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Bush pilot and war hero Duke Schiller profiled by award-winning military author

Book cover featuring pilot Duke Schiller standing in front of a plane. Duke is depicted in pilot attire, possibly a flight suit, with a confident posture, facing the camera. The plane, likely a small aircraft used for either commercial or military purposes, serves as the backdrop, emphasizing his profession and skill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –  SATURDAY,  JUNE 8, 2024

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario – Tagona Press Publisher Bryan Davies announced today that the biography of Duke Schiller, one of the original bush pilots hired in 1924 by the Ontario Provincial Air Service (O.P.A.S.), has been added to the company’s catalogue of publications.

An ebook and a physical version of “Whispering” Duke Schiller – The Forgotten Hero of Early Aviation, written by award-winning military author Tom Douglas, can be ordered on-line at: https://tagonapress.com/product/whispering-duke-schiller/

or on Amazon at:

https://a.co/d/2YkUbmL

“Clarence Alvin ‘Duke’ Schiller had the distinction of serving with the Royal Flying Corps (later renamed the Royal Air Force) during The First World War and both  the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Ferry Command in the Second World War,” said Davies. “His acts of heroism during his military and civilian flying careers rank right up there with those of Charles Lindbergh, Billy Bishop and other famous contemporaries – and Tagona is proud to be instrumental in seeing him finally get the credit he deserves.”

The Tagona publisher added that Schiller’s ‘just-doing-my-job’ attitude saw tales of his feats of courage fade over the passage of time to the point where his name today, as author Douglas points out in the prologue to the book, is “relegated to brief mentions in a few dusty tomes hidden away and forgotten in the storage rooms of libraries across North America.”

That unfortunate turn of events has been remedied with the publication of the details of “Whispering” Duke’s fascinating and courageous career, said Davies.

Wishing to follow his big brother overseas in 1914, Duke joined the Canadian Army – and soon received an honourable discharge when it was discovered that he was only fourteen years of age. Determined to join the fray, he later enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps and trained in the Toronto area as well as in Texas, alongside such luminaries as future author William Faulkner and Broadway star Vernon Castle.

After gaining invaluable experience as an O.P.A.S. bush pilot, Schiller’s aviation career reached even greater heights when he overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to rescue the crew of The Bremen, the German-built aircraft that made the first non-stop flight from Europe to North America, crash-landing on a remote island just off the coast of Labrador. Schiller flew through every kind of nasty weather nature could throw at him to rescue the downed fliers. This event is just one of the many acts of bravery Schiller performed in a lifetime cut short by a plane crash off Bermuda during his Ferry Command service.

Douglas is the author of a number of books chronicling Canada’s military heritage: https://tomdouglas.typepad.com/tom_douglas/books/ . He is also the recipient of the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for his efforts in commemorating the valour of Canadians in peacetime and at war.

CONTACT: Bryan Davies: [email protected] (905-409-8557) OR

                     Tom Douglas: [email protected] (289-837-3168)

[SEE TESTIMONIALS BELOW]

IN PRAISE OF “WHISPERING” DUKE

“We so need these profiles in courage stories. They are especially important to young people to help them stand on the shoulders of the giants who have gone ahead.”

 – Right Honourable David Johnston

   28th Governor General of Canada (2010-2017)

“There can never be too many stories of Canadian military heroes. Each one offers a new facet of understanding into the meaning of service and courage and determination. Tom Douglas has brought to life the inspiring story of Whispering Duke Schiller for posterity, for his family and for those who seek to serve.”

– Colonel (Ret’d) Nishika Jardine, RCEME

  Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers

“This book reminds us of our country’s major contributions to early aviation. Duke Schiller, daredevil Ontario bush pilot and commercial aviator, captured the world’s imagination with his daring rescues of people in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. This book is an important piece of Canadian history.”

– Jim Poling, Sr.

Former Managing Editor, The Canadian Press

Best-Selling Author and Private Pilot  

“In the early to middle years of the last century, the front pages of newspapers were often filled with the exploits of aviator Duke Schiller – his mercy and search and rescue flights, his time as a forest fire-fighting bush pilot and his involvement in both world wars. This book recalls the life and times of the man called Canada’s Greatest Pilot by the New York Times and should make us all a little prouder to be Canadian.

Bob Burt

Former Managing Editor of The Toronto Sun

Communications Manager (Ret’d) The Canadian Forest Service

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