The CAHS is in the final stages of developing a new website.

We invite you to Click Here to visit now to view the new site and take advantage of the new features.

Once all relevant material from the old website has been transfered to the new website,
typing will automatically bring you to the new website.

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

Thanks for your patience, support, and interest!



The CAHS Sesquicentennial Book List


Thanks to all who have submitted recommendations for our Sesquicentennial Book List of 150 books about Canadian aviation as a 150th anniversary project for Canada’s birthday on July 1.

All we need to build the list are names of books you would recommend. Just provide the title, name of author, publisher, and date of publication.

Send recommendations to The list is growing well, and we plan to publish the list before our 150th birthday!



CAHS Convention 2017

2017 convention slide savethedate 600px


The CAHS Convention is less than two months away. Early bird registration will end on 30 April, so register now to save $30. You can pay through our Eventbrite site here, or by sending a cheque and the registration form to our national office at CAHS Convention, PO Box 2700 Station D, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5W7. Please make cheques payable to CAHS.

The convention hotel, the Best Western Stoneridge Inn, will hold rooms for us at the rate of $110 plus tax, until 7 May. You can register at the hotel using this link, or call them at 519 652-6022 or toll free at 1-888-471-2378, and quote reservation code 5B0VB6B3.

We are pleased to announce that our speaker for the banquet on Saturday evening, 10 June, will be well known media personality and pilot Jacquie Perrin. Our complete speaker list is posted on the convention web page.

The convention is a great opportunity for you to renew friendships and make new ones with people who share your passion for aviation. We hope to see you there.


History in the news

RCAF marks 100th anniversary of first military pilot training in Canada

March 29, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

In 2017, the Royal Canadian Air Force is marking the 100th anniversary of the first military pilot training in Canada.

The Royal Flying Corps Canada (RFCC) was established in late January 1917 to recruit and train Canadians for service in the RFC during the First World War. The first purpose-built and largest military aerodrome was constructed at Camp Borden, near Barrie, Ontario, in little more than two months. The first cadets arrived there for training on March 28, 1917, and the first flight took place on March 30, 1917.

Read more


Gus Feitzelmayer

Gus FeitzelmayerWe note with sadness the recent death of long-time CAHS Regina member Gus Feitzelmayer (July 20, 1942 – April 6, 2017). Gus was an early and stalwart member of the CAHS's Roland Groome chapter. He had been a navigator on RCAF Argus anti-submarine aircraft in the 1960s. Gus was also in a NFB documentary on the Argus made in the era of his service. He was a good friend to member Ron Summers, who had served with the RCAF's 442 Squadron the war. Gus is survived by his wife, Marian Fabian.

Click here to read more about Gus and his career.


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 than each question, you will find the answer to April's questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for April are:

Question 1: Which aircraft were assembled by the Ottawa Car Manufacturing Company for the Department of National Defence to be used for initial flying training but were either relegated as instructional air-frames or transferred to flying clubs?

Answer: “In 1929, the Ottawa Car Manufacturing Company assembled twenty-one Avro Avian light two-seat trainers for the Department of National Defence which, in turn, distributed them to the RCAF (ten) and to various flying clubs (eleven). Other aircraft were then acquired in 1930 for both the RCAF and additional flying clubs. The RCAF began using the type for initial flying training but, surprisingly, no extensive use was made of the aircraft. Most had very few hours flown before being relegated as instructional air-frames or being transferred to flying clubs.”

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – A Military Compendium – T.F.J. Leversedge – Page 59


Question 2: The following questions are in regards to the British air forces during WW1

1. What was the number of airplanes available to the British at the beginning of the war and after the Armistice?

2. How many officers were in the new service at the beginning of and after the war?

3. How many enemy balloons and machines were destroyed?

4. How many rounds of machine gun ammunition were fired at enemy targets on the ground?

5. How many aerial photographs were taken?

6. How many casualties were suffered?

Answers: “On August 4, 1914, there were two hundred and seventy-two aeroplanes available to the British army, and of these, less than one hundred were fit for military service: at the time of the Armistice, after thousands had been destroyed, worn out, or become obsolete, there were twenty-two thousand, one hundred and seventy-one, all of which were infinitely more powerful and reliable than the best of those in use at the beginning of the war. In August 1914, there had been less than two hundred and fifty officers in this new service; in November 1918, there were more than thirty thousand. During the period of this phenomenal expansion, the British air forces accounted for more than eight thousand enemy balloons; fought more than fifty thousand fights in the air; fired more than twelve million rounds of machine gun ammunition at enemy targets on the ground; took more than half a million aerial photographs; and in doing all this suffered nearly eighteen thousand casualties.”

Source: Canada’s Fighting Airmen by Lieut. Colonel George a. Drew – Page 1


Question 3: When did the RAF form an all Canadian squadron and what was the name of the squadron?

Answer: “In the late ‘30s, aspiring Canadian aviators paid for their own flying lessons and then bought tickets across the Atlantic to join the British Royal Air Force (RAF). It was the only game in town; the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) saw no need to satisfy young Canadian’s itch to fly. Moreover the government was not interested in equipping the RCAF to meet an enemy force. So many Canadians joined the RAF that a Canadian squadron, No. 242, was formed in November 1939. It’s commanding officer and all pilots were CAN/RAF (Canadians serving in the RAF).”

