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CAHS Convention 2017

2017 convention

The call for presentations will be posted soon. For sponsorship opportunities and more information, please check our webpage at


Book Launch

book launch

You are invited to a book launch for two new books for children, from author Elizabeth Gillan Muir – Libres Comme L’Air and Air-Crazy. Both books tell the story of Canadian women in the air from the early days when they wanted to be passengers on airplanes, to the day when they finally became air stewardesses and then pilots and finally astronauts. The story is told in both English and French. Liz Muir was one of the speakers at the 2016 convention.

When: Thursday November 24, 4-6 p.m.
Location: The Library, Jackman School,
79 Jackman Ave., Toronto

Jackman School is close to Chester subway, near Broadview/Danforth, just off the Don Valley Parkway, Toronto.

Two adult books, Canadian Women in the Sky and Riverdale: East of the Don, will also be for sale.


Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum CF-104 Starfighter Refurbishment

Source: Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum e-flyer

After 20 years of standing proudly at the entrance to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, our CF-104 Starfighter was removed from the front lawn this week for refurbishment. A special thanks to Double D Crane Services from Burlington for their assistance as well as our own Engineering and Maintenance Department. It will come inside to receive some TLC including some new paint and markings over the winter months . This will also give us the opportunity to do some non-destructive testing to the mounts before it goes back up in the spring.

Photo source: Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum





The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. The questions and the answers are now being published 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. Spoiler alert - if you read any further, you will find the answer to November's questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for November are:

Question 1: What aircraft was rejected as a fighter before WW II and for a time in 1941 constituted the sole fighter force, in the RCAF, on Canada’s east coast?

Question 2: Once the Gulf air and land war began on 16 January 1991, what were the Sea Kings also asked to do?

Question 3: Who was Johnny Canuck?



Question 1 Answer: The second report on his file was composed in response to test flying a “Grumman Two-Seater Fighter” (Grumman FF-1) on 25 March 1939. His remarks were based on a mere 40 minutes of flying. In many respects he liked the machine which he described as “very strongly built and inspired confidence.” On the ground, it was difficult to taxi owing to a narrow undercarriage and limited forward visibility. Once airborne, he deemed it a pleasant aircraft to fly - easily manoeuvred, easy to spin when the pilot wanted and easy to recover from the spin. Flight Lieutenant Briese (as he then was) realistically noted that the Grumman was of “no value as a first line aircraft,” given its low speed; 170 mph in level flight, 250 mph in spins and dives.” [Editor’s Note: With the advent of war, however, the RCAF was forced to ‘reassess’ the bleak assessment of the Grumman FF-1 and the force acquired 15 aircraft of the type built under licence by Canadian Car and Foundry. Known as the Goblin in RCAF service, the aircraft equipped No. 118 (Fighter) Squadron at Rockcliffe and later Dartmouth, and for a time in 1941 these aircraft constituted the sole fighter force on Canada’s east coast.]

Source: The Observair – Ottawa Chapter Newsletter – Canadian Aviation Historical Society – Page 7 – Rambling Through Records– Written by Hugh Halliday


Question 2 Answer: Once the air and land war began on 16 January 1991, the Canadian Sea Kings were also used to protect the naval forces from small terrorist craft. Dhows (fishing boats) were known to have launched shoulder-mounted missiles during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. Prudence dictated that the many dhows working their traditional fishing grounds in the Persian Gulf be directed away from the fleet. To do this, a Sea King crew member would don a gas mask and hold up a stop sign with a skull and cross bones in the open doorway. On 1 February, when a dhow refused to heed these signals, Master Corporal Karin Lehmann, the Sea King’s door gunner, was forced to fire several bursts across the dhow’s bow before it retreated.”

Source: The Observair – Ottawa Chapter Newsletter – Canadian Aviation Historical Society – Page 2 – Past Meeting – Ernie Cable – The CH-124 Sea King and OP Friction – Written by Timothy Dubé

Question 3 Answer: “At first glance, Johnny Canuck, one of four Canadian "Comic Book Superheroes" stamps issued in 1995, might seem like an unlikely subject for a colourful postage stamp! Johnny Canuck, the fearless air force captain, was the comic-book creation of 16- year-old Leo Bachle of Toronto. Since Bachle was too young to enlist in 1941, he decided to create a superhero "to right all the world's wrongs and fight Nazi oppression." Although the character had no super powers, he was tall and strong and reportedly had a mean right hook! He first appeared in the February, 1942 issue of Bell's Dime Comics No.1. (see this link to Library and Archives Canada for some of the original Johnny Canuck comics. Johnny Canuck served on the front lines during the Second World War as a secret agent who worked with partisans and guerrilla forces. He even came face-to-face with Hitler himself! In the 1950s, Bachle changed his name to Les Barker and became a nightclub comedian in the United States and Canada. He performed with stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Eartha Kitt, Tony Orlando, Loretta Lynn and Mickey Rooney. Johnny Canuck's creator died in 2003.”

Source: Windsock – February 2009 - Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter – Canadian Aviation Historical Society – Aviation Heritage through Canada’s Postage Stamps – Personalities and Canadian Contributions By Ross Herrington – Page 3


Remembrance Posters

A small collection of posters from Veterans Affairs Canada.















