NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Day: September 30, 2020

Eyes in the sky
Military Milestones

Eyes in the sky

Squadron Leader William Isaac Clements is credited as the first Royal Canadian Air Force member to fly a wartime sortie over enemy territory during a reconnaissance trip into Germany at the end of September 1939. Clements was already in England when the Second World War broke out. He had joined the RCAF in 1930 and earned his wings the next year. In 1939, he was among many Canadian air force personnel seconded for duty or to study with the Royal Air Force prior to the war. He was promoted to squadron leader a week after he was attached to the Royal Air Force on March 24, 1939, and served as a flight commander in No. 53 Squadron, which was sent to France in September as the strategic reconnaissance unit of the Advanced Air Striking Force. On Sept. 29-30, he flew a reconnaissance so...
James Andrew Watson: WW II bomber pilot sacrifices life to save crew
Front Lines, Podcasts

James Andrew Watson: WW II bomber pilot sacrifices life to save crew

It was the night of April 27-28, 1944, and Lancaster R-ND 781/G of 622 Squadron, Royal Air Force, piloted by Flight Lieutenant James Andrew Watson of Hamilton, Ont., was on a bombing mission to Friedrichshafen, Germany. R-ND would never reach its target, but Watson’s heroic actions that black night over occupied territory would inspire an unsuccessful campaign to award him a posthumous Victoria Cross. The seven-member crew—three RAF, four RCAF—were at 17,000 feet as they approached the turning point, 30 minutes out, for their final run into the target. Suddenly, they were attacked from dead astern and below by three Junkers Ju-88 night fighters. It was about 1:30 a.m. and they were a little south of Strasbourg, France. “The attack was a complete surprise, there was no moon...

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