Welcome to the September edition of the CAHS National Newsletter.
CAHS National News
Book Offer – Camp Borden: A Century of Service
The CAHS is proud to present a special book offer, Camp Borden: A Century of Service
Camp Borden: A Century of Service is an overview of the history of this iconic institution. For over ten decades, Borden has been a temporary posting, as either instructor or trainee, for countless thousands of military men and women who have served Canada in peace and war. For generations, it has been a home to military families. And for a century, it has been a part of the local community fabric of Ontario. This book, in a small way, pays tribute to Camp Borden as a unique part of Canada’s history and heritage. It is not the complete story of Camp Borden, but hopefully it will inspire the reader to dig deeper into the layered history of a Canadian military treasure. The book is profusely illustrated with colour and B&W photos, many never before published.
The CAHS has been offered a discounted rate of $24.99 CAD (plus shipping) from the manufacturers suggested retail price of $29.99.
For more information, or to place an order, please click here.
This is a fundraiser for the CAHS, and part of the proceeds from the sales are being generously donated to the CAHS by the publisher.
For our customers outside of North America, please contact the CAHS at email@example.com with your address for international shipping quotes.
Dear CAHS National Members: As I write this (15 September 2016), CAHS Journal’s Vol 53 Number 3 (Winter 2015) and Vol 53 Number 4 (Fall 2015) are now on their way through our printer’s works. By the time you read this, the printed editions will be in the mail, or pretty close to it. Both 53-3 and 53-4 are being mailed together in the same envelope, and should arrive in your mailbox within the coming week or two (depending on the usual Canada Post variables). The digital editions that go out to Online-only Members will be emailed once we have confirmation from the mailing house that the printed editions are on their way.
Looking back, I reckon that the 2015 publication year featured a good mix of articles. Within it, we managed to include a gamut of aviation activity genres – with articles on the industrial, civilian (both private and commercial), and military aspects of Canadian aviation history. Although the balance appears to be predominantly military, some content, such as Bill Upton’s ongoing “Tutor Emeritus” series, spans all three topic genres, with more material on the civilian and industry sides of the CL-41 story coming in a work-in-progress 2016 publication year (Volume 54) wrap-up piece.
Meanwhile, with a view to rebalancing the genre slate into the later 2016 editions and beyond, I would love to hear from anyone within the readership at large for more material on civil aviation. Historically, the Journal has always enjoyed a strong representation of such stories, but over these last few years, they have been less prolific. We do have a few civil aviation items in the “work in progress” and “under consideration” flags for the 2016-2017 publication years, but having more to draw on would be good. At the same time, I’d like to also express my thanks for the healthy flow of industry and military genre materials that continue to trickle in without too much prodding. Keep ‘em coming!
As it sits right now, 2016 should be our year to catch the Journal’s actual publication dates up to the cover dates again. Volume 54, Numbers 1 (Spring 2016) and 2 (Summer 2016), are the immediate works in progress here. I am aiming to have the advanced draft of the first of these in the proofreaders’ hands by the end of September and the second also at the proofreading-ready point by the time the team is done with the first one, or very soon thereafter. If we can maintain the current tailwind, then this would mean that we could have them both in print production, and maybe even in mailboxes, towards the end of October. Volume 54-3 (Fall 2016) – which is also in progress but in need of more editorial and pictorial work – should then follow before the Christmas / New Years Holiday period. This leaves 54-4 (Winter 2016), which is now at the rudimentary point of articles “blocking in.” Traditionally, the final issue of any given CAHS Journal publication year goes to press within the first week of the subsequent calendar year. Again, assuming all goes to plan over the remainder of 2016, we should be back on that track with 54-4. Your enduring patience in the meantime is very sincerely appreciated.
Meanwhile, here’s a look at what’s coming in the double-issue mailing now in preparation:
Journal 53-3 (Fall 2015):
The Last of the Buffalo Beaux - After the Battle, Part 1: Aircrew and Aircraft
After documenting the recce and combat phases of this 24 March 1945 strike mission in the Summer (Vol 53 No 2) edition, Terry Higgins provides an account of the aftermath with regard to the aircrews lost.
Canadair’s Tutor-Emeritus - Part 5: The Tutor Aerial Demonstration Teams This installment focuses on the demonstration team aspect of the Tutor’s career in Canadian military service. By Bill Upton Note that the author’s account of his flight with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds demonstration team is also included in this newsletter.
