Sam Estwick

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Sam Estwick
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Born(1915-10-08)October 8, 1915
Padmore, Barbados
DiedFebruary 13, 2008(2008-02-13) (aged 92)
OccupationRadar Technician, Officer, Flight Lieutenant
EmployerRoyal Canadian Air Force

Samuel Malcolm Estwick was a Canadian radar technician for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during the Second World War in 1942 until his retirement in 1963[1][2]. Estwick was born in Padmore, Barbados, but grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where his family moved when he was four[3]. During his retirement, Estwick volunteered with the Senior Citizens Council of Ottawa-Carleton and East Ottawa Lions Track & Field Club[4][5]. He passed away in Ottawa where he lived with his wife, Louise, and his two children, Leslie and Eric[4].



Sam Estwick visited the RCAF recruiting office in Halifax, N.S. in 1940, but was not seen by the recruiting officer who would not "trust a man of colour."[6] Estwick wrote to his MP Clarence Gillis, who brought the dispute to the House of Commons.[6] In May 1941, Charles Power denied that there was a "legal bar" that prevented People of Colour from enlisting in the RCAF, because the rule that applicants must be "of pure European descent" was dropped in November 1939.[7][8]

In December 1941, Estwick began studying radar at the RCAF, and spent the next three years working with the RCAF and the Royal Air Force.[1] He continued his work in the RCAF once the war was over, becoming an officer in 1955, and retiring as a flight lieutenant in 1963.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bourdon, Buzz (May 2, 2008). "Radar expert fought racism, then the war". The Globe and Mail. pp. S9. Retrieved March 23, 2023.
  2. Williams, Dawn P. (2006). Who's who in Black Canada 2. D. P. Williams. p. 134. ISBN 9780973138429.
  3. "Estwick, Samuel". Black Canadian Veterans Stories. February 17, 2022. Retrieved March 10, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "A Canadian trailblazer". Ottawa Citizen. February 25, 2008. pp. C3. Retrieved March 23, 2023.
  5. "Annual Award Winners". Ottawa Lions. Retrieved March 23, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Theobald, Simon (2015). "Not So Black and White". Canadian Military History. 21 (1): 4 – via Scholars Commons @ Laurier.
  7. "House of Commons Debates, 19th Parliament, 1st Session : Vol. 3". Canadian Parliamentary Historical Recources. July 31, 1940. pp. 2208, 2209. Retrieved March 24, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Sheffield, R. Scott (1996). "Of Pure European Descent and of the White Race". Canadian Military History. 5 (1): 11 – via Scholars Commons @ Laurier.

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