Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain was recognized almost immediately as a significant event. Waged from July to October 1940, it pitted a small group of fighter pilots from around the world against a far larger Luftwaffe. Their victory gave hope to the people of Great Britain and to other freedom-loving nations. History

Battle of Britain London Monument

Battle of Britain London Monument

Battle of Britain 79th Anniversary

Sunday, September 15, 2019
at 10:00 a.m.
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
11 Aviation Pkwy, Ottawa, ON

Vintage aircraft fly by weather permitting

Ceremonies across Canada

Related links

Battle of Britain: Did you know?

More than 100 Canadians flew in the battle, principally as members of the RCAF’s No. 1 Squadron (later renamed 401 Squadron) and the RAF’s 242 Squadron. An estimated 300 Canadians served as groundcrew.

Battle of Britain Webpage

News and articles

Lieutenant-General Michael Hood addresses attendees of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Commemorative Ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, on September 20, 2015.

ARCHIVED - Battle of Britain speech: “Our freedom is built upon their valour”

Lieutenant-General Michael Hood addresses attendees of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Commemorative Ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, on September 20, 2015.
October 13, 2015

Sentries stand at rest with arms reversed at the Royal Canadian Air Force memorial in City Park in Kingston, Ontario, during 1 Wing Kingston’s Battle of Britain parade.

Ceremonies throughout Canada mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

2015 Battle of Britain ceremonies throughout Canada honoured the Canadian and other Commonwealth air personnel who gathered in England 75 years ago to win the first-ever air campaign and change the course of the Second World War. NEW: Battle of Britain ceremony photos from Kuwait.
September 24, 2015

Royal Canadian Air Forces veterans stand during the national ceremony held at Parliament Hill on September 20, 2015, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Canadians remember “The Few” who fought the Battle of Britain

The crowd of military personnel, veterans and spectators, assembled on the lawn in front of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, fell silent in remembrance. They were there for the national ceremony observing the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain; the first Allied military victory of the Second World War and the first in the history of the world to be won by air power.
September 23, 2015

Pilot Officer Richard Alexander Howley was posted to No. 10 Flying Training School at Tern Hill in Shropshire, England, on March 18, 1939, and received his wings on October 7, 1939.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer Richard Alexander Howley

During the Battle of Britain, Canadian-born Pilot Officer Richard Alexander Howley, flying a No. 141 Fighter Squadron Boulton Paul Defiant I aircraft, held the line against Luftwaffe Messerschmitt 109s over southeastern England.
September 17, 2015

With one of their Supermarine Spitfires, Flying Officer John Stewart Hart (fourth from right) and other members of No. 602 Squadron gather for a photograph in Westhampnett, England, during the Battle of Britain.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Canadian John Hart recalls his role in the Battle

John Stewart Hart is believed to be the last surviving Canadian Battle of Britain pilot living in Canada, was interviewed recently about his service during the only Second World War battle fought and won entirely in the air.
September 17, 2015

The Battle of Britain Commemorative Lace Tapestry is on display at the Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

ARCHIVED - Battle of Britain artefacts honour RCAF heritage

Two rare artefacts, the Battle of Britain Commemorative Lace Tapestry and the Battle of Britain Commemorative Sword, are both on display at the Air Force Heritage Museum located in Air Command Headquarters in Winnipeg.
September 14, 2015

Pilot Officer William McKnight (left), Squadron Leader Douglas Bader (centre) and Flight Lieutenant Eric Bal.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer William Lidstone McKnight

Canada’s highest scoring ace of the Battle of Britain was Pilot Officer William Lidstone McKnight, DFC and Bar, who was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1918.
September 14, 2015

A group of pilots of No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron walk towards the camera from a Hawker Hurricane after returning from a fighter sortie on October 24, 1940.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: John Alexander Kent and the RAF’s Polish fighter pilots

In 1940, John Alexander Kent, a Canadian, was posted to RAF Northolt as a flight commander with the Royal Air Force’s newly-formed No. 303 Polish Squadron.
September 14, 2015

Flight Lieutenant Forgrave Marshall “Hiram” Smith at an RAF Station in an undated photograph.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Flight Lieutenant Forgrave Marshall 'Hiram' Smith

In April 1939, No. 72 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, received the new Supermarine Spitfire aircraft, and Pilot Officer Forgrave Marshall "Hiram" Smith was one of the first Canadians to fly this potent fighter.
September 11, 2015

Squadron Leader Paul Brooks Pitcher, from Montreal, Quebec, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot and veteran of the Battle of Britain, is photographed on November 5, 1941, on a break from commanding a Canadian fighter squadron in England.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Flying Officer Paul Brooks Pitcher

Royal Canadian Air Force Flying Officer Paul Brooks Pitcher survived the Battle of Britain and went on to command 401, 411 and 417 Squadrons, ultimately retiring in 1944 as a wing commander.
September 1, 2015

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