|Hockey in the Duff|
|Size 32 x 21-1/4|
|Military Aviation Art
During the Second World War all branches of the Canadian Military played hockey when time, location, weather and the enemy allowed. Play varied from organised leagues to pickup games and even took place in POW camps.
RCAF members stood out as being particularly zealous in finding ways to have games. In England, on one base, an outdoor rink was constructed complete with boards and fan seating. When the need for a roof was identified, they managed to scrounge up the materials required. Due to engineering concerns a support column was added that came to be placed near center ice. Needless to say this had to be avoided at all costs during a game.
When the 2nd Tactical Air Force moved to the continent after D-Day several Canadian Fighter, Fighter Bomber and Reconnaissance Wings went with it. During the winter of 44-45 the YMCA organised games in Holland and other locales. This lead to a playoff between the different Wings to see who would go back to England, to compete against the Bomber ‘Pros’ from No. 6 Group. 126 Wing (Spitfire) won over the other Spitfire Wings and then the Typhoon Wings’ champion. They were beaten quite soundly by the ‘Bomber Boys’ in the final, though the trip to England probably mitigated any disappointment.
Depicted here pilots from a RCAF Typhoon Squadron take advantage of some ‘Duff’ weather and a patch of ice to get in a quick game. The two ‘Erks’ on the wing are taking a break from their duties to watch the action.