Category Archives: Story Archives

From the brave men and women who ventured into aviation when it was still in infancy, to the courageous souls who battled in war-torn skies, every hero has a story to tell. These are their stories.

The CAF and the RCAF – 1918 to 1939

Canadian Air Force in formation

In 1918, the various British formations amalgamated as the Royal Flying Corps. Almost a third of the personnel who served therein were Canadian. In the spring of 1918 it was agreed that all-Canadian squadrons be formed. Soon, growing pride and nationalism aroused by Canadian military accomplishments brought forth a call for a distinctive Canadian army,…

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The Second World War – RCAF

Royal Canadian Air Force flying in loose formation

On the 1st of September 1939, the Royal Canadian Air Force strength was 4,061 officers and airmen. They were scattered throughout eight regular squadrons flying a total of 270 aircraft of twenty different types. 146 of these machines were designated as training or transport aircraft and only 19 Hurricanes and 10 Battles could be called…

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Douglas SBD Dauntless BuNo. 06624

Some people travel to frigid Greenland to retrieve P-38 Lightning’s from beneath 250 ft. of glacial ice. Others go to the sweltering jungles of New Guinea to bring back P-39 Airacobras. The National Museum of Naval Aviation has gone to the bottom of Lake Michigan to recover Douglas SBD Dauntless BuNo. 06624 and the Kalamazoo…

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The Women’s Airforce Service Pilots – WASP

The Women Air Force Service Pilots could hop in any WWII aircraft type, crank it up and fly it anywhere. Although women were not allowed to participate in battle, they did serve in so-called “noncombat” missions These missions often proved to be extremely dangerous. The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and Women Airforce Service Pilots…

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The Lost Squadron

Glacier Girl

During the summer of 1942, one of World War II’s most fascinating sagas took place on the icy slopes of Greenland. A flight of World War II airplanes were being flown to England from the United States in support of the war in Europe. In the early morning of July 15, a flight of two…

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Fokker DR.I

Fokker Dr.I

Designed almost by mistake, obsolescent when introduced, the Fokker Triplane was a strange and famous aberration which allowed the skilled and experienced to ravage the slow-witted, inept, and inexperienced. Real geniuses like Werner Voss and Baron Manfred von Richthofen used the machine’s incredibly tight turning circle, quick, agile climbs, and innovative, special tactics to slaughter…

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Fokker D.VII

Like many of Fokker’s projects, the D.VII was designed almost casually. It’s historical position as World War I’s most famous fighter is therefore especially remarkable. It’s ability to “hang on the prop” — in reality, a very slow, controlled climb – and to perform exceptional maneuvers without airframe damage made it a formidable, if not…

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Republic P47 Thunderbolt

Republic P47 Thunderbolt in the air

The P-47 is not like other fighters. Pilots usually refer to their aircraft as if they were feminine and graceful. Listening to World War II’s top Thunderbolt aces describe their birds, words like “brick”, “truck”, and “tank” pervade their comparative descriptions. Since nine of the top ten T-bolt aces lived to tell their tales, such…

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Curtiss P40

Curtiss P-40

Most famous fighters are magnificent thoroughbreds, the best of the best of their contemporaries, if only in some sharp tactical way that, very temporarily, makes them special. The P40 was an exception. Competent and rugged, its brilliance flowed not from its very mediocre specifications, speeds, and performance, but from the sharp minds and aggressive spirit…

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Grumman F6F Hellcat

Grumman F6F Hellcat in action

The robust Hellcat was the primary U.S. carrier fighter of the last two years of the Second World War. Unlike many other famous combat aircraft, it was a simple airplane, simply developed, and was put into production after detailed comparison with what the U.S. Navy accurately perceived as its primary foe: the Mitsubishi A6M Type…

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