In Biggles Works It Out, Dick Canton was a pilot and operative of Count Heinrich Horndorf's criminal gang known as "The White Prophets of Peace". Canton had flown for the R.A.F. during the early part of the Second World War but had been discharged on medical grounds after a crash. He later recovered and qualified for a "B" licence (a commercial pilot's licence). However his licence had been cancelled in 1949 when he was convicted in court for smuggling watches. Following this, he was also expelled from the Royal Aero Club.
After joining the White Prophets, Canton had helped plan and organise the ambush and robbery of the gold convoy from Barula Creek. Posing as a journalist, he had rented an Aeronca light aircraft from Len Holmes at Darwin Airport and flown to Barula Creek. There he used the cover of doing a story about the gold mine for the purposes of interviewing the staff to gather information about the schedule of the gold convoy. He later rejoined his colleagues at Sandy Bottoms where the gold convoy was ambushed. John Brand, the manager at the gold mine described him to Biggles as a "towny type", five foot six, thin and very dark, aged about 35 and with a little black moustache. He brushed his hair straight back without a parting. This was done apparently to hide a wound in the head which he got in the war. According to Brand, Canton always seemed to be fiddling with his hair where the wound was.
After Biggles returned to Britain from Australia, Canton appeared again, this time as a journalist from the Daily Mail wanting to do a story about the Air Police but Flight Sergeant Smyth had told him to go away as the Air Police personnel had orders not to talk to the press. However Biggles was worried that Canton might have been loitering about the hangars for some time and ordered a close inspection of the aircraft. Biggles was right to be suspicious as they found a bomb planted in the exhaust pipe of one of the Air Police Austers.
Based on clues discovered at the crime scene at Sandy Bottoms and Darwin, Biggles had assigned Algy and Bertie to watch Monte Carlo and Nice Airport for people fitting the profiles they had built up of the suspects. Thus Bertie, who was watching Nice Airport spotted Canton who had just arrived in a Mosquito belonging to the gang. Bertie recognised him by his characteristic hair stroking action. Posing as a down and out pilot by the name of "Tommy Smith", Bertie struck up a conversation with Canton, who soon suggested that Bertie might want to join his line of work. Bertie played along and soon Canton took him to the Villa Hirondelle where the leader of the gang, Count Heinrich Horndorf recruited Bertie into the gang as a pilot.
Not long after, it was Algy's turn to meet Canton. Algy had turned up at Nice Airport looking for Bertie who had joined the gang and disappeared. By coincidence, Canton's Mosquito had been parked in the same hangar as Algy's Auster. Algy saw Canton as he approached the hangar and decided to remain out of view to observe him. Canton appeared to be chatting with a mechanic and then seemed to notice the Auster parked near his Mosquito. He appeared to be surprised when he recognised the registration letters as those of the aircraft he had sabotaged. After sending the mechanic away on an errand, Canton went over to a work bench to fetch a hacksaw, intent, it seemed, on performing another sabotage. Algy strolled in to forestall Canton. Canton, thwarted, engaged Algy in casual conversation (he did not know Algy was a policeman) and then left the hangar in blue sports car.
Algy didn't see Canton again until a few days later. He had gone back to report to Biggles and been sent again to the South of France to maintain surveillance over the Villa Hirondelle. He had followed von Stalhein and Groot to the gang's secret landing ground at the Plaine de la Crau. Von Stalhein and Groot, it seemed, were waiting for Canton to fly in from El Asile with the gang's Douglas DC-3. Creeping close to eavesdrop on their conversation, Algy overhead von Stalhein reprimanding Canton for recruiting a new pilot without consulting him. A few details dropped by Canton only served to increase von Stalhein's alarm when he realised that this new pilot, "Tommy Smith" was in fact Bertie. Not wanting to upset the Count by reporting the mistake to him, Canton decided to fly back to the El Asile to "fix" Bertie himself.
Alarmed by this development, Algy stole on board Canton's DC-3. In mid-flight Algy held Canton up with his gun but Canton resisted and was overpowered only after a dangerous struggle which almost crashed the plane. Algy took control of the aircraft and continued his flight towards El Asile. However, approaching Algiers, the DC-3 was ambushed by Marcel in his Morane and forced to land. This proved convenient for Algy as he was able to hand Canton over into the custody of the French police, thus ending his involvement in the story.