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CAHS Annual Convention, June 17-21

Photos and story by John Chalmers,
CAHS Membership Secretary

The 52nd annual general meeting and convention of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society was held in Hamilton, Ontario. Starting with a Meet & Greet session on the evening of June 17 held at the RCAF Association 447 Wing facility, attendees from coast to coast had a chance to raise a glass and renew friendships.

On June 18 the formal program at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel began with the theme of “Celebrating Canada’s Aviation Industry.” Presentations covered aviation in Canada from the first flight through bush flying, wartime production, aircraft restoration and present-day developments.

The program organized by Richard Goette, Jim Bell and Gordon McNulty was based around sessions with two half-hour presentations plus time for questions. It allowed for 21 well-prepared and well-illustrated sessions plus three lunch presentations.

Two optional evening events were offered for June 19. Shown at the hotel was the classic 1942 film, Captains of the Clouds. Held at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum was a Night Fighter Run, a chance to see warbirds running their engines under special lighting. Following the last of presentations on June 20, an optional day on the 21st to attend the Skyfest event at the Museum was enjoyed by many who stayed over.

The 2016 convention and annual general meeting will be held in Winnipeg, date to be announced.

001 Richard Goette 575

Convention co-chair Richard Goette welcomed attendees at the convention.

002 CHAA 570

At the Meet & Greet social event held at RCAF Association 447 Wing, the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association was the subject of a video presentation by Roger Cross.
(CHAA photo)

003 Dean Black 570

Retired helicopter pilot and squadron commander, RCAF LCol Dean Black was the first speaker in the program starting on June 18, on the topic of “John Boyd and the Procurement of the F-35.” Dean serves as publisher and editor of Airforce magazine and as National Executive Director of the RCAF Association.

004 Maya Hirschman 570

Maya Hirschman, of the Secrets of Radar Museum in London ON, spoke about “Canada’s Second World War RCAF Radar History.”

005 Gerald Haddon 570

Gerald Haddon spoke about his famous grandfather, J.A.D. McCurdy, the first man to fly in Canada, and McCurdy’s affiliation with the Aerial Experiment Association and the development and building of the Silver Dart, which first flew at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, in February 1909.

006 Peter Roe 570

Peter Roe, author of six books of aviation pioneers in his Pigs Might Fly series, spoke of early aviation inventor and entrepreneur, William Wallace Gibson.

007 Anna Marie Willey

At the June 18 lunch, Anna Marie Willey of Regina presented her video, “The Willow Tree,” a story put to original music telling the story of her father’s RCAF wartime service in England. The seven original songs that she wrote were based on the contents of her late father’s kit bag, which had remained unopened for 70 years after the Second World War.

008 Robert Galway 570

Robert Galway from Toronto presented his session on “Capt. William Roy Maxwell, the Forgotten Pilot of Canada’s North,” which outlined Maxwell’s accomplishments in aviation.

009 Diana Trafford 570

Diana Trafford of the Montréal chapter spoke of “Howard Watt: From Bush Pilot to Independent Operator, 1928-1941.”

010 John Coit 570

Don Coit and Wayne Ready (not shown) presented sessions on the fascinating and time consuming projects to restore and rebuild an Avenger and a Bolingbroke at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

011 Mark Peapell 570

Mark Peapell of the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum in Halifax spoke about the production of Canadian-built Lancasters at the Victory Aircraft factory in Malton, Ontario, during the Second World War. He illustrated his talk with photos selected from over 800 recently-discovered and previously unpublished pictures of building the Lancasters.

012 Jerry Vernon 570

Jerry Vernon from Burnaby BC spoke about “The Hapless Hampden,” a lesser-known and fateful twin-engine bomber of the Second World War.

013 Bernie Runstedler 570

Bernie Runstedler from Nepean ON presented a session on the story of the Sabre Mark III and the mighty Orenda jet engine.