Newfoundlanders and the Allied Air Forces of the First World War (continued) Dr. Michael Deal’s findings on the careers of thirty-four servicemen who ended up in one of Great Britain’s three air arms before the end of the Great War. Eleven are presented herein… continued from the Spring (Vol 53 No 1) edition.
In Brief: The CASM Beaufighter – from Slugger to Tugger to Slugger? Some notes that may be worth considering as the long-anticipated CASM Beaufighter restoration project continues at Rockcliffe. By Terry Higgins
Review Russell Islinger reviews an Arrow-centric book that looks at it, and other Avro Canada projects, from a refreshingly different point of view.
In Memoriam John Richard Ellis, A CAHS Founder. By Gord McNulty.
Journal 53-4 (Winter 2015):
The RCAF’s UK-Built Hurricane Mk.Is – Part 1: The Acquisition Story Author and researcher Carl Vincent traces the documentary history of the first Hurricanes to serve in the RCAF – the early Mk.Is built in the United Kingdom and imported into Canada prior to the advent of Canadian Car & Foundry’s production of the type.
Canadair’s Tutor-Emeritus – Part 6: The Ground Attack CL-41s Bill Upton continues his coverage of the enduring Canadair military jet with this account of the ground attack version in prototype and production form.
Aviation Achievements Honoured at CAHF Ceremony Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame historian John Chalmers presents his annual collection of historical summaries of the year’s CAHF Inductees.
The 52nd CAHS Annual Convention – Celebrating Canada’s Aviation Industry Reporting from his hometown, Gord McNulty summarizes the aviation history presentations delivered to attendees of the event in Hamilton.
In Brief: The 75th Battle of Britain Fly-past in Ottawa Veteran Canadian aviation photojournalist Andrew Cline reports from The Hill on another memorable Capital region annual aviation event.
With thanks! Terry
New on the Blog
My Snowbirds Flight - Aide-Memoire
By Bill Upton
Bill Upton May 2001
My hobby is modern military aviation photography. My passion is modern military aviation history. My trade is working in the aviation industry. My hope was to fly with the Snowbirds. My wish finally came true. My day is done.
On Friday, May 18, 2001, after much prodding and cajoling by my colleagues, Lucio, Cliff and Paul, in Bombardier’s Photographic Department, I realized one of my many dreams. I flew with the Snowbirds.
I had thought that it would be interesting to photograph the Snowbirds formation - at the end of their 30th year of operating the Canadair designed and built CL-41A / CT-114 Tutor trainer - flying over the buildings where they were originally built, or their ‘home’, so to speak. I had never seen any such shots and asked the Photo guys what they thought about it. Some of them had previously flown on Tutors or with the famed team and thought the idea was great and that I should make a formal request and then follow through with it. I did.
Second World War veteran Al Wallace honoured by CAHS Toronto Chapter
Al Wallace with some of the CAHS Chapter Executive after taking his Lancaster ride at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton on August 28, 2016. Photo Credit - Gus Corujo
Second World War veteran Albert R. Wallace was an air gunner in the RCAF’s 419 Squadron who spent almost two years as a prisoner of war, mostly at Stalag Luft III, after his Halifax II bomber was shot down in May 1943 over Germany. He aided in operations culminating in the now famous “Great Escape” and was ultimately freed on May 2, 1945, more than 71 years ago. Al has since devoted more than 25 years of service as a volunteer at Sunnybrook Veterans Residence and Care Centre and has been featured in the National Post. Based on his dedication, the Toronto Chapter selected Al to take a commemorative flight in the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster flown by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, on behalf of his fellow RCAF veterans and all the Sunnybrook veterans with whom he continues to serve.
The flight was generously donated by CWHM CEO and President Dave Rohrer as a courtesy to the Chapter after he inadvertently missed a speaking engagement at the Chapter’s annual dinner meeting in 2015. Although the Chapter couldn’t offer Al a ride in a Halifax, the only flying Lancaster in North America was the next best thing. Al arrived at the CWHM on August 28, accompanied by his family members. Only days away from his 96th birthday, Al climbed the ladder into C-GVRA as well as people half his age. During the flight, he had a small tumble going over the tallest of the three spars and missed seeing the CN Tower as Chapter Secretary Neil McGavock patched him up. Al was soon in the cockpit when the Lancaster flew over Niagara Falls, which he really enjoyed. Upon landing, Al exited the Lanc wearing a big smile, and with little difficulty, where he joined the other passengers and crew for the traditional after flight photos. He was thrilled to have his flight certificate signed by the pilots.
