"The brilliance of his air fighting tactics, performed in a self-imposed area of loneliness within a structured, military command, recall earlier wartime standards of heroic personal determination and have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation."
As a youngster, George Frederick Beurling was fascinated by aircraft and spent much of his time building model planes which he sold to pay for flying lessons. As a young man he earned his private license in 1939 but was twice refused enlistment in the Royal Canadian Air Force at the outbreak of the Second World War. He later made his way to England where he joined the RCAF's No. 403 Squadron. Within weeks he transferred to an international, RAF Spitfire Squadron on the Island of Malta (Mediterranean) where he shot down 17 enemy aircraft in just under four months.
This success followed him throughout his career and, when released from service in 1944, he had totalled 31 confirmed aerial victories. After the war, lost in a world without air combat, he looked for an air force to join. Accepted into the Israeli Air Force as a pilot, Beurling was tragically killed ferrying a Canadian-built Norseman to Israel on May 20, 1948.
Born: 6 Dec 1921, Verdun, QC
Died: 20 May 1948
Awards: DSO, DFC, DFM