014 Bill Zuk

Bill Zuk of the CAHS Manitoba chapter in Winnipeg, spoke on the intriguing topic of “Avro Canada’s Secret Projects,” including attempts to develop a flying saucer. Bill has written a book on the subject of the strange aviation projects undertaken post-war by Avro, entitled Canada’s Flying Saucer: The Story of Avro Canada’s Secret Projects, published in 2001.

015 Allan Snowie 570

July 19 lunch speaker Allan Snowie of Bellingham, Washington, a former Royal Canadian Navy pilot and Air Canada pilot, described the plans for “A Nation Soars” to build replica First World War biplanes to fly over the Vimy Ridge monument on the 100th anniversary of the famous battle there. Allan flies his own Nieuport biplane reproduction, one of the aircraft to participate in the flypast. Following the Vimy Ridge flight, the group plans a cross-Canada tour.

016 Mindy Gill Johnson 570

Mindy Gill-Johnson of the Bishop House Museum in Owen Sound, Ontario, spoke about the career of Billy Bishop VC, during and after the First World War. Bishop was an original Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974.

017 Nadine and Will Chabun 570

Will Chabun of the Regina CAHS chapter presented an historical account of “Aviation Genealogy in Saskatchewan. At a lucky draw on first day the full program, he won a Snowbirds cap, poster and pin, which he gave to 11-year old Nadine Carter of Stouffville, Ontario, our youngest CAHS member. Nadine was a guest for the day, and had received a one-year complimentary membership for her successful work in seeking recognition for Roy Brown at Stouffville, his last home. He is largely credited with bringing down the “Red Baron”, Manfred von Richthofen, in the First World War. Brown later founded General Airways Limited, which operated from 1928-1940.

018 Isabel Campbell 570

Isabel Campbell from the Department of National Defence’s Directorate of History and Heritage delivered her paper on a post-war story, “Sitting Ducks: The Air Division 1959-1967.”

019 John Bertram 570

John Bertram from Toronto explored the depiction of aviation in postage stamps from Canada and other countries in his presentation on “Aerophilately: Where Business, Art and History Fly Together.”

020 Jonathan Scotland 570

Western Ontario University doctoral student Jonathan Scotland from Etobicoke, Ontario, gave his paper on “George Drew and Canada’s Fighting Airmen,” based on the title of Drew’s 1930 book that dealt with 12 distinguished pilots of the First World War.

021 John Weatherseed 570

John Weatherseed from Cheltenham, Ontario, spoke of the painstaking work involved in research to restore and replicate vintage aircraft. He is building a 1917 Fokker D.VII to flying condition.

022 Marilyn Dickson 570

A retired professor who still teaches flying, Marilyn Dickson of Durham, Ontario, spoke about Vi Milstead Warren, a Canadian pilot of the Second World War who served with the Air Transport Auxiliary, flying 47 types of aircraft. Vi was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation
Hall of Fame in 2010.

023 Gary Williams 570

CAHS National President, Gary Williams of Regina, in addition to his official duties, described the rescue of his father, Flight Sergeant George E. Williams, an RCAF Lancaster pilot in the Second World War. He was saved by a 19-year old Swedish girl, Aina Kristiansson, and her father, Oskar. They put their own lives at risk to rescue George. He was the only survivor of the crew when their bomber of No. 61 Squadron, RAF, was ditched off the coast of Sweden. Last August, Gary travelled to Sweden to meet Aina, then a lively 92 years old.

024 Crystal Sissons 570

Crystal Sissons, author of Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill, spoke of MacGill’s success as an aeronautical engineer in a field dominated by men. MacGill was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983.

025 Erin Rice Gregory 570

Erin Gregory Rice from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa spoke about the work of Canadian Aeroplanes Limited in building Curtiss JN-4 Canuck aircraft during the First World War.

026 Rachel Heide

CAHS National Treasurer, Rachel Lea Heide, presented the financial report of the Society.

