Robert Dodds OBE MC was born in Hamilton, Ontario. He joined the army in 1914 and went overseas with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. In 1916, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and, upon graduating as a pilot, joined No. 48 Squadron in France. On August 22, 1917, during one of his first combat flights, three German planes attacked him when, suddenly his guns jammed. Recocking them, he drove one plane down out of control and damaged another.

On March 9, 1918, Dodds led a bombing raid on an enemy airfield and, under intense fire, dived to ground level and dropped his bombs on a hangar. Though his machine was badly riddled by bullets, Dodds stayed to orbit the field until the rest of his formation had dropped their loads. Dodds had destroyed or driven down 11 enemy planes. He had participated in over 60 offensive patrols. For his gallantry under fire and all these feats he was awarded the Military Cross (MC) effective May 13, 1918. By this time, the RFC had become part of the newly formed Royal Air Force.

Following Major Dodds' discharge from the RAF, he helped form the Hamilton Ontario Aero Club, managed International Airways, was superintendent of Canadian airways airmail operation in eastern Canada and, later, became Director of Civil Aviation with Transport Canada. Dodds retired in 1958. During WW2, he participated in the development of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and for this he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) .