Saturday, August 30, 2008

FOUR :::::For Tomorrow!

THE RCAF LIVES ON…and the past carries forward into the future.

We shan't forget!

Why would we? These were the start of glory years for Canada! Think British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

By 1939, Canada was a nation at war with Nazi Germany and beehive of military activity!

Of readying for war, and fighting in the war.

Until 1941, America was still a neutral nation…so on the open seas, U-boats bypassed American vessels and routinely engaged Canadian and British ones.

TENS OF THOUSANDS of Canadians and British subjects were being trained in Canada on all fronts, for the war.

Until 1941, everyone knew where the action was on the North American continent!


MANY AMERICANS couldn't take it…

Being on the sidelines that is.

And so they came north to Canada. In droves.

HUNDREDS Of AMERICAN FLYERS a month were joining the RCAF for various duties. And they donned the RCAF blue uniforms. 9,000 eventually. 800 eventually died in RCAF service.

There was one notable difference between American and Canadian joiners.

Americans in the RCAF remained under jurisdiction of the RCAF. They swore allegiance ONLY TO THE RCAF and not to the Crown. Swearing allegiance to the Crown, the British monarchy, resulted in forfeiture of citizenship for an American.

And when America joined the war, two years and three months later…these very Americans were free to go back home and join the USAAF. 1, 759 left right after Pearl Harbour. 2,000 more later on, and the rest? Well they stayed.

But those that left took with them one major advantage.

Wartime experience.

Many had already seen combat and/or had hundreds of hours of flying experience in various military aircraft.

And that's all I have to say on this little trip down memory lane…

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