Al thanked CAHS members numerous times for the donation of his flight and it was a pleasure for the Chapter to provide this exceptional veteran with a fantastic experience flying in Lancaster C-GVRA. Photos of this event can be found at www.Gusair.com using the link, Website Updates.
Story and photos by John Chalmers CAHS Membership Secretary
Aviation history was celebrated at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta, on August 19 and 20. The weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the Museum, built and operated by the Nanton Lancaster Society of Alberta.
The Museum began with acquisition of its Lancaster bomber, FM159, saved from salvage at the Vulcan BCATP air base some 30 kilometres east. Towed across the prairie farmland to Nanton and displayed outside for many years, the bomber endured damage from vandals and weather until a museum was built as a home for the aircraft. It is now restored with all four Merlin engines running and is named for Lancaster pilot S/L Ian Bazalgette, the only Albertan to receive the Victoria Cross in the Second World War.
The Friday night program featured speakers from local and federal interests, representatives of three levels of government, and a presentation about the museum’s past, present and future. The evening ended with a night run-up of the Lancaster engines, always a spectacular show for an appreciative audience.
Saturday was dedicated to honouring the 75th anniversary of 419 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force. A commemoration ceremony was held at the museum’s Bomber Command Memorial Wall which names over 10,600 airmen who lost their lives while serving with the RCAF in Bomber Command during the Second World War.
The ceremony concluded with the flypast exactly at 11 a.m. of two CT-155 Hawks of 419 Squadron based at Cold Lake, Alberta, home of 419 Squadron. Then a run-up of the Lancaster’s engines was dedicated to the Squadron for the occasion.
The afternoon program included a presentation by Dr. Stéphane Guevremont, Honorary Colonel of 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, RCAF. He described the history of the squadron, its performance and losses during the Second World War, and the importance of its first commanding officer, W/C John “Moose” Fulton, DSO, DFC, AFC.
Future plans for the museum call for expansion with construction of a new building and extensive paved parking area which will also be used as a taxi strip for the Lancaster, one of only four in the world that has four operating engines.
Rob Pedersen, long-time volunteer, and chairman of the Nanton Lancaster Society which operates the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, introduced all participants in the celebration program. The lectern used by speakers was salvaged from a chapel of a Royal Air Force station of the wartime British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Calgary-based British Consul General for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Caroline Saunders, paid high tribute to the service of Canadians in Bomber Command during the Second World War, and to Canada’s support of the war effort in the production of aircraft.
Museum board member and retired Air Canada captain, Karl Kjarsgaard, presented the story of the Bomber Command Museum in the Friday night program. In the background is the museum’s restored Bristol Blenheim bomber.
A spectacular conclusion to the Friday night program included a night run-up of all the Museum’s Lancaster engines.
Participants in the Saturday commemoration ceremony to honour 419 Squadron were, left to right, Rob Pedersen, chaplain Lloyd Northcott and 419 representatives Ram Homier and Eric Blakie.
At the commemoration ceremony for 419 Squadron, Eric Blakie spoke of the squadron’s work today. The Memorial Wall behind him names over 10,600 men who lost their lives while serving with Bomber Command. For the occasion, wreaths were laid and a poppy symbol was placed beside the names of 537 members who flew with 419 Squadron.
Stéphane Guevremont had his book about the 75th anniversary of the squadron published in time for the 419 reunion held in July at Kamloops BC, the city that adopted the squadron during the Second World War. Title of the 419-page book is Moosa Aswayita, the squadron’s motto: Beware of the Moose.
A feature of special events at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada is a run-up of the museum’s 14-cylinder Hercules engine used on Halifax bombers. Running the engine is Karl Kjarsgaard, who is heading efforts now recovering a Halifax from Swedish waters for the museum to restore.
In addition to the run-ups of the Lancaster Merlins and the Hercules engine, special events at Nanton include running the engine on the Museum’s Fleet Fawn.
