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Eileen Boyd and Herald Wright stand beside an RCAF 100 NB banner. Boyd's Husband served in the Air Force. Image: Tim Herd

Banner project showcasing N.B. Air Force personnel

By Brad Perry Jul 11, 2023 | 6:53 AM

A historical society is looking to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in a unique way.

The Turnbull (NB) Chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society recently launched a banner project.

Their goal is to showcase 100 Royal Canadian Air Force veterans and service members from New Brunswick.

“There have been several thousands of New Brunswickers who have served in the Air Force over the past 100 years,” said Harold Wright, secretary of the Turnbull (NB) Chapter.

“Since next year is our 100th anniversary, we thought it would be an effective way to invite the community to nominate those who should be recognized.”

While the RCAF was formed in 1924, this project will also recognize its predecessor formations from 1917 to 1923, including the Royal Flying Corps and the Canadian Air Force.

Officials will select five people who served from 1917 to 1923, five from 1924 to 1938, 25 from 1939 to 1952, 20 from 1953 to 1970, and 45 from 1971 to 2024.

These numbers represent 35 individuals who served before the Korean Conflict and 65 who served from the Cold War to the present.

Wright said they hope to showcase a wide range of individuals, adding they have received dozens of nominations so far.

“We’ve had nominations from all over the place, both across the country, from the U.S. and in New Brunswick,” he said.

The banners will be printed over the winter of 2023-24 and made public in April 2024. Wright said it is their plan to display the banners until Nov. 12, 2024.

They are designed by Jim Belliveau, a retired RCAF graphic designer with the 410 (City of Saint John) Squadron at Cold Lake.

Wright said the banners will be displayed in the community where each aviator is from. Once they come down, they will be offered to the individual, the family, or to a local historical centre or museum.

“It’s only once you get to do your centennial, so we wanted to make sure that these women and men are at least given a thank you in a visible, meaningful way,” he said.

The Turnbull (NB) Chapter has partnered with Irving Oil, which also marks its 100th anniversary in 2024, to make the banner project a reality.

Founder K.C. Irving served in the Royal Flying Corps as a fighter pilot during the First World War, though he never saw any action as the war ended by the time he finished his training.

You can find out how to nominate someone for the banner project on the Turnbull (NB) Chapter’s website by clicking here.


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