Behind the Glory

book-behind-the-gloryBehind the Glory, Canada’s Role in the Allied Air War

Thomas Allen Publishers
October 14, 2005

ISBN 0-88762-212-7

In this 60th Anniversary edition is Ted Barris’ telling of the unique story of Canada’s largest World War Two expenditure – $1.75 billion in a Commonwealth-wide training scheme, based in Canada that supplied the Allied air war with nearly a quarter of a million qualified airmen.

Within its five-year life-span, the BCATP supplied a continuous flow of battle-ready pilots, navigators, wireless radio operators, air gunners, flight engineers, riggers and fitters or more commonly known as ground crew, principally for the RCAF and RAF as well as the USAAF.

While the story of so many men graduating from the most impressive air training scheme in history is compelling enough, Ted Barris offers the untold story of the instructors – the men behind the glory – who taught those airmen the vital air force trades that ensure Allied victory over Europe, North Africa and the Pacific. In Winston Churchill swords, the BCATP proved “the decisive factor” in winning the Second World War.

This 60th Anniversary edition arrives as Canada continues to celebrate 2005 as the Year of the Veteran. Ted Barris interviewed more than 200 instructors and using their anecdotes and viewpoints he recounts the story of the flyers who coped with the dangers of training missions and the frustration of fighting the war thousands of miles away from the front without losing their enthusiasm for flying.


  1. My father came here from England and taught navigation, met my mother in Goderich and took her back to England with him. Sadly he passed away when I was 13 and my mother moved the family to Canada. I never had the opportunity to talk to him about his youth and adult life. I just found out about this book and look forward to getting my copy and reading about what he did when he was here both in Ontario and in Manitoba.

  2. Thank you for writing “Behind The Glory”. My uncle Jim was a pilot of a Lanc during the war, and like many, many vets refused to speak to family about their experiences.

    He did record an interview for the Memory Project, and that interview had a number of vague or cryptic answers that only another vet would might understand. But your book fills some gaps in that interview, and clears up some not so clear memories my uncle had. I thank you for shedding light on a part of my uncles life he refused to shed light on when he was alive.

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