Russell Bannock was born
on 1 November 1919 in Edmonton, where he attended elementary and
high school. He later continued his education in night classes
at the University of Alberta, studying geography.
He had a long interest in flight and started training to
become a pilot at the Edmonton Aero Club in 1937. He
successfully completed his private flying licence in 1938, but
continued his training in pursuit of a commercial licence, which
he obtained in 1939.
As a trained commercial pilot he was able to join the RCAF in
1939 as a pilot officer.
Russell Bannock was known as the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF)
top night fighter during the Second World War, and was the
second highest scoring Canadian fighter pilot of the war.