Statement from the Minister of National Defence and Associate Minister of National Defence marking the 77th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain


The Royal Canadian Air Force marked the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Britain on September 17, 2017 with a ceremony held at the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport in Gatineau, Quebec. Veterans, Royal Canadian Air Force personnel and Royal Canadian Air Cadets, accompanied by the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces, paraded to commemorate Canadian and Allied sacrifices made during the pivotal Second World War battle that took place over southeastern Great Britain and the English Channel.

September 17, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan and Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O’Regan issued the following statement:

“Today, we remember the service and sacrifices of Canadian pilots who fought alongside our allies in the Battle of Britain.

“Seventy-seven years ago, Hitler was determined to invade Great Britain. The German Luftwaffe, which possessed seasoned combat pilots and more aircraft than the Allies, set its sights on Britain’s ports, airfields and radar stations to destroy the nation’s defences and gain control of the English Channel and landing zones on British soil.”

“Canada had more than a hundred pilots and more than three hundred ground crew serving either with Royal Air Force squadrons or the Royal Canadian Air Force’s No. 1 Squadron. Twenty-three of those Canadians lost their lives in the battle and more died later in the war.

“We honour those who were willing to pay the ultimate price in the summer and fall of 1940 and we strive to live up to their legacies.

“Seventy-seven years ago, the freedom we know today was under a very real threat. Pilots, ground crews, radar operators, anti-aircraft battery personnel and the women and men who worked on the aircraft supply chain were strained to the limits of physical and mental endurance. Without their sacrifice and dedication the Battle of Britain could not have been won and the world would be very different today.

“While air warfare has changed, our people are still the most important part of every mission. Therefore, each year, on the third Sunday in September, we pause to remember the sacrifices made by those ‘Few’ who made the difference when Canada and the world needed them most!”

- 30 -

For more information, please visit:

The Battle of Britain
Royal Canadian Air Force



Battle of Britain Video


Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
(613) 996-3100

Alex Wellstead
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
(613) 996-4649

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: