Day: March 27, 2019

The VC heroes of Hill 70
Front Lines

The VC heroes of Hill 70

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines the verb “brain”—as in to “brain” someone—as “dash out the brains of” or “strike hard on the head.” In a particularly graphic description of his Victoria Cross-earning feats on Hill 70, the London Gazette of Nov. 8, 1917, said Robert Hanna, a company sergeant-major in the 29th Battalion (British Columbia Regiment), bayonetted three Germans “and brained the fourth,” thus capturing a position and silencing a machine gun. All this took place under heavy fire during one of the least-recognized but most challenging Canadian operations of the First World War. The hill named for its elevation above sea level was located outside the French coal-mining town of Lens, just 10 kilometres from the ridge at Vimy where four months before the Canadians had...
RCAF welcomes the Argus
Military Milestones

RCAF welcomes the Argus

The crew called them big birds. The 33 Argus long-range patrol aircraft, designed as submarine hunters, were bigger than the wartime planes they replaced beginning in March 1958. The plane, which had more sensors than any other at the time, was named after the hundred-eyed giant of Greek mythology. The sensors were needed to track the new Soviet submarines. The Argus had four huge engines and two big bomb bays that could handle torpedoes, bombs or depth charges. Missions often lasted 20 hours or more. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Argus crews flew six hours to their mid-Atlantic station, spent eight hours on patrol, then made the return flight. An Argus of 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron made history in October 1959 with a 7,355-kilometre non-stop flight from Hawaii to North Bay, Ont...

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