Date of Issue
November 9, 1984
Series Time Span
1983 - 1985
Perforation or Dimension
12 x 12.5
Designed by Ralph Tibbles Based on an illustration by William Southern
In England stands a memorial to 20,000 members of Commonwealth air forces lost during World War II in the European Theatre. These fliers have no known graves. The names of 3072 Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) members appear on the memorial, a tribute to the accomplishments of the RCAF and the price its members have paid for Canada's freedom. Historians can trace military flying in Canada back to 1883. More than thirty years later in 1914, Colonel Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence, created the Canadian Aviation Corps, which, at its height, consisted of two officers, one staff sergeants, and one aircraft. The Corps was disbanded in 1915. Many Canadians enlisted in the British flying services for duty during World War I in all areas of military aviation. In 1917 the British air force established a major training scheme in Canada. The Canadian government attempted to form a Canadian Air Force in 1918, but it was dropped after the war. However, in 1920 to government authorized a non-permanent Canadian Air Force. In 1923 King George V bestowed the coveted title "Royal" upon it, and at last in 1924 the RCAF became a permanent part of the Canadian forces. During the 1920's and early 1930's, the RCAF devoted itself to photographing Canada from the air. In addition, it flew search and rescue missions, conducted mercy flights, and performed other vital services. Not until 1937 did military duties greatly outweigh the civilian ones. During World War II, the RCAF distinguished itself overseas. At home, it administered the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which produced over 130,000 aircrew. After a wide variety of postwar service, the RCAF merged with the Canadian Army and Navy in 1968 to form the unified Canadian Armed Forces. The Air Force stamp was designed by William Southern and Ralph Tibbles of Toronto. The design features pilots' flying dress of three different periods: World War I, World War II, and the present.
Canada Post Corporation. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1984.
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