Bushell, Christopher (1914-41)

Squadron Leader Christopher Bushell, a fighter pilot, was one of over 3,800 servicemen from Saskatchewan who lost their lives during the World War II. Bushell was born in Fort Qu'Appelle on September 24, 1914, and raised there. He was in his second year of studies as a “Gentleman Cadet” at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario when he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), shortly after war broke out in 1939. Following his pilot training, Bushell was sent overseas in February 1940, where he served in an army co-operation squadron. In June 1941, he was reassigned as second-in-command of No. 412 (Fighter) Squadron, RCAF. Bushell flew the Supermarine Spitfire on combat operations against the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain; he was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader and appointed Commanding Officer of No. 412 Squadron on November 1, 1941. While leading his squadron on a fighter sweep over occupied France on November 8 of that year, Bushell was shot down and killed. He was buried at Runnymede Memorial near Egham, England. On June 1, 1952, a housing area at RCAF Station Moose Jaw was established as part of a large-scale expansion of existing World War II facilities at the base. On September 19, 1954, the locale was officially named Bushell Park in honour of Squadron Leader Christopher Bushell. Encompassing an area of 28.84 hectares, Bushell Park continues to house Air Force personnel and their families.

Jeff R. Noel