One of the few remaining Second World War veterans was honoured in Winnipeg Friday by a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron he shares a past with. Elmer Cole, a former member of the Calgary Tanks Regiment, was flown into Winnipeg from Brandon on a military Dash-8 aircraft before being presented with a flag and commemorative photo and coin.

Cole, a tank driver and mechanic, fought in the ill-fated Dieppe raid on Aug. 19, 1942.

He was taken as a prisoner of war for 13 months before returning to Canada in 1945. One of the things he remembers about that day was the Spitfires and Hurricanes flying above him while his regiment held off the Germans from the ground as Allied troops retreated.

“There was nothing we could do but hold the Germans off while they were evacuating the beach,” said Cole, now 98 and living in Brandon, Man. Those planes he remembers were part of 402 Squadron based out of Winnipeg.

About a month ago, Cole decided he’d like to pay the squadron a visit. After contacting the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon about a visit, members of 402 Squadron decided they could do a little better than offer him a tour. Read more from…

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