Pilot Officer Claude “Weavy” Weaver III DFC, DFM & Bar, MID
Photo of P/O Weaver taken prior to 1944
Used with permission from acesofww2.com
Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on August 18, 1923, Pilot Officer Claude “Weavy” Weaver III, DFC, DFM is regarded as the “youngest allied flying ace". At the age of 17, Weaver dropped out of high school to enlist with the RCAF. He trained at No.17 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) in Stanley, Nova Scotia in June 1941. He then attended No.8 Service Flying Training School (SFTC) in Moncton, New Brunswick. At the end of his training, he was awarded his pilot wings and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
On his initial entrance into the war, he was attached to 412 Squadron (RCAF). He would later be assigned to 185 Squadron (RAF), where he would participate in the Siege of Malta. During his time there, Weaver was responsible for the shooting down of 5 enemy aircraft in the span of one week. At the age of 18, Weaver was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. Later, during a mission in Italy, Weaver was shot down. He was subsequently captured and taken to an Italian prisoner of war camp. After multiple escape attempts, Weaver successfully fled approximately 300 miles to Allied lines. Upon his return, he was promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer and assigned to 403 Squadron (RCAF).
After return to active duty, Weaver was again shot down and sustained serious injuries, which he eventually succumbed to. For his efforts during the war, he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as a Mention in Dispatches.
Linda Duffield, “Pilot Officer Claude Weaver III, DFC, DFM and Bar,” Kenley Revival, n.d., https://www.kenleyrevival.org/content/service-people/pilot-officer-claude-weaver-iii-dfc-dfm-and-bar.