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History Canada

Four Who Dared

Inspiring Stories of Canadian Airmen in the Second World War

by (author) Kenneth B. Cothliff

Heritage House Publishing
Initial publish date
Oct 2019
Canada, World War II, 20th Century
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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An absorbing testament to the contributions of four brave young Canadian volunteers who flew with British Bomber Command in the Second World War.

More than one million Canadians volunteered to serve in the Second World War—both in the Canadian armed forces and in forces across the British Commonwealth. In Four Who Dared, author and historian Kenneth B. Cothliff lifts four Canadian volunteer pilots out of obscurity, highlighting their personal stories and acts of heroism.

Unknown to each other, the four pilots in this book are forever united in their quest to serve their country and its allies in an hour of need. Reg Lane joined British Bomber Command relatively early in the War, rising from NCO pilot to Master Bomber with the elite Pathfinder Force. Jim Moffat ended his flying combat career after twelve operations, becoming a Resistance fighter on the European mainland. Steve Puskas’s comprehensive diaries and unpublished writings provide extraordinary insight into his training as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, an experience familiar to many Commonwealth and British aircrew. Bill Gracie, a Scot who had immigrated to Canada as a boy. Keen to take up the fight when the war began, he was one of the over ten thousand Canadian Bomber Command aircrew who never returned home. Equal parts riveting and humbling, Four Who Dared is a must-read for anyone interested in delving into the lives and sacrifices of our unsung Canadian heroes.

About the author

Ken Cothliff has been an aviation enthusiast since childhood. Adopted at a young age, it was not until British adoption laws changed in 1977 that he was able to uncover the identity of his birth father, a Canadian airman who was killed in the Second World War. From that point forward, Cothliff made it his mission to find out all about his father, a search that eventually laid the foundation for idea his book. Cothliff has been involved in organizing several Canadian Air Force Reunions since 1990, founded the No. 6 (RCAF) Group Bomber Command Association, and has become well acquainted with numerous Canadian veterans of the conflict.

Kenneth B. Cothliff's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A richly detailed and readable account of the unique wartime experiences of four Canadian airmen. Three survived to tell of their harrowing and dangerous days with Bomber Command. In the very personal story of the fourth flier—his father—Cothliff has captured an ordinary hero who made the ultimate sacrifice."—Keith C. Ogilvie, author of The Spitfire Luck of Skeets Ogilvie

"Four Canadian airmen, four stories filled with drama, excitement, and determination. . . that take us right to the heart of the action."—Dave Obee, publisher,Times Colonist

"An exhilarating read, a tribute to four courageous young men, and a fine contribution to Canada’s war history."—Ormsby Review