Born 9/02/1919 in Wallaceburg, ON. The eldest son of Alfred and Sophia (Joiner) Crist, of 31 Main St., Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada. The brother of F/O. Eric (RAF), Alfred, Barbara and married sister Mrs. Ray Keel of Sarnia. He attended Our Lady of Help school, Merici High School and Wallaceburg High School. After his graduation he was empl;oyed at the Dominion Glass Co. until his enlistment.
Brian was one of the first enlisted in the 1st Hussars in London, ON. for active service 18/09/1939 After a year in the army he transferred to the RCAF 5/02/1941. After training with the armoured division and transferring to the RCAF he trained in Toronto, Picton NS., Victoriaville, PQ, Goderich, and Camp Bordon where he received his wings on the 19th of December, 1941 at No.1 S. F.T.S. Camp Bordon, ON. He left for overseas in January 1942 landing in Bournmouth, England. Sgt.-Pilot Crist, having completed his training in England was transferred “somewhere” with another squadron.
Once overseas he was posted to a RAF fighter squadron and was dispatched to the North African Campaign. While flying in North Africa he sustained a severe wound to his right leg from an explosive shell on 27 March 1943 while flying in combat over Tunisia. He would spend four months in hospital as a result but he did return to active operations.
The WN 30/09/43 reported that Flt. Sgt. Brian Crist was “missing after air operations” Missing on 24 Sept. 1943 after failing to return from a mission presumed “somewhere over Italy”.
Age: 24, KIA – Date of Death: 24/09/1943, Spitfire JL 232 fighter crashed while giving cover for the invasion of Italy attacked by a German FW190 two miles north of Salerno, on Mount Lieini Italy. WO2 (P) was previously wounded 28/03/43 while flying a Kittyhawk fighter with 450 Sqd.
“No Return Ticket” by Alan Mann., Steinhoff Memorial Cenotaph – Wallaceburg, Index of Overseas Deaths. “They Shall Not Grow Old, VIS-IODE
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead, Grave/Memorial Reference: III. D. 33.
Cemetery: SALERNO WAR CEMETERY.