RCAF veteran honoured with 100th birthday
Canada Day flyover

Files by Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President

A surprise birthday Harvard flyover provided an unforgettable Canada Day celebration for RCAF veteran Armour Hanna at Oshawa, ON, Executive Airport.

Mr. Hanna, who turned 100 on July 1, was delighted when he saw two Harvards from the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association arrive from their home base in Tillsonburg for the special occasion in Oshawa.

Mr. Hanna joined the RCAF in 1941. He trained on Harvards at RCAF Station Aylmer, ON and was commissioned a pilot officer in 1942. He served as an instructor on Harvards at No. 6 Service Flying Training School in Dunnville as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Mr. Hanna was then sent overseas in 1944 and stationed in England for the duration of the Second World War.

Mr. Hanna and his wife Florence lived in Oshawa after the war. He worked as an accountant and in 1981 was named manager of Oshawa Airport, until 1986. Mr. Hanna volunteered for numerous organizations and has received multiple awards for his dedication.

Jenn Maddigan, a close friend of Mr. Hanna, arranged the celebration as an imaginative way for family, friends and dignitaries to overcome the limitations of the CVOVID-19 pandemic. It proved to be a big success, with coverage by Toronto’s CITY-TV.

“What do you give to a guy who is one hundred?,” said Maddigan. “You give him a little piece of the past. His favourite memories are flying the Harvard.”

Mr. Hanna wasn’t expecting the party, which began with a ride in a classic car.

“He thought we were just going for a drive and then we ended up at the airport. When he saw the planes coming, there were tears in his eyes.”

Mr. Hanna, who recalled 1,700 hours on flying the Harvard, described the famous trainer as “a beautiful aircraft.”

Maddigan said she couldn’t say thank you enough to the pilots and volunteers of the CHAA for their efforts. Pilots Dave Martin and Scott McMaster brought over a box of about 40 birthday cards from members of a nursing home in London and enjoyed meeting Mr. Hanna, an exceptional citizen.

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Two CHAA Harvards in an impressive flypast to celebrate Armour Hanna's 100th birthday party at Oshawa Executive Airport. (Gus Corujo)

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RCAF veteran Armour Hanna remembered his time as a BCATP instructor on the Harvard at his 100th birthday celebration on Canada Day. (Gus Corujo)

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Armour Hanna exchanged greetings with CHAA pilots Dave Martin, left, and Scott McMaster, right. (Gus Corujo)