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The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)

Royal Canadian Air Force certificate indicating a tour of operations has been completed.In 1938, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) faced an uncertain future. It was tiny and, formed five years after World War I, had spent its first decade and a half performing civil government air operations, such as patrolling for forest fires. Once World War II started, Britain was eager to receive aircrews from its dominions, including Canada. It did not, however, seem practical to them for the dominions to maintain their own air forces overseas, preferring instead to integrate them into the ranks of the Royal Air Force (RAF). Canada, however, had other ideas. The Overseas section of this site focuses on the struggle for a Canadian air force overseas, and, once achieved, how they contributed to the many fronts of the war.

Often overlooked are the many squadrons that served in Canada as part of the Home Defence Establishment. No part of the war was ever fought on Canadian soil. Nevertheless, RCAF crewmen serving at home did see some action, especially in defending against German U-boats in Canadian waters off the east coast. The Home War section examines the RCAF in Canada, and what its crewmen had to do in the defence of their homeland.

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