Vintage images of the Fighting Bulldogs (gallery)

The Flying Heritage Collection’s Hurricane carries an image of a bulldog, wearing pilot’s helmet and boxing gloves, duking it out with the viewer as the opponent-the symbol of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s No. 135 Squadron. Perhaps it was a natural that the unit would pick the bulldog. The beast was “tenacious, dogged, and sturdy, like a Hurricane fighter plane.” Some of the veteran members had just come back from overseas, fighting with the RAF in the Battle of Britain. There, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was often characterized as a bulldog by the press. The flyers “borrowed” the artistic layout of the cartoon dog from a Disney-produced emblem made for the United States’ 62nd Fighter Squadron.

Soon enough, it seemed only right for the squadron to have a real English Bulldog as a mascot. “King” was purchased in Saskatchewan in August of 1942. King made the trip with his new squadron mates to Patricia Bay, British Columbia soon after. Unfortunately, he didn’t last long. Kidney troubles claimed King just two months after he’d joined the squadron. The saddened flyers had no choice but to get another bulldog mascot for their “Bulldog Squadron,” this one they named, “Queen.”

Click here to see more image of the bulldogs.

(Check out Dave O’Malley’s “Bulldogs on the Coast” essay at the Vintage Wings of Canada site for more information on No. 135 Squadron. Special thanks to the Atlantic Aviation Museum for some of the photos in this album.)

More in Life

How did 300 feathers get stuck in that old utility pole?

Artful adornment in Everett is the creation of a retired Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Herb Alpert aims to uplift the world in two recent albums

The Tijuana Brass bandleader releases a Christmas record and an album of covers.

Prioritizing permanence and putting down roots

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I’m at a loss… Continue reading

Foo Fighters bounce back with new album ‘Concrete and Gold’

Foo Fighters, “Concrete and Gold”: Can you hate the Foo Fighters? Not… Continue reading

‘Fixer Upper’ couple say they’re ending popular HGTV show

Chip and Joanna Gaines says season beginning in November will be the last one.

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Stock your winter bookshelf with these animal and nature reads

Four new books cover outdoors topics from butterflies to wolves.

Newfangled cooker isn’t for those with tried and true methods

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley recently succumbed to peer pressure and purchased an Instant Pot.

Most Read