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“And in that narrow cockpit I wept, as I shall never weep again, when I felt the concrete brush against his wheels and, with a great sweep of the wrist, dropped him on the ground like a cut flower. As always, I carefully cleared the engine, turned off all the switches one by one, removed the straps, the wires and the tubes which tied me to him, like a child to his mother. And when my waiting pilots and my mechanics saw my downcast eyes and my shaking shoulders, they understood and returned to the dispersal in silence.” – Pierre Clostermann, French WW2 fighter pilot, from his book ‘The Big Show: The Classic Account of WWII Aerial Combat’.
Website Last Updated: 3 January 2023
Above: Queen Elizabeth II 1953 portrait.
In Memoriam: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022).
Below: News, Photos & Videos
The Commemorative Air Force’s Comanche Peak Sponsor Group are restoring a 1940 Fleet Finch Mk. II (Model 16B) trainer to airworthy status and they need financial assistance to accomplish this worthy endeavour. According to the Commemorative Air Force’s Fundrazr.com webpage, the aeroplane “will be used to tell the story of the . . . American volunteers who trained and served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force before the U.S. entered the War.” Please, if at all possible, donate to the cause.
Please Support the Recovery of an RCAF Halifax Bomber!
Memorial Day (USA): Remember the virtually forgotten Royal Canadian Air Force-Americans and Royal Air Force-Americans. Click on the link below to read the feature articles about these largely overlooked men and women in the Commemorative Air Force’s May 2022 issue of The Digital Dispatch.
The Digital Dispatch, May 2022
11 NOVEMBER 2021: REMEMBRANCE DAY / VETERANS DAY (USA)
Above: Canadian Army Corporal Karine Marie Natasha Blaise.
Killed-In-Action April 2009.
Photo: Veterans Affairs Canada
This year the late Canadian Army Corporal Karine Marie Natasha Blaise is a featured servicemember for The Royal Canadian Legion‘s Poppy Campaign and Remembrance Day, and her mother (Josée Simard) was designated as the ‘2021 National Silver Cross Mother’. Karine Blaise was killed in action (KIA) during April 2009 when the military vehicle in which she was riding hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. She was a member of the 12th Armoured Regiment of Canada, which was based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier in the Province of Quebec. At the time of her death Karine was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment Battle Group. Karine Blaise, and all the veterans of Canadian, British, [British] Commonwealth of Nations, American and other Allied militaries are to be remembered and thanked for their service on this Remembrance / Veterans Day.
Above: ‘Presenting the Colours’ on 11 November 2021 at the Haines City Veterans Park in Haimes City, Florida, USA. Photo: Military Aviation Chronicles. The building in the background to the left is the old Haines City Railroad Depot. During WW2 the Royal Air Force sent more than a thousand male pilot candidates to No. 5 British Training School, which was located at Clewiston, Florida. Haines City was one of many stops for the trains that transported the prospective flyers from Canada to Clewiston.
Above: Female Junior Army ROTC cadet salutes during the 11 November 2021 Veterans Day ceremony at Haines City, Florida. Photo: Military Aviation Chronicles.
Above: Bagpiper Benjamin Pugh, a former aerospace engineering student, (left) piping ‘Amazing Grace’ during the Haines City, Florida, USA, Veterans Day ceremony. Behind him is the Haines City Railroad Depot. Haines City was one of many stops for the trains that transported the prospective British flyers, who arrived from Canada, to the Royal Air Force’s No. 5 British Flying Training School at Clewiston Florida. Photo: Military Aviation Chronicles.
Above: Update on the recovery of a Handley Page Halifax bomber off the coast of Sweden.
The United Kingdom lost the second most citizens (67) on 11th September 2001. Today Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II issued a memorial ‘Tweet’ via The Royal Family’s Twitter account.
The Passing of A Royal Pilot:
‘His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’
The RAF Museum’s webpage ‘Prince Philip’s training’ states, “HRH Prince Philip began his flying training on 12th November 1952 at White Waltham, his instructor being Royal Air Force [RAF] Flight-Lieutenant Caryl Ramsay Gordon. After initial flying training on the de Havilland Canada DHC-1 ‘Chipmunk’, Prince Philip advanced to the North American ‘Harvard’. On 4th May 1953 the Duke of Edinburgh was awarded his ‘wings’ by ‘Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir William Dickson’ at Buckingham Palace. (The ‘five stars’ insignia on the aircraft Prince Philip piloted signified his RAF rank, which was ‘Marshal of the Royal Air Force’.) Shortly thereafter, the Duke of Edinburgh began serving as the ‘Grand Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators‘, a post he occupied until 2002. Prince Philip also piloted helicopters, having received, in 1956, his Royal Navy helicopter pilot wings after learning to fly a Westland ‘Dragonfly’.
