RCAF honours “a noble young life given in service”

News Article / April 21, 2017

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In 2017, the Royal Canadian Air Force is marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal Flying Corps Canada – the first military-run pilot training conducted on Canadian soil.

From 16 Wing public affairs

The Royal Canadian Air Force recently paid tribute Cadet James H. Talbot, Camp Borden’s first air casualty, who died on April 8, 1917 – Easter Sunday – while training with the Royal Flying Corps Canada (RFCC).

On Friday, April 7, 2017 – a bone chillingly cold and windy spring day – a contingent from 16 Wing Borden, Ontario, travelled to Dorchester, Ontario, Cadet Talbot’s hometown to conduct a commemorative service at the Union Cemetery where he is buried. Colonel Andrew Fleming, commander of 16 Wing, presided over the ceremony, which was witnessed by several local residents and members of the Legion “Donnybrook” Branch 513. 

Cadet Talbot, aged 23, was a member of the first group of cadets to begin training at Camp Borden in April 1917 under the RFCC training program. He was Newspaper reports flying in a Curtiss JN-4 “Canuck” aircraft. His instructor, Second Lieutenant George C. Husband, survived the crash.

The Royal Canadian Air Force is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Flying Corps Canada – the first pilot training conducted by the military on Canadian soil. Commemorative events are focussed on Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario, which was the RFCC’s main base.

More events are planned for Borden, the cradle of military aviation in Canada, later this year.

Newspaper reports

 Following are the texts of two brief newspaper articles about the incident that appeared in the Toronto Star.

Lieut. Talbot of Dorchester, Member of Flying Corps, Killed.

Barrie, Ont., April 9 – Flight-Lieut. Harold Talbot, son of John Talbot, postmaster at Dorchester, Ont., died in the hospital here last night as result of a fall while making a flight at Camp Borden.

Lieut. Geo. Husband Injured

Lieut. Geo. Husband, of the Royal Flying Corps, Oakville, Ont., son of Cameron Husband, fruit broker, 77 [?] Church Street, had his arm broken and was rendered unconscious when his machine which he was flying in failed him at Camp Borden last Sunday. Lieut. Husband’s companion, Cadet Talbot, of Kitchener, was so serious injured he died at the Barrie Hospital. (April 12, 1917)



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