An RCAF Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
An RCAF Long Service & Good Conduct Medal - George VI (886 CPL. J.H.R. DIXON). Naming is officially impressed. Very crisp detail, light contact, original ribbon, better than very fine. Accompanied by copies of his Computer Card, Service Records, Discharge Certificate, RCAF Reduction for Inefficiency Report (dated November 12, 1941), Department of National Defence Letter Addressed to the Chief of the Air Staff, Ottawa (dated October 4, 1954), along with two RCAF file reproduction photographs. Footnote: 20744 John Henry Ross Dixon was born on August, 22, 1908. He was educated in Ottawa and across the river, in Aylmer, Quebec, then went to Hull, Quebec Technical School for eighteeen months taking "woodworking". He was also a Page with the House of Commons for eighteen months. Afterwards, he was employed for ten weeks as a Messenger (six weeks with Thornburn & Abbott and four weeks with CPR Telegraphs). He enlisted with the RCAF on July 3, 1928 as a Carpenter Trainee at the age of 19. He was stationed at No. 1 Aircraft Depot, Ottawa (July 1928 - March 1929) and designated an Aircraftman 2nd Class, then transferred to RCAF Station Rockcliffe (March 1929 - April 1930), where he saw a promotion to Aircraftman 1st Class. He was transferred to Camp Borden (April 1930 - June 1936) where he saw a promotion to Leading Aircraftman. Dixon begins a history of perceived inefficiency with the RCAF while at Borden, that will plague him for the remainder of his career. It was noted on his Conduct Sheet that on October 31, 1931 while at Camp Borden, that Dixon was "Guilty of neglect likely to cause damage to an aircraft in that he signed for Moth 165 as being serviceable when it was not, Sec. 39 (b) A.F.A.", witnessed by two officers. He received 48 hours detention for his misconduct. Dixon was identified in a report from the Commandant at Camp Borden, dated January 27, 1933, that he was employed in "A" Flight, Training School from January to May 1932. It was noted that "further employment of this airman in the Flights is not recommended. Since returning from leave at the end of July, 1932, this airman has been misemployed. He has been employed on guard duties, general duties, and at the present time as a batman in the Officers' Mess. All reports show that he is a willing and conscientious worker but, unfortunately, cannot abosorb instruction readily." Although discharge was not recommended, it was "suggested that he be remustered from his present trade classification (of Leading Aircraftman) to that of Batman-Orderly." He was later transferred to RCAF Station Trenton (June 1936 - November 1937), maintaining his rank of Leading Aircraftman. He was again transferred, this time to No. 1 EQ Depot, Ottawa (November 1937 - June 1940), where he sees a promotion to the rank of Corporal. It was at Ottawa that he spends nine days in Station Hospital from September 19 to 27, 1938. He was stationed at No. 3 T.C. Communication Flt. St. Hubert (June 1940 - July 1941) for one year, seeing an additional promotion in rank to Sergeant, before being transferred to No. 8 S.F.T.S., Moncton (July 1941 - February 1942). It was at Moncton that his deficiencies were identified as unacceptable for an RCAF officer. A Board of Officers was assembled in November 1941 at Moncton, New Brunswick, to assess Dixon's efficiency as an non-commissioned officer, to recommend whether or not he should continue to hold his rank of Sergeant and if found unsuitable, to recommend the rank to which he should be reduced to. His Commanding Officer testified, stating that Dixon's "conduct and deportment have been irreproachable, but he is definitely lacking in initiative and the ablitity to control a body on men." He went on to state that "I do not consider Sgt. Dixon fully capable of directing the program necessary for Flight operations. Regarding his rank, he does not appear to have that quality necessary to command the respect of personnel under him from either a tradesman's or disciplinarian's point of view." Five others were called as witnesses, with one of them stating that Dixon "has a fair knowledge of airframe mechanics. He has no initiative whatever. He has practically no ability in handling men. I do not think he is suitable as a Sergeant in his present position." When asked he was considered to be a thorough workman, the reply delivered was "If speed doesn't count, he is: but he is thorough only in doing work that does not need quick action, which is required on airframes out on the line." None spoke highly of his work ethic. It was recognized as early as February 1940 by his Commanding Officer at No. 1 Aircraft Depot in Ottawa, that Dixon was not worthy of the rank of Sergeant. Yet, between his postings at Ottawa and Moncton, he was recommended for promotion to the rank of Sergeant by the Commanding Officer while at St. Hubert, as "his work has been satisfactory in this unit - he is careful and dependable and is considered capable of holding higher rank." The Board issued a report, dated December 16, 1941, stating that Dixon be "reduced to the rank of Corporal for inefficiency in his rank". His rank was subsequently reduced to Corporal, before he was transferred back to RCAF Station Rockcliffe (February 1942 - February 1944), then to RCAF Station St. Hubert (February 1944 - March 1946). It was here that he was reinstated as a Sergeant, before returning to Rockcliffe (March 1946), where he was again reduced to the rank of Corporal. In a letter on Department of National Defence addressed to the Chief of the Air Staff, Ottawa, dated October 4, 1954 from W.G. Webber G/C, for AOC AMC, regarding Dixon's release from service on "sufficient grounds". The Commanding Officer at Rockcliffe and Dixon were completely surprised at the request. Webber stated that "the CO made representations on behalf of the airman requesting that he be permitted to finish his present term of engagement. The situation was explained to the CO that it was not desirable to retain an airman until the expiration of his engagement and then refuse new engagement where there were in fact sufficient grounds on which to release him on a previous date." Dixon wanted to buy more time, so that he could be retained for one more year, "that he might plan his future employment, supplementing a small pension. The CO recommended that Cpl Dixon's appilcation be approved stating that Cpl Dixon's service in his present employment of carpenter and cabinet maker in the CEPE (Central Experimental and Proving Establishment) workshops has been entirely satisfactory." Webster went on to state that "it appears that Cpl Dixon has ben the victim of circumstances not entirely within his control, that is, he has been misemployed as a carpenter for a number of years by CEPE and presumably he was led to believe that he was doing a good job and would be permitted to thus continue until the expiration of his present engagement, or possibly until the date of his reaching the compulsory release age. In view of this fact, this CHQ is prepared to recommend extension of service for not more than six months to allow Cpl Dixon a reasonable period to plan his rehabilitation." Dixon was a victim of the Peter Principle (a belief that, in an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit, that organization's members will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability). He was Honourably Discharged on November 3, 1955 at the age 46, returning to civilian life, having previously married Enid Dixon (nee Carson) and having one daughter between them, Dorothy. He died on August 21, 1972, at Aylmer, Quebec, the day before his 64th birthday.