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Home>> Canada's Air War >> The RCAF>> The Home War>> Conflict


By November 1941, Canada’s Home War Establishment had established just 12 functional combat squadrons. The success of the December attack on Pearl Harbour by Japan brought renewed attention to home defence. With war in the Pacific, Canada now faced defence needs on both coasts, and confidence that Japan would not attempt an invasion of North America was shaken. By March 1942, there were 17 squadrons, eight in Eastern Command, nine in the Western Command and plans to expand to 49 squadrons overall.

Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force on board a ship to Alaska. The last number proved impossible and unnecessary. The Battle of Midway in June 1942 stopped the Japanese advance in the Pacific, eliminating the danger of a significant attack on the west coast of North America. Britain and the United States continued to place a low priority on Canadian defence, severely limiting the allocation of aircraft to Canadian soil. The threat on both coasts continued to lessen after 1942, through to the end of the war. Canadian home defence plans diminished accordingly.

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