027 AGM

Left to right at the annual meeting are CAHS treasurer Rachel Lea Heide, president Gary Williams, secretary and convention co-chair Jim Bell, and vice-president and convention co-chair Richard Goette.

028 Questions

George Fuller, centre, of the CAHS Montréal chapter, poses a question to the National Executive at the Annual General Meeting.

029 Awards

Rachel Lea Heide, left, and Jim Bell, centre, were recipients of the William J. Wheeler Volunteer Service Award for their years of service to CAHS. Gary Williams, right, made the presentations.

030 Larry Milberry 570

Inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2004, writer Larry Milberry, owner and publisher of CANAV Books in Toronto, spoke of the development of CAE, the subject of a book he plans to publish.

031 Handoff 570

At the convention banquet, convention co-chairs
Richard Goette and Jim Bell presented “Avi,” the
CAHS mascot to Bill Zuk, right, of the Manitoba chapter.
Winnipeg will host the 2016 annual convention of the
Canadian Aviation Historical Society.

032 Nadine and John 570

Budding historian Nadine Carter, left, and CAHS membership secretary, John Chalmers.


Additional Photos from the 2015 CAHS Annual Convention

Photos courtesy of Gord McNulty

image6 570

Convention attendees are shown arriving at 447 Wing RCAFA to attend the opening Meet and Greet on June 17.

image7 570

CAHS President Gary Williams climbs into the CWHM Cornell to enjoy a flight during the Skyfest on June 21, 2015.

image1 570

Wayne Ready, right, of the Canadian Warplane Heritage discusses the museum's Bolingbroke project during the CWH Skyfest

image3 570

Presiding at the 2015 AGM are, from left, Rachel Lea Heide, Gary Williams, Jim Bell and Richard Goette.

image2 570

The rebuilding of a Bolingbroke has been a daunting but worthy challenge for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

image5 570

Don Coit, left, and a fellow CWHM volunteer, with the Avenger restoration project at the Skyfest on June 21, 2015.

image4 570

Matt Schweyer made a presentation on Final Descent, the book written by his father, Rob, during the 2015 CAHS Convention.


2014 journal awards2

Journal Awards Voting Extended

The National Executive of the CAHS voted at their June meeting in Hamilton to extend the voting on the two CAHS Journal Awards to July 31, 2015. This should give all our members the time to read the final two Journals for 2014 and consider their voting for the C. Don Long Best Article and Mac MacIntyre Research Award.

Please mail or e-mail your completed ballot to the address listed on the form, either by Canada Post or email to my attention at Be sure to include your name and membership number (found on the address label of the Journals). If you have already cast your ballot we will definitely include it with the final tally. There is no need to vote again and any duplicate ballots will not be considered.

If you are not a National member and the list of articles stirs your interests, please consider sending in your annual membership fee so you can join our group of Canadian aviation history enthusiasts. The membership application can be found on our website,



2015 merch

In conjuction with this year's convention, the CAHS is continuing the merchandise sale concept, and the variety of items for sale are now available for purchase online at the CAHS Store.

We are excited to offer CAHS merchandise this year that features the logo created by our graphics manager, Terry Higgins, for the 2015 convention in Hamilton. It combines the distinctive CAHS logo along with the date and location of this year's convention. Items that include this commemorative logo are polo shirts (in eight different colours), t-shirts (available in three colours), baseball caps (four colour options), mugs, and mouse pads.

Additionally, the CAHS has partnered again with our amazing Canadian aviation artists to produce a stunning full colour bilingual 2016 calendar. These will make beautiful Father's Day, birthday, and even Christmas gifts, so stock up now! To learn more about the gifted artists involved, click here.

Orders picked up at the CAHS Convention in Hamilton in June will be free of shipping charges. For those unable to attend the Convention, shipments will commence after the Convention. Payments can be made by cheque, credit card, or Paypal. To order online, click here.

The deadline to pre-order and pay is 20 May 2015.


