Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters

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Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters

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Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters CMM, DSO, MC, CD, (nicknamed "Rad") (born January 11, 1920) was a tank commander in the Canadian Army.

Radley-Walters was born in 1920 and graduated from Bishop's College in 1940. He was commissioned in the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment in October of that year. The regiment was predesignated 27th Armoured Regiment (The Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment) in January 1942 and embarked for England in October 1942.

The regiment was part of the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade supporting the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division landing in Normandy on D-Day 6 June 1944. Captain Radley-Walters commanded a tank during the Battle of Normandy. On D-Day + 1, 7 June 1944, in fighting near Saint-German-la-Blanche-Herbe, with the 12th SS Panzer Division, Radley-Walters had his first kill, a Panzer IV. Major Radley-Walters commanded a tank squadron in the regiment. His unit was credited with killing the tanker ace "The Black Baron" Michael Wittmann of the 101. Schwere SS-Panzerabteilung, though which tank in the squadron had the actual kill is unknown. This claim has been disputed by 3 Troop, A Squadron, 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry tank regiment gunner Joe Ekins, who also claims to have killed the Panzer ace. Radley-Walters was awarded both the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross and for his outstanding leadership and gallantry as a squadron commander.

His regiment participated in Operation Market-Garden and broke through and relieved the 101st Airborne Division.

By the end of the war, he was the top tank ace, the ace of aces of the western Allies (and therefore, of Canada), with a total of 18 kills. From July 1945, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and commanded the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment as part of the Allied Occupation Force.

After the war, Radley-Walters served on peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Egypt.

In 1957, he became the Commanding Officer of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's). He attended NATO Defence College in Paris and was assigned to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe from June 1961 to July 1962. He returned to Canada as commandant of the Royal Canadian Armoured School in Camp Borden. In 1966, he became the Director-General Training and Recruiting at Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa.

In June 1968 he was promoted to brigadier-general and took command of 2 Combat Group at CFB Petawawa. In 1971 he became the commander of the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown.

Radley-Walters retired in December 1974. He served eight years as colonel of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) and in November 1980 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps.


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