In the late 1930s, Stocky and his family, like other Canadians, lived with the growing threat of war. The family listened to news broadcasts on the big radio in the living room, and they discussed them afterwards. There was conflict in many parts of the world: in Asia, where Japan was invading neighbouring countries; in North Africa, where Italy had conquered Ethiopia; and in Europe, where Germany was controlled by a Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler. The Nazis were building up Germany’s military might. They had already taken over Austria and part of Czechoslovakia. In the peaceful farmlands of Saskatchewan, the threat seemed very far away.

Jim spent the summer of 1939 working on a dairy farm. By the end of August, he was looking forward to getting back to school and to a new hockey season. On Sunday, September 3, though, his family gathered around their radio with more serious matters on their minds. Britain had vowed to protect Poland, and two days earlier, Germany had invaded Poland. What would Britain do? With his family, Jim listened as the British Prime Minister announced that Britain was in a state of war with Germany.

Adapted from:  Hehner, Barbara. Desert Hawk: The True Story of Stocky Edwards, World War II Flying Ace (Kindle Locations 59-61). HarperCollins Canada. Kindle Edition.