Angels Protestant Chapel, 19 Wing Comox, with the Reverend Maggie Enwright officiating. Arrangements entrusted to Comox Valley Funeral Home & Crematorium, 1101 Ryan Road. Should friends wish, donations to Bill’s memory to the Beaufort Association for Mentally Handicapped People, Courtenay. 250-334-3532 would be appreciated.

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