The son of George and Ida (Cutting) Howsam, George Robert Howsam went from high school into the army in March 1916, serving with the 116th Battalion and 182nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in the spring of 1917, learning to fly at Deseronto and Camp Borden, Ontario. In August 1917 he went to France and was posted to 70 Squadron. Flying the Sopwith Camel he scored his first victory in December 1917. On 22 January 1918, he shot down four Albatros scouts in one day. After recovering from wounds received in combat on 24 March 1918, he was posted to 43 Squadron as a flight commander in October 1918. Flying a Sopwith Snipe, he scored his final victory on 30 October, shooting down a Fokker D.VII over Aulnoye. Howsam returned to Canada in May 1921. He attended the Royal Air Force staff college in 1930. During World War II, Howsam served as director of training with the Royal Canadian Air Force and retired in 1945 with the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.
Listed as Robert George Howsam in the birth registry.
Military Cross (MC)
T./2nd Lt. George Robert Howsam, Gen.
List and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in aerial combats. He has destroyed five enemy machines and driven down others out of control, showing splendid courage and initiative on all occasions.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 16 August 1918 (30845/9565)