An Important Unveiling
By Honorary Colonel Gerald P. J. Haddon, Royal Canadian Air Force
Portrait Bust of The Honourable J. A. D. McCurdy
Amanda and I set off from Oakville, Ontario to drive to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where the Bras d’Or waters beckoned us with a sparkling welcome. Lorna MacDonald, Professor of Voice Studies at the University of Toronto, is the Creator and Librettist of “The Bells of Baddeck”, a Music-Drama which tells the story of Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell and how the small hamlet of Baddeck captured their hearts. Lorna invited me to come to Nova Scotia where the month-long production was taking place, July 2 - August 2, 2016, at The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site to participate in several of the pre-performance “Bell Chats” and to give some speeches. This truly remarkable and inspiring production captures the spirit of one of Canada’s most beloved inventors and I was honoured to have been afforded the opportunity to expand on the life of my grandfather who was one of “Bell’s boys”.
Born on August 2nd, 1886 and brought up in Baddeck, young Douglas McCurdy could be found at Beinn Bhreagh helping Bell with his glider and kite experiments. When not assisting Bell, McCurdy would often be playing with Elsie and Daisy Bell. My grandfather remained lifelong friends with Bell’s daughters and was a frequent visitor to Beinn Bhreagh even into his seventies. During his childhood, McCurdy met many famous scientists and inventors drawn to this small hamlet of 100 people because of Dr. Bell’s worldwide reputation. Having lost two sons in infancy, Bell wanted to adopt my grandfather when he was five years old, so strong was the bond that had developed between the two of them. Had it not been for his strong-minded and motherly maiden Aunt Georgina McCurdy, he would undoubtedly have become the Bell's legal son. “J.A.D. McCurdy was born a McCurdy, and by God, he will die a McCurdy,” she firmly stated. However, Bell did become a godfather to my grandfather and in 1893, Dr. and Mrs. Bell took my grandfather, age seven, to Washington, D.C. where he spent a very happy year as part of their family. Later on, recognizing my grandfather to be a brilliant student, Dr. Bell helped sponsor his education to St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ontario and encouraged my grandfather to attend the University of Toronto’s School of Mechanical Engineering, where he was the youngest student to be admitted to the University.
My grandparents had a beautiful summer house in Baddeck where I spent many blissful holidays as a young boy. And it was here that “Gampy”, as I called him, taught me how to sail. Navigating around the Bras d’Or Lake as a young boy with his two brothers, he became aware of the power of the wind and what it could do. And from those early days, a life long curiosity was born, a curiosity which would lead him to become an extraordinary engineer and gifted pilot with a list of glittering aviation firsts.
I was asked by Professor MacDonald to give some post performance speeches at the museum about my Grandfather, Honorary Air Commodore, The Hon J. A. D. McCurdy, Canada’s first pilot who made the first flight in the British Empire on February 23, 1909 in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, as a member of the Aerial Experiment Association, in a fragile aeroplane he designed and built called the Silver Dart. To be able to give a talk in the Bell Museum under a replica Silver Dart built by a group of volunteers of which I was one was an unforgettable moment. The Aerial Experiment Association was born on October 1, 1907, in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. Members of the group called themselves “Associates” and were five in number: Alexander Graham Bell, J. A. D. McCurdy, Casey Baldwin, Thomas Selfridge, and Glenn Curtis. The Aerial Experiment Association was formed with one purpose in mind, “To get a man into the air.” Commenting on the A.E.A., Dr Bell said: “We breathed an atmosphere of aviation from morning till night and almost from night to morning … I may say for myself that this Association with these young men proved to be one of the happiest times of my life.”
Not only did we participate in The Bells of Baddeck but my wife and I also travelled on to Halifax where we were graciously invited by His Honour Brigadier-General the Honourable J. J. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia to stay in Government House for the unveiling of a magnificent Portrait Bust of J. A. D. McCurdy, commissioned by the Province of Nova Scotia.
Some sixty years ago, I had over the course of my grandfather’s tenure as the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia stayed at Government House numerous times. It is the oldest official residence in Canada and has been the working residence of the Sovereign's representative in Nova Scotia for more than 200 years. This beautiful Georgian home and National Historic Site contains an impressive collection of art and antiques that reflect the province's history and heritage. Their Honours insisted that Amanda and I explore the history and beauty of Government House adding that we were free to wander throughout the residence. It was wonderful to revisit so many of the magnificent rooms that I had last explored as a young school boy. And Government House was a treasure trove of fascinating rooms to a curious ten year old. On being called downstairs to meals, I remember the long banister which I would zoom down with wild abandon much to the disapproval of my concerned grandmother but to the great amusement of my grandfather.