Below is a listing of some of his many military-related aviation designations and affiliations, as recorded by Wikipedia’s ‘List of titles and honours of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’:
Marshal of the Royal Air Force (1953 – 2021)
Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps (1952 – 2015)
Honorary Air Commodore of the No. 601 (County of London) Squadron (1953 – 1957)
Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Kinloss (1977 – 2012)
Air-Commodore of the University Air Squadron (1983 – 2021)
Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets (1953 – 2021)
General of the Royal Canadian Air Force (2011-2021)
Honorary Fellow (FRAeS) Royal Aeronautical Society (16th December 1954 – 9 April 2021)
The Air League (1952 – 9 April 2021)
Life Member of The Royal British Legion
Passionate Aviator Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Dies Aged 99
Duke Of Edinburgh Flying Lessons Aka Duke Flies A Harvard Prior To Getting His Wings (1953)
VJ Day: Prince Philip Recalls Watching Japan’s 1945 Surrender (1995 Interview)
Above: A poster that was issued in 1942 by the United States Office of War Information to honour those Americans who perished during Imperial Japan’s 7 December 1941 Pearl Harbour attack.
An ERCO Ercoupe takes wing just after sunrise in central Florida on the day (5 September 2020) many organisations are holding memorial ceremonies to note the end of the Second World War and simultaneously recall the sacrifices of Allied airmen and women. Ercoupes served on a limited basis with the Civil Air Patrol within the continental United States. These machines and their pilots undertook coastal anti-submarine patrol, communication, and liaison missions. Other Ercoupes were utilised in the Civilian Pilot Training Programme to provide basic flying training for thousands of future U.S. military aviators. Photo: Courtesy of Troy Heidel.
VJ Day: Prince Philip Recalls Watching Japan’s 1945 Surrender (1995 Interview)
Above: Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945. Standing in front are: Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff. Behind them are three representatives each of the Foreign Ministry, the Army and the Navy. They include, in middle row, left to right: Major General Yatsuji Nagai, Army; Katsuo Okazaki, Foreign Ministry; Rear Admiral Tadatoshi Tomioka, Navy; Toshikazu Kase, Foreign Ministry, and Lieutenant General Suichi Miyakazi, Army. In the the back row, left to right (not all are visible): Rear Admiral Ichiro Yokoyama, Navy; Saburo Ota, Foreign Ministry; Captain Katsuo Shiba, Navy, and Colonel Kaziyi Sugita, Army. (Identities those in second and third rows are from an annotated photograph in Naval History and Heritage Command files.) Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Above: In Honour of 4th July 2020 (American Independence Day)
D-Day Landings – The 76th Anniversary: 6 June 1944 – 6 June 2020.
Above: U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) Douglas C-47 Skytrains bank toward England after their American-built USAAF WACO CG-4A gliders have cut loose. Note the British-built Airspeed AS.51 Horsa (extreme left centre) on the ground with the WACOs. U.S. Air Force photo 050606-F-1234P-034.
Memorial Day (United States) Photo: Wikipedia.
8th May 2020: The 75th anniversary of the Allies victory in Europe.
Photo: Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Nanton, Alberta.
Above: United States Space Force Seal. It was officially unveiled on 24 January 2020.
Above: Airplanehunters.org | Sweden Stage B | Posted: 20 July 2019
(WW2 Handley Page Halifax bomber undergoing initial recovery from a watery grave.)
An abridged version of the Internet article about the June 2019 Coronation Review of the Fleet Commemoration and Anniversary Flight appears on pages 16 through 19 of the December 2019 issue of The Dispatch. (This digital edition link of the print publication was distributed worldwide on Christmas Eve 2019.)
Above: And They Dreamed of the Skies video by James Blondeau,
Greg Geeves, Jocelyne Dearden & Airplanehunters.org
The Last Full Measure, the true story of Air Force Cross & Medal of Honour recipient U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr., will soon be in theatres.
Above: Rebuilding a Handley Page Halifax Heavy Bomber in Canada.
Above: RCAF CF-18 Hornets on the flightline at Holloman Air Force Base New Mexico, on 13 February 2018. USAF photo by Senior Airman Chase Cannon 180213-F-GO091-057. Story link: Holloman hosts Royal Canadian Air Force
Above: An RCAF member directs a CF-18 Hornet at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on 13 February 2018. USAF photo by Senior Airman Chase Cannon 180213-F-GO091-073. Story link: Holloman hosts Royal Canadian Air Force
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
– Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr., RCAF