This page requires javascript.

Captain William Samuel Stephenson

top

PERSONAL INFORMATION

Date of birth: 1896-01-11
Place of birth: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Next of kin: Kristina Gudlaugsdottir, Mother, 175 Syndicate Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Marital status: single
Occupation (attested): Telegraph Operator
Occupation (normalized): Telegrapher
Address: 175 Syndicate Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Religion: Presbyterian
Date of death: 1989-01-31

MILITARY INFORMATION

Regimental number: 700758
Final Rank: Captain (73rd Squadron)
Rank detail
  1. Captain, 73rd Squadron, Royal Flying Corps (Air Force). 1917-08-16 to 1918-07-28.

    Note: Commenced flying training at the RFC Cadet Wing, Denham, Bucks on June 01, 1917.  London Gazzette announced commission on September 11, 1917.  Posted to 73 SQN in France on completion of training.  Shot down at least 12 enemy aircraft, (sources vary).  Was awarded DFC and MC.  Shot down by Justus Grassmann and captured July 28, 1918.  Later escaped from POW Camp.

  2. Sergeant, Canadian Engineers, Canadian Engineers (Army). 1916-07-16 to 1917-08-15.

    Note: On arrival at Shorncliffe with the 101st Bn, he was assigned to CETD for training, and to 17th Reserve Battalion for "rations, quarters and discipline".  He remained a corporal, and was not voluntarily reduced in rank, as usually happened on transfer between battalions.  He was assigned on temporary duty to GHQ, London on occasion.  After the first assignment ended, on September 01, 1916, he was promoted to Sergeant, "with pay as clerk".  He did not receive sergeant's pay until March 10, 1917.  His "Statement of Pay Account" on discharge shows his rank as 'private'; while his "Proceedings on Discharge" show it as 'sergeant'.  He was discharged from the CEF on August 15, 1917 at 2CDD, London, "having been appointed to a Commission in the Imperial Army".  Stephenson stated before the Pensions and Claims Board that he had no service in France or Belgium or "in the trenches", and no injuries due to active service.

  3. Corporal, 101st Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Army). 1916-01-12 to 1916-07-16.

    Note: Enlisted with 101st Bn the day after his 20th birthday.  Family lore says he tried to convince his cousin, GJ Breckman 721993 to enlist with him.  Breckman refused and they had a serious 'falling out'.  Promoted to Corporal March 03, 1916.  Embarked from Halifax, NS with 101st Bn aboard SS Olympic; landing at Liverpool on July 06.

Degree of service: Europe
Interned as POW at: Holzminden internment camp
Survived war: yes
Awards

Military Cross
Description:      "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When flying low and observing an open staff car on a road, he attacked it with such success that later it was seen lying in the ditch upside down. During the same flight he caused a stampede amongst some enemy transport horses on a road. Previous to this he had destroyed a hostile scout and a two-seater plane. His work has been of the highest order, and he has shown the greatest courage and energy in engaging every kind of target."
Date of citation: 1918-06-22
Date of award: 1918-06-22
Source: London Gazette
Notes: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Distinguished Flying Cross
Description:      "This officer has shown conspicuous gallantry and skill in attacking enemy troops and transports from low altitudes, causing heavy casualties. His reports, also, have contained valuable and accurate information. He has further proved himself a keen antagonist in the air, having, during recent operations, accounted for six enemy aeroplanes."

Date of citation: 1918-09-21
Date of award: 1918-09-21
Source: London Gazette
Comment: Reference to six air victories means this award is for actions up to July 16, 1918, (i.e. the date of his sixth victory).
Notes: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Images

700758, WS Stephenson, 101st Bn
700758, WS Stephenson, 101st Bn

RESEARCH INFORMATION

LAC ID: 250430
Attestation record(s): image 1, image 2
Service file: B9279-S011
Uploader's Notes: The man called "Intrepid". World War II spymaster, he has been said by some to have been the single most important man in the war to defeat Hitler's Third Reich. During WWII he was made head of British Security Coordination, headquartered in New York. He was knighted and received the Presidential Medal for Merit from the United States for his counter-intelligence work during the war. Additional information and his obituary can be found here. Cousin of GJ Breckman 721993 and E Breckman 294215.NOTE: LAC CEF personnel file has no record that WS Stephenson served in France or Belgium; no record of any wounds or injuries while on active service with CEF. He stated before CEF Pensions and Claims Board: "No" to service in France or Belgium and "No" to service in the trenches. He was discharged from the CEF to the RFC, commisioned and served in France with 73 Squadron. See also William Thomas Stephenson 701143.
Uploader's Research notes: The man called "Intrepid". World War II spymaster, he has been said by some to have been the single most important man in the war to defeat Hitler's Third Reich. During WWII he was made head of British Security Coordination, headquartered in New York. He was knighted and received the Presidential Medal for Merit from the United States for his counter-intelligence work during the war. Additional information and his obituary can be found here. Cousin of GJ Breckman 721993 and E Breckman 294215.NOTE: LAC CEF personnel file has no record that WS Stephenson served in France or Belgium; no record of any wounds or injuries while on active service with CEF. He stated before CEF Pensions and Claims Board: "No" to service in France or Belgium and "No" to service in the trenches. He was discharged from the CEF to the RFC, commisioned and served in France with 73 Squadron. See also William Thomas Stephenson 701143.

ARCHIVAL INFORMATION

Date added: 2005-02-10
Last modified: 2015-09-05