I also recall many discussions with my grandfather and the lessons which he passed on to me, as I quietly sat at his feet. My grandfather taught me some of the endearing and durable qualities that make Nova Scotians such special people. He was born in Baddeck and never forgot his roots. When Prime Minister MacKenzie King appointed him Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, the press besieged my grandfather for a comment. He said he was privileged and honoured and would perform his duties “as well as a country boy from Cape Breton could.” In spite of the many honours that came his way during his lifetime, he always remained a modest man, who invariably directed the conversation towards others.
As the King’s Representative, McCurdy relished his new position because it provided him the opportunity to serve his beloved Province from where so much of his worldwide fame came. In his Vice-Regal position, he met people from every station in life and invariably treated each individual exactly the same. Whatever he accomplished in his post as Lieutenant Governor, it was McCurdy’s talent for maintaining the common touch - in spite of the required dignity of his official position - which endeared him to the thousands who came to know him. And, to a young boy such as myself, he was a magnificent figure in his official uniform. He truly was my hero.
In 1959, the Queen appointed my grandfather an Honorary Air Commodore in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of his historic flight. The only other person, at that time, sharing the same distinction was Sir Winston Churchill.
That same year, in celebration of his flight, The Royal Canadian Air Force appointed J. A. D. McCurdy, the very first civilian Honorary Colonel of the RCAF. As fortunate as I am to have been mentored by and been born the grandson of J. A. D. McCurdy, it is a singular honour for me to carry on this tradition in my role as an Honorary Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
A Canadian artist of international stature, Christian Corbet, was entrusted with the responsibility of sculpting my grandfather’s work. At the unveiling of the Portrait Bust, I was breathless at first, vainly searching for words to describe what my eyes were attempting to absorb; the Portrait is so lifelike that I felt my grandfather would speak at any moment. Made of a bronzed resin, the sculpture is a light blue bronze in colour. As Christian explains: “J. A. D. McCurdy spent a lot of time looking to the sky and and to the water for his inspiration so I decided to incorporate the blue hue into the bust.” Canadians are indeed most fortunate to have Christian Corbet create and donate this historic piece and I would like to recognize his dedication and skill as an artist in sculpting this magnificent portrait of a man I knew and loved. Amanda and I are also extremely grateful to Their Honours for graciously hosting this remarkable and unique event and for commissioning the sculpture. Government House has now placed the bust of my grandfather in the State Dining Room and, when one enters this resplendent room, the eye is immediately drawn to the McCurdy Portrait Bust. Opposite my grandfather is a beautiful portrait painting of Her Majesty The Queen which is situated above the splendid marble fireplace mantle as well as a bust of His Excellency Major-General the Right Honourable Georges Vanier, the 19th Governor General of Canada.
Leaving Government House, I could not help recalling a remark made by Gilbert Grosvenor, the Chairman of the National Geography Society, who wrote in 1959 that he had known Lindbergh, Amundsen, Byrd, Peary, Shackleton and stated, “I regard J. A. D. McCurdy as a man who ranks with the very greatest of these.”
As The Right Honourable Georges Vanier put it: “In our march forward in material happiness, let us not neglect the spiritual threads in the weaving of our lives. If Canada is to attain the greatness worthy of it, each of us must say, ‘I ask only to serve.” My grandfather changed forever the world of his time by believing in a dream: a dream of flight and of putting a man into the air. He served his province and his nation with excellence and with pride.
Honoured beyond words to be his grandson, I am delighted that we paid homage in Government House to the man whom many consider to be the Father of Canadian Aviation.
Their Honours, The Honourable and Mrs. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, left. Mrs Haddon, HCol Haddon, right.
HCol Haddon, left. His Honour, right.
HCol Haddon, left. His Honour, right.
Christian Corbet, the artist, left; Mrs Haddon, HCol Haddon, left. Their Honours, right.
HCol and Mrs Haddon
Air Force Museum of Alberta Model Collection
By William (Bill) Cameron Okotoks, AB
The Air Force Museum of Alberta, located in the Military Museums of Calgary, has accepted my donation of 125 models of RCAF WW-II aircraft. All models are 1/72nd scale, and include injection formed and vacuform kits. Some with extensive modifications to create varieties of one type. e.g. Anson Mk. 1, Mk.II and Mk.V.
