Royal Canadian Air Force Salutes Moose Jaw’s Last WWII Veteran with Memorial Flyover


The dignified roars of aircraft echoed through the commemorative silence on Thursday as 15 Wing Moose Jaw, the Royal Canadian Air Force base, saluted Allen (Al) Cameron, the last remaining WWII veteran in Moose Jaw, with a memorial flyover at his funeral. The war veteran, deeply cherished by his family and community alike, had closed his eyes one last time on Aug. 29, at the ripe old age of 98.

Described as a ‘special guy’ by Brett, his son, Al left an indelible mark on the lives he touched. His melodious renditions of ‘Oh Canada’ at Warriors’ games, and his well-established presence at 15 Wing, has etched a void in the hearts of the community.

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Nonetheless, Brett cherishes the colorful escapades he shared with his father – the most salient memories drawing from their shared travels. Recalling their time spent in Europe for three years owing to Al’s military commitments, Brett said, “We travelled the country from coast to coast. It was an upbringing most kids don’t get.”

Al served with dedication and fervour for 26 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as a mechanic. He committed his time during WWII traversing Britain, Italy, and other European landscapes before deciding to return to Moose Jaw and 15 Wing. An attempt to adapt to civilian life was short-lived. Roughly six months into his retirement, he had had enough and zealously returned to the call of military service.

The charm of music danced through Al’s life with a magical allure. It was in crafting melodies and harmonies, in every band and choir he performed in, that he found his greatest pleasure. His passion for the saxophone led him to establish a trio, fondly christened ‘the Bad Boys.’ Brett nostalgically reflected, “Music was very special to him.”

Allen’s later years guided him back to his roots, steering clear of the anonymity of retirement. Despite living but a stone’s throw away from the RCAF base, Al’s connection to the air force had become threadbare. The base promptly realized this severance and responded swiftly and warmly to reintegrate him into their operations.

2 Canadian Air Division Chief Warrant Officer Marlene Shillingford fondly remembered, “Last year, we invited him to pin wings on newly graduates. He’s attended most of our graduations. He was present for the change of command. We will always remember him.”

Indeed, Al’s funeral was testimony to this enduring bond with the RCAF base. As 15 Wing commemorated their beloved veteran with a memorial flyover, Brett found himself overcome with emotion, a tear trickling down his cheek. Acknowledging the tribute, he remarked wistfully but with appreciation, “It was exciting. The base made his last years very special.”