Harry Vern Boyle was the first child and only son of his parents and was named after his paternal grandfather. He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and grew up on a farm in the nearby Grandora District. Always interested in aviation, he spent his childhood working on engines, building model aircraft and reading whatever he could find. After he finished high school, he began studying to be a teacher. When he was 19 years old, war broke out and he saw his chance to take flight.