The collection of the kits, and construction of the models has taken over fifteen years to complete and required years of research. Almost every model has information about the RCAF Unit, the Base, and date of operation. It was my hope that the collection include all the RCAF aircraft of that 1939 to 1945 era; perhaps one or two one-off types may be missing, but the main types are all there.
There were some short-run vacuuform kits that were very hard to find, e.g. Fawn, Fort, Northrop Delta.
Each model has the identity of actual BCATP, Home War Establishment, or Overseas Operations acft., and with serial numbers and Squadron codes. There are several models that were not on RCAF inventory: e.g., Whitley, Stirling – but were flown on operations by RCAF pilots.
Each of the four acrylic units will have a dedication to a WW-II RCAF member – The AF Museum will select those individuals.
The AF Museum has constructed excellent acrylic display units (four) to display the models and keep sticky fingers from damaging them.
Unit 1 - BCATP Models
Unit 2 - HWE Models
Unit 3 - Operations Models
Unit 4 - Operations Models
Avro Anson Mk.I
Avro Anson Mk.V
Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.VII
For a complete listing of the models, please click on the links below:
Author Elinor Florence has taken twenty-eight of her most interesting stories from veterans and combined them into a printed book titled: My Favourite Veterans: True Stories From World War Two's Hometown Heroes.
It's a senior-friendly book with large print and more than 100 photographs. To read more about the book, click here.
You may also buy it online from Amazon; it's available on both the U.S. and the Canada websites.
Congratulations to Elinor on the success of her wartime novel Bird's Eye View, which became a national bestseller this summer! It was listed on the top ten fiction books in Canada, in both TheGlobe & Mail, and TheToronto Star. It's available through any bookstore, and as an ebook.
It includes a 13-page cover article on the Martin Mars, part one, and a report with photos of the P-40E Kittyhawk ex-RCAF 1034 belonging to the Maude family. The aircraft was disassembled at its home in Vancouver in June for shipment to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in New Zealand where it will be put on display.
* 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.
History in the news
Check these recent newspaper stories for more fascinating stories about history past and present:
I know everyone enjoys the monthly Aviation Moments from our Regina Chapter member, Dennis Casper. His field of interest is on the Canadian military aspect of history and he is excited to see others offer Aviation Moments from any and all other avenues of Canadian aviation history. The inclusion of moments from any of our members is welcomed and appreciated. I only ask for a couple of conditions. First, please follow the same format that Dennis has established where the source for the question and answer are included with each moment. Secondly, I feel that we need to limit the number of moments each month to a total of six, three from Dennis and three for any other contributors on non-military themes. I look forward to seeing the interest in this project and the depth of questions and answers offered by our membership.
Thank you for your cooperation and support.
We hope you enjoyed answering the Canadian Aviation Momentsin August. Here are the correct answers:
Question: What was the last name of the three brothers, all with the RCAF, who all died within a 12 month period in 1943-1944? What town in Saskatchewan did they come from? HINT: 1. Their last name is the same as the name of one of the buildings in Regina. 2. One of them had the distinction of being American by birth.
Answer: “Before the war, Peter Leboldus worked as a service man for the John Deere dealer in Yorkton, but he was in love with aviation, having taken an aeronautical course at Balfour Tech in Regina in 1936.” “At the end of a twelve-week observer training course in Malton, Ontario, Pete (as he was known) flew in one of fifteen Avro-Anson trainers on a flight from Toronto to Montreal. At noon one August day in 1940, dozens of notes fell to the streets of Ottawa from one of the aircraft; “Lonesome flier wishes to correspond with a young lady,” the message said. Peter Leboldus’s name and address were attached, although he was quick to deny responsibility for the prank:” “Indeed Peter received dozens of letters.” “On one occasion he had tea at Windsor Palace with the Queen and the two Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret.” “He was killed in action on February 13, 1943, his Boston shot down while engaged in night operations over France.”
