Welcome to the February edition of the CAHS National Newsletter.
CAHS National News
CAHS Convention 2016
The 53rd annual convention of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society will take place in Winnipeg 1 - 5 June 2016.
Wednesday 1 June - Meet and Greet at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, 7 pm, sponsored by Winnipeg Airports Authority; Thursday, Friday, Saturday - speakers, tour of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon, annual general meeting, and awards banquet; Sunday 5 June - optional activity to be announced.
The venue will be the Viscount Gort hotel. We have arranged a convention rate of $120 per night for those who wish to stay at the hotel. Further details will be announced as they are confirmed.
We invite proposals for papers to be presented at the convention. The call for presentations is available here. Submissions must be received by 1 March 2016.
We are seeking sponsorship for the convention. If you know of a company that might be willing to sponsor us, please let us know as soon as possible.
CHAA Harvard C-FHWX, photo by CHAA member Shane Clayton
The above photo shows Harvard Mk 2 C-FHWX of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association based in Tillsonburg, ON. This aircraft currently requires an engine overhaul to return to the skies and an active fundraising campaign is under way. The CHAA website has the history of this aircraft. In 2015, the Toronto Chapter of the CAHS generously donated $500 to the CHAA to assist with the costly repairs to the Harvard engine; $500 to Georgian College (Barrie Campus) in favour of Moulik Solanki, who won the Don Rogers Memorial Scholarship in 2015 (our 10th year of supporting young graduates), and $500 to the Air Cadet League of Canada - Ontario Branch.
RCAF, RCN and civilian aviators to be honoured by Hall of Fame
By John Chalmers, CAHS Membership Secretary
Aviators of the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Navy and civilian operations will be honoured at the annual induction ceremonies of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2016. Again the gala dinner event will be held at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. June 9 is the date.
The Royal Canadian Naval Air Branch will receive the Belt of Orion Award for Excellence, given to an organization for outstanding contributions to aviation. The Branch was formed in 1945 after the Second World War as a result of wartime experience of Canadian air and naval forces as integral parts of the Royal Navy. With fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, navy pilots flew from both Royal Canadian Navy carriers and other ships. Innovations developed by the navy included operation of anti-submarine aircraft from small warships and a haul-down system for helicopter landings. The air arm of the RCN operated until unification of Canada’s armed services in 1968.
The HMCS Bonaventure was Canada’s third and last aircraft carrier, launched in 1945 and decommissioned in 1970. (Internet photo)
Four individuals who have spent lifetime careers in aviation will be inducted as Members of the Hall.
Frederick James Carmichael of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, continues to fly in northern Canada since earning his Private Pilot Licence in 1955. His accomplishments as an aviation entrepreneur, search and rescue pilot, and pioneer aboriginal commercial pilot have made him a legend. As well, he has been deeply involved in community life and native interests in the Northwest Territories. He has flown as a commercial pilot and started his own companies, Reindeer Air Service Ltd. and Antler Aviation. The airport at Aklavik, the town where he was born, has been named for him as the Aklavik/Freddie Carmichael airport. The recipient of many awards, Fred was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada in 2010.
Kathleen Carol Fox of Gatineau, Québec, was appointed as chair of Canada’s Transportation Safety Board in 2014. She has dedicated herself to Canadian aviation, contributing as a flying instructor, involvement with the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association and representing Canada in international competition, and professionally as an air traffic controller and senior manager with NAV CANADA. She has earned both Private and Commercial flying licences and has been authorized by Transport Canada as a Designated Flight Test Examiner. As a member of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association and the Ninety-Nines, Kathy has received many accolades for her accomplishments. In 2004 she was inducted in the Québec Air and Space Hall of Fame.
William Ross Lennox (1922-2013) began his career as a pilot trainee with the RCAF when he enlisted in 1942. After serving as a flying instructor with the air force, he was posted overseas late in the war, flying Douglas DC-3 aircraft. Afterwards, he began his career in civilian aviation as a flying instructor with the Flin Flon Flying Club, followed by many years of flying in northern Canada. Notable accomplishments included test flying all 41 Sikorsky Sea King helicopters built for the Royal Canadian Navy, and piloting the first unescorted helicopter flight across the Atlantic, from the United States to England. Ross served as Chief Pilot of Pratt & Whitney Canada, retiring from that position in 1982, but continued to fly commercially and for personal pleasure. Ross was a CAHS national member and a long-time member of the CAHS Ottawa chapter..
