Some Verdunites became national heroes in World War II. That was the case of pilot officer George F. Beurling. Interested in aviation, Beurling enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940. During a military campaign in Malta, this pilot succeeded in gunning down 27 aircraft, including two in ten seconds. When Beurling was injured in October 1942, the army showed its gratitude to him by granting him a promotion and naming him Knight of Malta.
Recalled to Canada in 1942, his services were used by the Federal government for war propaganda purposes.
On November 10, 1942, Beurling returned to Verdun and the City organized a big ceremony for him at the Verdun Auditorium. Over 6300 Verdunites attended this reception, which was broadcast live on radio all over Canada.