Albert Earl Godfrey MC AFC was born at Killarney Manitoba and grew up in Vancouver British Columbia, where he attended school. In 1915, Godfrey enlisted in the 11th Canadian Mounted Rifles and was soon transferred to the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles.

In 1916 Godfrey was commissioned as a Lieutenant Observer with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and was assigned to combat in France with 10 Army Co-operation Squadron. He was also with 23 Fighter Squadron and was credited with downing two enemy aircraft soon after his arrival. Pilot training in England, followed in 1917. Then, Godfrey joined 40 Squadron RFC and within 9 months had destroyed 13 and a half enemy aircraft and two observation balloons. For these accomplishments he was awarded the Military Cross (MC). While serving with this unit he designed a mounting for two machine guns on his Nieuport aircraft, the first single-seater to be so equipped in France.

At war's end he was awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC) for meritorious service and joined the Civil Aviation Branch of the Government of Canada. In 1922 he was recalled to service with the newly formed Canadian Air Force and took command of the Vancouver unit, when the RCAF came into being two years later.

Godfrey was the first to fly an aircraft of any type all the way across Canada. In 1926, he flew in a seaplane across Canada with American sportsman J. Dalzell McKee. In September 1928, Godfrey flew a Fairchild carrying the first official trans-Canada air mail from Ottawa to Vancouver.

At the outbreak of WW2, Godfrey was promoted to Air Commodore and in 1942 was appointed Deputy Inspector General of the RCAF. The following year he was promoted to Air Vice-Marshall. He retired from the RCAF in 1944. In 1978 Godfrey was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame. He died in Kingston Ontario in January 1982.