For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


They made the Ultimate Sacrifice


Brenden Ian (Bmac) MacDonald


Captain, Pilot, RCAF


Died: 29 Apr 2020 at sea


Book of Remembrance


MacDONALD, Brenden Ian (Bmac), Capt, Pilot, RCAF, killed 29 Apr 2020, HMCS FREDERICTON - Capt MacDonald died when the CH-148 Cyclone from HMCS FREDERICTON crashed into the Ionian Sea approx 80 km off the coast of Greece on 29 Apr 2020.


MacDONALD, Brenden Ian (Bmac) - "To most people the sky is the limit, to those that love aviation, the sky is home." Age 35. Passed away on April 29, 2020, doing what he loved: flying helicopters in support of Canadian Armed Forces operations. Born in New Glasgow, he was a loving husband to Amanda (Ernst) Macdonald; devoted father to Brody, age 6; Cameron, age 3; and Taylor, 19 months; son to Peter and Lynn Macdonald of New Glasgow; brother to Lieutenant (N) Megan Macdonald of St. John's, Newfoundland and Captain Evan Macdonald (Lieutenant (N) Noelani Shore) of Victoria, British Columbia; grandson to Faye Fraser; son-in-law to Gerry (Ingram) and Lawrence Ernst; and brother-in-law to Ashley Ernst. Born with the love of flying, he decided in Grade 4 that he was going to be a pilot. As a member of the 397 Trenton Royal Canadian Air Cadets, he worked tirelessly to obtain his glider pilot's license at the Regional Gliding School in Debert before he was old enough to drive a car, and his private pilot license in Shearwater the following year. After graduating from New Glasgow Regional High School, his passion for aviation led him to the Royal Military College of Canada, where he graduated with a Chemistry degree in 2007, around the same time that he met Amanda. After graduation, Brenden and Amanda started their life together in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where Brenden underwent Royal Canadian Air Force pilot training. After earning his coveted pilot wings, he and Amanda returned home and settled in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, where Brenden joined the 12 Wing Shearwater Maritime Helicopter community and started flying the CH-124 Sea King helicopter, which later transitioned to the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. When he was not flying aircraft, Brenden was a motorcycle enthusiast who attended several Wharf Rat Rallies in Digby, volunteered as Road Captain for the Halifax Ride for Dad, and served as past President and Vice President for the Battle of the Atlantic Unit of CAV Motorcycle Association. A fan of tattoos, craft beer, and heavy metal concerts, Brenden was also a backyard mechanic who loved rebuilding old cars while listening to rock music. He worked endless hours with his father building his first vehicle, a 1977 Ford Bronco. Brenden had a passion for life. He was an incredible husband, friend, brother, son, and he was the best father anyone could ask for. His love of family far exceeded any other aspect of his life. He had a charisma that drew people to him, yet he was quite humble and would lend a hand wherever he could. He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Irene and Harold Macdonald, and his maternal grandfather, Alford Ian Fraser of New Glasgow; and by Amanda and Brenden's first fur babies, Diesel and Oakley. Celebration of Life will be determined at a later date. "Brenden is a true hero and because of his sacrifices he will be honoured eternally for it." Published Halifax Chronicle Herald 26 May 2020.


Ships served in:



(1) MCpl Matthew Cousins, RCAF  (2) SLt Matthew Pyke, RCN  (3) Capt Maxime Miron-Morin, RCAF

(4) Capt Kevin Hagen, RCAF   (5) Capt Brendan MacDonald, RCAF   (6) SLt Abbigail Cowbrough

Six Canadian flags fly on the yardarms of HMCS FREDERICTON during a memorial service onboard ship for their lost shipmates

Photographer: Cpl Simon Arcand

C.A.F. photo / Crown copyright




HMCS FREDERICTON'S Air Det during Op Reassurance 2020



Article from the Pictou Advocate 01 May 2020 - A reprint of an original Article from Aug 2016



In Service of Canada - RCN Peacetime Casualty Index