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...
  • A prime minister of war and peace

    December 27, 2018 by Legion Magazine
    The calm and soft-spoken Lester Pearson, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was ironically the prime minster with the longest war experience. Pearson enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in April 1915, as soon as he turned 18, and served as a medical orderly...
  • The first Canadian in the RFC

    December 19, 2018 by Legion Magazine
    Malcolm McBean Bell-Irving, 22, of Vancouver, made his way to Britain in August 1914 and joined the Royal Flying Corps in September, reportedly the corps’ first Canadian-born pilot, the first Canadian pilot to make a kill in the war, and the first Canadian pilot to...
  • Britain scores the first WW II sea victory

    December 12, 2018 by Legion Magazine
    On Ontario farmland safely inland from Second World War bombing, a town sprang up to house 9,000 people working at a munitions factory that produced 40 million shells for the Allied war effort. The town was named Ajax, after a ship in a little-remembered sea...
  • The Battle of Ortona begins

    December 5, 2018 by Legion Magazine
    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...
  • Sir Arthur Currie, a national hero

    November 28, 2018 by Legion Magazine
    Sir Arthur Currie, the first Canadian soldier to command the Canadian Corps during the First World War, died a national hero on Nov. 30, 1933, aged 58. Respected for his military acumen, he perfected battle strategies and honed his men into elite assault troops whose...
  • Gerda Munsinger: spy or party girl?

    November 21, 2018 by Legion Magazine
    “If a woman wants to make a career for herself, she must learn to listen. When men want to talk, I let them talk,” said the woman behind the sex scandal that rocked the country in the 1960s. Listening is a good skill for a...