RCAF Streamliners: The Canadian big band on the front lines of the Second World War

Retired journalist and professor Andy Sparling has published a book that tells the story of the RCAF Streamliners, a big band formed by a group of Canadian soldiers during the Second World War.

The RCAF Streamliners formed in 1941 when the members started playing together during their spare time at RCAF Technical Training School in St. Thomas, Ont. By 1943, they were posted to Gander, N.L., and had become a powerful musical force under the leadership of Pat Riccio. In 1944, they were sent overseas to perform for troops all over Europe.

Sparling tells the full story of the RCAF Streamliners in his 120-page novel called Dance Through the Darkness, published earlier this year.

The author also produced a video to accompany the book.

Sparling refers to the RCAF Streamliners as “one of the finest big bands to ever emerge from Canada.” Indeed, the band was so good that Glenn Miller saluted them during a performance, calling them “the best band in Europe — next to mine.”

Sparling is offering a PDF of the book, free of charge, to anyone interested in reading it. He can be reached at andy.sparling89@gmail.com.

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