"His inspiring leadership as an instructor and fighter pilot in World War Two, his unusual skills as a test pilot, and his corporate business leadership have all been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation.”
Russell Bannock obtained his private pilot's license in 1938 and his commercial pilot's license the following year. In 1940 he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was posted overseas in 1944 in Shropshire, England. Bannock was mostly involved in flying the de Havilland Mosquito on intruder missions over Europe. He scored many of his victories as a night fighter pilot and became known as the "Saviour of London" as a result of his success.
He later went on to become a test pilot for de Havilland where he test flew the Beaver prototype - the first aircraft designed for short take-off and landing (STOL). In 1975, he was promoted to president and chief executive officer of de Havilland Aircraft Co. where he proved to be successful in selling the Beaver to the United States military, above all U.S. domestic aircraft.
Born: 1 Nov, 1919, Edmonton, AB
Awards: DSO, DFC