When the war started, English was the language of the Royal Canadian Air Force. A number of people felt this hampered enlistment of French Canadians. In the fall of 1941, the Minister of National Defence for Air, Charles Gavan Power, therefore began steps to form a Francophone squadron, after the fashion of the Army’s Royal 22nd Regiment.
The objectives of forming a French Canadian squadron were to:
- Increase recruitment of Francophones into aviation
- Assert an identity
- Boost public opinion
No. 425 Alouette Squadron came into being on June 30, 1942 and Wing Commander Jos St-Pierre was appointed the commanding officer. Over the course of its history, the squadron would never be entirely Francophone, but French was the dominant language in the mess halls and on the airfields.
Photo: Front row centre, Charles Gavan Power. Jos St-Pierre is standing behind Minister Power.