ExploreNorth, your resource center for exploring the circumpolar North

Return to the Home Page The ExploreNorth Blog About ExploreNorth Contact ExploreNorth

Search ExploreNorth

Flying Officer Walter Gordon "Walt" Forsberg, D.F.C.

    Walter Gordon Forsberg was born at either Rosetown or Riceton, Saskatchewan, in 1923. On May 2, 1941, he enlisted in the RCAF, and on March 13, 1942, graduated as a pilot at No. 12 Service Flying Training School Brandon.

    Walt Forsberg was first posted to No. 428 "Ghost" Squadron of Bomber Command, which initially flew Wellington bombers, then later Halifax and Lancasters. Warrant Officer Forsberg completed a large number of missions over enemy territory, and on September 8, 1944, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

    On April 13, 1945, following many more bomber missions with Lancasters of No. 405 "Vancouver" Squadron, he earned a bar added to his DFC.

    In 1960, Walt was hired to fly de Havilland Beaver and Piper Super Cub aircraft during the initial development of Canada Tungsten's mine near the Yukon/NWT border northwest of Watson Lake. He moved to Watson Lake with his wife Joyce and their two young girls, Tor and Cindi. Once a road was built to the mine (now called the Nahanni Range Road, officially known as Highway 10) a couple of years later, Walt started flying for B.C. Yukon Airways out of Watson Lake, servicing mining camps and big game hunters.

    In 1964, Walt and his family moved to Whitehorse and he started working as a bush pilot for Whitehorse Flying Service. That October, a month before his son John was born, Walt died suddenly at the age of 41. He was buried in Whitehorse at the Sixth Avenue Cemetery, now called the Pioneer Cemetery.