Harold Anthony 'Doc' Oaks DFC BASc was born at Hespeler Ontario (ON) and was educated there and at Galt ON. He joined the Canadian army in 1915 and served overseas. In 1917, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) which merged in April 1918 with the Royal Naval Air service to become the Royal Air Force (RAF).

He served in France as a fighter pilot with No. 2 and No. 48 Squadrons RAF and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for valour and devotion to duty while flying in active operations against the enemy.

At the end of WW1, Oaks attended the University of Toronto where he graduated with a BASc degree in Mining Engineering in 1922. Oaks persuaded financier James A. Richardson, to form a new airline. It was called Western Canada Airways and it was incorporated in Winnipeg in December 1926. Oaks became general manager and sole pilot. The company expanded rapidly and became the first of Canada's major airline services. Oaks was one of the earliest known pilot-geologists.

He was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974. The citation accompanying his induction said the following: "The professional daring of his aerial expeditions into uncharted regions, led others of his breed to colonize the unknown north and bring outstanding benefits to Canadian aviation". He died in Toronto in July 1968.