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418 Squadron

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Paul Davoud

Paul Yettvart Davoud was born on 25 November 1911 in Provo, Utah. After his father died, his family moved back to his mother’s home in Kingston, Ontario.

Davoud began his military career in 1928 when he attended the Royal Military College in Kingston. He continued his training from 1929 until 1931 with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). His abilities were acknowledged when he was awarded the Sword of Honour as the best all-round cadet. During the summer of 1931, he was given the position of provisional pilot officer.

In the 1930s, the RCAF was offering very few commissions, so Davoud travelled to England where he was able to receive a commission from the Royal Air Force (RAF). He returned to Canada in 1935 to work for Canadian Airways limited and in 1938, he accepted a position to fly for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

In 1940, Davoud entered the RCAF and travelled to Trenton, Ontario where he was assistant chief flying instructor. In June 1941, Davoud was transferred to England where he was given the rank of squadron leader in the formation of 410 Night Fighter Squadron. In July, he was given the rank of wing commander and commanding officer of 409 Night Fighter Squadron.

In November 1941, Davoud destroyed his first enemy aircraft while over the North Sea.

Davoud was the first Canadian commander of 418 (City of Edmonton) Squadron from June 1943 to January 1944. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his achievements commanding 418 Squadron.

He was later given command of 143 Fighter Bomb Wing, and received a promotion to group captain in February 1944. The 143 Fighter Bomb Wing was composed of three squadrons of Hawker Typhoons, which played a significant role in supporting allied forces in Normandy and North Western Europe.

Davoud’s career in the RCAF concluded with more honours: Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Order of the Orange Nassau by the Dutch government, and the Croix de Guerre with Palm Leaf and Legion of Honour, both from the French government.

In 1945, Paul Davoud received an appointment as assistant to John Tudhope, Operations Manager of Trans Canada Airlines in Winnipeg. Next, he worked with Canadian Breweries/Argus Corporation in 1948 to establish an air service for them. He later accepted a position as general manager of Field Aviation along with Kenting Aviation, an associated company, in 1951.

Davoud went on from there to hold positions of vice president, sales and service at Orenda Engines from 1954 to 1959, chairman of the Air Transport Board from 1959 to 1963, vice president of sales for de Havilland Aircraft from 1963 to 1971, and director of aviation services, Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Ontario until 1978 when he retired.


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