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Hurricane Pilot
Hurricane Pilot

Hurricane Pilot

Harry L. Gill, of Fredericton, New Brunswick, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940 at the age of 18. During his short but adventure-filled career, he flew a Hurricane fighter bomber over France, England, and India and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. In 1943 his airplane was shot down over Burma, and he died in the crash.

Hurricane Pilot captures the perspective of a young man in the middle of a war in Europe and Asia. Drawing extensively on Gill's correspondence with his parents and his siblings, this very personal account of war shows how Gill was transformed from a small-town boy to a mature fighter pilot serving in a global war on another continent. His letters depict the enthusiasm of youth, a strong sense of humour, his plans for the future, and this continuing attachment to home.

Hurricane Pilot is volume ten in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.


J. Brent Wilson teaches in the history department at the University of New Brunswick and has worked at the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society since 1989. He is the editor of Hurricane Pilot: The Wartime Letters of W.O. Harry Gill, D.F.M., 1940-1943, Vol. 10 in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series, and a co-author of Kandahar Tour: The Turning Point in Canada's Afghan Mission.

Barbara J. Gill lived in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She was a poet, writer, visual artist, and registered nurse. Her service-oriented background included political, labour, and human rights activism. Her poetry was published in Canada, the US, and Israel. In 2006, she published Soul Gifts: The World's Self-Help Book and its companion Soul Rubbing™ Exercises: A Personal Vision Quest. Barbara was the oldest niece of Harry L. Gill.

"A war-time memoir in its purest and most personal form." — Canadian Press

"A rare glimpse into the heart and mind of an adventurous youth and skilled fighter pilot." — Daily Gleaner

146 pages
Pub date: November 30, 2007