Beverley “Bev” Strahan Shenstone (1906-1979) was the first Canadian to graduate from a Canadian university with a master’s degree in aeronautics, from the University of Toronto in 1929. His first exposure to flying was as a member of the Provisional Pilot Officers Program of the RCAF while attending university. Bev then worked in Germany and England in the field of aeronautical design, and is known for his wing design of the Supermarine Spitfire flown in the Second World War. His experience ranged from gliders to supersonic airliners. He held many positions in the industry, retiring from the British Overseas Airways Corporation in 1966. Bev’s complete career is described in five articles by Wayne Saunders, published in the CAHS Journal, in 2011-13.
For information on tickets to the induction dinner and ceremonies in Ottawa on June 9, click here. The event is an fund-raising activity of the Hall of Fame and Canada’s premiere celebration of our aviation heritage. A charitable donation receipt is issued for half the cost of the ticket.
Above sketches of 2016 Hall of Fame inductees are by Robert Bailey, courtesy of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.
Air and Space Museum Gallery
Paul Hannah has published a gallery of air and space museums he has visited. To view the collection, click here.
The March 2016 issue of Air Classics (shown) has a 12-page illustrated feature on propliners in western Canada and a two-page illustrated report on the Hawker Fury being restored at Vintech Aero (Canada), the restoration and maintenance firm associated with Vintage Wings of Canada.
* The following news articles are gathered from the Internet, and are provided for your interest. They are not reviewed to the same standard that Journal articles are reviewed, and may contain errors of fact, style, or grammar.
The Lockheed Neptune anti-submarine patrol bomber was in service with the RCAF from 1947 to the mid-1960s. With a crew of 10, the Neptune had a range of 4,000 miles. Neptune’s were stationed at Greenwood and Comox, B.C.
It was a sunny and hot afternoon in early July, back in 2008, when I returned to Canadian Forces Base Greenwood in the Annapolis Valley. It was exactly 50 years earlier, in 1958, when I attended the last of my three air cadet camps at what was then called Royal Canadian Air Force Station Greenwood.
Today this station is the largest airbase in Atlantic Canada. It is also home to the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum, one of the finest such museums in the nation.
Consisting of four buildings, an outdoor display area with six historic aircraft and a memorial garden, this museum is a mandatory visit for anyone interested in the military history of Canada, especially with regard to the Second World War, and to Canadian efforts during the so-called Cold War (1947-90).
Three of the six historic aircraft on outdoor display at Greenwood are examples of planes that were actually stationed there while I was on the base as an air cadet.
The Lockheed Neptune and the Canadair Argus were both designed specifically for anti-submarine warfare, although neither were ever used in combat conditions, although the Neptune was used by the US as a surveillance aircraft in Viet Nam. The Avro Lancaster, however, is a combat veteran from the air war over Europe, with quite an interesting history.
The Lancaster was considered to be the finest heavy bomber used by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. With four Rolls Royce engines, and a crew of seven, it was a rugged, powerful flying machine, and the only Allied aircraft capable of carrying the Grand Slam, the most powerful non-atomic bomb ever built.
This British-built explosive device was more than 26 feet long, almost four feet wide and weighed more than 11 tons (22,000 pounds). Dropped from a high altitude, and designed to fall at almost supersonic speed, it would penetrate a considerable distance underground before exploding. How far could it penetrate?
The Grand Slam, which was known among aircrew as the earthquake bomb, could penetrate more than 100 feet of earth, or 20 feet of reinforced concrete, before exploding. It was designed to penetrate the concrete roofs of enemy submarine pens or reinforced bunkers. There were also plans to use it against enemy battleships.
There were two other reasons why I wanted to examine this particular type of aircraft.
Although a total of 7,377 Lancasters were built during the war, there are only 17 surviving examples left in the world, and most of those are in Canada.
The Lancaster at Greenwood was one of 430 that were built in Canada. It survived 26 missions over enemy occupied France and Germany, and was twice badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire.
When the European war ended in 1945, this plane returned to Canada and remained in service with the Royal Canadian Air Force for another 18 years. It was mostly used for photography work and map making in the Canadian Arctic, and was often based in Greenwood.
When the aircraft was retired in 1963, it remained in storage at Greenwood, where it is now on permanent display.
The other reason for my interest in the Lancaster was the tail gunner’s turret at the back of the aircraft. During the Second World War my uncle Rannie MacLean, who I am named after, flew as a navigator/air gunner on a Vickers Wellington anti-submarine bomber. He never returned from his seventh mission off the coast of France, so I never had the opportunity to speak to him about his wartime experiences.
