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  • Battle of Passchendaele (N/A, Ontario ) - November 10, 2021 November 10, 2021
    Canadians have a proud history of bravely serving in the cause of peace and freedom over the years. A name from Canada's First World War military heritage that still stirs emotions is “Passchendaele.” On a muddy battlefield in northwest Belgium, Canadians overcame almost unimaginable hardships to win an impressive victory in the fall of 1917. […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Battle of the Scheldt (N/A, Ontario ) - October 2, 2021 October 2, 2021
    The Battle of the Scheldt was a military operation in northern Belgium and southwestern Netherlands that took place during the Second World War. On September 12, 1944, the First Canadian Army was given the task of clearing the Scheldt of German occupiers. The first attacks began on September 13, with little success. Click here to […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Dieppe Raid (N/A, Ontario ) - August 19, 2021 August 19, 2021
    The Raid on Dieppe, France, on August 19, 1942, was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. With virtually all of continental Europe under German occupation, the Allied forces faced a well-entrenched enemy. Some method had to be found to create a foothold on the continent, and the Raid on Dieppe offered invaluable lessons […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • The 76th Anniversary of end of war in the Pacific - Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association (Ottawa, Ontario ) - August 15, 2021 August 15, 2021
    The Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association will be hosting a commemorative ceremony on on August 15, 2021 at 0930am, to honour the Veterans of the Defense of Hong Kong and to mark the 76th year of Victory over Japan and the end of the Second World War.   The ceremony will be held at the Hong […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • VJ-Day / End of the Second World War (N/A, Ontario ) - August 15, 2021 August 15, 2021
    August 15, 1945 marked the end of the war in the Pacific and the end of the Second World War. Click here to discover more on the Second World War: Second World War - Veterans Affairs Canada
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Veteran's Appreciation Golf Tournament (Milton, Ontario ) - August 15, 2021 August 15, 2021
    Come and show your appreciation and support for our Veterans! All veterans will have the entire day compliments of Granite Ridge Golf Club and The Albatross Restaurant. Non Veteran Fee is $75 (includes dinner and golf)
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Battle of Hill 70 (N/A, Ontario ) - August 15, 2021 August 15, 2021
    Canadian soldiers saw heavy action in the First World War and the names of some of their major battles—like Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele—still resonate today in our country's collective memory. An important chapter in our wartime history that is less well remembered, however, came at Hill 70 in France where the Canadian Corps won an […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
July 27, 2021

Veterans News

Remember Everyone Deployed

Canadian WWII Ace Don Laubman

3 min read

There was a job that had to be done and we did it. Hesitate to say, to use that word, but we enjoyed doing it. Lieutenant General Donald Laubman trained and flew in Hurricane 5389, that is currently being restored by the Calgary Mosquito Society. He went on to be a Spitfire pilot and an RCAF ace with a credit of 15 enemy kills. At that stage, we’re so happy to be there flying fighters. The speed and maneuverability of a fighter plane was very attractive and it all added up, fighter pilot. Over six consecutive missions, Laubman downed eight enemy aircraft and damaged two more. There was quite a little battle going on there for three days. In fact, every time I flew during that period, we ran into aircraft and that was something that seldom happened.

The very last aircraft that I shot down had sort of force landed in a field and I came down and strafed him. I looked up, and here, you know, the high tension lines, there’s one right here and I should have hit it. I thought for a split second about going under the wires and then no, I pulled back on the stick as hard as I could and there was a great big bang. I thought, “Uh oh, I’ve hit it”, but the aircraft was okay. We got home and everything was fine. Throughout all this, you had, certainly in my case, had to be very, very lucky. There was a half a dozen times that I should not have escaped.

Air firing is a little different and difficult. You’re not shooting at the aircraft, you’re shooting way ahead of it. You can sneak up behind them and that’s what you would strive to do. If they saw you and reacted then yes, you’re in a situation now. On April 14, 1945, Laubman’s luck changed. He fired on two enemy vehicles from his Spitfire. Now I’m pretty low and close, break off and I’m passing right across from maybe 15 or 20 feet above them and they exploded. They’re gas trucks in a massive ball of fire and I’m right in the middle of this thing.

I come out the other side and my aircraft now is totally black; Windscreen, canopy, totally black. There was quite a bump; a blast when the explosion occurred. I climbed to 7000 feet and I could see the temperature starting to rise which means the engine is now starting to heat up. I carried on until it got hot, in fact caught fire, and I had to jump out. Too low, I was about 800 feet when I let go, hit the tail plane as I was going out. He was captured and taken as a POW for the remaining three weeks of war. That’s the way the war ended for me. I think we were involved in the war, period. We did our share. That’s it. I wound up with 15 destroyed. After the war, Laubman continued his career with the RCAF, retiring in 1972 at the rank of Lieutenant General. I flew every, I think every fighter plane that the RCAF had up to and including the 104 and I liked them all, every one of them.

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