Behind the Glory

Overview

In this 60th anniversary edition is Ted Barris’ telling of the unique story of Canada’s largest World War II 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’s words, 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.

Reviews

Behind the Glory is a must-read for anyone interested in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan as seen through the eyes of those who served in it. That piece of Canadian history has now been given a human face, as this book recounts the memories of many who served in the plan. Their skill and dedication produced the trained air crew who ultimately won the air war over Europe.

Charlie Konvalinka, former national president of the Canadian Air Force Officers Association

About the Author

Ted Barris

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
Ted Barris photo

Ted Barris

Ted Barris is an award-winning author, journalist, and broadcaster. For more than forty years his writing has appeared in the national press, as well as in history, news, and arts magazines, and he has authored seventeen non-fiction books, including the national bestsellers Victory at Vimy, Juno, and The Great Escape. In 2014, The Great Escape received the national Libris Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award.