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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.

Gary Williams

We hope you enjoyed answering the Canadian Aviation Moments in 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.”

Source: Snowbirds Flying High (Canada’s Snowbirds Celebrate 25 Years) – Page 30

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:» 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.”

Source: Airforce Revue Magazine – Summer/08 - Pages 40, 42