John Ender "Jock" Palmer

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John Ender "Jock" Palmer
Born (1896-01-28)January 28, 1896
Cambridge, England
Died (1964-11-19)November 19, 1964
Occupation Soldier, Aviator

John Ender "Jock" Palmer (born 28 January 1896) is a Canadian soldier of the First World War, awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and a Canadian aviator.

Early years[edit]

John Ender Palmer moved from England to Canada early in his life and resided near Lethbridge Alberta where he went by the name of Jock Waddell.

War Service[edit]

Palmer enlisted in the Canadian Army at Valcartier, Quebec in September 1914 at the age of 18[1] During his service in the Canadian Machine Gun Corps he rose to the rank of Sergeant. It was at this rank during action near Festubert, France[2] he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He was later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in May 1916. He was then seconded for service in the Royal Air Force where he was later promoted to Captain and was credited with 9 aerial victories.[3] After the War he transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force in July 1919.

Aviation career[edit]

After the War John, with business partner Hugh Hervey Fitzsimmons, formed The Lethbridge Aircraft Company Ltd. Their first aircraft was a Curtiss JN-4 "Canuck" (registration C-CABX).[4] Their Transport Canada License number was #35. John obtained Commercial License #64 in September 1920.[5] It was in this airplane that He completed the first Canadian international mail run from Lethbridge to Ottawa via Minto, North Dakota. The aircraft was later destroyed in a take off accident in 1922 which ended the Lethbridge Aircraft Company.[6] Later on Palmer and Fitzsimmons would start Southern Alberta Airlines with the purchase of a Standard J-1 (registration C-GAEO). Later that year the company would close up when Palmer wrecked the J-1 returning from a sightseeing flight in the Waterton area.[7] This ending the life of Southern Alberta Airlines, Jock would start again this time with partner Charles B. Elliot to form Lethbridge Commercial Airways with another Standard J-1 (registration C-CAHU) in August 1927.

Around this time competing air businesses were starting up in Southern Alberta. Most notably Purple Label Airlines Ltd. formed by Emil Sick, and Great Western Airways, which would absorb Purple Label in 1928, formed by Frederick McCall. GWA would start a route from Calgary to Lethbridge to Great Falls. Palmer would go to fly for GWA[8] while Elliot parted ways to reform South Alberta Air Lines Ltd. with the purchase of a De Havilland DH.60 Moth. (registration CF-ADJ)[7] South Alberta Air Lines would dissolve again in 1932.

John Ender "Jock" Palmer would end his flying career in 1955 after accumulating over 18,000 flying hours.[9]

Other Activities[edit]

In 1926 Palmer got a broadcast license for his radio station CJOC.[7] Later he would sell the station to H.R. Carson.


Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ Canadian Great War Project, CEF Soldier Detail Lieutenant John Ender Palmer.
  2. ^ Canadian Great War Project, transcribed by Chris Wright from the Dec 3rd, 1915 Lethbridge Herald.
  3. ^ Collections Canada Archive
  4. ^ Glenbow Museum Photo Archive
  5. ^ Crow's Nest Highway Timeline p.17
  6. ^ Lethbridge Herald Newspaper June 1939
  7. ^ a b c Crow's Nest Highway Timeline p.18
  8. ^ Glenbow Museum Photo Archives.
  9. ^ Collections Canada Archives


  • Canadian Great War Project, CEF Soldier details.
  • Collections Canada Archives.
  • Crow's Nest Highway Timeline.
  • Glenbow Museum Photo Archives.

External links[edit]