Joseph Walsh, former owner of Dooley’s Funeral Home in North Sydney, passed away at the age of 81 in 2006. He was not only a very good friend, he was also an overseas veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who flew as an air gunner in a Lancaster bomber during the Second World War. At a time when few aircrew survived more than a dozen trips over enemy territory, Joe made a total of 21, but was always, like most veterans, reluctant to speak about his military experience.
The rear gun turret on this Greenwood Lancaster, with its four machine guns, was exactly the same type of turret that both Rannie MacLean and Joe Walsh would have used during the war. Just think of the stories they could tell, but then again, neither of them would probably ever say anything.
Rannie Gillis is a retired teacher and guidance counsellor who lives in North Sydney. An avid writer, photographer and moto-journalist, he is the author of several books and has written travel stories for various Canadian and American magazines. He specializes in the Celtic world. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Canadian Aviation Moments
We hope you enjoyed answering the Canadian Aviation Moments in January. We encourage readers to send in their responses to the Canadian Aviation Moments questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your responses will be included in the following month's newsletter. Here are the correct answers:
Question: What WW II British aircraft was referred to as “The Flying Panhandle”, “The Flying Tadpole”, or “The Flying Suitcase”?
Robert Nash, from Winnipeg MB, sends this answer:
1. "The Handley Page Hampden, a twin-engined medium bomber, made its maiden flight in 1936, and was fully operational only by 1939. It had a cramped interior, and its shape led to it being dubbed the 'Flying Panhandle'." Taylor James and Davidson, Martin. Bomber Crew. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2004.
2. "Handley Page's H.P.52 (later named Hampden) was to share with the Wellington and Armstrong Whitworth Whitley the major portion of Bomber Command's early raids over Germany in World War II. Unorthodox in appearance because of its deep fuselage and slender tailboom, it was to earn the nicknames 'Flying Panhandle' and 'Tadpole'." Source.
3. "The Hampden had a short, narrow but tall main fuselage with a very slender tail unit. This configuration led to the nicknames 'Flying Panhandle' and 'Flying Suitcase'." Source.
Laurie Miller sends this answer: "What WW II British aircraft was referred to as 'The Flying Panhandle,'" etc.? Why, the Handley Page Hampden, of course!
Weird-looking, but apparently not unpleasant to fly. If, that is, you didn't mind sitting out the whole flight in one place, because the fuselage was only three feet wide, on the outside! Crew members had no way of changing places, and if the pilot were to become incapacitated, well...
Victory Aircraft (or Canadian Associated Aircraft) built a number of them at Malton, Ontario, I believe. The RCAF used the Hampden, particularly on west coast patrol.
Answer: “The Hampden was “terrible to fly in, cramped, no heat, no facilities where you could relieve yourself… but a joy to fly.” Sleek and manoeuvrable, the “Flying Panhandle”, “The Flying Tadpole”, or “Flying Suitcase” had a distinctive, deep fuselage, which gracefully tapered to a slender tail boom. However, this unorthodox construction guaranteed early obsolescence because there was no room in the fuselage for future development. The Hampden entered service in 1938 and although it could carry 4000 pounds of bombs and had defensive "e" guns in dorsal, ventral, and frontal positions, these weapons were very light and limited in their traversing capability. With its two 1000-horsepower Bristol Pegasus engines at full throttle, the Hampden could charge along at a respectable 265 mph.”
Source:No Prouder Place – Canadians and the Bomber Command Experience 1939-1945 – Page 22
Question: What was the paper strength of the RAF Bomber Command on Aug 31, 1939? What was its effective strength 3 days later?
Answer: “On 31 August 1939 Bomber Command had a paper strength of 55 squadrons and 920 aircraft, but three days later, its effective strength had plummeted to 25 squadrons and 352 aircraft. They were clustered in four groups, each flying a single type: Bristol Blenheims, Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys, Vickers Wellingtons and Handley Page Hampdens, all twin-engine monoplanes. This extremely rapid force reduction occurred because ten squadrons equipped with 160 obsolete single-engine Fairey Battles were deployed to France as the Advanced Air Striking Forces (AASF) on 2 September, only to be decimated in combat the following spring. Also, two Blenheim squadrons from 2 Group were assigned to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) as part of its air component and one of the Whitley squadrons was not yet operationally ready. Seventeen of the remaining squadrons could not be mobilized, since they had been saddled with training mandates on the outbreak of hostilities.”
Source:No Prouder Place – Canadians and the Bomber Command Experience 1939-1945 – Page 21
Question: What airplane represents the first experiment in aviation by the Canadian military?
