Personal Note from the author
My third book-in-progress combines autobiography and biography with photography.
It will take take shape over the next three years. In March 2008 I was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts grant as a Mid-Career
author to complete NEWFOUNDLANDERS - A native son in search of his past and the new Newfoundland. I
spend about three months annually in Newfoundland and will be on the island from July 29th to September 20th, 2013. Primarily
I will be at my home at 3 Slade's Lane in Lower Jenkins Cove, Durrell, South Twillingate Island. The author recently
contributed a 2000-word essay on aviation in the First World War for a forthcoming book of essays to mark the 100th anniversary
of that war - the co-publishers are Canada's History Magazine and Random House Publishers.
On the road I can be reached via my Blackberry cell phone using
SMS text messaging and/or email to cell phone (604) 603-9934. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Messages can also be left for "Wayne Ralph"
on Facebook or Twitter.
AND AVAILABLE IN STORES & ONLINE:
Warriors & Wingmen : Firsthand Accounts of Canada's Fighter Pilots in the Second World War (John Wiley & Sons,
Canada, Ltd, Mississauga, ON) ISBN-0-470-83590-7 was released in April 2005. It was on the Quill & Quire / Bookmanager.com/
The National Post hardcover, non-fiction best sellers list from May through August, and by December 2005 more than 7,300 copies
had been sold across Canada. As of 2012 all hard covered copies had sold, and it has been converted to an EPUB in the
PDF format. It sells as a downloadable EPUB for about $17.00. The author's award-winning 1997 biography of Canada's
most decorated war hero, Lt Col William Barker VC, was released in April 2007 by John Wiley & Sons Canada in a special
10th anniversary edition revised and redesigned with new, unpublished photographs. That work has reverted to the author as
of 2012 and may be back in print in 2014 (or available as an EPUB) to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
William Barker VC - The Life, Death & Legend of Canada's Most Decorated
War Hero - ISBN-0-470-83967-8 - was one of The Globe & Mail's 1997 "Notable Books of the Year" and
received the 1998 McWilliams Medal of the Manitoba Historical Society. It has sold about 15,000 copies worldwide.
AT 2PM ON THURSDAY, SEPT 22, 2011 IN TORONTO AT MOUNT PLEASANT CEMETERY
MAUSOLEUM A PUBLIC MONUMENT TO WILLIAM BARKER VC WAS UNVEILED BY THE LIEUT. GOV. OF ONTARIO, DAVID C. ONLEY. THE MONUMENT
AND THE BRONZE PLAQUE FOR THE DOOR OF THE CRYPT SUMMARIZED BARKER'S ACHIEVEMENTS AND DECLARED HIM AS CANADA'S AND THE BRITISH
EMPIRE'S COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS' MOST DECORATED WAR HERO. THE CHIEF OF AIR STAFF OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE, LIEUT.
GENERAL ANDRE DESCHAMPS, ATTENDED. THE CHIEF OF AIR STAFF AUTHORIZED A FLYPAST BY AN F18 FIGHTER. TWO GREAT WAR BIPLANES
OF THE GREAT WAR FLYING MUSEUM IN BRAMPTON FLEW OVER. JOHN WRIGHT OF IPSOS IN TORONTO AND BARKER'S GRANDSONS IN BC, ALEC,
IAN AND DAVID MACKENZIE WERE CENTRAL TO THIS ACHIEVEMENT. THE BIOGRAPHER WAYNE RALPH ATTENDED AND SPOKE BRIEFLY.THIS PUBLIC
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT IS A FITTING TRIBUTE TO A SOMEWHAT NEGLECTED CANADIAN WAR HERO. MEDIA COVERAGE INCLUDED MACLEAN'S; POSTMEDIA;
SUNMEDIA; CTV; CBC; THE TORONTO STAR;THE GLOBE AND MAIL; AND CANADIAN PRESS WIRE SERVICE.
Wayne Ralph lives
in White Rock, BC in winter, tel: (604) 538-9434. Summer and fall is spent in Newfoundland, where he can be reached by cell
phone, text message or email at email@example.com or (604) 603-9934. He is also available on Facebook and Twitter.
