Photo essay: Warbirds and parachutists

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Stephen J thorne

Stephen J. Thorne

Photo essay: Warbirds and parachutists


Flight is a beautiful thing, whether by bird’s wing or human hands.

They are different, to be sure.

The power and majesty of the mighty eagle, the agility and speed of the osprey, the silence and efficiency of the the great grey have been a central focus of my photography beyond work, a diversion from the rigours of daily life.

Aviation, on the other hand, has been a lifelong interest. My dad was air force during the Second World War, and so I was raised on stories of the Hurricane and Spitfire, the P-51 Mustang and the P-47 Thunderbolt, the Lancaster and the B-17.

I worked a year after high school flying with Vietnam-era helicopter pilots on oil exploration crews all across northwestern Alberta, northern British Columbia and the Arctic.



The Royals: The fight to rule Canada

The Canadian Press/Patrick Doyle

A Bayonet is all PO2 James Leith needed to dismantle bombs in Afghanistan


On Sept. 28, 2006, using only his bayonet, Petty Officer 2nd class James Leith dismantled a bomb in Afghanistan.

“A good dose of fear keeps you sharp,” the navy explosives expert said in an interview with Darlene Blakely of Lookout, the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt newspaper, after the announcement that his actions had earned the Star of Courage.

On his first mission to Afghanistan, serving alongside 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, Leith was on his regular morning duty clearing supply routes west of Kandahar City, driving a Bison armoured vehicle packed with the tools of his trade­, including robots and X-ray equipment.

The Bison hit an improvised explosive device (IED) and was propelled more than nine metres through the air.



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