|Air Vice-Marshal G.M. Croil|
George Mitchell Croil, born June 5th, 1893, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; died April 8th, 1959, in Vancouver, B.C. Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) officer.
During WWI, G. M. Croil wore the badge of the Royal Flying Corps and
trained new pilots in Salonika and in the Middle East; he was for some
time T.E. Lawrence's (Lawrence of Arabia) own pilot on desert missions.
Appointed to the Canadian Air Board in 1919, Croil helped ensure that
Canada maintained an air force during the peace era. He was instrumental
in establishing air force bases in Morley and High River, Alberta. When
the RCAF was founded in 1924 under the authority of the Canadian Army,
Croil was among its first officers. In 1925, he was sent to Britain as
liaison officer with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and attended training at
the RAF Staff College. Back in Canada, he served for five years as Commanding
Officer of the Camp Borden (Ontario) training base. In 1931, Croil, once
more in Great Britain, completed his training at the Imperial Defence
College. He was appointed Senior Air Officer with the RCAF, and in 1938
succeeded in securing the RCAF's independence from the Army. A dedicated
advocate of a strong, independent, national air force for Canada, Croil
was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal and became Canada's first Chief of Air
A reserved man, strict and professional, Croil stood out as an exceptional administrator. When C.G. Power became Minister of Defence for Air in May 1940, he asked for Croil's resignation: while acknowledging Croil's qualities as a conscientious officer, he admitted to being somewhat put off by his "puritanical and regimental" disposition. Professional to the end, Croil accepted an appointment as Inspector General of the RCAF. He retired in 1944.
|Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes|