Statement from the Minister of National Defence and Associate Minister of National Defence marking the 77th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain
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!”
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For more information, please visit:
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Department of National Defence
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