Answer: “After 300 flights, the Silver Dart and an improved version known as the Baddeck No. 1 were demonstrated to the Canadian Army. Ultimately the Silver Dart crashed and was written off while under trial. While not selected for service, the Silver Dart represents the first experiment in aviation by the Canadian military.” Note: The Silver Dart was taken on strength and struck off strength in 1909.
Source:Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Page 261
The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS.
The Canadian Aviation Moments questions for February are:
Question: The Vickers Wellington bomber was affectionately named the "Wimpy". What comic strip character was the bomber named after?
Source:No Prouder Place, by David L. Bashow, Page 23
Question: What was the total number of personnel in the RCAF at the beginning of WWII and at the end of WWII? What was the authorized strength after WWII and how long did it take to reach that strength?
Source:Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft, by T. F. J. Leversedge, Page 32
Question: There was only one Canadian squadron named after a person. Which squadron was it and who was it named after?
Source:No Prouder Place, by David L. Bashow, Page 84
HARRIS, Thomas Edward ("Ted") December 29, 1920 (Montreal) – January 30, 2016 (Ottawa) At the age of 95, passed away peacefully after a series of health difficulties. Loving husband of 64 years to the late Mary Montizambert Harris (née Savage). Son of Thomas Percival and Gladys Harris of the United Kingdom. Brother of the late Kathleen Gill and Philip Harris. Father of Tom Harris, Jennifer Trewartha, Lucinda Montizambert and Margo Harris. Proud grandfather of David Trewartha, Mary-Jean Harris and Carolyn Harris. Ted served as an Air Force officer (navigator, Flight Lieutenant) in World War II in Atlantic and Burma campaigns. He is the author of the 2013 book "Shepherding the Lost Sheep: A World War II Memoir". A McGill University engineering graduate (numerous scholarships and prizes), Ted worked as an engineer and manager in large machinery design and manufacturing for over 30 years at Dominion Engineering in Lachine, QC. He was a passionate outdoorsman: camping, hiking, swimming, biking, skiing, star gazing, feeding the birds and gardening. Also a musician, square dancer, artist and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Masonic Order of Canada, Ted's determination, optimism, and courage will be greatly missed by all. Visitation will be held at the Pinecrest Visitation Centre, 2500 Baseline Road, on Friday, February 5 from 12 noon until time of the service in the chapel at 1:30 p.m. Interment and reception to follow. Please contact foundation.ottawaheart.ca/ways-give/donate-now to make a donation in Ted's memory.
SELLICK, Lawrence (Larry) Albert In Ottawa Hospital on Friday, January 15, 2016. Lawrence was predeceased by his first wife Catherine Aline, R.N. Larry will be sadly missed by his second wife Ghyslaine (Lacroix) and sons Robert (Blanche), Rick (Carol) and Doug and his grandchildren Alex (Joye), Cassie (Brent) and Kylie (Devon). Friends may visit at the West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 150 Woodroffe Ave. (at Richmond Rd.) on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service will be held in the chapel on Thursday, January 21 at 11:00 a.m. Cremation with inurnment at Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston, Ontario at a later time. Lawrence (Larry) had a long career in aviation, avionics, marine, rail and vehicles. It started with the Army Cadets in 1938 and the Air Cadets 1940 then the RAF Ferry and Transport Command in 1943, then Canadair, TCA and Aviation Electric. In 1951 he joined the Government as a civilian engineering officer with the RCAF 11 Technical Services Unit and then AMC CQC, transferring to Department of Industry then Department of Defence Production, Department of Supply and Services where he worked or managed over 13 Land Sea and Air Major Crown Projects of over $100 million to over a billion dollars each, for DND, VIA Rail, Post Office, CN Marine the Canadian Commercial Corporation etc. Then 34 1/2 years later, he finished his Government career as Chairman of the Government Contract Settlement Board. He then joined Versatile Systems Engineering Inc and later became the VP of the MIL Group. He started the Land, Air & Sea Consulting Company. Larry was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #593 Bells Corners and the Air Force Association of Canada.
Lawrence Sellick was a member of the CAHS Ottawa Chapter for many years and he frequently attended CAHS National Conventions around the country.
