Campbell River loses long-time resident and war hero

Halifax bomber and West Coast aviator passes away at age 90

Long-time Campbell River resident Ted Turner, 90, a former aviator with the RCAF, Island Air and Air BC, and an active supporter of the Royal Canadian Legion, died at his home at Berwick-by-the-Sea on Friday.

The Halifax bomber tail-gunner, who survived a full “tour” of 35 operational missions into occupied Europe during World War II, died suddenly attended by his son Mark and emergency personnel, just months after receiving the new RCAF Bomber Command Bar medal for his wartime service.

Turner took great pride in his time in the RCAF and that his entire seven-man aircraft crew had survived the war almost completely unscathed, despite the enormous losses in Bomber Command, particularly among tail-gunners.

After coming to Campbell River in 1966 from Ontario, Turner became a pilot with Island Air and Air BC, retiring at 58 in 1982.

Turner attended numerous military ceremonies here with the Legion and in April this year laid a wreath and represented the Legion in being one of a small handful of WWII veteran guest of honour at ceremonies in April to mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands in 1945.

Ten years before, he had attended 60th anniversary celebrations in Holland, where he was feted along with many other Canadian veterans; and in July 2012 ago he was one of the RCAF guests of honour at the unveiling of a Bomber Command memorial in London, England, unveiled by Prince Charles. He recalled that he and Prince Charles shook hands and had a brief chat. Tuner invited Prince Charles to come to Campbell River to do some fishing

Turner, the youngest and last-surviving sibling of a large family in Manitoba, leaves son Mark, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned at the Legion at 1 p.m. Sunday July 19.