Profiles of courage

Battle of Britain

A black and white photo of four Second World War air force officer.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Otto John Peterson

Flying Officer Otto John Peterson was one of 23 Canadians who died during the Battle of Britain.
September 14, 2016

A black and white photo of a Second World War air force officer in dress uniform, wearing a “wedge cap”.

Battle of Britain Profile of Courage: Harry Raymond Hamilton

Harry Hamilton flew with 85 Squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain.
September 9, 2016

A black and white photo of a Second World War air force officer in dress uniform, wearing a hat.

Battle of Britain Profile of Courage: Alfred Keith Ogilvie

“Skeets” Ogilvie of Ottawa flew in the Battle of Britain and later took part in “The Great Escape”.
September 8, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

In a 1935 photograph taken at 3 Flying Training School, RAF Grantham in Lincolnshire, England, newly enrolled Royal Air Force airman Kirkpatrick MacLure Sclanders stands for posterity.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer Kirkpatrick MacLure Sclanders

New Brunswicker Pilot Officer Kirkpatrick MacLure Sclanders joined the Royal Air Force, became ill, was released, and rejoined to serve in the Battle of Britain as a Hurricane pilot with 242 (Canadian) Squadron.
August 28, 2015

Flying Officer James Arthur Walker in uniform in an undated photograph.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Squadron Leader James Arthur “Johnnie” Walker

During the Battle of Britain, Flying Officer James Arthur Walker received the Distinguished Flying Cross. The citation reads, in part, that he “…has displayed magnificent courage in the face of superior numbers of enemy aircraft.”
August 26, 2015

Pilot Officer George Corbett relaxes in uniform in this undated photograph.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer George Henry Corbett

Eighteen-year-old George Corbett joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve while attending school in England. At 20, Pilot Officer Corbett was engaging the Luftwaffe over England.
August 19, 2015

Pilot Officer John Blandford Latta.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer John Blandford Latta

John Blandford Latta was a salmon fisherman on the West Coast of Canada, complete with his own trawler, when he decided to take a crack at becoming a flyer in the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1939.
August 12, 2015

Fight Lieutenant Jean-Paul Desloges waves from his aircraft on January 22, 1941.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Wing Commander Jean-Paul Joseph Desloges

Although Wing Commander Jean-Paul Joseph Desloges, born in Gatineau, Québec, survived the Battle of Britain, he died on May 8, 1944, in a plane crash in Morocco, one year to the day before the war ended in Europe.
August 4, 2015

A Spitfire at rest on May 22, 1943, in an unknown location. “The Spitfire was difficult to taxi,” Flying Officer Young said, “for the long nose rose at a sharp angle when on the ground, and one had to weave from side to side to ensure that all was clear ahead.”

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Flying Officer J. Stewart “Stew” Young

For Young, the Battle of Britain was a period of seemingly endless patrols interspersed with the occasional chase of an enemy aircraft as his squadron protected vital shipping, and Falmouth and Plymouth harbours.
July 27, 2015

Pilot Officer John Ronald “Jack” Urwin-Mann.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer Jack Urwin-Mann

Battle of Britain ace Pilot Officer John Ronald “Jack” Urwin-Mann received the Distinguished Flying Cross on November 26, 1940. The citation reads, in part, “This officer has displayed initiative and dash in his many engagements against the enemy.”
July 20, 2015

Pilot Officer Joseph Émile Paul Larichelière.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer Joseph Émile Paul Larichelière

In just four short days during the Battle of Britain, Pilot Officer Larichelière scored his first victory, became an "ace" and met his death.
July 15, 2015

Llewellyn William Lloyd

Profile of service: Llewellyn William Lloyd – meteorology technician

Cpl Llewellyn William Lloyd was the RCAF corporal-in-charge of the weather station at Cape Bauld, Newfoundland, in support of Second World War efforts.
September 13, 2013

F/L Jack Watts

Profile of courage: Jack Vincent Watts – navigator

During the Second World War, Battle of Britain heroes pushed back a German invasion of England. After the Battle, others continued the fight with the Bomber Command.
September 13, 2013

F/O Peter Lochnan

Battle of Britain profile: Flying Officer Peter Lochnan

The pilots of the Battle of Britain are honoured for their efforts in turning aside the German onslaught designed to prepare the British for a German invasion. 
September 12, 2013

Norma Watts

Battle of Britain profile: Norma Zelia Watts – WAAF radio telephonist

During the Battle of Britain, Norma Zelia Watts was the ground contact for the aircrew that fought back the German Luftwaffe in the British skies.
September 12, 2013

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