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The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for March are:

Question: Which bomber was used predominately by RCAF Bomber Squadrons during World War II? What percentage of combat operations were flown using this aircraft?

Answer: “It is worth mentioning that records show that over seventy percent of all combat operations flown by RCAF Bomber Squadrons used Halifax aircraft.”

Source: CAHS Journal – Spring 2010 – Page 17

Question: The American President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, during World War II, had referred to Canada as “The Aerodrome of Democracy”. Which Canadian had written this phrase? Hint: This person became very well known in Canadian Politics after World War II.

Answer: “By 1945, the RCAF had become the world’s fourth largest airforce and the American President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt referred to Canada as “The Aerodrome of Democracy” – a phrase written for him by Lester B. Pearson who was the Consul to the Canadian Legation in Washington at the time.”

Source: CAHS Journal – Spring 2010 – Page 19


1. How many sorties did the RAF Bomber Command fly during World War II?

2. How many aircrews of all nationalities flew with Bomber Command?

3. How many were killed, wounded, became prisoners of war, managed to evade capture and escaped from prison camps?

4. In what year did 1/3 of the casualties occur?

5. What number of those killed were air gunners?

6. How many men and women were killed or wounded while engaged in various ground duties?

Answer: “Historians differ as to the exact figures but during World War II, RAF Bomber Command flew more than a third of a million sorties with 125,000 aircrew of all nationalities serving within the Command. Approximately 55,550 were killed, 9,838 became prisoners of war, 8,500 were wounded, 1500 managed to evade captures and 100 escaped from POW camps. Over one third of of all these casualties occurred in 1944. Of the total killed, 20,000 were air gunners. In addition, some 2,000 men and women were killed or wounded while engaged in various ground duties either from enemy action, accidents or from the effects of exposure working all hours day or night in the bitter cold of six war winters. It is high praise indeed for those ground staff whose faithful service on the operating airfields, in administration, training and supply units contributed so much to the success of the bomber offensive. Without then, the bombers would have never left the ground.”

Source: CAHS JOURNAL – Spring 2010 – Page 27