The Fraser Blues took to the skies on Remembrance Day for what they consider the most meaningful flight of the year.
George Miller, founder of the formation team, along with his son, Guy Miller – general manager of the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport – Clive Barratt, Ray Roussy and David Arnold make up the formation flying team The Fraser Blues.
For the past 20 years, they have been performing Remembrance Day ceremony flybys from Abbotsford to Port Kells.
This year, for the first time, they included the ceremonies in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
The team flew four feet apart in a four-ship box or diamond formation, with a lead plane and another plane right behind and two wingers on either side.
“This is really special for us,” George told the group gathered for the morning briefing.
“It is a privilege for us to this over the cenotaphs and we want to do that that’s why we added a couple more this year, we’ve got Murrayville, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge,” he continued.
Clive Barratt explained why Remembrance Day this year was extra special for him.
“Today was a special day for me particularly because just a few months ago I was in Europe. I went to the grave-site of my Uncle Wilfred Barratt who was shot down over Nuremburg in 1944,” said Barratt.
Michael Adams, former flight team coordinator for the Fraser Blues, brought a First World War era British flag on the flight.
“To remember and honour the people who have come before and served in the forces for our good country,” he explained.
George was initially concerned about the fog when he got up Sunday morning.
“I didn’t think we would be able to pull it off,” he said.
But the sun started to burn it off about the time we had to take off. With ten cenotaphs there is precise timing required. Somehow we are able to do it,” continued George.
And he said the crowds this year were larger than he has ever seen.
“The crowds were really impressive this year,” said George, adding that it was great to take in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows for the first time.
“We took in a little cenotaph in Surrey as well and big crowds at them all. It really does my heart good to just do this to honour the many who gave their lives,” George continued.
“When one considers, just in the air force alone, in the Second World War we lost 110,000 casualties, in the Canadian military. So it’s a really special day and I was glad it was successfully completed.”