‘On 27th August, 1943, Flying Officer Livingston ‘Cap’ Foster, of No.403 squadron RCAF, crash landed near Manston, without sustaining serious injury, after escorting Flying Fortresses on a bombing raid near St. Omer. Four of the squadron’s other Spitfires also landed at forward bases possibly because their fuel was running low.
All in a days work for these pilots, and a relatively trivial crash, which I am exploiting shamelessly as an excuse to write about another brave Canadian…
LIVINGSTON ‘CAP’ FOSTER was part indigenous Canadian, which earned him the nickname ‘The Chief’. He was born in Grimsby, Ontario, in 1919 and must have been a gifted child because he skipped four grades and entered High School aged 10. He held an Ontario driver’s license at 11 years old.
The following year, he contracted rheumatoid arthritis in his legs and was bedridden for months. His Doctor suggested swimming as rehabilitation from this illness. Soon he was swimming competitively and excelling in track and field sports.
Foster enlisted in Hamilton, in May 1940, and after completing his training, was an instructor at No. 6 Service Flying Training School, Dunnville, until October 1942, when he was promoted to Flying Officer. He was posted overseas the following month after looping his Harvard and flying under the bridge at Niagara Falls!
The early months of 1943 were spent at No.58 OTU, RAF Grangemouth, before Foster finally made it to 416 squadron and then 403, for his first tour of operations, from March 1943 to March 1944. On his second tour, he flew with 403 and 421 squadrons. Foster was credited with three aerial victories and was awarded the DFC, gazetted 24th July, 1945…
This officer has completed numerous sorties against many heavily defended targets in Germany and enemy occupied territory. Flight Lieutenant Foster has proved himself to be an outstanding fighter pilot, showing keenness, courage and devotion to duty which, coupled with his ability and fine leadership, have made him an outstanding example to the wing. He has destroyed three enemy aircraft and has damaged or destroyed many transport vehicles.
After the War, ‘Cap’ rejoined the RCAF, and became a keen golfer, competing in the German Open as an amateur as well as racing power boats and bowling. He had three children with his wife Lilian, seven grandchildren and nine great-granchildren.
Squadron Leader Foster DFC died in Smith Falls, Ontario, on the 9th March 2003.
Rest in Peace Sir and thank you for your service.
Obituary from The Ottawa Citizen.