2015 conv merch order formTo download the 2015 CAHS Convention merchandise order form, CLICK HERE.

Please email the completed order form to, or return by mail to:

Canadian Aviation Historical Society,
P.O. Box 2700, Station D,
Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada K1P 5W7


Call for Presentations – Aviation History Convention

The Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) is holding its 2015 convention in Hamilton, Ontario, from 17-21 June, at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel. The theme will be "Celebrating Canada's Aviation Industry" with sessions exploring civilian and military topics.

This convention is open to all – university students, aerospace industry professionals, academics, professionals in aviation or heritage industries, and aviation enthusiasts of every kind. International presenters are also welcome. Our focus will be on history, but we welcome proposals addressing the current aerospace industry and those utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches. Presentations should be 30 minutes in length and may be formal academic papers or informal talks. Power point will be available.

As part of the CAHS 52nd Annual Convention, the conference will include a trip to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for its annual Father's Day weekend flying event plus other aviation-related events and activities. Held near the Hamilton International Airport and only a short distance from Canada's primary aviation hub, Toronto Pearson International Airport, a variety of exciting local and regional (Toronto/Niagara Falls) activities promise to make your trip worthwhile.

If you are interested in participating in our conference, please send a short proposal and a short biography (one page each max.) to Richard Goette and Jim Bell at The deadline for submissions is 15 February 2015.

In the coming weeks we'll be posting more conference information at, in our e-newsletter (you can sign up for it on the website), and on Twitter (CanAvHistSoc) and Facebook (Canadian Aviation Historical Society - National).

Please feel free to forward and post this message widely!


Dr. Richard Goette
CAHS National Vice-President
2015 Convention Co-Chair

Jim Bell
CAHS National Secretary
2015 Convention Co-Chair

Call for Presentations PDF DownloadTo download a copy of the Call for Presentations, please click here.


2015 CAHS Convention AnnouncementHamilton, Ontario

Mark your calendar! The Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) will be holding its 52nd National Convention and Annual General Meeting in Hamilton, Ontario, on 17-21 June 2015 at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel.

 registration   schedule 
pdf icon 80PRESIDENT'S LETTER   pdf icon 80AGM NOTICE


The theme of the convention is "Celebrating Canada's Aviation Industry" and sessions will explore the rich history of Canada's civilian and military aerospace industry. Our team is preparing the convention program which will be open to everyone – university students, professionals in aviation or heritage industries, historians and aviation enthusiasts of every kind. A formal open Call for Papers/Presentations will be sent out in a few weeks' time.

Canadian Warplane Heritage MuseumA trip to Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for its annual Father's Day weekend flying event is planned in addition to the presentations and other aviation-related events and activities.

Preliminary arrangements are still in the works but keep an eye on and the e-Newsletter for upcoming details, contact information, schedule, and registration information. The Call for Presentations can be found below.

We look forward to seeing you in Hamilton in June!


Richard Goette and Jim Bell
CAHS 2015 Convention Co-Chairs

Hotel Information

The convention will be held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Hamilton, where a block of rooms has been put aside for convention attendees at a special convention rate of $145 per night for 17-21 June. You may make your reservation by calling their Reservation Line, 1-800-MARRIOTT and identifying yourself as members of the "Canadian Aviation Historical Society group." Reservations must be received on or before Monday 18 May 2015.

Alternative accommodations are available at Mohawk College. The rate is $79.95 (single and double) and rooms will be held until June 5th, after which they will be released to the public. Contacts:; (905) 385-3200;


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The convention will culminate in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's annual Skyfest event (tickets to Skyfest will be included as part of the convention registration package - registration information will be available soon).


Call for Presentations

The Call for Presentations deadline was 15 February 2015. To view the Call for Presentations article, please click here.



The CAHS would like to thank the generous support of our sponsors:

tourism hamilton John C Munroe Hamilton International Airport
city of hamilton logo ufly simulator
Aviation World CAE
sosa logo 175 air force history and heritage group