By Peter Pigott
Flying Canucks tells the interesting tale of aviation in Canada via this number of 37 biographies of vital aviators in our nation's heritage. As early as 1908, having learn the Wright brothers' invention, alberta farm boys and mechanics in Quebec villages have been developing huge kites, trying to fly them. inside of a decade, Canadian air aces, like Bishop and Barker, swept the wartime skies over Frances, piloting lethal machines in mortal wrestle. throughout the 20s, that very Canadian breed of adventurer, the bush pilot, ventured over the desolate tundra, providing medication and missionaries, mail and Mounties to distant groups so far as Ellesmere Island and Ungava Bay. participants of the Royal Canadian Air strength fought with contrast in the course of the moment international battle. Titles equivalent to The Saviour of London and The Angel of Ceylon appear like wartime hype, however the ability and braveness that these pilots displayed part a century in the past set them aside nonetheless. For the six Canadian airmen who gained the Victoria pass, there have been millions who flew into the beef grinder that was once the Allies' strategic air offensive over Europe. This publication chronicles the exploits of just a couple of women and men -- however it actually celebrates the spirit and unravel of numerous courageous Canadians who're proud a part of aviation during this state.
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Extra info for Flying Canucks: Famous Canadian Aviators
He enlisted in the Mississauga Horse, the cavalry detachment of the Second Canadian Division. A. 'Billy' Bishop in his Nieuport 17. WA. (Billy), VC 29 W. A. Bishop (left) and W. G. Barker (right) with war booty. In 1919, they would start an air charter company, flying wealthy sportsmen from Toronto to the Muskokas. (NAM 8069) Perhaps his disillusionment with the cavalry began on the Atlantic crossing, when he sailed on a cattle boat with 700 seasick horses. As bad as the Caledonia was (it almost went to a watery grave off the coast of Ireland), as within full sight of all on board, a U-boat surfaced and calmy proceeded to sink three ships in the convoy, before the destroyer escorts could intervene.
To prevent the enemy from locating the British advances, 60 Squadron was ordered to shoot down as many German observation balloons as possible. Nicknamed 'sausages' by the RFC pilots, each balloon was the eyes of the German Army, and heavily protected, not only by patrolling fighters but also by murderous flak batteries that threw up what were called 'flaming onions'. These flak guns were quick-firing, former motor-torpedo boat armament that shot tracer balls up to 9,000 feet into the air. Bishop not only shot down one balloon's defending fighters but, ignoring the flak, the balloon as well.
This means of warfare had not attained the lethal capacity to kill thousands of civilians as it would in the Second World War — but even then was unpopular with the press and public. 3 Wing never achieved the fame that other Canadian air aces did. Spurred on by Winston Churchill, the RNAS dropped explosives deep into enemy territory, their primary targets being zeppelin sheds and railway yards. On October 12, 1916, flying a Sopwith Strutter on a 223-mile round trip with other aircraft, Collishaw shot down his first Fokker.