100 year-old Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain

From the Legion Magazine.

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Front lines
Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain

Jaye Edwards:
A woman pilot in wartime Britain

Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne

As a child, Stella Joyce (Petersen) Edwards was always pushing boundaries.

She grew up in Kent, England, the third daughter of an Australian trader, and whether it was scaling walls, climbing trees or riding her bicycle off into the countryside, Jaye, as she became known to her compatriots, was an adventurer.

“I think I was always a bit wild,” admits Edwards, now a century-old resident of Vancouver and one of three surviving women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA).


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Military Milestones
The Battle of Ortona begins

The Battle of Ortona begins

Seventy-five years ago, under cover of darkness on the night of Dec. 5-6, 1943, Canadian troops in Italy began a nearly month-long campaign that would end with the capture of Ortona.

In July 1943, the Allies invaded Sicily, opening a new front. After the capture of Sicily and the surrender of the Italians, they chased the Germans north through Italy, facing stiff resistance with every yard gained. The plan was to advance up the Adriatic coast to Ortona, then strike inland to Rome.

At the end of November, the Allies were bogged down, Germans dug in on the far side of the Moro River. The Canadians were tasked to cross the river, head up the valley, break through German lines and capture Ortona.

They began with an attack involving the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, the Seaforth Highlanders and Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. The PPCLI took and defended their objective, but San Leonardo remained outside the Canadians’ grasp. The German 90th Panzer Division rushed from Venice to block the offensive.


This week in history
On this date: December

December 8, 1941

The Battle of Hong Kong begins, following the attack on Pearl Harbor.


Revera Living

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