Forging a Nation

How WW1 Tested and Transformed Canadian Pilots


The First World War was the first military conflict where aircrafts were used in large numbers. In the beginning, air planes were mainly used for observing and listening to gather information. As the war progressed technology advanced, enabling airplanes to be used for combat such as gunning down other airplanes and bombing the battlefield. Pilot’s living conditions were much better than solders, but their job was much more risky. Being a pilot in WW1 was the most dangerous role of all. Which makes it not surprising that 52% of airplane fliers were Canadians, who were top tier for this role.

Top World War 1 Canadian Air Aces

Tried (1914-1918)

As many Canadian men enlisted for war the use of airplanes was very important. With an airplane your side can get a “birds-eye view” of the battlefield. When flying over enemy territory you can draw information. By 1915 airplanes were starting to be used for combat as well. Being a pilot already meant low chances of surviving, but with combat added that time is even shorter. Only the skilled survived long, most were gunned down or crashed landed since it was so easy to target. The average life expectancy for a pilot was a few weeks, much more dangerous than a solider.

Tested (1919-1924)

After the war Canada was tested if it could hold up. Most of the men were lost since the warfare was very long and tragic. Canada was also low on money and many people were out of work since war equipment manufacturing companies were shutting down. Canada had to restart their economy from scratch and build it back up. Most of the men that came back were physically or mentally enable to work is missing parts and diseases. Even with all these struggles Canada came through and made it.

Transformed (1924-1929)

Canada passed the testing stage of survival and has now transformed into a new better nation. The hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families were finally getting compensated for their service in the war. Government programs and charity organizations provided medical care for the diseased and financial support for those who lost a family member in war.