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Elinor Florence (Company name) Elinor Florence

Air Force

Dear Friends: After five years and more than 100 wartime stories, this will be my FINAL Wartime Wednesdays blog post. But since I’m so eager to stay in touch with all you lovely people, I have an entirely new blog titled Letters From Windermere. My monthly letter will be just that — a chatty update across the digital […]

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Willa Walker rose rapidly through the ranks in 1941 to become head of the newly-formed Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division. Only 28 years old, grieving the recent death of her baby son, her husband locked away in a German prison camp, Willa rose to the challenge with courage and dignity, breaking down barriers for future generations of women […]

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Named for the future British prime minister, 100-year-old Winston Churchill Parker of Okotoks, Alberta, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, served as a Wireless Air Gunner in a Wellington bomber, was shot down on his unlucky thirteenth mission, and spent the rest of the war as a POW in a German prison camp. Note to readers: The following […]

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For your summertime reading enjoyment, here’s a collection of five wartime tales that are stranger than fiction – starting with this delightful picture of Samantha Kot, who re-enacted an old photo she discovered right here on Wartime Wednesdays! Aviation Fan Recreates Wartime Photo Samantha Kot of Orangeville, Ontario comes from an aviation-mad family that restores old […]

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A group of young men from Cranbrook, British Columbia, members of the Rover branch of the Boy Scouts, built this cabin deep in the forest to use as their private clubhouse in the happy days before the Second World War. Four of them died while serving their country. Now all that remains is the stone […]

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When I discovered this photograph online, I was struck with the lovely elegance of RCAF Women’s Division member Dorothy Chapman Garen in her blue uniform. I was even more thrilled to find that Dorothy, now aged 95, is living not far from me in Canmore, Alberta, where I was able to thank her in person for […]

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Plucky Iris Porter of the British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force slept in a tent for two long years, swam in the Mediterranean Sea, rode camels, and visited the pyramids – all while serving her country in the burning Egyptian desert during World War Two.   Chatting With Iris It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Iris Porter […]

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Four long years ago, reader Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, asked me to find the owner of this Royal Canadian Air Force souvenir bracelet. After an exhaustive search, I located the owner’s brother in Cambridge, Ontario! The mystery surfaced way back in 2013 after Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan sent me photographs of a bracelet bearing […]

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A case of mistaken identity thwarted Jim Milne’s plans to fly against the enemy, so he spent the war in Canada as a navigation instructor instead. When not on duty, he sketched some very amusing cartoons in his flying logbook! Now 97, Jim Milne lives with his wife Betty in the pretty mountain resort of […]

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Ben Scaman of Banff, Alberta, was flying Spitfires with the Royal Canadian Air Force when the V-1 flying bombs, often called doodlebugs, began to rain down on England in 1944. Remarkably, Ben pioneered the technique in which a skilled pilot could tip one of these murderous missiles off balance, causing it to crash harmlessly into the countryside. […]

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