David R. Ely, MBE
David Reynolds Ely was born June 3, 1911 and attended St. Andrew's College from 1925 to
1926 and from January to June of 1929.
He entered the Active Force
from the Non-Permanent Active Militia on September 1, 1939 and served in unique roles with the Canadian Army's
Air Observation Posts as outlined in the citation for his appointment as
a Member or the Order of the British Empire.
He continued to serve with the Canadian
Army after the war and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He died on August
- Oct. 1939
Lieutenant 9th (Toronto) Field Battery,
Royal Canadian Artillery, Aldershot
- Oct. 1940
Captain 9th Battery, 2nd Field Regiment, Royal
Canadian Artillery Overseas
- Mar. 1943 Major, subsequent
training included a Royal Air Force course
- Mar. 1943 1st Field Regiment,
Royal Canadian Horse Artillery,
Canadian Army Overseas.
- May 1944 B. Battery, 1st Field
- May 1946 666 (R.C.A.F.)
Canadian Air Observation Post
- Jan. 5
1946 made a Member of the Order of the British
Empire (M.B.E.), Major,
Royal Canadian Artillery
- Jan. 21,
1948 Married to Sheila Simpson (to live in Brandon, Man.)
- Oct. 1950 Posted to Central
Command, Oakville, Ont. Rank of Lieutenant Colonel
- Aug. 1962 Retired from the Canadian
Army and joined Boeing Aircraft, Vertol Division,
Morton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Order of the British Empire
"Major Ely entered
the Active Force on 1 September 1939 from the Non-Permanent Active Militia.
In 1942 he was the first Canadian officer to qualify as an Air Observation
Post pilot, and in 1943 was the only officer so qualified in the Canadian
Army. In that year he was returned to England to assist in the formation
and training of three Canadian Air Observation Post squadrons being formed
for First Canadian Army. He was appointed to command 664 Canadian Air Observation
Post Squadron, and as pilots finished their initial training he organized
the squadron and carried out its unit training. When this unit was fully
trained, he was ordered to turn it over to a junior officer and make himself
available to form and train 665 Canadian Air Observation Post Squadron.
This he did, and was then called upon to form 666 Canadian Air Observation
Post Squadron in a similar manner. The latter squadron he took to the theatre
in May 1945 as Squadron Commander.
His outstanding ability and his unflagging interest in the development
of these squadrons, despite the fact that it probably would have been more
to his advantage to have served in the field, where he had been recommended
to command a field regiment, contributed in large measure to the rapid
development of these units, which became available to 21 Army Group at
a critical time, when fresh divisions were arriving from Italy and no other
Air Observation Post squadrons were available. This officer has shown unstinted
zeal, energy and efficiency in the performance of his duties, and is considered
worthy of high recognition."
per Canada Gazette dated 5 January 1946
and CARO/6309 dated 7 January