THE GOLDEN YEARS (1950-1964)

Identical twins Bruce (left) and Douglas Warren, both nicknamed as Duke, in front of Douglas’s Spitfire, “Duke II”.

Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas “Duke” Warren was a flying officer when he was selected to be one of the few pilots to fly the Sabre against Soviet MiGs over Korea.

Warren was no stranger to air combat, having first served with distinction in the Second World War. He was one of 60 RCAF pilots who supported the amphibious assault at Dieppe, France, on August 19, 1942. While Canadian soldiers were taking huge losses in this ill-fated attempt to invade Adolf Hitler’s Fortress Europe, Warren was flying a Spitfire over the beach, battling the German Luftwaffe and successfully shooting down one aircraft. Duke’s identical twin brother, Bruce (who also went by “Duke”), was also in the air that day.

King George VI awarded both brothers the Distinguished Flying Cross in March 1945, less than two months before the end of the Second World War. After presenting the medals to the brothers, the King said, “I don’t believe I have ever done this before.”

After serving in Korea, Warren came face to face with the Luftwaffe again, but this time as a friend, not an adversary. In the Cold War world of the 1950s, the West Germans were allies and part of NATO.

LCol Douglas “Duke” Duke Warren (left) and Eric Hartmann with a Luftwaffe Sabre in the background.

Warren was sent to Oldenburg, West Germany, as a pilot instructor to assist the post-war Luftwaffe form its Sabre operational training unit and to train West German pilots to fly the new jet. His second-in-command was none other than famed Luftwaffe pilot Erich Hartmann — the Second World War’s ace of aces. With 352 kills, Hartmann had established the all-time record for aircraft shot down. This time, however, he and Duke Warren were on the same side.

Duke Warren died on August 28, 2011.