George Clinton Keefer DFC (2) DSO (2) was born in New York City, but he was raised by an aunt in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He left Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, to enlist in the RCAF on October 15, 1940, in Charlottetown. On April 1, 1941, he graduated as a pilot from No. 2 Service Flying Training school at Ottawa (Uplands).
After arriving in the UK he was posted to No. 274 Squadron, (the Desert Air Force) where he flew Tomahawks and Hurricanes in North Africa and destroyed four enemy planes. In August 1942, he was taken off operations, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and posted to an Operational Training Unit in Egypt, as an instructor.
In March 1943, Keefer arrived back in the UK where he was posted to No. 412 Squadron on May 14th as Commanding Officer, flying Spitfires against Hitlerís Fortress Europe. On one of his missions, hs aircraft was severely damaged and he had to bail out over the English Channel and landed within a mile of the French coast. He inflated his dinghy and spent the next six hours frantically paddling toward the English shoreline. He was eventually picked up and arrived safely in Britain.
In April 1944, Keefer was given command of 126 Wing, of which his own squadron was a member, and awarded a second DFC.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, as Commanding Officer, leading 126 Wing, he flew low and medium cover for the Allied landings on the Normandy Beach. On D-Day plus one Keefer shot down a Focke-Wulf 190. From that date to the expiry of his tour, on July 9, 1944, the wing under his leadership shot down 56 planes and destroyed over 400 vehicles.
During the famed Battle of the Bulge, Keeferís plane was knocked down in a freak accident. Strafing a German road convoy, he opened fire on an ammunition truck and in the ensuing explosion, his aircraft was hit and forced down. Fortunately he landed behind the Allied lines and hitched a ride home to his own unit.
In the summer of 1944, Keefer returned to Canada, but by the Autumn he had wangled his way back overseas, where he was presented with his first Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
In November 1944, he was given command of 125 RAF Wing at Eindhoven in Holland. Between March 9 and April 2, 1945, he destroyed five enemy aircraft in the air and another nine on the ground.
With the end of the war in Europe, Keefer had a total of 17 enemy aircraft destroyed, nine damaged and two probables and was awarded his second DSO.
The French government decorated him with the Croix de Guerre with Gold Star. The government of Holland decorated him with the Netherlands Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).
Postwar he served at the Air Force staff College in Toronto and later served with the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington D.C. In 1947 with the rank of Wing Commander, he took his discharge from the RCAF.
In 1951, Keefer joined Canadair Co. as supervisor in the purchasing department. Later, he bought a plastics factory in Granby, Quebec.
Along the way, he found time to get married.