In sadness the family of George Waters announces his passing at Grace Hospital in Winnipeg on October 31, 2015. George was predeceased by his wife Constance in 1997, his father John George in 1919, his mother Margaret Ann Miller in 1971, and his sister Betty in 2011. He is survived by his children John, Ann (Wolfgang), Isobel (Grant), Bruce (Carol), Gordon (Linda), and Frances; his grandchildren Scott, Jen (Jeff), Matthew, Susan, Lindsay (Sean), Meghan (Christopher), and David; and his great-grandchild Félix. George was born in Winnipeg on July 1, 1919. When he was only six weeks old, his father drowned at Grand Beach. He grew up in Winnipeg's West End and never forgot the support and kindness he and his family received from charities and community groups like the Salvation Army in the 1920s and 1930s. Upon completing high school at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate, George began working to help support his mother and sister. In 1941 George enlisted in the R.C.A.F. and served through the Second World War, for most of that time on R.C.A.F. Bomber Command bases in Yorkshire. It was there that he met his future wife, Constance, who was in the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force of the R.A.F., and they were married in Liverpool in December 1944. Following the war, George and Connie settled in Winnipeg and raised a family of six children. From 1946 through the early 1960s, George worked in sales and management positions in the life insurance, food import, and candy production businesses. During that period he was active in the R.C.A.F. Auxiliary (Winnipeg), primarily as the Commanding Officer of the Recruiting Unit. From 1962, he worked for 23 years with the Federal Department of Veterans' Affairs as the Personnel Director of Deer Lodge Hospital in St. James. George retired in 1985. George was very committed to serving his community, particularly with respect to education. For 18 years he was a School Trustee for the St. James-Assiniboia School Division and served as the chair of the School Board and its various committees. Throughout his career, George championed programs providing opportunities for students, including the St. James Scholarship Foundation and the Work Experience Program for Special Education students. In the 1990s he and Connie helped establish the Laureate Academy, a private school for students with learning disabilities. He participated in many other community activities, including the United Nations Association, the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce, and the publication and sale of Paths to Freedom, the wartime memoir of his friend Bob Kellow. For his considerable community service, George received many awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals and the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada Medal, and was the only Honorary Lifetime Member of the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps the honour that pleased him the most was the naming of the George Waters Middle School in St. James. George will be remembered by his family for many things, including his sweet tooth that made Peek Frean's cookies, Werther's candies, and Welch's grape juice constants in his life. His frequently told stories of growing up in Winnipeg almost 100 years ago, of wartime in England, and of his many work and public roles will be part of the family for many years to come. The family is deeply appreciative and grateful to Dr. Christina Winogrodzka, to Dr. Macek and the healthcare staff of Grace Hospital's 5 North Ward and Emergency Department, and to Misericordia Health Centre's Urgent Care for their care of and kindness to George during his final years. A service of remembrance will be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. A reception will be held in the Chapel Lawn Reception Centre following the service. Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, donations in George's memory may be made to the St. James Scholarship Foundation (Constance Waters Fund), 2574 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3J 0H8 or to a charity of one's choice. For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please click here.
George was a national member and a long time chapter member.
WATSON, Wayne Fraser, CD, of Sault Ste. Marie. Known to many as "Whip", passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, August 30, 2015 in his 80th year. Wayne was born at Belyea's Cove, Queens County, NB on August 22, 1936. Survived by his best friend and loving wife Kirsti K. Watson (Tenhumaki) of Sault Ste. Marie. Father of Christopher Watson (Maria). Grandfather of Mac and Kenyon of Orinda, California. Son of the late Roy M. Watson and late Esther Vivian (Smith) (Watson) Robertson. Dear brother of Gary Watson (Maureen) of Pocologan, NB. Wayne will be fondly remembered by Kirsti's parents Aune and Onni Tenhumaki, his sisters and brothers-in-law Marja Voloshin, Perk Tenhumaki and Ginette Bellerose, Ossi Tenhumaki, Lea and Nick Tassone, Tuula and Dan Jodoin. He will be sadly missed by his many nieces, nephews and friends. Before enlisting in the RCAF, Wayne lived and attended school in Saint John, NB, Charlottetown, PE and Halifax, NS. Wayne was an Air Traffic Controller for 35 years. From 1953 to 1971 he was with the RCAF/CF at locations in Canada and Europe (retired Warrant Officer) and from 1971 to 1988 with Transport Canada at Toronto International Airport. At Wayne's request, there will be no visitation or funeral. Cremation has taken place. Memorial donations to ARCH would be appreciated by the family. Thank you to Dr. Mary Wilson, CCAC staff, ParaMed Home Health Care, Laura Moss and most especially home care nurse Ivy Adam for the care and compassion shown to Wayne and our family. Arrangements entrusted to NORTHWOOD FUNERAL HOME CREMATION AND RECEPTION CENTRE (942 Great Northern Road 705-945-7758). www.northwoodfuneral.com
Wayne was a long-time member of the CAHS.
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