Wing Commander (retired) Russ Bannock, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s second highest-scoring ace in the Second World War, slipped the surly bonds of earth on January 4, 2020, at the age of 100. In honour of Wing Commander Bannock, who had a distinguished career with de Havilland Aircraft and other civilian aviation organizations following the war, we bring you this tribute from Skies Magazine, published on their website on January 6, 2020.
There were big plans in the works for Russell Bannock’s 100th birthday on November 1, 2019.
In an October email to Skies, his son Michael Bannock said the centenarian was aiming to renew his aviation medical and planned to celebrate his big day by flying a beautiful stock piston Beaver on straight floats from the Toronto Harbour.
In his note, Michael added, “This will be the exact spot he departed from in September of 1947 when he did the first flight of the Beaver on floats.”
Unfortunately, Mother Nature intervened and inclement weather prevented the birthday flight. Instead, Bannock’s family gathered for a celebration at Toronto’s Granite Club.
But the ambitious plan itself is still evidence of Bannock’s ageless spirit and his love for aviation, an industry in which he played a fundamental role since beginning his flight training in 1937 at the Edmonton Flying Club.
Now, a little more than two months after his 100th birthday, the Canadian aviation community is mourning the passing of Russell Bannock on January 4,…