Harry L. Gill, of Fredericton, New Brunswick, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940 at the age of 18. During his short but adventure-filled career, he flew a Hurricane fighter bomber over France, England, and India and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. In 1943 his airplane was shot down over Burma, and he died in the crash.
Hurricane Pilot captures the perspective of a young man in the middle of a war in Europe and Asia. Drawing extensively on Gill's correspondence with his parents and his siblings, this very personal account of war shows how Gill was transformed from a small-town boy to a mature fighter pilot serving in a global war on another continent. His letters depict the enthusiasm of youth, a strong sense of humour, his plans for the future, and this continuing attachment to home.
Hurricane Pilot is volume ten in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.
About the Author
J. Brent Wilson teaches in the history department at the University of New Brunswick and has worked at the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society since 1989. He is the editor of Hurricane Pilot: The Wartime Letters of W.O. Harry Gill, D.F.M., 1940-1943, Vol. 10 in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series, and a co-author of Kandahar Tour: The Turning Point in Canada's Afghan Mission.
Barbara J. Gill lived in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She was a poet, writer, visual artist, and registered nurse. Her service-oriented background included political, labour, and human rights activism. Her poetry was published in Canada, the US, and Israel. In 2006, she published Soul Gifts: The World's Self-Help Book and its companion Soul Rubbing™ Exercises: A Personal Vision Quest. Barbara was the oldest niece of Harry L. Gill.
Table of ContentsIntroduction 9
Joining Up, August 1940 - December 1940 15
Flight Training, December 1940 - April 1941 37
Training in Britain, April 1941 - August 1941 65
Operational Flying, September 1941 - March 1942 83
Africa and India, April 1942 - January 1943 107
Selected Bibliography 134