Soon after, Stocky became commanding officer of the Centralia base, near London, Ontario. In February 1946, while at a Valentine’s dance, Stocky met an air force nurse named Alice Antonio, known to her friends as “Toni.” They dated several times, but Toni was transferred to Trenton, Ontario. It seemed that nothing more would come of this relationship. At the same time, however, Stocky lost his wing commander rank and was demoted to squadron leader. Stocky wasn’t happy about that, but he knew many men who had advanced quickly in combat were now having their ranks reduces as the peacetime air force became smaller. Later, his rank was bumped down again, to flight lieutenant on a short-service commission. This was the last straw for a proud young man that had risked his life for his country. Didn’t that count as proving yourself?
Stocky went to see his Member of Parliament in Ottawa and explained to him why he deserved a permanent commission. “I’ll see what I can do”, he said. Stocky replied: “Well, I’m not leaving this office until this is straightened out.” The MP got on the phone to a high-ranking officer – an air vice marshal – who knew Stocky and respected his achievements. After the air vice marshal got involved, Stocky received his permanent commission.
Adapted from: Hehner, Barbara. Desert Hawk: The True Story of Stocky Edwards, World War II Flying Ace (Kindle Locations 59-61). HarperCollins Canada. Kindle Edition.