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Bomber Forces

The Second World War, 1943, The Tide Begins to Turn

Title

Bomber Forces

Denomination

43¢

Date of Issue

November 8, 1993

Year

Quantity

2,500,000

Postal Administration

Canada

Series

The Second World War, 1943, The Tide Begins to Turn

Series Time Span

1993

Perforation or Dimension

13.5

Printer

Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.

Creators

Designed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier.

About Stamp

Canada Post Corporation's tribute to the Canadian war effort continues with four stamps issued on November 8, 1993 to mark the 50th anniversary of the tide turning in the Allies favour. Mackenzie King' hope of avoiding large casualties with resulting cries for conscription had been largely responsible for his support of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) and the strategic bombing offensive. Under terms of the BCATP, Canadian graduates were supposed to serve in RCAF squadrons. But the British viewed the RAF as a Commonwealth force and integrated squadrons. This policy was unacceptable to the Canadian government which pursued "Canadianization", resulting in the creation on January 1, 1943 of No. 6 Bomber Group (RCAF). Canada's Air Minister Chubby Power fought hard for this RCAF group, even though they could expect to get the worst available equipment. No. 6 found itself stationed in Yorkshire, further away from Germany than the RAF and USAAF which had been previously allocated bases closer to the continent. In addition to longer flying times, 6 Group flew obsolete twin-engined Wellingtons and four-engined Halifaxes that had lower ceilings, providing less chance of avoiding German anti-aircraft fire. It was August 1943 before the first Lancaster bombers came in to 6 Group. Due to longer flying times, older aircraft and inexperience, the Group's casualties were initially high, but with the acquisition of better aircraft, by 1944 the loss rate had decreased and morale improved. Total Canadian casualties on the bomber offensive included 8,290 aircrew lost on operations. Among those was 6 Group's Pilot Officer Andy Mynarski of Winnipeg whose Lancaster was hit on June 12, 1994. His clothing and parachute caught fire while he was attempting to free the trapped rear gunner. Engulfed in flames, he jumped from the plane only to die on the ground. The trapped gunner survived the crash and Mynarski's heroics gave 6 Group its sole Victoria Cross. The Italian Campaign shows an infantry assault through a village, while a surfaced U-boat appears on the foreground of the Battle of the Atlantic stamp. The night scene background depicts an Allied convoy under attack as a Canadian corvette has opened fire on the sub. The Bomber Forces stamps illustrates a "bombing up" - the groundcrew loading bombs on a Halifax heavy bomber, while stevedores load supplies for Russia on the Aid to Allies stamp.

Reference

Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, No. 12, 1993, p. 12, 14-15, 17.

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