After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Toronto University, Spence joined the Royal Naval Air Service in November 1916. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Spence received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3826 on 28 October 1916. Posted to 1 Naval Squadron (later 201 Squadron of the RAF), he scored six victories flying the Sopwith Triplane but was wounded in action on 8 November 1917. Several months later, he rejoined his squadron, scoring three more victories flying the Sopwith Camel. On 10 May 1918, he returned to England where he spent the remainder of the war at the School of Special Flying in Gosport.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviatorsí Certificates, 1910-1950