Having retired from the military in 1972 after 32 years of service, James "Stocky" Edwards of Courtenay has been revered as Canada's greatest living air ace of the Second World War. His main book is Kittyhawk Pilot.

According to WRITERS & BOOKS, COMOX VALLEY 1865-2015:

Born in 1921, Stocky Edwards enlisted in the RCAF at age 19 in 1940 and trained in Canada. He was posted to England in 1941 with the rank of Sergeant. He joined the RAF 94 Squadron in the western desert of North Africa, flying Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks. He became the leading ace of 260 Squadron and one of the top scoring pilots in all of North Africa. Stocky flew 373 operational flights and attained the rank of Wing Commander by age 24. He racked up 22 victories over enemy aircraft destroyed, plus many probables as well as hitting many aircraft and vehicles on the ground. Following the war he continued with the RCAF flying jet aircraft. He spent nearly 32 years as a pilot, flight instructor, and commanding officer. Stocky Edwards received the Distinguished Flying Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice), was Mentioned in Dispatches, and in 2004 was awarded the Order of Canada. He was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 2013, made Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour by the President of France in 2014, and Freeman of the City of Courtenay in 2015.


Kittyhawk Pilot: Wing Commander J.F. (Stocky) Edwards (1983)
(with J.P.A. Lavigne)
Turner-Warwick Publications
332 pages
ISBN: 978-0919899100

Kittyhawks Over the Sands: The Canadians & The RCAF Americans (2002)
(with J.P.A. Lavigne) Lavigne Aviation Publications 284 pages ISBN: 2-9806879-1-X

Hurricanes Over the Sands: The Canadians & RCAF Americans (2003) (with J.P.A. Lavigne) Lavigne Aviation Publications 311 pages ISBN: 2-9806879-2-8

[BCBW 2015] "Aviation"