The first Canadian airmen to be deployed in Europe were those who took part in the Battle of Britain. The number of men increased as the months passed thanks to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Under the agreement, the Canadian government insisted that RCAF personnel serving overseas should be attached to the nation's own squadrons. However, British indifference towards the units of the Dominions, combined with Canadians' respect for British operational constraints, slowed the pace of "Canadianization" of the squadrons.
In addition, until late 1942, Canada paid only some of the RCAF's costs on the Continent (Great Britain paid the rest), which weakened arguments for "Canadianization." As a result, about 60% of RCAF personnel serving overseas spent all or part of their careers with British squadrons. This group of airmen were nicknamed the "Lost Legion." She did battle in Europe, as well as Africa, India, Burma, around the Mediterranean and in northern Russia, playing key roles in fighter-bomber aviation, transportation and anti-submarine patrols.
Photo : Canadian fighter pilots of the Second World War.