Military Milestones

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The death of a poet and fighter pilot

On Dec. 11, 1941, a 19-year-old pilot died in England. He had been in service only 10 weeks, had seen combat only once, and as far as anyone knows, inflicted no damage on the enemy. But he will never be forgotten as long as there are pilots who want to slip the surly bonds...
  • RCAF’s first Distinguished Flying Cross

    October 24, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    On Oct. 22, 1940, Squadron Leader Ernest McNab of Saskatoon was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the first member of the Royal Canadian Air Force to be decorated (excluding those Canadians serving with the Royal Air Force). Commanding officer of Canada’s first fighter squadron, McNab...
  • A war of bread and potatoes

    October 16, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    When fighting drew near to the small village of Montigny-en-Ostrevent, France, near the end of the First World War, civilians wisely evacuated. When they returned home, many found their houses and cottages occupied by Canadian liberators—squatters who were nonetheless warmly welcomed. “We struck a fine...
  • The law reaches Fort Whoop-Up

    October 9, 2019 by Sharon Adams
      In 1873, the people of what is now southern Alberta and Saskatchewan had a serious complaint. With no police force, traders and outlaws who had fled prohibition in the United States had established a well-defended fort where they traded buffalo robes and sold U.S....
  • HMCS Iroquois damaged in Korea

    September 30, 2019 by Sharon Adams
      HMCS Iroquois was on its first tour of duty in Korea, under frequent fire as it patrolled the peninsula’s east coast, itself frequently firing on North Korean rail lines. A tunnel near Songjin on the main rail line carrying war supplies from Russia to...
  • BOMARC missiles come to Canada

    September 25, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    In 1957, the United States and Canada signed the North American Air Defence Agreement to place their air forces under joint command to facilitate defence of the entire continent from Soviet nuclear bombers. On Sept. 23, 1958, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker announced that under that...
  • Newfoundland Regiment arrives at Suvla Bay

    September 18, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    The Newfoundland Regiment got its first taste of trench warfare not in France or Belgium but at Suvla Bay on the Gallipoli Peninsula, where it joined a British army brigade on Sept. 20, 1915. For months, the British and troops from Australia and New Zealand...