NARAMATA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 17, 2016) - National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
On Sunday, September 18, two Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Hornet fighter jets will do a flyby to honour the 100th birthday of Second World War veteran John Stewart Hart in Naramata, B.C.
Squadron Leader (Retired) Hart is believed to be the last surviving Canadian Battle of Britain pilot living in Canada. During the Battle of Britain-which ultimately saved the United Kingdom from disaster at the hands of Nazi Germany early in the war-he flew the famous Supermarine Spitfire with the Royal Air Force.
Squadron Leader (Retired) Hart's actual birthday is September 11, but the flyby is taking place on September 18 in conjunction with the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
The flyby will occur over Squadron Leader (Retired) Hart's residence in Naramata, B.C. at 2 p.m. PDT, and will be conducted by aircraft from 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron from 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta. The aircraft will fly over at an altitude no lower than 1,000 feet. Flybys by RCAF aircraft are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure public safety at all times.
"I just happened to be born in Sackville, N.B., 100 years ago, happened to be accepted to the RAF in 1939 and ended up flying Spitfires in the Battle of Britain, and I survived," he said. "I would like to take this recognition and dedicate it to those who fought and died and to those who survived, that we do not forget them."
- Squadron Leader (Retired) John Stewart Hart
"The Battle of Britain was a pivotal moment in the Second World War, and it is truly a privilege for 409 Squadron to be able to mark the 100th birthday of Squadron Leader Hart and honour his service in that historic conflict."
- Lieutenant-Colonel William Radiff, Commanding Officer, 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron
- Squadron Leader (Retired) Hart originally hails from Sackville, N.B, and joined the Royal Air Force in January 1939.
- Squadron Leader (Retired) Hart served a numerous RAF squadrons, including No. 614 Squadron, No. 613 Squadron, No. 54 Squadron, No. 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron, No. 67 Squadron and No. 112 Squadron.
- In addition to his service in the Battle of Britain, Squadron Leader (Retired) Hart also saw action in Burma and Italy. For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on June 22, 1945 and released from the RAF in 1946.
Battle of Britain profile of courage: Canadian John Hart recalls his role in the Battle