Crash Harrison: Tales of a Bomber Pilot Who Defied Death


  • Format Trade Paperback
  • Author Deana J. Driver
  • Publish Date July 31, 2023
  • ISBN 978-1927570-82-1
Deana J. Driver13 Books


Description: Reginald Harrison grew up on a Saskatchewan farm during the Dirty Thirties. His interest in flying was sparked even before he watched fighter plane pilots do loops in the sky above his family’s farm as they trained for the Second World War. Seeking adventure, Reg enlisted and became a bomber pilot in England. He survived four crashes – none of which were his fault – and several close calls. He is one of the few Canadians in the famed “Guinea Pig Club” after receiving reconstructive skin graft surgery during the war. A fellow airman nicknamed him “Crash” one day, and the name stuck. After the war, Reg moved to Saskatoon and helped war veterans obtain farms and other assistance through federal programs from the Veterans’ Land Administration. He met his future wife right after the war in a moment that can only be described as “a scene from a movie.” Reg Harrison was named an “Honorary Snowbird” by the renowned Canadian Forces aerobatics display team and is a celebrated war veteran whose stories will captivate and educate readers from teens to seniors. This book, written in Reg’s voice, shares his experiences of growing up on the dusty Prairies during the Great Depression, then going off to war and surviving crashes and intense combat. This book contains page after page of details about Canada’s involvement in the Second World War and Reg Harrison’s experiences, as well as Fun Facts about Reg “Crash” Harrison, a Timeline of Events, and Helpful Resources.

Curriculum: Grades 5 to 12: English Language Arts: Heroes, Peace and Conflict,  Finding the Courage, Conflicts, Issues and Choices, The Challenges of Life: Social Studies: Dynamic Relationships; Science: Principles of Flight; History 10 & 20.

Awards/Honours:  Finalist (silver medal) in the Military category and the Memoirs (Historical/Legacy) category of the 2024 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; #3 of Top 100 Bestsellers of 2023, McNally Robinson Booksellers Saskatoon.

978-1927570-82-1; 6”x9”; 176 pages; 98 photos and 2 maps. © ​2023; Ages 13 to Adult. Nonfiction; Biography; Remembrance Day; Canadian Military History; Transportation; Aviation; Short stories; Anecdotes; Aviation history; Canadian history; Saskatchewan; Canadian author.

DriverWorks Ink is pleased to collaborate with Thomega Entertainment Canada Remembers Documentaries to share stories of service and sacrifice of Canadian War Veterans. Royal Canadian Legion branches across Canada are invited to order Thomega’s set of 13 educational DVDs – five of which feature interviews with Reg “Crash” Harrison – for distribution to local schools. A complimentary copy of our book Crash Harrison: Tales of a Bomber Pilot Who Defied Death, written by Deana J. Driver, will be sent with each order. Royal Canadian Legions are also invited to order classroom sets of the book, which share the stories of 101-year-old Reg Harrison’s growing-up years, wartime experience, and his philosophies on war and remembrance. The Teacher’s Guide that accompanies the Canada Remembers Commemorative Documentary DVD series has been updated to include information and classroom exercises related to this book, which educators may use to further encourage learning and discussion.

Also available as an e-book from Kobo, Apple, Amazon, and Overdrive. Search e-book vendor site by book title or author name. 

About the Author: Deana J. Driver is an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and book publisher in Regina, Saskatchewan. She was a freelance journalist for more than 30 years and is the founder and CEO of DriverWorks Ink, which publishes inspiring nonfiction books and other genres connected to nonfiction, written by Prairie authors. As a journalist, she had more than 2,300 articles published in Canadian newspapers and magazines. Deana (pronounced dee-na) has written six nonfiction biographies and histories and has contributed stories to 12 anthologies, including the Flight: Stories of Canadian Aviation and the Fun On The Farm series.

Responses from Readers:

  • “This book is a must for any classroom and school library.”
  • “This would make a great read-aloud for teachers to share with their students about a Canadian war hero, especially around Remembrance Day.”
  • “A great read of a most amazing man!”
  • “Grade 6 students and up would enjoy learning about Crash. He is a wonderful role model for young people in following their dreams, making the best of things in the face of adversity, and being brave, modest, and humble. “
  • “I’m better for reading Reg’s story. I’m so thankful for the life I have and for the people who lived this life.”
  • “Such an interesting book – I love the stories from back on the farm in the 1930s.”

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