Flying To Glory ~ Prairie boys take flight in the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II

Written by:

Sandra Dempsey

Artist/Creator(s) Identify As:

D/deaf, Disabled, and/or Mad

Cast Size:
20

Roles For:

  • Men: 10
  • Women: 3

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

Canada
Canadian History
Military
War
World War II

Length:

90 min.

Year Written:

2006

Synopsis:

Boyhood pals embark on the adventure of a lifetime by enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942. Jimmy and Gus join up and train in Canada before deploying to Bomber Command in England. They meet up with the rest of their seven-man Halifax bomber crew, and after many successful sorties, tragedy occurs. Jimmy’s sweet heart, a talented civilian pilot, is accepted in the Air Transport Auxiliary, while Jimmy’s Mom, Shirley, is left alone on her small farm on the home-front, visiting her WW I disabled husband at the Veteran’s Hospital, and trying desperately to follow her boy’s life overseas via the newspaper reports.

Flying To Glory is the first play to chronical the remarkable achievements of the Royal Canadian Air Force during 1942-1943, and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, training thousands of Commonwealth countries’ airmen across Canada.

For those who served, those who flew, those who touched shed angel’s wings.

Flying To Glory is published by Touchwood Press, and scenes from the play are also published with Brooklyn Publishers and Heuer Publishing, as well as the anthology “Even More Monologues by Women For Women” by Heinemann Drama.

Characters:

Main Characters:

Jimmy “Balzax” Edgerton Grady is 18 and graduates flying training with honours as a Pilot Officer, to command his Halifax bomber crew

Gus “Rusky” Lyle Minion is 19 fails pilot training and becomes a Flying Officer Navigator, joining Jimmy’s Halifax bomber crew

Shirley Grady is 46, and lives on a small farm and she visits her husband at the Veterans’ Hospital in Calgary

Betty Lipton is 20, already a good recreational pilot, joins the Air Transport Auxiliary

Harold (Harry) K. “Hops” Hillis is 18 and a Flight Sergeant in the Royal Australian Air Force, joining Jimmy’s Halifax bomber crew

Secondary Characters:

Graziano Angelo Marchitella is 21, an Italian-Canadian, forced to change his name in order to become a Flight Lieutenant as Grant March

Fred “Skinner” Langdon is 19, British, a Royal Air Force Flight Sergeant, joining Jimmy’s Halifax bomber crew

Francis “Fever” Felverton is 20, an Royal Canadian Air Force Flight Sergeant, joining Jimmy’s Halifax bomber crew

Quinton Darby is 24, British, a Royal Air Force Mid-Upper Gunner, joining Jimmy’s Halifax bomber crew

Louis “Frenchy” Brebuf is 18, a Royal Canadian Air Force Tail-Gunner, joining Jimmy’s Halifax bomber crew

R.C.A.F. Recruitment Sergeant is 36

Rejected R.C.A.F. recruit is 39

Civilian Flying Instructor Chalmers is 23, based at the Elementary Flying Training School No. 5 at High River, Alberta

Civilian Flying Instructor Reid is 29, based at the Elementary Flying Training School No. 5 at High River, Alberta

Chief Flying Instructor is 40, based at the Elementary Flying Training School No. 5 at High River, Alberta

Commanding Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force is 42, based at the Elementary Flying Training School No. 5 at High River, Alberta

Royal Canadian Air Force Flying Instructor is 28

*Multiple Other Secondary Characters, and Voices*

First Produced:

Nanton Lancaster Museum, 2006 - published 2006 by Touchwood Press ISBN 0-9687861-6-2

Resources:

The play can be accessed by emailing the playwright sd@sandradempsey.com

Notes:

As a living legacy, the playwright suggests that a percentage of box office revenue from performances and productions of Flying To Glory will be donated to the Royal Canadian Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Canadian Legion, or a similar WWII veterans’ charity, or to the Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) bomber recovery project.