– Throughout the country, RCAF personnel, veterans, air cadets and the Canadian public paused on September 15, 2019, to mark the 79th anniversary of the Battle of Britain—a pivotal battle that thwarted Hitler’s plan to invade Great Britain.
– The national Battle of Britain commemorative ceremony was held September 15, 2019 in Ottawa. The commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force was the reviewing officer and keynote speaker. Here are his remarks.
– During the Battle of Britain, Poland’s 303 Squadron, commanded by a Canadian, scored the highest number of victories. The strong friendship between Poland and Canada, forged during the war, endures to this day, as the Polish defence attaché explains.
– On September 15, 2019, the RCAF marked the 79th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a parade at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
– More than 100 Canadians are deemed to have participated in the Battle of Britain, and 23 lost their lives. A Royal Canadian Air Force squadron fought during the Battle; No. 1 (RCAF) Squadron, whose pilots were from both a regular force unit and an auxiliary unit, became operational on August 17, 1940.
– Otto Hjalmar Antoft’s path took him from Denmark to Nova Scotia to the skies over Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. He died when the Short Stirling aircraft on which he was a crew member was shot down during the struggle to secure “a bridge too far”.
– Flight Lieutenant Peter Bickford died on the first night of Operation Market Garden, the struggle to secure “a bridge too far”. But not from enemy action—his Lancaster bomber collided with another Lancaster and the crews of both aircraft perished.
– Operation Market Garden was an epic gamble aimed at ending the Second World War by Christmas 1944. It failed, and the war lasted another seven months. RCAF personnel were in the thick of it, flying transport aircraft, fighters, fighter-bombers and reconnaissance aircraft.