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Who are the leading lights in Canada’s great aviation heritage? The question has been asked often, but there seem to be no easy answers, and no single list will please every aficionado.

Legion Magazine’s latest special-interest publication—25 Great Canadian Aviators—represents a valiant effort to compile a list of 25 great and groundbreaking Canadian aviators.

Few people will quibble over Canada’s most iconic aviation celebrities. J.A.D. McCurdy of Silver Dart fame will appear on many a list, along with such other obvious choices as renowned fighter aces Billy Bishop and George “Buzz” Beurling, bush-flying pioneer “Punch” Dickins, Avro Arrow test pilot Jan Zurakowski and world-renowned astronaut Chris Hadfield.

But what we have compiled is a mix of national aviation celebrities with some less well-known names. Each has made important contributions to Canada’s aviation scene. Among the First World War airmen, you’ll certainly recognize William G. Barker, but not likely Edward O’Leary. From the Second World War, you’ll likely know David Hornell, but maybe not W.H.D. Meaden.

Pick up a copy of Legion Magazine’s 25 Great Canadian Aviators on the newsstand to see what you think of these 25, and then have fun compiling your own list and post it here at

Legion Magazine’s 25 Great Canadian Aviators:

J.A.D. McCurdy

Redford Henry “Red” Mulock, DSO

Christian Burgener

Basil D. Hobbs, DSO

William G. Barker, VC

Edward O’Leary

Ernest Archibald McNab, DFC

Roy Grandy

Lloyd Breadner, DSC

Russell Bannock, DSO

Gordon Roy McGregor, DFC

William H.D. Meaden, DFC

David Ernest Hornell, VC

Bruce MacKenzie

Clifford M. McEwen, DFC

Violet Milstead Warren

Robert Martin Edwards

Ernest Arthur Glover, DFC

Keith Rogers Greenaway

William K. “Bill” Carr, DFC

H.E. “Herb” Smale

Maryese Carmichael

Karen McCrimmon

Christopher Hasler, DFC

Chris Hadfield




Supermarine Stranraer




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