The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
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.