A banker living in Ottawa when he enlisted in May 1915, John Bernard Russell served with the 6th Field Company of the Canadian Engineers before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 22 August 1917. He was appointed an Observer on 12 Dec 1917 and posted to 103 Squadron on 12 April 1918. Serving with this unit until 27 September 1918, he scored 5 victories before he was wounded in the hand by anti-aircraft fire.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lt. (T./Capt.) John Stevenson Stubbs (S.
2nd Lt. John Bernard Russell.
Captain Stubbs is a fine leader and a skilful tactician, who during the last few months, has led fifty-one reconnaissances and raids over enemy lines with marked success, frequently extricating his formation, when attacked by large numbers of scouts, by his coolness and judgment. One evening this officer, with Lt. Russell as Observer, in company with another machine, encountered ten enemy aeroplanes. Regardless of their superiority in numbers, he at once attacked and shot down one. By skilful manoeuvring he enabled his Observer to bring down another; the remainder of the enemy were driven down to their lines; he then completed his reconnaissance and returned home. Leaving the other machine behind, he again crossed the enemy lines; he bombed a train and attacked some mechanical transport at 1,500 ft. altitude. This particular exploit is highly creditable to both these officers, the machine in which they flew being unsuitable for low bombing attacks; moreover, they were subjected to very heavy anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 November 1918 (30989/12976)