Language selection

Sydney Shulemson

Flight Lieutenant Sydney Shulemson proved to be an exceptionally brave and skilled airman, being awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1944, and the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1945.

Montréal, Quebec


Second World War
Sydney Shulemson

Biography

Sydney Shulemson was born in Montréal in 1915. A student at McGill University at the outbreak of the Second World War, he soon chose to set aside his studies to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Shulemson would train as a pilot at British Commonwealth Air Training Plan bases in Ontario and Prince Edward Island before being awarded his wings in 1942 and joining Royal Canadian Air Force No. 404 Squadron in northeastern Scotland.

Flight Lieutenant Shulemson’s squadron was part of Coastal Command, tasked with finding and attacking enemy forces in the seas off Western Europe. He soon proved to be an exceptionally brave and skilled airman, being awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1944 for a mission along the coast of occupied Norway that saw the pilot evade heavy fire as he flew his Beaufighter fighter-bomber at the head of a 12-plane attack that sank a German minesweeper and damaged four other vessels.

Shulemson’s courage in action and the innovative techniques he helped develop to destroy enemy shipping in the North Sea were most impressive, and he was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1945. His leadership was greatly valued, with the officer remarking after the war that, “The guys on my squadron would follow me into hell and back, they had a lot of faith in what I could do.”

He ended his combat service credited with destroying at least 12 enemy vessels during the course of some 50 missions. Because of his special skills, Shulemson then served as an instructor for the rest of the conflict. He was the most highly decorated Jewish Canadian serviceman of the Second World War.


Where they participated

Date modified: