Segments in this Video

Aviation Offensive (03:49)


Minister of Militia and Defense Sam Hughes did not believe that aircraft could be used offensively during the war effort. During WWI, planes became important tools to obtain reconnaissance and provide air cover. The United Kingdom established a pilot school in Ontario.

Royal Flying Corps (02:51)

The British established recruiters in individual provinces; enlisted personnel would travel to the University of Toronto to receive training. Canadian Aircraft built planes for training purposes and employed up to 350 women during World War I. After completing basic training, soldiers went to flight schools; almost 140 airmen died.

Completed Pilot Training (03:51)

After completing flight school, Canadian airmen join the bombing, observation, or fighter squadrons. Allan Snowie and his team build a replica Sopwith Pup using modern materials.

World War I Aircraft (03:08)

Marc Paul Racine builds master models of planes flown during World War I. Andrew McKeever was a Canadian flying ace and credited with 31 victories. Listowel citizens honor the legacy of the World War I veterans.

Andrew McKeever's Legacy (03:33)

Infantrymen who were deemed exceptional were recruited into the Royal Flying Corps. McKeever died in 1919 of a broken leg on Christmas Day. Listowel citizens honor McKeever by renaming the town hall and performing a memorial annually.

Air Warfare (03:10)

Only young people were considered for the Royal Flying Corps. Horsepower greatly increased during the war. Roy Brown shot down the Leader of the "Flying Circus," the Red Baron.

Life of Roy Brown (04:50)

Brown was born in Carleton Place, Ontario and trained with the Wright Brothers; his family owned the local gristmill. Experts are not sure whether Brown or an Australian unit on the ground shot down the Red Baron.

Building the Sopwith Pup (06:24)

Mike Sattler adapted traditional blueprints into a modern aeronautical perspective to build the replica aircraft. Gerald Birks piloted a Sopwith Camel and terrorized the Italian front along with Billy Barker. After he was wounded in the trenches and sent home, Birks re-enlisted in the RAF.

Donating Time (03:53)

Canadian Air Force cadets help build the Sopwith Pup at the Canadian Museum of Flight. Alan McLeod earned the Victorian Cross at the same age as these cadets.

Carl Frederick Falkenberg (03:54)

Falkenberg registered 17 victories during World War I and flew an S.E.5a. He joined the R.A.F. after he was wounded in the trenches. Major Bill March discusses the fighting tactics of airmen.

Canadian Museum of Flight (03:00)

The team completes construction on the Sopwith Pup. Joseph Fall earned three distinguished service crosses and registered 37 victories. While the British did not advocate rankings, pilots were considered an expert if they shot down five planes.

Propaganda Machine (04:01)

The ground war effort could not be glamorized, so recruiting efforts focused on the pilots. Fall named his plane after Betty and Phyllis, his two sisters. Canadians should remember the legacy of the brave men who flew during World War I.

Credits: Wings of Courage: A Nation Soars (01:12)

Credits: Wings of Courage: A Nation Soars

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Wings of Courage: A Nation Soars

Part of the Series : A Nation Soars
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



More than 22,000 Canadians flew for the British Air Services in the First World War. This documentary looks back at Canada’s early aviator heroism from a personal and modern perspective. The personal perspective is colorfully captured from compelling stories provided by surviving relatives, or passionate supporters, of popular and lesser-known Canadian FWW pilots. The modern perspective is examined through biplane builders, FWW pilot enthusiasts, and Air Cadets who bring the past to the present during the construction and testing of two FWW replica biplanes.

Length: 49 minutes

Item#: BVL129953

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.