Harry Thomas “Tom” Patterson

Section D, Lot 1116
York Cemetery


Born in Lower Millstream, New Brunswick, Harry Thomas “Tom” Patterson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at the outbreak of war in 1939 and, as a bomber pilot, flew 75 missions for both the Canadian and British air forces. Not only was he decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, he was one of the few Canadians to be awarded France’s Croix de Guerre. The latter honour was for his low-flying bombing missions over Nazi rocket bases. At the close of the war, Patterson joined the federal transport ministry as an aviation adviser. He was a pioneer in the first transatlantic air mail service to Europe, and was one of the first pilots to chart Canada’s Arctic islands.  He charted land for the joint American-Canadian Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line. In the late 1950s, once more with the ministry of transport as project manager and adviser on airport construction, Tom Patterson had a hand in the construction of many of this country’s major airports. He was, in fact, project manager during construction in 1964 at Malton (Pearson International Airport). In 1982, Tom Patterson formed H. T. Patterson Aviation Consultants in Toronto, and consulted on almost all aspects of the industry. Tom Patterson died in October, 1988 at the age of 70.