On this date: March 2018


1 March 1945
Major Frederick Tilston leads an attack on the Hochwald Forest in Germany. Seriously wounded in an enemy counterattack, he refuses medical aid and defends his company’s position until his troops are secure. His actions earn him the Victoria Cross.


2 March 1815
Sir George Prévost, Governor-in-Chief of British North America, is relieved of his office and recalled to Britain.

3 March 1919
William E. Boeing and Eddie Hubbard deliver Canada’s first international airmail—from Vancouver to Seattle, Wash.—aboard a Boeing C-700.

3-4 March 1945
The Allies break German resistance on the Hochwald front in the Battle of the Reichswald.


5 March 1891
Sir John A. Macdonald leads the Conservatives to victory in what would be his final general election; he dies just three months later.

6 March 1945
Operation Spring Awakening, the last major German offensive of the Second World War, begins.

7 March 1951
Two companies from 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry launch an assault on Hill 532 in South Korea.


8 March 1971
Pier 21 in Halifax closes. More than a million immigrants, including 50,000 war brides, arrive here on passenger liners from 1928 to 1971.

9 March 1945
The United States launches a firebombing raid, dubbed Operation Meetinghouse, over Toyko, leaving more than one million citizens homeless.


10 March 1944
HMC ships St. Laurent, Swansea, Owen Sound and HMS Forester destroy U-845 in the North Atlantic.

11 March 1876
North West Mounted Police sub-constable John Nash is accidentally killed while on duty near Fort Macleod, Alta. He is the first person commemorated in the RCMP Honour Roll for those killed in the line of duty.

12 March 1908
Toronto native F.W. “Casey” Baldwin becomes the first Canadian to fly a heavier-than-air flying machine in Hammondsport, N.Y.

13 March 1915
No. 2 General Hospital crosses the English Channel to France.

14 March 1984
NASA announces Marc Garneau as one of seven astronauts on space shuttle Challenger’s sixth flight. Garneau was the first Canadian in space.

15 March 1964
Canadian peacekeepers arrive in Cyprus as part of Canada’s contribution to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force.

16 March 1900
Recruited in Western Canada, Strathcona’s Horse—consisting of 28 officers, 512 other ranks and 599 horses—departs Canada to fight in the South African War.


17 March 1945
HMCS Guysborough is torpedoed and sunk by U-868 in the Bay of Biscay off France, resulting in 51 casualties.

18 March 2011
Task Force Libeccio arrives in Italy to support NATO’s enforcement of the no-fly zone in Libya.

19 March 1923
The Canadian Air Force officially adopts the uniform of the Royal Air Force.

A portrait at the Battle of Vimy Ridge by Richard jack.
Beaverbrook Collection/C-000148

20 March 1917
The preparatory artillery bombardment for the assault on Vimy Ridge, France, begins.

21 March 1918
The British front between Saint Quentin and Arras in France is attacked by the entire German army.

22 March 1814
American forces capture Philipsburg in a raid on Missisiquoi Bay in Lower Canada.

23 March 1945
The amphibious phase of Operation Plunder—the crossing of Germany’s Rhine River—begins.

24 March 1944
Seventy-six Allied airmen escape through a tunnel from German prisoner-of-war camp Stalag Luft III, in what became known as The Great Escape. Seventy-three escapees are recaptured and 50 are executed, including six Canadians.

25 March 1952
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry repels a Chinese raid against Hill 132 in Korea.

26 March 1885
The North West Mounted Police clash with Louis Riel’s Métis militia, led by Gabriel Dumont. The NWMP is forced to retreat.

27 March 1916
British troops detonate explosives under the enemy line, creating a series of craters near St. Éloi, Belgium.


28 March 1961
The RCAF takes delivery of the first Canadair CF-104 Starfighter.

29 March 1982
The Canada Act 1982 receives royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II, 115 years to the day after Queen Victoria gave royal assent the British North America Act in 1867.

Sharif Tarabay

30 March 1918
In a cavalry charge at Moreuil Wood, France, Lieutenant Gordon Flowerdew orders an attack on two lines of German infantry, causing heavy casualties and forcing the enemy to retire. Flowerdew is mortally wounded and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. 

31 March 1949
Newfoundland joins Canadian Confederation and becomes Canada’s 10th province.

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