F./O. Eddie Patzer Dies for His Country
Popular Yorkton Star Hockey Player Killed Over Ruhr
Official work was received this week by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Patzer that their fourth son, Flying Officer Edwin Frederick Patzer better known as “Eddie” had been killed in the early morning of Wednesday, February 21, when returning from a raid over the Rhur in Germany. Eddie was the pilot of a Halifax bomber which was hit by flack. It was to have been his last flight before returning to Canada. The news was not altogether unexpected. Some months ago Mr. and Mrs. Patzer had been notified that their son was missing. Since then, another son, Eric, who is with the merchant marine, had been talking with several flyers who were on the same bombing raid as Eddie and they had grave misgivings as to his safety. Prior to enlisting in the R.C.A.F. Eddie was a defence star with the Yorkton Terriers in both the 1940-41 and 1941-42 seasons and during the 1942-43 hockey season performing here with the R.C.A.F hockey team.
It is not exaggerating to say that Eddie Patzer was a favorite son and one of the best loved hockey players to ever wear Terrier livery. Had he lived, tomorrow (August 10) would have been his twenty-fifth birthday anniversary. He was born and brought up in Yorkton. Besides being a good student he performed wonders on various teams of Clarence Drake at Burke school. In 1939-40 he was a stand-out hockeyist with Portage la Prairie juniors.
He was known as the most expensive hockey player that the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association ever had. After making a name for himself with Yorkton in the 1940-41 season his services were much in demand all over Canada and finally he ended up in Sydney, N.S., in November, 1941. The Sydney club wired Yorkton for a release but the Yorkton club refused to grant it. Almost nightly Eddie would phone Yorkton urging his release but Yorkton wanted Eddie and, having a perfect right to him under C.A.H.A. rules, demanded his return. At long last he gave in and returned to Yorkton.
Eddie bore no grudge against Yorkton’s demand. Well does the writer remember the night (December 4, 1941) that we drove to Melville with Wallie Markham to meet the prodigal on his return. We had to speed all the way back to Yorkton so Eddie could get into uniform for the game that night. Eddie signaled his return by playing a big part in Yorkton’s 7 to 4 victory over Regina.
On April 1, 1943, he was presented with his wings at Yorkton and went directly overseas where he quickly won his commission. Last summer he married a Scotch lass and planned to soon return to Canada with his bride.
The sporting fraternity of many parts of Canada where Eddie was well known will learn of his death with sincere regret. It seems but yesterday he was in The Enterprise office with his cheery smile to say good-bye. As he proudly strutted out of our office to play his part in the greatest of all wars, he remarked: “You can’t bring me back to play hockey for you this time.” Eddie was right. He had hung up his skates for the last time. But the old Front Street Arena will echo with the memory of a plucky, chunky youngster who proved that he could hit just as hard on the field of battle as in his hockey career at the Yorkton rink.