James Ernest Padley was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1925.
His mother died tragically just months later and as a result. James was adopted by his Aunt and raised in Wichita, Kansas unaware of his Canadian roots. When James attempted to enlist in the US Army in 1943 he was informed that he was, in fact, a Canadian and could only enlist in his country of origin. And that he did.
Without hesitation he sought his family in Canada and enlisted in Winnipeg, MB. James survived 12 missions as a Rear Gunner in a Wellington Bomber but died on his first flight as a pilot on September 1st, 1944, when the right engine of the Halifax Bomber he was flying caught fire on take-off and he crashed one mile from the airfield. Like his life, his journey to serve had ended too soon.