Black History Month. RCAF Maj Walter Peters.

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(Canada Aviation and Space Museum) Retired Major Walter Peters stands in front of a Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet used by the Snowbirds at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa last February. Maj. Peters was born in Litchfield, Annapolis County,Nova Scotia in 1937, became Canada’s first black jet fighter pilot and also a member of Canada’s famed Snowbirds flight team

Walter Peters was a pioneer. He was this country’s first Canadian-born black jet fighter pilot, and helped to establish the premier aerial aerobatic performance team, the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds. He was a flight instructor and also flew with the Snowbirds.

At age 24 he had enlisted in the RCAF and retired with the rank of Major, and from all accounts had an excellent record.

Mr Peters died in Ottawa on Sunday, February 24th; following complications from a stroke. He was 76.

A relative, Juanita Peters, said he was a gentle man, He spoke at a conference in 2011 and said he’d faced many challenges in his life but overcame them with hard work, perseverance, and education.

Mr Peters was deployed on several missions around the world, and also provided advice on tactical troop movement by air, and other issues to the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council.

Veterans Affairs Canada said Mr Peters “enjoyed a distinguished career on many levels”

A memorial service will be held this weekend in the national capital.
(MM)

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One comment

  1. Kathy Grant says:

    Walter Peters was a dear freind of my dad Owen Rowe, a Black WWII Pilot Officer who passed away in 2005 “The Year of the Veteran.” He particpated in our Legacy Voices Project to document and digitize the contributions of our Canadian Black Veterans in uniform.

    It is fate that Mr Peters would pass away in “The Year of the Korean War Veteran”. Both are now in heaven. In honour of these officers and gentlemen I am re-posting an entry from my dad’s guestbook thst was sent by Canada’s second Black Jet Pilot, Dr Stephen Blizzard. I am adding Walter’s name to the tribut

    To Owen and Walter
    A FLYER’S TRIBUTE.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I’m not there I do not sleep’
    I’m in the memory of the time we shared,
    I’m in the hearts of those who cared,
    I’m in that quiet morning walk,
    I’m there when airmen laugh and talk.
    My space is free, it’s wide, it’s vast.
    Your time is now, mine’s in the past.
    Was shared with friends who made my life on earth a joy, amidst the strife.
    This chapter’s over, but there’s more to do
    and many blank pages to be filled by you.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there, I did not die.

    Owen and Walter, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the course, you have kept the faith.
    Rest now brothers.

    A fellow airman.
    Stephen Blizzard.
    ~ Stephen Blizzard, Ottawa, Ontario

    Sincerely, Kathy Grant-The Legacy Voices Project

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