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Two New Inductees for Wall of Honour: 749 Crerar & 13738 Hadfield

Wall of Honour to be Front & Centre Reunion Weekend 2014

By: WJO

Mark this coming 27th, September, 2 PM on your calendar.  Two highly recognizable ex cadet names – one from the past – one current have been chosen for induction into the Royal Military College of Canada Wall of Honour.

749 General, the Honourable H.D.G. Crerar PC, CH, CB, DSO, CD, and 13738 Colonel Chris A. Hadfield OOnt, CD, MSC. will be honoured with a ceremony right smack in the middle of Reunion Weekend scheduled for 25 – 28 September.

This brings the total on the WoH to 21 since – The Class of 1963, as their gift to the College upon entry into the Old Brigade in 2009, created and donated it, to recognize ex-cadets of the Royal Military Colleges (RMC, RRMC, CMR) and others with College numbers for outstanding achievements and contributions to Canada or the world.

From the start, the WoH has had strong support from the College and the Foundation.

It is expected that Chris Hadfield will be in attendance along with members of the Crerar family at the induction ceremony. Once again – take note – Saturday 27th September, 2 PM.

About the inductees by 5893 TWG:

In the words of historian J.L. Granatstein, “No other single officer had such impact on the raising, fighting, and eventual disbanding of the greatest army Canada has ever known. Crerar was unquestionably the most important Canadian soldier of the war.” Beginning in the Canadian militia at the start of WWI, to the final phases of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where he was awarded the DSO, Crerar rose through the ranks to Lt. Col. by the end of WWI. After a brief hiatus as a civilian, he joined the Permanent Force, attended Staff College in England, and was posted to the War Office in London as General Staff Officer 2. In 1929, he was appointed General Staff Officer 1 at Army HQ in Ottawa, followed by Director of Military Operations and Intelligence in 1935, and Commandant of RMC in 1938. Perhaps unfortunately for RMC, he was posted to London the next year as General Staff at Canadian Military Headquarters, the year Canada entered World War II. He returned to Ottawa the following year as Chief of General Staff, and back to London the next year as General Officer Commanding, 1st Canadian Corps. He replaced General McNaughton as Commander of the 1st Canadian Army in 1943, the first Canadian to be promoted to full General while commanding troops in the field. In July 1944, the 1st Canadian Army, including allied formations, a force of 450,000, with Crerar at the head, mustered in Normandy for the assault on the Rhineland, which led to the surrender of Nazi Germany in the spring of 1945.

After the war, Crerar was in charge of the demobilization process. He retired from the military in 1946. Later, he occupied diplomatic postings in Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands and Japan. He was named Aide-de-Camp General to the King in 1948, and to the Queen in 1952, and appointed to the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 1964. General Crerar died in Ottawa, April 1, 1965, at age 76.

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Colonel Chris Hadfield has become a household name in Canada, if not the world, for his exploits in space. He began his career at age 15 as a glider pilot in the Canadian Air Cadets in 1974, and ended it as Commander of the International Space Station in 2013. In the interim, he graduated from RMC as a Mech. Eng. In 1982, and joined the RCAF where, as an F-18 pilot, he was the first to intercept a long range Soviet bomber in Canadian airspace. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a MSc in Aviation Systems, and flew over 70 aircraft types as a test pilot on loan to the US Navy. As an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency, he flew as Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Atlantis, visiting the Russian space station, MIR, the only Canadian to do so. He flew on the shuttle Endeavor, and became the first Canadian to walk in space when he helped build Canadarm2 on the International Space Station (ISS). He spent 14 hrs. 50 mins. outside the ISS, working in the vacuum of space.

He became the Director of Operations at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia, followed by Chief of Robotics for NASA, and finally, in 2006, Chief of ISS Operations. He flew as pilot on the Russian Soyus spacecraft, joining the crew of the ISS, and ultimately becoming the ISS commander, the first Canadian to do so. He became renowned worldwide for transmitting pictures, words and music about life onboard the ISS. After 25 years in the RCAF, 21 years in the CSA, and nearly 6 months in space, Chris Hadfield retired from flying and wrote an internationally best-selling book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

Col. Hadfield has received numerous awards and medals; among them, Top Pilot Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School ’88, US Navy Test Pilot of the Year ’91, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, the Military and Civilian Meritorious Service Crosses, the only Canadian to receive both. He was appointed to the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, and commemorated on Royal Canadian Mint coins for his spacewalks, as well as on Canada’s five dollar bill. He received a personal note from Queen Elizabeth II on becoming Commander of the ISS, and he has had an asteroid named after him, the 14143 Hadfield.

RMC Wall of Honour Details