For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
HOLMES, Alfred James William (AJ) - It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Alfred (AJ) Holmes, 88, March 27, 2020 at the VG Hospital in Halifax, NS. Alfred was born July 24, 1931 in Halifax and raised in Tufts Cove, Dartmouth, NS. He was the son of George & Lillian Holmes of Dartmouth. Alfred is survived by his son Brian (Maura), grandsons Duncan and Brennan, Halifax, his sister Lynn (Steve) Glavin, Guelph,Ont., brother Wayne (Susan) Holmes, Dartmouth and nieces and nephews he was very fond of. Alfred was predeceased by parents, George and Lillian Holmes, and his loving wife of 51 years Jean (Dooks). After graduating from Dartmouth high school Alfred entered the military. From 1950-1984 he had a long and varied military and civil career, serving in the Royal Canada Air Force, the Canadian Navy, the Department of Transport and The Canadian Armed Forces. He served as a fighter pilot, Carrier pilot, Ship Watchkeeper, Airways Inspector, Flying Training Instructor and foreign liaison officer. In the RCAF he flew F-86 Sabre Jets at 427 Squadron, Sweibrucken Germany and Instructed at RCAF MacDonald flying the T-33. He left the RCAF and joined the RCN in 1959 and served with VX-10 Test and Evaluation Squadron, flying the CS2F Tracker, F2H3 Banshee and Bell Helicopter. He attended JOTLC from 1961 until 1962, then served as a Term Lt. at HMCS Cornwallis. In 1962-1963 he served as ships senior watchkeeper onboard HMCS Haida and Cayuga. In 1964 he joined VS-880 at HMCS Shearwater flying CS2F Trackers ashore and as a Crew Commander on board the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure. In 1967 he went to the Department of Transport as an Airways Inspector flying the DC-3, King Air and Beech 310 aircraft. Returning to the Canadian Navy CFB Shearwater in 1968 he joined VU-32 as a COD pilot onboard HMCS Bonaventure and later as a Tracker Flying Training Instructor and as a Senior Tracker Instructor with VT-406. He was promoted to Major in 1975 and served as Personnel Services Officer at CFB Shearwater. In 1976 he was appointed Canadian Forces Liaison Officer in Bermuda and served in that prestigious post until 1978. In 1980 he served in the full-time reserve until 1984 as a Photo Armament Officer at CFB Halifax and Deputy Base Operations Officer at CFB Shearwater. Alfred was kind, wise and a true gentleman. He enjoyed a close relationship with his only child, Brian. A week would not go by, without the two spending time with each over lunch, round of golf or an impromptu visit. Alfred loved his family and enjoyed seeing his grandchildren and extended family. He was very socially active, in his retirement years he enjoyed travelling, golfing and participating in Bridge Clubs while a social member at Brightwood Golf Course. He will be dearly missed. Due to the Coronavirus, a graveside service and reception will take place at a later date. Details will be published at that time. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory to the Canadian Cancer Society or a charity of your choice. Arrangements have been entrusted to A.L. Mattatall Funeral Home, 217 Portland St. Dartmouth.
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