The Airmen's Stories - P/O B E Christmas
Beverley Evans Christmas was born in St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada in November 1919 and was educated at Westmount and Lakefield Schools.
In 1937 he applied for a RAF commission, was accepted and started his training at RCAF Trenton. After further training at Camp Borden he was awarded his wings there in September 1939. His first posting was No. 1 RCAF Squadron and he went with them to England, arriving on 20th June 1940.
Above: after arriving in the UK (L to R): L to R: F/O GG Hyde, P/O BE Christmas, F/Lt. VB Corbett, F/O EW Beardmore, F/O RL Edwards, F/Lt. EM Reyno
He claimed a Me109 destroyed on 31st August, damaged a Do17 on 1st September, damaged a He111 on the 11th, shared a Ju88 on the 27th and claimed a Me109 on 5th October.
Above: Christmas (left) with F/O W P Sprenger
Christmas was posted away from 1 RCAF Squadron April 1941 to 403 Squadron RCAF, equipped with Curtiss Tomahawks, and remained with them till November that year when he was attached to the South African Air Force. After a short period in South Africa he went with 4 SAAF Squadron to the Middle East.
In January 1942 Christmas was shot down in the desert while escorting two Hurricane photo-reconnaissance aircraft. He baled out and was picked up by a British patrol.
Still in North Africa, he served with 260 Squadron from March to May 1942. He then returned to Canada in the Aquitania, accompanied by German PoWs, to command 133 RCAF Squadron at Boundary Bay. In June 1944 he attended the RCAF Staff College before returning to the UK and a post in 126 Wing.
Postwar he stayed in the RCAF and saw service in Germany, Canada and Belgium before retiring in January 1973 as a Colonel.
Christmas died on 17th May 1988 at Victoria, British Columbia.