Gilbert Boulanger

Gilbert Boulanger

Pilot and gunner

Gilbert Boulanger made his debut in the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Accepted into the pilot course, however, he opted for a shorter gunner training ... for fear that the war would end before he could take part in it. Assigned to the 425 Alouettes Squadron, he miraculously survived a Wellington bomber crash. He took part in thirty-seven raids (seven more than a normal tour) and in 1944 was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, G. Boulanger completed his private pilot course and in 1946 founded Montmagny Air Services, a small air service set up to transport mail in the Piper Club between Montmagny and Île-aux-Grues. After a job as a postmaster in Montmagny, Mr. Boulanger became a sales representative for the company P.L. Robertson Ltd. It was in Stinson 105 that he was then touring his distant clientele. In 1960, he and his wife opened the Escapades travel agency. In 1971, Mr. Boulanger founded the Sherbrooke Experimental Aircraft Club (CAES) with friends. Since its creation, this very active club has built more than 100 planes.

In 1980, Mr. Boulanger became a member of the executive committee of the Sherbrooke airport administrative committee. In 1992, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the 425 Squadron, he organized the arrival of a Lancaster bomber in Sherbrooke. During his tenure as President of the CAES, Mr. Boulanger proposed the creation of a large annual gathering of recreational and amateur-built aircraft called "Les Faucheurs de Marguerites". The first edition saw the light of day in 1994, with Gilles Boulanger as president. The same year, at the age of 72, Mr. Boulanger started with Denis Roy the company Dédalius Aviation, specializing in the manufacture of wing assemblies for ultralight aircraft. Glider pilot, Mr. Boulanger was for 25 years a member of the Appalachian Gliding Club. Always passionate about this sport, he practiced gliding in Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, in the Swiss Alps, etc. In 2006, at the age of 84, he completed the construction of his fourth experimental aircraft, a two-seater designated Dedalius MK 1. In the same year, he published the enthralling account of his war memoirs, under the title "The Crazy Alouette". Aviator Gilles Gilbert Boulanger lost his battle with cancer. He passed away on New Years Eve 2014 at the age of 91.

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