From his childhood growing up in Depression-era rural Manitoba to his rise through the ranks to become a colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Col. Gordon Brennand's memoir, Farm Boy to Fly Boy is as much a history of the RCAF in the 20th century as it is an account of his own life.
Born a bit too late to participate in WWII, Gordon was inspired by Canada's involvement in the Korean War to pursue a life in the military. After a failed start in the Navy, he enlisted with the Air Force with faint hopes of perhaps becoming a fighter pilot. Not only did he succeed, he logged 4,000 hours on various jet aircraft types, including over 1,100 hours on the F-86 Sabre, which was the state-of-the-art fighter jet throughout most of his 34-year career – not to mention hundreds of hours spent on various other types of aircraft.
He experienced several close calls during that time, including one incident when he had to eject and another when he had to force land due to engine failure. He went on to command two bases and has spent time living in most Canadian provinces as well as Germany, where he served for three years during the Cold War.
Fascinating and insightful, this book will appeal to those who are fascinated by the military and flying as well as those who are simply seeking a first-person account of what life was really like for the men and women who served in the RCAF throughout one of the most pivotal periods of 20th century history.