BORN AUGUST 21, 1921DIED NOVEMBER 22, 1942 ON A BOMBING MISSION TO GERMANY
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN, USA
James L. Guichard, born 21 August 1904 at Pinconning Bay, Michigan, was the oldest of the R5695C crew. On his Royal Canadian Air Force attestation application, James wrote his year of birth as 1909 making him five years younger than his real age! The enlisting officer, thinking James was 31, noted the applicant was at the edge of the cut off for age. James never let it be known he was really thirty-six. He was the son of George Louis Guichard, a Presbyterian minister, and Carolyn Mae Henderson. He had three older sisters, Melite, Maude, and Naomi and one younger brother, Charles Edward. Before enlisting, James graduated from Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania 1927-1931 with a major in Philosophy. Returning home, he entered the insurance business working for Aetna Life & Casualty in Detroit. His sports were basketball and (American) football.
On his Royal Canadian Air Force application, he wrote “Due to the fact the US is not at war I wish that my making this application be kept confidential.” The USA threatened grave consequences for men joining the Canadian forces. Despite this, James enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Windsor, Ontario on 11 January 1941, joining 9,000 other Americans who joined the RCAF. He was sent to Air Observers School where he achieved “above average” reviews. In remarks, he was noted to have “very wide business experience” and a “very well-paying position.” The description continued “he’s a very serious-minded person, absolutely dependable, very anxious to get overseas. Frank, neat. A really outstanding man who is commission material.”
James indicated that his fiancée, Helene C. Stieler of Detroit, was the beneficiary of his service estates.