Flight Lieutenant George "Buzz" Beurling
Born: December 6, 1921
Died: May 18, 1948
Place of Birth: Verdun, Quebec
Major Notes: George "Buzz" Beurling was credited as Canada's most famous World War II pilot.His record includes shooting down 27 enemy planes in 14 days.He served in both the RAF and the RCAF and later was recruited by Israel.Beurling was nicknamed the "Falcon of Malta" and the "Knight of Malta".As a youth, he worked at nearby Cartierville hangars and made his first solo flight at age 16.George Beurling later developed a computer-like mind for mathematics and detail.Perhaps unusual for a pilot, George "Buzz" Beurling never swore and seldom took liquor.He had extremely good eyesight aiding his skills as a top marksman in the air.His first award was the Distinguished Flying Medal for action on July 6, 1942.His awards also included the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Distinguished Service Order.Beurling, along with a co-pilot, died when coming in for a landing at the Urbe airfield, Italy. A mysterious fire broke out in the plane which exploded as it touched down.His death is still surrounded in mystery because of Israeli-British politics at the time.George "Buzz" Beurling is buried in Israel and is considered a hero in that country as well as in Italy and Canada.