Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for January 2nd!
The history books have described him as a pioneer.
But after his dramatic “Race Against Death”, we see him as an another Amazing Canuck!
Canadian History for Kids, looks at the life of Wop May!
This Canadian History for kids article begins in late 1928 when a man in Little Red River, Alberta, fell ill and was diagnosed with diphtheria. This was a huge problem!
If the infection spread it could wipe out the whole settlement. There were no roads to the town.
Word made it to Edmonton that a pilot was needed to rush diphtheria vaccine to Little Red River!
Canadian flying legend Wilfred ‘Wop” May and flying club member, Vic Horner, set out on January 2nd, 1929 flying in an open-cockpit aircraft and flew into rough winter weather and freezing temperatures. One and half days after leaving Edmonton, the tiny plane finally made it to Fort Vermilion near the scene of the outbreak.
The life saving medicine was delivered, but they found Wop May’s fingers had frozen onto the control stick of his plane and his eyelids, had frozen open.
After a very brief stay, Horner and May made their way back to Edmonton and were treated as heroes. Their flight had made news across Canada and was called, “The Race Against Death.”
Being honoured as a hero was not something new for Wop May. Let’s consider two short Canadian history for kids stories about Wop May.
Wop was a pilot for Canada during the 1st World War, with the Royal Air Force. His commander was a school friend, Roy Brown. On a morning patrol on April 10th, 1918, a small group of German planes attacked Brown and May (and their group). Among those that were attacking the Canadian flyers was the famous Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen. The Red Baron chased Wop May through the sky, shooting heavily at Wop and his airplane. Brown, seeing May was in trouble, flew into attack and shot the German war ace down.
Wop May is also famous for tracking down the Mad Trapper of Rat River.
In 1932, a man named Albert Johnson (The Mad Trapper) was on the loose and hiding from the police in the wilderness. Wop was asked to help using his new plane with skis. He found out how Johnson had been hiding from the RCMP. He was using caribou tracks to hide his own tracks! With this information, the RCMP were able to track and capture the Mad Trapper!
And that’s this weeks Canadian History for Kids, Amazing Canuck!