Aircraft Identity Corps

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Aircraft Identity Corps
Active 1940 - 1943
Country  Canada
Branch  Royal Canadian Air Force
Type Civil defence organisation.
Role Aircraft recognition and reporting (1940 - 1943)
Size 1945 - circa 30,000 personnel
Engagements World War II

The Aircraft Identity Corps was a Canadian civil defence organisation operating between 1940 and 1945. The corps's mission was to report suspicious aircraft and guard against German, Japanese, and Italian attack. The use of observers was deemed important because radar was not yet in widespread use.

The Aircraft Identity Corps was formed in 1940 by Air Vice Marshal George Croil for service during World War II. By the war's end in 1945 it had over 30,000 members.

In the then-separate Dominion of Newfoundland, there was an Aircraft Detection Corps Newfoundland. At the behest of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the Commissioner of Defence for Newfoundland, L. E. Emerson, amalgamated the Aircraft Detection Corps Newfoundland with the Canadian Aircraft Detection Corps. On March 15, 1942, Emerson circulated a cummunique stating the "Aircraft Detection Corps Newfoundland" would be organized by the RCAF as a unit of the Canadian Aircraft Identity Corps. One of the letter's recipients was Newfoundland public figure P. W. Crummey, an Aircraft Detection Corps Newfoundland volunteer. Attached to the communique was a letter from Flight Lieutenant H. H. Graham, commanding officer of Torbay Airport (No. 1 Group RCAF. St. John's); glosseries of airplanes and ships; an identity card and procedural instructions.

At war's end Aircraft Identity Corps volunteers in Canada and the Dominion of Newfoundland received a brass Volunteer Aircraft Observer button and certificate of thanks from Canada's Department of National Defence. Some Aircraft Detection Corps Newfoundland volunteers qualified for the United Kingdom's Defence Medal.[1]

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  1. ^ "St. John's couple honoured for civil defence during WWII". CBC News. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.