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  • Plaque Celebrating Aviation History in Mount Dennis

    Saturday, July 15 - 10:45 am

    Hearst Circle and "The Wishbone" (Opposite Harding Park in Mount Dennis)

    Reception to follow at The Atrium, 12 Division Police Station, 200 Trethewey Drive, North York

    This event is a joint function of Heritage Toronto, CAHS (Toronto Chapter & National) and 400 Squadron Historical Society.  The plaque is honouring the airfield that hosted 1st flight over Toronto in 1910, the startup location of DeHavilland Aircraft in Canada in 1928 at this airfield and in 1932 the first operational base of the RCAF 400 "City of Toronto" Squadron as 10 Sqn and later 110 Sqn.

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    FINAL Invite Trethewey july15 545

    Background on the William G. Trethewey Property

    By Dr. Robert Galway

    This property was purchased by William Trethewey following his sale of two Silver mining properties that he discovered in Cobalt, Ontario on 1904. He and his brother Joseph O. Trethewey made millions in this transaction. William Trethewey came to Toronto and purchased 600 acres in Weston, near present day Jane St. & Lawrence Ave. in 1907 The Royal Automobile Club of Canada and the OML of which Trethewey was a member, asked for permission to use a portion of the property for an exhibition Air Meet. This took place July 9-16th, 1910 following closely on the heels of the initial Air Meet held in Pointe Claire, PQ.

    During the Toronto meet, French Aviator Jacques de Lesseps completed the first flight over the city of Toronto as he had done two weeks previously in Montreal. The Toronto flight occurred on July 13, 1910. This is the basis for recognizing Jacques de Lesseps on the Heritage Toronto Plaque that will be unveiled this summer on July 15, 2017.

    However, this is not the sole reason for recognizing the contribution that this plot of farmland made to Canadian aviation history.

    Following the Air Meet of 1910, the property became the center of early aviation activity in Toronto. Indeed, it became known as de Lesseps Field. In 1928 de Havilland UK decided establish a manufacturing center in Canada. They were persuaded to do so because of the success they had met in selling the DH60 Moth to the Ontario Provincial Air Service. In their search for a suitable property, they were put in touch with Frank Trethewey who had inherited the property on his father’s demise in 1926. Trethewey leased a parcel of the land to de Havilland and with the incorporation of de Havilland
    Canada was appointed to the DHC Board.

    Consequently, the Trethewey property became the first manufacturing site of de Havilland. In fact the first building used to assemble the DH60 series was the Trethewey Canning Shed made famous by the sketch completed by famous aviation artist, Robert Bradford.

    Frank Trethewey was given the opportunity to purchase DH aircraft at a significant “favored” price. He and his brother were RNAS veteran pilots. In the 1930's he was Chairman of de Havilland Canada.

    The establishment of de Havilland Aircraft on this property in 1928 is the second reason to grant historic recognition to this property.

    Frank Trethewey not only over time purchased three aircraft from DHC but went one step further and joined the RCAF. This led to the establishment of the RCAF Squadron 10/ 110 on Trethewey Field. Frank Trethewey was one of the first four flying officers appointed to the Squadron. In 1940 he was appointed commanding officer of Base Trenton.

    The squadron was formed in October 1932 as 10 (Army Cooperation) Squadron and began flying in 1934 at the Trethewey Farm airfield (aka de Lesseps Field) in Toronto. In April, 1935, the City of Toronto adopted the squadron which then became officially known as “10 (City of Toronto) Squadron”. In 1937, the squadron was re-designated “110 (City of
    Toronto) Squadron”.

    The squadron flew five basic types of aircraft, all biplanes, from Trethewey until late 1939 when it deployed to Rockcliffe. During the Trethewey era, the squadron was involved in recruitment and flight training. At Rockcliffe, the squadron underwent conversion to the Canadian-built Westland Lysander until mid-February 1940. The squadron then deployed to the UK as the first RCAF squadron to enter the Second World War.

    In the UK, the squadron was initially equipped with the Lysander III and was involved in the Army Co-op and photo reconnaissance role. The squadron was active in the Dunkirk evacuation (27 May - 3 June 1940) but not directly involved in the Battle of Britain (10 July - 31 Oct. 1940). In mid-1941, the squadron was re-designated “400 Squadron”.

    Today, the Squadron is located at Camp Borden and is the main maintenance centre for maintenance of the RCAF's Tactical Helicopter Squadrons.

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  • My Snowbirds Flight - Aide-Memoire

Shenstone: An Unparalleled Career (Part 1, the Pre-war years)

Shenstone: An Unparalleled Career (Part 1, the Pre-war years)

Shenstone Borden OutsideBy Wayne Saunders

THE NAME BEVERLEY ‘BEV’ SHENSTONE MAY NOT BE ONE THAT EVERYBODY INTERESTED in Canadian aviation history will have heard. But it should be. In fact, if a ‘Top Ten’ list of Canadian personalities who have made a significant impact on aviation were drawn up, Shenstone would arguably be near the top. Yet, his outstanding career is not well known, nor has it been examined in any depth. This biographical study attempts to redress the situation.

It aims to raise awareness of Shenstone’s impressive accomplishments, both in Canada, and internationally.

A Career of Accomplishments

Shenstone and SpitfireFrom an overall view, Shenstone’s career covers a range of significant milestones that, when taken together, represent an impressive body of work. Perhaps since most of his aviation career was spent outside Canada, though, he has not received his due. He himself recognized that since a large amount of his work was done abroad he seemed to be regarded as a foreigner. However, his work continually included projects related either directly or indirectly to this country. He never lost touch with Canada or his Canadian character and always retained his Canadian citizenship.

His involvement in aviation was broad and deep. Likely no other single individual from this country could claim to have been involved in such a range of activities. These included aerodynamics theory and practice, the design of notable civil and military aircraft, and involvement in air transport with one of the most prominent airlines in the world, including serving on the committee established to formulate supersonic transport aircraft. He trained and flew with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), was the first Canadian to receive a Master’s degree in aeronautics, and held management positions in industry, government and the air transport sectors.

He learned to fly gliders and sailplanes, was involved in societies that promoted unpowered flight both in Canada and abroad, and initiated and led the design of several types. Shenstone was also the driving force behind post-war efforts to establish human powered aircraft programs as a significant activity. As well, he played a leading role in professional societies including the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), the Soaring Association of Canada (SAC), and the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI). Additionally, he helped generations of aviation specialists do their jobs better by initiating an important range of design and aerodynamic standards. And, finally, as a noted writer and keen observer, he contributed a range of materials throughout the length of his career that provoked thoughtful understanding of the changing world of aviation in its many forms.

 Interested, intrigued, want to read more? See the latest CAHS Journal.

CAHS 49 3 Fall 2011 FRONTcover200