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Veteran Profile: James (Midnight) Anderson

Jimmy Anderson in jean jacket, jeans, and brown cowboy hat standing by a river. (Fort St. John North Peace Museum/2018.012.001)

James (Midnight) Anderson

Service: Canada

Jim was born in Milden, Saskatchewan, on March 13, 1926, and moved with his family to the Peace Country when he was three, spending time in Baldonnel before moving to Pink Mountain where his dad ran the Beaton River Lodge. He claimed to have a Grade 12 education because he repeated Grade 6.

Jimmy enlisted in the army on November 4, 1944, in Calgary. He had hoped to become a paratrooper and volunteered for the Pacific Theatre. He was discharged on April 3, 1946.  

He met and married Mona in 1946 and they had three children, Jamie, Carolyn and Marilyn. He pursued his lifelong dream in 1956 when he took flight training and became a bush pilot. He became a noted bush pilot delivering mail and supplies to all who needed them. Jimmy took on other adventures such as stone sheep hunts and search and rescue when needed. He was always glad of the Alaska Highway as he said it was the longest runway and he often used it in emergencies, even if that was a coffee break or something else wet. 

From Mile 147, he ran his own game and guiding outfit, and used his flying skills to transport hunters in and out of camp. He was nicknamed “Midnight” as he liked to fly by the glow of the Northern Lights and the midnight moon. He maintained that he never had crashes just “uncontrolled landings,” reportedly 16 times. He walked out of the bush many times.

Jimmy took over Anderson’s Store and Café and the Pink Mountain General Store. Later he co-owned Outlaw Pilot and Hotshot. He was an artist too, wood burning pictures with a blow torch, and even burned down the house once doing a project.

Jimmy died in the Fort St. John Hospital on January 22, 2008.

The following was compiled by North Peace historian Lana-Gay Elliott, who has been working over the last 30 years to preserve the history of World War veterans from the Peace, as well as soldiers who later came to pioneer this country. She has compiled hundreds of stories with the help of families, obituaries, the Fort St. John North Peace Museum, and pioneer history books. We republish this story with great honour and respect so that We Always Remember and so that We Never Forget. Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at