The son of Christopher A. and Nellie (Dewar) Godfrey, Albert Earl Godfrey was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1902, at the age of 12, he joined the 6th Regiment of the Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles as a drummer and bugler.
Standing five feet eight inches tall, the 25 year old unmarried gunsmith enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on 8 October 1915. After serving with 11th Canadian Mounted Rifles, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. In October of that year, he scored his first victory as an F.E.2b observer with 25 Squadron. In the summer of 1917, flying the Nieuport 17 with 40 Squadron, he scored thirteen victories in France. He ended the war with 44 Squadron, in the Home Defence, flying the Sopwith Camel against zeppelins and bombers.
Godfrey joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1922 and, in 1926, accompanied American millionaire, J. Dalzell McKee, on the first flight across Canada, from Montreal to Vancouver, in a Douglas MO-2B seaplane. He rose to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal in the R.C.A.F. before he retired in 1944. In 1977, for his outstanding achievements with the R.C.A.F., he was awarded the Trans-Canada Trophy (McKee Trophy), Canada's oldest aviation award. Godfrey was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 1982.
Douglas MO-2B seaplane flown Albert Earl Godfrey and J. D. McKee, September 1926
Military Cross (MC)
Temp. 2nd Lt. Albert Earl Godfrey, Gen. List, and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in constantly attacking hostile machines at close range, regardless of personal risk or of their being in superior numbers.