Canada in the Second World War


Air Marshal L. S. Breadner

Lloyd Samuel Breadner, born July 14th, 1894, in Carleton Place, Ontario; died March 14th, 1952, in Boston, Massachusetts. Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) officer.

Air Marshal L.S. Breadner in March 1945.

Air Marshal L.S. Breadner in March 1945.
National Defence Image Library, PL 35325.

In 1915, young Breadner left the family business in Ottawa to enlist in the Royal Naval Air Service. He spent most of WWI as a fighter pilot in France. When the war ended, his flying skills won him a position as a license examiner with the Canadian Air Board. Breadner was Commanding Officer of the Camp Borden training base in 1924, the year the RCAF was officially created 1922. An man of action with a practical mind, he rapidly moved up the hierarchy, well served by a jolly disposition and a great sense of humour. He was Director of the RCAF under Lindsay Gordon from 1928 to 1932. In 1936, Breadner received training at the Imperial Defence College.

In 1940, Minister of Defence for Air C.G. “Chubby” Power, himself a “bon vivant”, was greatly taken with Breadner’s genial manners. With Power’s support, he succeeded G.M. Croil as Chief of Air Staff on May 29th, 1940. During WWII, Breadner turned the RCAF into one of the most powerful air forces in the world. On January 1st, 1944, he was posted in London as Air Officer Commander-in Chief, RCAF Overseas.

Upon his retirement in 1945, Lloyd Breadner was promoted to Chief Air Marshal, the only Canadian ever to hold this rank.