It was a perfect Sunday afternoon on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The event included a parade of members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Air Cadets, as elderly veterans of the Second World War looked on to commemorate the RAF and RCAF’s “finest hour”.
Displays included a replica Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, and interpreters in period costume were available to answer questions. The highlights of the afternoon for Lois and I were the fly-pasts by vintage Second World War aircraft including a Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, and Lancaster bomber and other Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft, including the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.
More than one hundred Canadians flew in the Battle of Britain between July and October 1940, the largest air battle of its time. Twenty-three Canadians lost their lives. Historians have described the Battle, which involved almost 3,000 allied aircrew, as the turning point of the Second World War.
Famously, Winston Churchill said of the airmen who won the battle…
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”