Month: March 2014

Far East Flyers
Military History

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 Canadian units. It was also the genesis of disputes between Canadian authorities and their senior British counterparts, even when individual RCAF personnel fitted in well with RAF formations. In the Far East, there were t...
Humour Hunt

Humour Hunt

A.E. (Bunny) Brown, DFC, of Burlington, Ont., relates an experience from the time he was pilot of a Lockheed Hudson on U-boat patrol in the North Atlantic: “I landed and taxied back to the flight line where the ground crew beckoned me in. The corporal waved for me to cut engines, which I did.  Then suddenly I saw all the ground crew running away like mad.  I turned to my second pilot and said:  ‘What the hell are they all running away for?’ “’Well, Skipper,’ he said, ‘you just dropped all our bomb load.’” Bunny adds that no one was hurt.  
Community

Choose Your Favorite Normandy Cover

- It is a tie!    Just in time for Father’s Day, Legion Magazine will be releasing our fifth SIP which marks the 70th anniversary of Canada’s major contribution during the Normandy Campaign. We asked you to choose one of three covers and after analyzing the votes and assigning one vote to each unique voter it appears we have a tie. So, we have narrowed the contest down to your two favourites and over the next five days we will tally up the final votes and pick a winner. You get to choose the next award-winning cover for Legion Magazine’s Special Interest Publication. We will announce the winner on Monday, March 31, 2014. It is up to you.   The winner will be on newsstands on May 26, 2014. Click on a cover to vote!                 -
Normandy Tour: Roads To The River Seine
Army, Military History

Normandy Tour: Roads To The River Seine

Most of the Canadian soldiers who served in the Battle of Normandy were not involved in the D-Day landings or the bridgehead battles. The 2nd Canadian Division did not arrive in France until after the capture of Caen on July 9 and 4th Armoured Div. reached Normandy later in the month, in time to take part in the August battles. Thus, for many veterans and their families, the area south of Caen and the roads to the River Seine are the important places of pilgrimage. To visit these sites of war and memory, begin at the memorial park on the edge of St. Martin-de-Fontenay. Located on Point 67, the northern spur of Verrières Ridge, the park was established in 2001 by the Canadian Battlefields Foundation and the Toronto Scottish Regiment. The project was adopted by the citizens of St. ...
Humour Hunt

Humour Hunt

Gordon Thompson of Tide Head, N.B., five miles west of Campbellton and once called Head of Tide, sends us this: A sergeant and a private were court-martialled for kicking a colonel as he was getting into his car.  The sergeant explained that the colonel had stepped on his most sensitive corn and he had lost control of his reflexes, kicking the colonel unintentionally.  That made sense to the court. The private then gave his explanation: “I saw the sergeant kicking the colonel and I thought the war was over.”  
A Night Of Furious Action
Military History

A Night Of Furious Action

Sackville's Remarkable Battles Against The Wolf Pack   The first phase of the battle for convoy ON 115 was won by the Royal Canadian Navy. For days the convoy brushed its way past U-boats, and from July 29 to Aug. 1, 1942, it was shadowed by six enemy subs. Escort group C3 did its job. No ships were lost, and best of all, U-588 was sunk in a skilful hunt. In the early hours of Aug. 1, the U-boats that had not been driven off lost contact. Now only 500 miles from Newfoundland, ON 115 should have been in the clear. It was not. With plenty of “sea room” to the west, Admiral Karl Dönitz—in the early hours of Aug. 1—formed a patrol line, called Pirat, directly across ON 115’s path. The next day, contact was re-established and the battle for ON 115 began again. By then t...

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An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.