A Tree for Every Hero

Mark Cullen is one of Canada's leading experts in gardening, a Member of the Order of Canada, author and broadcaster, as well as a supporter of his most recent initiative A Tree for Every Hero. In the November issue of his newsletter, Mark Cullen reflects on Remembrance Day. The following is an excerpt from his newsletter.

While taking time to remember, it almost goes without saying that November is the best time of year to remember something else: our freedom. More to the point, the cost of our freedom. The 11th is Remembrance Day. November is remembrance month. Wear a poppy and contemplate the price of peace.

Hugh Beaty
Hugh Beaty – Photo source: Mark Cullen

Say what? The price of peace. My late friend Hugh Beaty talked extensively about it. He was a veteran of WWII and he lived to promote his cause every day of his adult life. At the age of 58 he sold everything on his family farm and took off for Brazil to teach hungry people how to feed themselves by sharing knowledge that he had acquired as a lifelong dairy farmer in Ontario.

Giving up the creature comforts of home and the certainties of a well established career was only natural for Hugh and his wife Melba. They knew themselves and had clear priorities. In his words, "I saw the waste of war. The utter and complete waste of the thing and I wanted to do something to make the world a better place."

Acknowledge the cost of Freedom

Hugh inspired me to join a group of committed environmentalists and proud Canadians to acknowledge the cost of freedom by planting trees on the Highway of Heroes, 117,000, one for each of Canada's war dead.

It's called the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute and you can learn more about it at

IMG 3530

Three ceremonial plantings took place on November 5, 2016 on the Highway of Heroes in Toronto, Cobourg and Trenton. Photo source: Mark Cullen


Veteran Banners

Source: Brooklin Citizen
By Parvaneh Pessian

veteranbanners brooklin

Photo source: Jason Liebregts / Metroland
Both the Whitby and Brooklin branches of the Royal Canadian Legion are involved in the Honour our Veterans Banner Program, which pays tribute to local veterans and active service members through the display of veteran tribute banners on lamp posts in town between Oct. 1 and Nov. 12 each year.

BROOKLIN -- As Remembrance Day draws near, the faces of local men and women of the past and present who served their country greet visitors of downtown Brooklin and Whitby.

The Honour our Veterans banner program is an ongoing legacy project that pays tribute to local veterans, deceased veterans and active service members through the display of banners with their photographs on lampposts every year between Oct. 1 and Nov. 12. The initiative began at a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in New Brunswick and has since inspired many other communities, including the Brooklin and Whitby branches.

“It started last year before Remembrance Day as a discussion,” says Emma Inkpen, a Brooklin resident and owner of Inkpen Studios, who brought the idea to the local branches after seeing the banners on the streets of Uxbridge.

“I had wanted to volunteer my time somehow with the Legion, and I took this as an opportunity to volunteer my services as a graphic designer.”

The program is funded through sponsorship of individual banners at a cost of $150 each, with 81 banners sold -- 40 from Branch 152 in Brooklin and 41 from Branch 112 in Whitby.

Inkpen designed the banners and spent all summer scanning and retouching images of veterans as they flowed in from the community. She was recognized by the Town of Whitby for her contribution to the project at a special council presentation on Oct. 11.

“To be trusted with so many families’ cherished photos was not a responsibility I took lightly,” she says. “As I retouched the photos, I felt like I got to know each veteran a little bit.”

Each banner highlights a specific service person with a connection to the community and includes a photograph, name, era served -- First World War, Second World War, Korean War, or Afghanistan conflict -- branch of service, and the sponsor’s name.

“The reason they were designed that way is so that the photograph is the main part,” explains Inkpen.

“Yes, it has their name and the era of which war they were in and stuff like that underneath it, but the primary (focus) that we’re trying to draw people’s attention to is the photograph. This is a real person that lived right here that went to war -- and some of them didn’t come back.”

The project also had a personal connection for Inkpen as her husband’s grandfathers, Lorne Atkinson, and Legion past president Harry Inkpen, were both veterans. The family sponsored two banners in their honour.

With each passing year, the number of surviving Canadian veterans of the Second World War continues to decline, making it even more important to find ways to remember their sacrifices, says Inkpen.

“I think we might be slowly losing touch with how big of a deal that was. These weren’t trained (soldiers), they weren’t in the army in most cases; they volunteered and I think the generations that are coming up behind them need to be reminded of that,” she said.

“And so when you’re driving along Dundas Street or driving up Baldwin, and you see this row of photo after photo, it really reminds you.”

The banners will be stored and go back up again next year, along with any new submissions. Visit to learn more about the program.


100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

IMG 3529The Government of Canada will mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge with commemorative ceremonies on April 9, 2017, at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, the National War Memorial in Ottawa, and in major cities across the country.

The Government of Canada will take a delegation over to France and commemorative events are being prepared for France during the week of April 5 - 12, 2017. Events are tentatively planned to include the opening of the Visitor Education Centre and the signature event at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial on April 9, 2017.

Additional details about these events will be posted here as they become available.