George Wheelock 



Boat Crest
Died On:
4 March 1943


(Photo: Special Forces Roll of Honour)

George Burbidge was born on 7 May 1917 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the elder of the two sons of Frederick and Mary Burbidge.  He studied Engineering at the University of Manitoba and joined the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps.  He graduated in 1939 and went on to study at McGill University.

In June 1940 he enlisted as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Engineers, and  shortly after married Barbara Ruth Walker.  In December he was posted overseas and arrived in Greenock where he was assigned to Combined Operations.  He was promoted Captain in 1942.

On 4 March 1943, as a member of Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP), he launched in a Folbot together with Lieutenant Noel Cooper (q.v.) from HMS UNBENDING, to carry out reconnaissance of beaches in Sicily ahead of Operation Husky.  Nothing was seen of them again; they disappeared without trace and are assumed to have drowned.

Burbidge was given a memorial plot in Cassino Memorial Cemetery, Provincia di Frosinone, Lazio, Italy.  His wife, who was working with the Canadian Red Cross Corp in London, returned to Canada.

For more information, see the Canadian Military Engineers Association and COPP Survey.


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