I’m starting something new this year leading up to the “BIG REVEAL” of my project that I talked about so much in 2013. I can’t wait to share it with you all. This series will run once a week but not necessarily on Mondays. I’m going to bring you interesting little tidbits each week that have to do with Canadian history. I love Canadian history and I hope this year that you learn to love it as well!
This Day in Canadian History – January 6th.
Reginald Makepeace was a Canadian fighter pilot at the beginning of World War I. He joined the Royal Air Force in England since Canada was still considered a part of the British Empire and did not have its own established military at this time.
Captain John Hedley (an Englishman) was flying with Makepeace as his gunner when the morning of January 6th dawned. The two checked the plane over and prepared to take to the skies in their fight against the Germans.
The plane encountered German fighter pilots and two men began a battle for their lives. While trying to escape one of the German planes, Makepeace sent his into a dive, not realizing that his gunner had been sucked out of his seat behind him. When he realized that his gunner was missing, Makepeace believed that the man had fallen to his death.
A few minutes later, Makepeace turned around again and saw his gunner, Capt. Hedley, holding onto the tail of the plane and working his way back to his seat. The unbelievable had happened! Many believe that Hedley had been caught in a slip stream and sucked back to the plane after free-falling. However, a news article (see right) printed a less dramatic tale of him catching the machine gun with one hand as he was being sucked out and pulling himself back in.
Fact or Fiction?
Only Capt. John Hedley knows the truth.
There is not much information on the life of Captain John Hedley. However, you can watch this short cartoon of the above story and read a bit about his life at the following two links from The Aerodrome:
And from this short excerpt from the book, “From Manila to the Monkey Trials”.
Check out This Day In Canadian History for more information on Canada.
Information on Reginald Makepeace: http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/makepeace.php