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Aviation hero Cedric Mah dies

May 5, 2011, Edmonton - Well-known Edmonton aviation hero Cedric Mah has died. Mah, 88, died Friday at the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre.


May 5, 2011
By CBC News

Mah was born in British Columbia. He flew during the Second World War, but because of prejudices at the time, was not allowed to join the Canadian Air Force because he was of Chinese descent.

Mah became a flight instructor instead and flew during the war with the China National Aviation Corporation which was associated with the American air force.

His brother, Albert, was also a pilot and the pair broke a record for the number of hours they flew over the Himalayas.

Mah was awarded the American Distinguished Flying Cross for braving the those flights.

Paul Squires works at the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton where Mah spent the later years of his life as a volunteer.

"He and his brother both went to flying school in the United States but they didn't let this prejudice, at the time, get in the way of achieving what they wanted," Squires said. "It's very inspiring. He's a hero to a lot of people."

After the war, Mah worked as a bush pilot in British Columbia and the Canadian North. He moved to Edmonton when he retired.

A memorial service will be held at the Alberta Aviation Museum on Friday.