Fighter Control Operator Annette Birch (Gionet)


Annette Birch (Gionet) was born December 1936 and sadly passed away at age 46.

She married in 1958 to Frank J Birch; a fellow member of the Canadian Forces. They met while they were both on military assignment overseas at Metz, France. Annette was fluently bilingual in both French and English which was highly useful for monitoring radio transmissions with her work with Nato. She was honourably discharged.

Before returning to Canada from France, Annette had one daughter, Barbara. She pursued her new career as a military wife and followed her husband on their many moves. Her family had grown to five children with the addition of one son, Allan and three more daughters – Diane, Linda and Carol.

Prior to her enlistment with the military, Annette was attending Teacher’s College.

Military family traditions were strong in her family with her father, Lazare Gionet who served in WW1 and her brother, Armand Gionet who served in WW2. Her father came home, her brother didn’t. At age 20, Armand was killed by a bazooka blast at the town of Laren, North Holland in the Netherlands and is buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands.

The family tradition continues with two grandchildren that have pursued military careers and another on the police force.

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