Fielding questions, one of Canada’s highest scoring living fighter aces James “Stocky” Edwards (Above right) and his wingman S/L Thomas Hoare still cut dashing figures 65 years after their exploits in the skies over Europe during the Second World War. Hoare wears his Distinguished Flying Cross and campaign medals and Edwards his Order of Canada pin - testaments to their proud legacy. Michael Potter and Vintage Wings staff organized and hosted Edwards' week long trip to Gatineau/Ottawa. Both fighter pilots came a long way for their reunion - Hoare is from Calgary, Alberta, while Edwards now lives in Comox, British Columbia.
These legendary aviators wrote history as young men but seem to have lost none of their composure and elan. At left is Edwards 65 years ago in North Africa - one can see he still carries himself with the same quiet confidence.
On a bright Sunday afternoon the assembled crowd, watched with great appreciation as five incredible vintage flying machines, from the Vintage Wings of Canada collection, including the De Havilland Fox Moth, De Havilland Tiger Moth, the North American Harvard, the Hawker Hurricane and the Waco Taperwing arrived for the official launch of the Vintage Wings of Canada Sunday Afternoon Flying Visits at the Canada Aviation Museum. But despite the spectacle they created parked along side each other out on the Museum’s ramp, it was the special guests who became the real stars of the show.
Canadian Second World War veterans Wing Commander James ‘Stocky’ Edwards and Squadron Leader Thomas Hoare were on hand to greet the aircraft, pilots and public. These two amazing gentlemen, with legendary flying careers, to the thrill of all present did not hesitate to once again, as they had so many times in the past, seize the moment and together took on questions from a very interested and grateful audience. Answering questions with first hand knowledge, from the heart and with a touch of humour, it was truly a memorable experience and a treat for everyone.
At the end of this great afternoon, four of the Vintage Wings of Canada aircraft returned to their hangar in Gatineau, to return on another Sunday, but the Waco Taperwing stayed behind at the Museum and will be proudly display in the Canada Aviation Museum for several weeks.