The Minute Book
Friday, 1 January 2016

Canada Will Have Own Flying Corps
Topic: RCAF

Canada Will Have Own Flying Corps

Borden Completes Arrangements to Maintain Two Squadrons
Large Force Engaged
Over Thirteen Thousand men From Dominion in Air Service

The Toronto World, 15 August 1918

Ottawa, Aug. 14.—The total number of Canadians of the strength of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service now amalgamated into the Royal Air Force stands at 13,495. This total comprises 1,008 officers seconded from the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1,640 other ranks discharged from the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 10,603 enlisted in Canada for R.F.C. and R.N.A.S.; 94 loaned to the R.A.F. for airplane construction and 150 civilians who came to England at their own expense and enlisted in the air service.

On account of their special adaptability and initiative Canadians proved to be excellent as flying officers. It is understood that no less than 35 per cent. Of the actual flying officers in France are Canadians.

Sir Edward Kemp on his arrival in England as minister of overseas military forces instituted plans which would ensure Canada receiving both now and after the war her due measure of credit for what her airmen were actually accomplishing.

What has not been obtained will provide for a Canadian Flying Corps trained in all branches including organization, administration, and technical. Further, every officer to be connected with the administration of the Canadian Air Force, from the senior to the most junior rank, has had active service flying experience at the front.

To Keep Records

The preliminary step in the early discussions related to the establishment of a separate Canadian air force resulted in the decision of the imperial air ministry to maintain up-to-date records of the Canadians in the royal air force, their names to be grouped in a special Canadian section to include not only Canadian officers seconded from the Canadian overseas forces, but also those Canadian who joined the air service direct, either in England or Canada. The idea of Canadians in the Royal Air Force having a special Canadian distinguishing mark or badge on their uniform was also assented to, and it was agreed that the Canadian overseas ministry would be furnished with regular reports by the air ministry, giving full information of the exploits of Canadian airmen from month to month.

On the arrival in England of Sir Robert Borden, Sir Edward Kemp laid before him the agreement with the air ministry, embodying what had been accomplished, and the further consent of the air ministry that as soon as possible the Canadian air force should be formed, to be manned and officered exclusively by Canadians drawn from Canadians now in the R.A.F., reinforcements for the Canadian air force to be supplied wholly by Canadians who would be trained in the R.A.F. schools and under their instructors.

Entire acceptance was expressed by Air Edward Kemp to the scheme by his colleagues and the agreement approved.

As a preliminary step in the organization, the service of the distinguished flying officer, Major W.A. Bishop, was applied for to work in close conjunction with the air ministry and the Canadian overseas ministry.

It was decided to proceed immediately with the organization of the two Canadian squadrons, which would form part of the overseas military forces of Canada and be subject to the provisions of the Militia Act of Canada.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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