Soldier Spotlight: James Harper Dodge

Image: Spirit River School, 1930 (SPRA 107.10)

Regiment: 426 Squadron
Regimental No: J/21046
Force: RCAF

Jim Dodge, born in 1923, was the only child of Freeman James and Edith Catherine (McKinnon) Dodge who owned the Dodge-Harper Hardware store in Spirit River AB. They lived on a farm near the town, and Jim attended school in Spirit River. According to an article in the GP Herald, Jim was a “fine upstanding son.” After graduating in 1941, Jim joined the air force and served in active duty in England. On January 28, 1944 he was “missing in action”, and in March 1944 he was “presumed dead”. Sadly, his body was never found. In his last letter to his parents Jim wrote, “Berlin’s no picnic.” Jim’s name is commemorated among 20,450 other Canadian air force veterans who have no known grave, on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, UK.

Source: Chepi Sepe pp. 365 – 366 (Family story and photo); p. 184 (photo)
Canadian Virtual War Memorial
SPRA – Family and Personal Life Reference Files – Obituaries of Freeman and Edith, GP Herald Old Timer’s Historical Edition 1934

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

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