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Harvards Participate in Flypast for Veteran's Week

    (Nov., 2000, Ottawa) The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association was proud to be part of the national ceremony marking Veterans' Week, November 5 to 11, in Ottawa.

Canadian Harvards do a memorial flypast over Toronto

Canadian Harvards fly past the C.N. Tower in Toronto returning from Ottawa ....Charley Fox and Len Fallowfield visible in 3191, November 7th, 2000.

    The theme of Veterans' Week 2000 was the 60th anniversary of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) in Canada. What could be more appropriate than a fly past by the primary advanced single engine trainer used by the BCATP to represent the countries involved? This organization trained nearly a quarter of a million air and ground crew from almost every nation in the free world during the second World War.

    On Monday, November 6, at 3:00 pm ET, four Second World War era Harvard aircraft belonging to the association were featured in the official flypast tribute over Parliament Hill. The Harvards flew the "Missing Man" formation as a tribute to those Canadians who made the supreme sacrifice.

    What made this event even more significant was that the four back seat passengers in the Harvards were men who earned their wings in the BCATP during the war and went on to instruct others in the plan. One of the four saw combat action overseas.

    Flight Lieutenant Glen Rawson of Hanover, Ontario, is a spry 83 years old. In 1940, he was in the first class of BCATP graduates at Camp Borden, Ontario, the birthplace of the RCAF. After he earned his wings, Rawson instructed at various BCATP schools throughout the war. Today, he is one of only two surviving graduates of that very first BCATP course.

    Flight Lieutenant Charley Fox of London, Ontario, is 80 years old. He earned his wings in June of 1941. Four months later he was posted to Dunnville, Ontario, where he instructed on Harvards, Yales and Ansons. After surviving a mid air collision in Quebec, he went overseas in 1943 to fly Spitfires. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. Fox and three other pilots from 126 Fighter Wing took part in the last patrol of the war, flying up to 0800 hrs on May 5, 1945.

    At 78 years of age, Flying officer Thomas Hawkins of London, Ontario still holds his private pilot's licence. His first solo flight in A Tiger Moth was on December 7, 1941 at Malton. Hawkins won his wings on Ansons in Brantford, Ontario in June of 1942 and instructed on Fleet Finch and Cornell aircraft until February of 1946.

    Flight Lieutenant Bert Walton of Campbellville, Ontario, is 76 years old. He earned his wings in 1943 at Dauphin, Manitoba, where he instructed on Ansons and Cranes until December of 1944.

    These four men represented the thousands of men and women who served their country and the war effort by participating in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

THE CANADIAN HARVARD AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION website

 

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