The Royal Canadian Air Force dedicated a memorial in Richmond, Va., to 16 Virginians who lost their lives flying for Canada in World War II, reported the Toronto Star. The new monument, unveiled on Oct. 22, features the Virginia state insignia and the RCAF crest, both cast from the aluminum of a Canadian Halifax bomber shot down over Europe during the war and recovered in 1997, according to the newspaper. “We’re tremendously proud to finally be remembering these Americans who put everything on the line, including the risk of renouncing their US citizenship, to fight with Canada,” said Jeb Hockman, Virginia War Memorial spokesman. Karl Kjarsgaard, a Canadian military researcher, has already identified more than 840 Americans who died in service with the RCAF during the war. “Hardly anybody in Canada knows about them, hardly any Americans know about them. These men just fell through the cracks,” he said. By the time the United States entered the war in December 1941, some 9,000 Americans had joined the RCAF, according to the newspaper.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.