“Like everyone else in his family, Martin Leboldus was a musical fellow who at home had frequently performed with one or more of his siblings on guitar and piano. Martin had followed his brother Peter to Balfour Tech into the RCAF, and into active service.” “When Peter embarked on the mission from which he never returned, it was his brother Martin who had helped him into his parachute harness. Later Martin remuustered to air crew as a flight engineer in No. 419 “Moose” Squadron. On February 20, 1944, Martin’s Halifax was one of 823 aircraft in a raid on Leipzig. It was a difficult operation. The bomber stream was under attack from night fighters all the way to the target, and wind and cloud conditions were unsuitable for accurate bombing. Seventy-nine aircraft – one of them carrying Sergeant Martin Leboldus and his crew mates – did not return that night, the heaviest Bomber command loss of the war to that point.” “John Leboldus was sent to the Middle East in April 1943, an Air Gunner in RAF No. 142 Squadron. Before enlisting, however, his education had taken him to St. Peter’s College, in Meunster, Saskatchewan, where he studied arts in 1940-41 and, as often as he could, played hockey.” “... and had the added distinction of being American by birth, having been born in Yakima, Washington, where his mother was visiting his aunt.” “During a raid on Turin in northwest Italy on November 24, 1943, his plane crashed on a hillside. It had been flying low in foggy conditions.” “Twelve years later, the boys’ mother, Mrs. Regina Leboldus from Vibank, placed a wreath on the National War Memorial during the Remembrance Day service in Ottawa. She was the Silver Cross Mother for 1955, the first to be chosen from outside Ontario. Reports of the service noted that as she came down the granite steps of the Memorial after laying the wreath, Mrs. Leboldus paused, turned and looked up to the bronze figures at the top of the column. She bowed her head and, for a time, did not move. The flight to Ottawa was the first she’d ever taken. “I swore that I would never go up in a plane,” she said at the time, “but now they want me, so I guess I will have to go.” Her husband John confirmed that “Yes, she will go, for she has the courage of her sons.”
Source:Their Names Live On – Page 118
Question: What were the major differences, in 1995, between the Snowbird Tutor and the School Training Tutor?
Answer: “There are thirteen Tutors in the Snowbirds’ fleet. Eleven travel with the team, while two remain at CFB Moose Jaw as spares. All have been modified for aerobatic use. The most important change is the cross-cockpit modification, which involves installation of a second gear handle and switches for landing and taxi lights, pilot heat and windscreen de-mist on the right side of the aircraft. This allows the Snowbird’s’ Tutor to be flown solo from either the left or right seat. School Tutors are flown solo from the left seat only. The other major differences in Snowbirds Tutors are the external smoke tanks. All but two of the Snowbirds are equipped with two smoke tanks. Each contains about 36 gallons of diesel fuel, just enough for one airshow. At the Team Lead’s command, the pilot will flip a cockpit switch to initiate smoke. When he does, fuel is pumped from the tank to the rear of the aircraft, where it is sprayed into the jet exhaust and vaporized. This produces a billowing trail of white smoke. The addition of red smoke in 1990 delighted both audiences and photographers.”
Question: Which RCAF squadron established a record with attacks on 22 U-boats, including 3 sinkings? What was it’s title? Answer; “Formed as a Bomber unit at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 5 September 1939. Mobilized on the 10th, and re-designated Bomber Reconnaissance on 31 October, the squadron flew Wapiti, Digby and Liberator aircraft on East Coast anti-submarine duty. It established a record with attacks on 22 U-boats, including 3 sinkings, and won the proud but unofficial, title "North Atlantic Squadron." The squadron was disbanded at Torbay, Newfoundland on 15 August 1945. Chronology:Formed as No. 10 (B) Sqn, Halifax, N.S. 5 Sep 39. Mobilized 10 Sep 39. Re-designated No. 10 (BR) Sqn 31 Oct 39. Disbanded at Torbay, Nfld. 15 Aug 45.” “Summary: Sorties: 3414. Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours: 30,331/7976. Victories: 1. U-Boat 30 October 1942, Digby 747 "X" from Gander with F/L D.F. Raymes and crew - returning from patrol of convoy ON140, sank U-520 with four 250-pound depth charges at 4747N 495OW. This was the squadron's seventh attack and Eastern Air Command's third kill. 2. 19 September 1943, Liberator 586 "A" from Gander with F/L R.F. Fisher and crew - returning to Gander from Iceland after escorting Prime Minister Churchill (returning in HMS Ronown from the Quebec Conference ONS18) sank U-341 at 584ON 253OW, Eastern Air Command's fifth kill. 3. 26 October 19431 Liberator 586 "A" from Gander with F/L R.M. Aldwinkle and crew - convoy escort: sank U-420 at 5049N 4101W after an hour-long engagement, Eastern Air Command's sixth and last kill.' “ “Casualties: Operational: 7 aircraft; 25 aircrew, of whom 24 were killed or missing, 1 wounded. Non-operational: 27 fatal (including 3 drowned), 6 non-fatal. Honours and Awards: 24 DFC'S, 6 AFC'S, 1 CM, 1 AFM, 3 BEM'S, 33 MiD's.” “Nickname: North Atlantic”
Source: www.rcaf.com» The Squadrons » 1 -100 Series Squadrons» No. 10 Squadron
The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS.
