Trailblazer in Aviation and Technology
Gerry Carty was born in Saint John, N.B. in 1925, the son of Albert Carty and Fanny (Tyler) Carty. He was one of five members of the Carty family to serve in the air force during World War II. An earlier generation of the family had served in World War I. Gerry joined the RCAF in 1942 and was selected to train as aircrew. He was the top student in his flying course and at age 18 was promoted to Flight Lieutenant, becoming one of the youngest commissioned officers in that branch of the armed forces. At this time, although the RCAF had removed its ‘colour line’ against minority officers and pilots, African Canadian bomber pilots were extremely rare. During the war he flew Wellington and Halifax bombers in 35 stories over occupied territory. The crews of the RCAF squadrons in Bomber Command had the most hazardous duties of any Canadians during the war. Wounded in action, Gerry spent his recovery in England by studying to become an electronics technician. His war service resulted in the Defence Medal, the War Medal (Victory Medal) and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. Mr. Carty’s electronics technician certification was the first granted in New Brunswick. Based in Fredericton in the post-war years, he operated an electronics service centre and other businesses and was a pioneer of cable television in the 1950s. On the aviation side he was involved with a charter air service, was a founding member of the Fredericton Flying Club and was the commanding officer and an instructor for Air Cadets. Gerry Carty was heavily involved with other community organizations, including the Royal Canadian Legion, the YMCA and the RCAF Association.
(Photo courtesy of the Carty Family )