‘A Summer of Heroes’
by Nicolas Trudgian
September 20, 2015
OTTAWA — Second World War veterans marched alongside members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Cadets in a parade today on Parliament Hill as part of commemorative ceremonies observing the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, was in attendance as vintage and current Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft provided a fly-past to honour Canadian heroes.
· The culminating engagement of the Battle of Britain took place on September 15, 1940. It is for that reason that the Battle of Britain’s anniversary is celebrated on either the Sunday following that date, or on the 15th itself when it falls on a Sunday.
· More than one hundred Canadians flew in the Battle of Britain between July and October 1940, the largest air battle of its time. Twenty-three Canadians lost their lives.
· The Battle of Britain marked the first time that Royal Canadian Air Force personnel entered combat in the Second World War.
· Historians have described the Battle, which involved almost 3,000 allied aircrew, as the turning point of the Second World War. Described by Sir Winston Churchill as Britain’s “finest hour”, the Battle gave hope to a demoralized Britain and northern Europe.
· National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are proud to join Canadians in honouring Canada’s proud military heritage and commemorating milestones on the road to Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
“The Battle of Britain is a proud part of Canada’s military history, and today’s ceremony recognizes the valour and bravery of all those who fought to protect freedom.”
General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff
“From the pilots who flew daringly to the groundcrew who worked round the clock in support, the Battle of Britain represents a milestone victory – not just for the Second World War but for all of military aviation.”
Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force
History of the Battle of Britain
Royal Canadian Air Force
Canada 150 World Wars Commemorations