Four R.C.A.F. veterans formed prairie Flying Service in the spring of 1946. Principals involved were Bob MacKnight, Paddy Watson, Art Davis and John Howe.
24D, for the control of weeds in crops, had just come on the market. It was the intention of our company to apply it with light aircraft. Some dusting of orchards in eastern Canada had been done previous to this time; however, the spraying of liquid had never been done in Canada to the best of our knowledge.
Photo: Paddy Watson with Tiger Moth
Quite by chance I stumbled across the article on the CAHS website recently, about the Bell Airacobra and the RCAF. During one of my visits to the Directorate of History in 1983, I was given a copy of a couple of research papers by Dr. Steve Harris on the procurement of fighter and other aircraft for the RCAF early in the Second World War. Most of this information was later incorporated in the appropriate places in the 3-volume official RCAF history, and can be read there in more detail.
I grew up spending time in the darkroom listening to classical music and watching my father develop photos during the ‘70s. My grandfather, Robert Dumigan, also enjoyed photography and when the R-100 made its one and only trip to St. Hubert in 1930, my grandfather took a photo of my aunt and father standing in front of the R-100. I’m sure this is where my father caught his love for aviation. This and many more photos are presented in the full story.
One of the risks of operating flying boats into the autumn months, was the risk of having the boats caught in the ice if the weather suddenly turned very cold. This had happened before to RCAF detachments and in October 1930, that’s exactly what happened in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan when these areas were subject to a rapid and unexpected deep freeze. The RCAF detachments at Cormorant Lake, Lac du Bonnet and Ladder Lake were caught flat-footed and their flying boats were caught in the ice.
On November 17, 2011, the CAHS and MacRitchie Family presented the Doug MacRitchie Memorial Scholarship to Centennial College student Bernard Spiteri.
Lost in time and history is a small but significant RCAF Station in the Ottawa, Ont. area - Shirleys Bay, which was only operational for four years, from 1925 to 1928. Originally, the RCAF station for Ottawa was at Rockcliffe; however, the station sat quite high above the Ottawa River forcing an exhausting and dangerous haul-out of floatplanes and flying boats up the steep bank.