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Alberta's Aviation Heritage
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Alberta's Contribution

Captain Fred McCallAlbertans made a huge contribution to the First World War, as the province showed one of the highest rates of enlistment in the country. Albertans served as soldiers, sailors, pilots, support crew and mechanics. Their exploits in the skies over France were well known, such as those of Captain Wilfrid Reid (Wop) May of Edmonton. He was pursued and nearly shot down by the Red Baron, before fellow Edmontonian Roy Brown  gave chase and opened fire on the German triplane. Brown received a bar to add to his Distinguished Service Cross for the victory over the Red Baron, although many believe that it was Australian antiaircraft gunners who brought down the German flying ace. Brown was given credit for shooting down the Baron by the RAF as they desperately needed the recognition in face of the losses they had been sustaining.

Another pilot was Donald MacLaren of Calgary and Keg River, who shot down 48 aircraft and six balloons, earning the distinction as third most successful Canadian ace in the war. Fred McCall, also of Calgary, shot down 30 enemy aircraft and is the namesake of the Calgary’s International Airport.

These men were significant to Canada’s war effort, and returned home to continue making noteworthy contributions to the nation’s economy after the First World War.

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Alberta's Aviation Heritage

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