A 10th anniversary edition of my first book, William Barker
VC - The Life, Death & Legend of Canada's Most Decorated War Hero, was released in April 2007. It is a matched volume
to the 2005 best seller, Aces, Warriors & Wingmen - Firsthand Accounts of Canada's Fighter Pilots in the Second World
War. Both books are hard-covered, illustrated, oversized 8" by 9" format, with extensive reference material, bibliographies,
and indices. They provide biographical profiles on Canadians flyers of the First and Second World Wars based on first-person
accounts told to the author. These profiles include not only stories of aerial combat but also personal recollections of childhood,
post-war adjustment, and old age. The existential world of the fighter pilot is revealed by individual, often idiosyncratic,
and sometimes emotional narrative. Portraits of these men in war and peace are included, as well as many previously unpublished
photos from their private collections. Examples of some of these illustrations are shown on this WEB site.
of author Wayne Ralph by Patricia Whitehead. Taken at Spillars Cove, South Twillingate Island, August 2011.
was born in St. John's, Newfoundland in June 1946, grew up in a military family, and has lived in many towns and cities across
- He holds a BA from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and an MA from the University of Calgary;
at the latter institution he was the Department of National Defence Strategic Studies Scholar, completing a thesis on weapons
systems procurement in 1983.
- He served as a military flying instructor in the RCAF and Canadian Forces
for six years. He was an airline pilot / federal government pilot for more than 15 years.
- He is the former
editor and co-owner of Wings Magazine; and was for six years the editor of Transport Canada's Aviation Safety
- His previous book, BARKER VC, was a "Notable Book of the Year"
as selected by Canada's national newspaper, The Globe & Mail, and was also awarded the McWilliams Medal
of the Manitoba Historical Society. The biography was released in a special 10th anniversary edition in April 2007 by John
Wiley & Sons Canada. The new title is William Barker VC - The Life, Death & Legend of Canada's Most Decorated
- The biography of Canada's most decorated war hero became the basis for two television
documentaries, in 1999 on Discovery Channel's Flightpath series, and in 2003 on History Television. Both
programs are syndicated and have been sold to networks around the world.
- Aces, Warriors & Wingmen took
four years to research and write. The author travelled from coast to coast, and as far south as Arizona; 106 tape-recorded
face-to-face interviews were completed. One third of these veterans have since died, and continue to die at an accelerating
Perhaps you might like to know just how good Canada's fighter pilots were
during the Second World War. Well, here is just one statistic: from D-Day to January 1945, 83 Group, 2nd Tactical Air
Force, shot down 532 enemy aircraft - 472 of the 532 were shot down by Canadian pilots serving with the RCAF and RAF.
Why I wrote
Aces, Warriors & Wingmen - Firsthand Accounts of Canada's Fighter Pilots in the Second World War:
From an all-ranks strength in 1939 of about 4,000 personnel, and fewer
than 10 regular force and auxiliary squadrons, none well-equipped or properly trained, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
grew to be the fourth largest air force on the Allied side in the Second World War. It had 78 squadrons, 46 stationed in overseas
theatres. By 1944 the RCAF had more than a quarter million men and women in uniform. About 60% of the 27,000 aircrew serving
overseas were on duty with the Royal Air Force (RAF). Many other Canadians were serving with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal
Sixty years later only a few people have any insight into what was accomplished by these men and women. They
were a generation mostly born during or just after the First World War - a generation that achieved and sacrificed much. Our
young people in Canada lack heroes or heroic models, and turn to American sporting and entertainment figures, mistakenly labelling
them as 'Canadian' heroes.
They do not know, and have certainly not been taught in school, that Canada had thousands
of fighter pilots overseas, highly regarded for their aggression and skill by their colleagues in the British and American
Our 150 aces, and their wingmen who protected them, and the thousands of others who flew the fighter
bombers, reconnaissance fighters, and anti-shipping fighters, demonstrated great leadership, courage and fortitude at every
point in the war, and in every theatre of operations.
Aces, Warriors & Wingmen tells the firsthand
accounts of just a few dozen, a rapidly dwindling band of brothers, who flew in the war and made it home safely.