Air Force
Wing Commander Robert Davidson  (in civilian clothes) shown in September 1944 after evading capture in France. While posted  with the RAF in the Far East, he was credited with two destroyed aircraft. [PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PL-32731/CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM—19650071-019_p11d]

Far East Flyers

In December 1939, Britain had undertaken to form distinct Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons overseas, manned as far as possible by Canadian graduates of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. By July 1940, with France defeated, Italy an enemy, Japan threatening and Britain itself threatened with invasion, the Royal Air Force was in desperate straits. Suddenly, Imperial strategy and operational needs trumped national sensitivities. Thousands of Canadians were posted to RAF squadrons around the world. This was the origin of the RCAF’s Lost Legion, separated from...
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    Lost In The Azores

    January 28, 2014 by Hugh A. Halliday
    Members of the Lost Legion—Royal Canadian Air Force personnel who served overseas in British rather than Canadian units—saw many harsh or uncomfortable places, from Russia to Southeast Asia. Some locations, however, were quite delightful, including the Azores in the Atlantic...
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    The Search For Henry Cleary

    November 28, 2013 by Hugh A. Halliday
    With his Spitfire damaged by flak, Flight Lieutenant Henry Cleary was forced to land in, or parachute into occupied France. Cleary evaded capture, but not for long. Earlier this year, his niece, Maureen Pospiech of Niagara-on-the-Lake contacted Legion Magazine, looking for a home for her uncle’s...
  • Flight Lieutenant Ernie Glover shakes hands with another airman while seated in his Canadian-built Sabre. [PHOTO: ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE]

    Killing MiGs In Korea

    September 24, 2013 by Hugh A. Halliday
    It may suprise some that all three branches of the Canadian armed forces were busy in the cold, turbulent air over Korea between 1950 and 1953. Their experiences are not well known, but they did their duty by attacking ground targets and engaging MiG-15s. The transpacific...
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    Operation Hawk: The Korean Airlift

    August 7, 2013 by Hugh A. Halliday
    In 1947, while Prime Minister Mackenzie King was in London, his Minister of Foreign Affairs (and chosen successor), Louis St-Laurent, consented to Canadian participation on the United Nations Temporary Commission of Korea (UNTOK). On his return to Canada, King furiously confronted St-Laurent. He wanted no...
  • Pilot Officer A.W. Bell, PO D.S. Lave, Flying Officer H.W. Middleton and FO N.F. Wenzel pose next to a Hudson while serving in Iceland with a RAF meteorological squadron. [PHOTO: NATIONAL DEFENCE—PL33820]

    Icy Latitudes: The Duty Of The Lost Legion

    June 7, 2013 by Hugh A. Halliday
    One of the most conspicuous aspects of the Lost Legion—the Royal Canadian Air Force personnel who served outside of RCAF units during the Second World War—is the remoteness of many locations. From tiny, dusty airstrips to frigid radar stations, these Canadians gained little attention while...
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    During the Second World War, Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons flew many types of aircraft in a variety of roles. Looking over this history, it is worth noting that no Canadian squadron operated in the medium-bomber role closely identified with tactical bombing. The greater part...