Walter Gilbert Dinsdale DFC LLD was born in Brandon, Manitoba and before WW2 was a lay minister and bandsman in the Salvation Army. On November 21, 1941 he enlisted in the RCAF in Toronto, Ontario (ON) and received air crew instruction at Camp Borden, ON, Belleville, ON, St. Eugène, ON, and at No. 2 Service Flying Training School at Ottawa (Uplands) ON, from which he graduated on November 24, 1942, with the rank of Pilot Officer. Dinsdale arrived overseas in the UK on December 29, 1942 and after further training was promoted to Flying Officer in May 1943.

On August 17, 1943, he was posted to No. 410 RCAF Cougar Squadron, where he was a night fighter pilot flying a Mosquito aircraft, shortly after the June 6 D-Day landings in Normandy. His mission was to roam the night skies and search out and destroy enemy aircraft that nightly bombed and strafed Allied positions in the Normandy Beachhead area.

By April 27, 1945 Flight Lieutenant Dinsdale had destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged another. He and his navigator, Flying Officer John E. Dunn were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) effective April 27, 1945. In September 1945, Dinsdale was released from the RCAF and began a remarkable career of public service.

He was first elected to the federal parliament in a 1951 by-election for the riding of Brandon-Souris, Manitoba. Dinsdale was re-elected in eleven consecutive general elections and served in the government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker as Minister of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources and as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. For his life long endeavors on behalf of the disabled, the disadvantaged and others left behind because of the age of technology, he was honoured with a Doctor of Laws degree by Brandon University and a Doctor of Humanities degree from Richmond College in Toronto.

Dinsdale and his wife Lenore were married in 1947 and had five children; Gunnar, Gregory, Elizabeth, Eric and Rolf. In November 1982, Dinsdale died at the Department of Defence Medical Centre in Ottawa. He was buried in Brandon, Manitoba.