Day: December 5, 2018

Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain
Front Lines

Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain

As a child, Stella Joyce (Petersen) Edwards was always pushing boundaries. She grew up in Kent, England, the third daughter of an Australian trader, and whether it was scaling walls, climbing trees or riding her bicycle off into the countryside, Jaye, as she became known to her compatriots, was an adventurer. “I think I was always a bit wild,” admits Edwards, now a century-old resident of Vancouver and one of three surviving women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). It was during one of those bicycle rides that she encountered a barnstormer in a field near her home and the first seeds of the aviation bug were planted. She remembers watching her mother—who had earned a science degree from Oxford University in 1907—board a biplane and take off for Paris. She ...
The Battle of Ortona begins
Military Milestones

The Battle of Ortona begins

  Seventy-five years ago, under cover of darkness on the night of Dec. 5-6, 1943, Canadian troops in Italy began a nearly month-long campaign that would end with the capture of Ortona. In July 1943, the Allies invaded Sicily, opening a new front. After the capture of Sicily and the surrender of the Italians, they chased the Germans north through Italy, facing stiff resistance with every yard gained. The plan was to advance up the Adriatic coast to Ortona, then strike inland to Rome. At the end of November, the Allies were bogged down, Germans dug in on the far side of the Moro River. The Canadians were tasked to cross the river, head up the valley, break through German lines and capture Ortona. They began with an attack involving the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, th...

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