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Also visit the Newsflash page at to read about the latest developments.

Thanks for your patience, support, and interest!



October, 2016 issue of Air Classics

October 2016 issue of Air Classics

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.


My Snowbirds Flight - Aide-Memoire

By Bill Upton

Portrait Shot 8x10 BU

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.

To read the full article, click here.



Second World War veteran Al Wallace honoured by CAHS Toronto Chapter


Al Wallace

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 using the link, Website Updates.


Journal Report

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.

CAHS Journal Vol 53 2015 CoversComp

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):

CAHS 53 3 sidebar bannerThe 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

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):

CAHS 53 4 sidebar bannerThe 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!


Book OfferCamp Borden: A Century of Service

Camp Borden cover 575

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.


order now

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 with your address for international shipping quotes.


98-year-old gets wish, flies in WW II biplane he trained on 70 years ago

Adam Carter/CBC

Donald Munroe took to the skies over Hamilton in a Tiger Moth biplane Wednesday

donald munroe

Donald Munroe, 98, is a former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot who served overseas in the Second World War. (Adam Carter/CBC)

For the full article, including video, click here.

Donald Munroe is living proof a 98-year-old can still look just like a kid on Christmas.

Munroe is a former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot who served overseas in the Second World War, and was deployed to England to train military pilots on the Tiger Moth biplane.

Over seven decades later, Munroe was back in the skies over Hamilton in that very same plane, thanks to the efforts of nonprofit organization Wish of a Lifetime and Chartwell Retirement Residences.

When sitting in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at the Hamilton airport Wednesday morning, Munroe heard the sound of his former plane taxiing on the runway outside and his face completely lit up.

"Do you recognize that sound?" his daughter, Lynn Robertson, asked with a smile. Munroe, who is from London, Ont. but now lives in Oshawa, beamed as he nodded, eagerly.

"It's just like when you first learn to ride a bicycle," Munroe told CBC News. "There seems to be a lot of freedom to it, you know?"

"You're away from everybody else. You're on your own."

Munroe enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942, and was sent overseas to England to serve as a pilot instructor. There, he spent over 1,500 hours instructing pilots on one specific plane — the Tiger Moth.

It's a tiny, two-seater biplane with a wingspan just under nine metres, and a maximum speed of 172 km/h.

To hear him tell it, the Munroe was able to coax some very slick manoeuvres out of the little biplane, after learning mid-air acrobatics at the tender age of 21.

"I have a lot of respect for the old girl," he said.

His flight was organized by Wish of a Lifetime, which encourages seniors to "keep dreaming and pursuing their passions."

"We are changing the perception of aging — not just how we view our oldest citizens, but also how we see and value ourselves as we age," the organization's website says. Anyone can nominate a senior's wish to be reviewed by the organization's team.
Donald Munroe

Munroe spent over 1,500 hours instructing pilots on the Tiger Moth. (Adam Carter/CBC)

That her father is getting to relive his past glories in the sky is a huge deal right now in his retirement home, Robertson said.

"This is such an emotional high for him. He has such a passion for flying," she said.

After the war, Munroe returned to Oshawa and civilian life. He raised a family and worked for an automotive parts company.

He retired just shy of 80-years-old — and remains living proof that seniors don't have to be viewed as delicate shells of their former selves, Robertson said. Munroe picked up computers on his own, she said — at 90.

"[Seniors] are capable of doing so much," she said. "He's never shied away from doing something new."

Munroe isn't as mobile as he once was, and now needs a walker to get around. But his wit remains untouched, and his daughter maintains his memory is better than hers.​ To that end, Munroe says that people's attitudes towards aging need to change.

"We are functional, capable, talented, and experienced."


My Favourite Veterans

My Favourite Veterans

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 The Globe & Mail, and The Toronto Star. It's available through any bookstore, and as an ebook.

Be sure to visit Elinor's Wartime Wednesdays blog, where she posts once each month.


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?

Best Regards, Lars Opland

Contact info:

F.71 Cameron17best


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 1 - BCATP Models

Unit 2 HWE models

Unit 2 - HWE Models

Unit 3 Operations models

Unit 3 - Operations Models

Unit 4 Operations models

Unit 4 - Operations Models

Supermarine Stranraer

Supermarine Stranraer

Anson Mk I

Avro Anson Mk.I

Avro Anson Mk V

Avro Anson Mk.V

HP Halifax B Mk VII

Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.VII


For a complete listing of the models, please click on the links below:

R.C.A.F. – Operations Overseas – 1940 to 1945 (58 Models)

R.C.A.F. – Home War Establishment - CANADA - 1939-1945
Bomber-Reconnaissance - 11 aircraft

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan – Canada – 1940-1945
Elementary Flying Training Schools - E.F.T.S. - 8 aircraft



An Important Unveiling

By Honorary Colonel Gerald P. J. Haddon,
Royal Canadian Air Force

NS1 7660

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.

NS2 7675

HCol Haddon, left. His Honour, right.

NS2 7689

Christian Corbet, the artist, left; Mrs Haddon, HCol Haddon, left. Their Honours, right.

NS2 7713

 HCol and Mrs Haddon