The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for September are:
Question 1: What interest was shown in establishing a National Airforce during WW1?
Question 2: What airplane is being used by a squadron that has earned an excellent reputation transporting high ranking government officials and foreign dignitaries around the world? What is the squadron and its motto and nickname?
Question 3: Who was Canada’s most decorated WW II hero? He was the first Canadian to command a bomber squadron in battle.
We are trying out a new format for the way we present the Canadian Aviation Moments in the e-newsletter. We are going to provide both the questions and the answers together in the same e-newsletter, rather than questions one month and the answers the next. We are hoping this instant gratification might encourage more interest and research by our readers. So spoiler alert - if you read any further, you will find the answer to September's questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!
Answer to Question 1 : “Royal Canadian Flying Corps, 1916” “ During 1916, there was a renewed interest in aviation within the Department of the Militia and Defence. The War Council and the Canadian headquarters overseas thought that Canada should have its own air services supporting the war. Much effort was placed on realizing this dream: however Ottawa would not support this concept and the second attempt to create a national air force died.”
Source:Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Page 22
Answer to Question 2: “The Polaris is a twin-engine, high-speed jet which was originally a commercial airline design. Three aircraft were acquired from Canadian Air Lines (ex-Wardair aircraft) and two additional aircraft were acquired from foreign sources. In CF service, they are easily converted to passenger, freight or medical transport. Stationed at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, 437 Squadron ( The Huskies) is the only transport squadron equipped with the Polaris, which replaced the aging Boeing 707 starting in 1992. The five-plane fleet’s primary role is long-range transport of personnel and equipment, up to 194 passengers or 32,000 kg of cargo. Four aircraft can be configured in the combi role, carrying both passengers and freight, and they are equipped with a large cargo door plus a strengthened floor and fuselage. One aircraft (CC15001) is permanently configured for VIP transportation duties. They have participated in operations supporting Canadian Forces, NATO and numerous United Nations and Red Cross initiatives. The squadron has earned an excellent reputation transporting high ranking government officials and foreign dignitaries, including members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, and the Governor General, around the world. The Huskies are proud of their motto, Omnia Passim (Anytime, Anywhere).” “Airbus Industries” “Designation: CC-150” “Model No: A310”
Source:Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Page 50
Answer to Question 3: “Johnnie Fauquier was to hell and back almost 100 times on bombing raids over Berlin, other key German targets and the Peenemunde V-2 rocket bases on the Baltic Sea. The normal tour for a bomber pilot was 30 raids. He did three tours and then some. He was the first Canadian to command a bomber squadron in battle. He commanded both the crack RCAF 405 Pathfinder Sqn and later, the RAF’s legendary 617 Sqn “Dambusters.” Johnnie Fauquier was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) –second only to the Victoria Cross – three times – more than any other Canadian warrior. He also wore the distinctive ribbon of the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on his tunic.” “The main fear of a pilot of a slow flying Lancaster was being “coned” by searchlights and raked by anti-aircraft shrapnel. Fauquier solved that problem over Bremen. He used his bomber to strafe the searchlight and anti-aircraft batteries. He threw his aircraft into a steep 10,000 foot dive, leveled off just above the tree tops and his nose, tail and mid-upper gunners raked the ground installations with a hail of lethal fire – dousing searchlights and destroying gun batteries. It was an amazing feat of flying few others would attempt with a fighter plane. Asked if he was scared, his reply was: “A man who isn’t frightened, lacks imagination and without imagination he can’t be a first-class warrior. Let’s face it: the good men were frightened, especially between briefing and take-off. The bravest men I knew used to go to bed after briefing and refused to eat. Sick with fear. Any man that frightened who goes to the target is brave.”
Historian/artist Douglas Anderson created some of the best aircraft model plans I've ever seen, but the only model I've ever seen from his hands is based on diagrams I've never seen: the TravelAir SA6000A.
My question is, has this plan ever been published? If not, can it be found? A third question would be, is Mr. Anderson still around?
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