George "Buzz" Beurling was born and raised in Verdun, Quebec. As a child he played hooky from school to do odd jobs at the local airfield in exchange for aeroplane rides. He became a bush pilot, and when the Second World War broke out he tried to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air force, but was rejected because he lacked a High School diploma. Undaunted, he worked his way across the Atlantic on a cattle boat to England and joined the Royal Air Force. He was sent to Malta in June 1942, where his courage and audacity earned him the title "The Falcon of Malta." Seriously wounded when his Spitfire was shot down in October 1943, Beurling was sent back to England, where he was transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force in September 1943. He was sent home to Canada in May 1944, and was released from the Royal Canadian Air Force with the rank of Flight Lieutenant on October 16, 1944. In 1948 he was invited by the new State of Israel to fly bombing and strafing missions for them, and he gladly accepted, but on his way to Israel he died when his plane crashed during a refueling stop in Italy.
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