Proctor, Hilton David

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Hilton David Proctor
20 August 1911 – 7 September 1942
Proctor, Hilton David photo (2).jpg
Place of birth Comber, County Down, Ireland
Place of death Fort Benning, Georgia, USA
Place of burial Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Rank Major
Major Hilton David Proctor (20 August 1911 - 7 September 1942) was a Canadian soldier who served in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals before and during the Second World War. He was selected as the first Commanding Officer of 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion but he died in a parachute training accident during training.

Early Life

David was born in Comber, County Down, Ireland on 20 August 1911.[1]

He completed high school and attended the University of Ottawa earning a Bachelor of Science degree.

Prior to joining the Canadian Active Service Force he was living in Montreal QC and working as a Telephone Engineer for Bell Telephone Company of Canada supervising the installation of telephone equipment.


Service records he was a Second Lieutenant in 1935 when he was being considered for the Bisley Team for marksmanship. His attestation papers state that he was a member of "B" Corps Signals from 1939 to 1940 and that he served with the RCCS 1927 to 1939, presumably in Ottawa where he attended university. In 1940 his rank is shown as Captain.

On 9 August 1940 he attested to No. 4 District Depot (RCCS). He transferred to 4th Divisional Signals at Camp Barriefield for training. He was attached to the Officer Training School in Brockville Ontario from April 1941 until May 1942 where he served as the Instructor of Signals. Upon promotion to Major he joined 6th Divisional Signals at Barriefield in May. In July he was selected as the first Commanding Officer of 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and was transferred to No. 3 District Depot in Ottawa that same month.

From Ottawa, he proceeded on 14 August 1942, along with the rest of the first contingent which numbered seven officers and 20 NCOs in total, to attend parachute training at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. It was there that he had a fatal accident during a parachute jump on 7 September.

When conducting a parachute jump at about 2:04 pm, he was killed when a transport plane following the one he exited, sheared into and fouled his parachute shearing his suspension lines in the process. He plummeted to the ground but it's likely he was struck unconscious or killed by contact with the plane. Injuries listed were compound fractures of the skull, fractures to left humorous, both femurs and the lumbar spine, crushing injury to chest as well as multiple internal injuries.

His remains were returned to Ottawa on 9 September for burial.

Personal Life

David married Dorothy Helen (nee Hutton) on 9 April 1931. Together they had one son, David Reid, born in 1939.

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References and Notes

  1. Library and Archives Canada. WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947, R112, Volume: 30580.