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World War II - Air Force History

Type: Document

During World War II the RCAF expanded into the fourth largest air power of the Allied Forces. Its personnel served on every type of mission in theatres ranging from the North Atlantic to South East Asia. This resource describes the evolution of Canada's airforce during that time.

Site: National Defence

A Flight into Memory

Type: Document

This is the moving account of an RCAF veteran who is able to fly in a replica of the very Lancaster bomber of which he was a crew member when it was shot down on its last mission.

Site: National Defence

Flight Sergeant, Royal Canadian Air Force, circa 1941-1943

Type: Image

This Flight Sergeant of the RCAF is dressed in the flight suit worn by Commonwealth aircrew in temperate climates. This man wears the life jacket (known as a 'Mae West' after the American actress), oxygen mask and leather flying helmet appropriate to a fighter pilot on operations over the English Channel. The RAF blue battledress was largely identical to that worn by the Royal Air Force, differing most visibly through the addition of 'Canada' over the albatross patches on the upper arm. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

A Stroke of Luck!

Type: Document

In 1944, an RCAF Lancaster experienced mechanical problems and went down over German occupied Norway. The crew survived and was protected by the Norwegian civilian population at great risk. Just one month later they were rescued by a British submarine.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Air Force History - The Origins

Type: Document

Excerpts from the Handbook for Air Force Non-Commissioned Members are reproduced in this resource about the birth of Canadian military aviation. Topics include early airplane design and experimentation, the gradual application of aircraft to military uses, and the recruitment and training of pilots. Comments and links are provided to other periods in Canadian Air Force history.

Site: National Defence

Reflections of a BCATP Harvard Instructor

Type: Document

To most people, The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) is something to read about in the pages of Canadian history--a long ago, albeit great, contribution to the Allied war effort made by Canada during the Second World War. But to Colonel (Ret'd) Cy Yarnell, it was so much more.

Site: National Defence

de Havilland-Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.1 trainer, Royal Canadian Airforce, 1965

Type: Image

The de Havilland Chipmunk trainer was used to train pilots during the 1950s and 1960s. This photograph was taken at the RCAF Primary Flight School at Borden, Ontario in July 1965. (Canadian Department of National Defence, PCN-5597)

Site: National Defence

A Rattle of Pebbles: The First World War Diaries of Two Canadian Airmen

Type: Document

The diaries of two Canadians airmen who served in the First World War

Site: National Defence

World War I - Air Force History

Type: Document

In the First World War Canadian airmen flew on every type of operation and on every front, sometimes distinguishing themselves with astounding achievements. This resource provides extraordinary accounts of Canadian Aces during the early years of military aviaton.

Site: National Defence

Snowbird Team - Full History

Type: Document

Canadian military formation aerobatic teams have played a distinguished part in our military aviation history. Since 1971, the Snowbirds, one of Canada's and the world's premier aerobatic teams, has exemplified proficiency, professionalism, and teamwork throughout its history. Always striving for perfection their mission has been constant: to demonstrate to their audiences the skill of the men and women of the Canadian Air Force.

Site: National Defence