Source: Canada’s World War II Aces – Heroic Pilots & Gunners of the Wartime Skies – Larry Gray


B.C.-built replica WW1 planes land in France for Vimy Ridge centennial

By Jack Hauen, CBC News

Volunteers with the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley, B.C. built two replica Sopwith Pups — one of the earliest planes used in the First World War — to fly over Vimy Ridge this weekend to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the historic battle.

Now those planes, along with their Canadian pilots, have landed in France.

To read the full article, click here.

Note about why the Sopwith Pups did NOT fly at the Vimy Ridge event: The main problem why the two Pup replicas were not able to fly at the Vimy Ridge ceremony was that neither Transport Canada nor France were willing to give special dispensation to allow them to fly there before having accumulated the required 25 hours testing and clearance time. Hopefully the hours will be quickly flown off after their arrival back in Canada, and this will allow them to participate in the Vimy Flight appearances across Canada this coming Spring and Summer, before returning to Langley.

After they return from France, the plan is for the Vimy Flight to tour across Canada from the Maritimes to B. C., visiting air museums, etc. along the way, and to appear at the Battle of Britain Parade at Boundary Bay Airport on 17 Sep 17.

Photo Credit: Dominique L



Local Lens France newspaper item - 05 April 2017:


At Aerodrome Lens – Benifontaine, the fleets home for the Vimy Centenial flights:


Returning to base at Aerodrome Lens Benifontaine, France. Thank you to the 5 pilots: Allan Snowie, B Rent Handy, Larry Ricker,  Peter Thornton, Dale Erhart:



Photo source: Air Canada

Additional photos available here:



CAHF Declares Honorary Poet

By John Chalmers
Membership Secretary

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) has declared John Gillespie Magee Jr. as its Honorary Poet. Magee was a 19-year old Spitfire pilot serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force when he wrote his famous sonnet, “High Flight,” one of the best-known and best-loved aviation poems.

01 John G Magee JrBorn in Shanghai, China to missionary parents, John G. Magee Jr. attended Rugby School in England where he first distinguished himself as a poet. Later, continuing his education in the United States, Magee earned a scholarship to Yale University. However, in 1941, before the United States entered the Second World War, instead of attending university Magee enlisted in the RCAF and trained as a pilot in Canada, graduating with the rank of Pilot Officer.

Posted to England and qualifying as a Spitfire pilot, John wrote “High Flight” after a training flight. The poem was mailed to his parents, first printed in a Pittsburgh newspaper, and became widely known after publication in his father’s Washington D.C. church bulletin. On December 11, 1941, Magee was killed in a mid-air collision in England.

02 Magee wings

Wing Commander Wilfred A. Curtiss presents pilot’s wings to Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., at Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 14 April 1941. (RCAF)

Born on June 9, 1922, Magee was the eldest of four sons born to his American father and English mother. He is survived by one brother, The Reverend Canon F. Hugh Magee in Scotland, who like the boys’ father, served in the ministry.

John’s brother, Hugh, has thanked Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame for the recognition and has stated, “I am very pleased to express, on behalf of the entire Magee family, our gratification that the life of our John is being recognized and honoured as Honorary Poet of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. John combined two abilities that are not always found together: how many Spitfires do we know of that have been flown by poets? Your fitting tribute embraces both of these aspects of John’s short life in a most appropriate and distinctive manner.”

Linda Granfield, biographer of John Gillespie Magee Jr. with her book, High Flight, A Story of World War II, says, “It is both touching and appropriate that the life and words of Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr., a young pilot and poet of promise, will be enshrined at Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame and recited by generations to come.”

The official announcement of Magee as Honorary Poet will be made at the 2017 Induction Dinner and Ceremonies to be held at the Vancouver International Airport on June 15. Guest presenter and speaker will be Her Honour Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

03 Magee in cockpit

Pilot Officer Magee in the cockpit of a Supermarine Spitfire, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF.

New Members to be inducted to the Hall of Fame are: Erroll Boyd (1891-1960), who in 1930 was the first Canadian to fly across the Atlantic Ocean; Robert Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines; Danny Sitnam, founder of Helijet International Inc.; and Rogers Smith, one of the world’s top test pilots. The former aerobatic team of the RCAF, the Golden 04 Book coverHawks, will receive the Belt of Orion Award for Excellence. Retired S/L Fern Villeneuve will be there to receive the award on behalf of the Golden Hawks, with former pilots and ground crew expected to be in attendance.
For information, tickets, etc., contact:

Linda Granfield has extensively researched John Magee for her book, High Flight, and for her presentation about him at the 2013 CAHS convention.


DHC-3 Otter provides Canadian content at the U.S. Naval Aviation Museum

By Gord McNulty

U.S. Navy de Havilland Canada NU 1B Otter at the National Naval Aviation Museum Pensacola Gord McNulty

U.S. Navy de Havilland Canada NU-1B Otter at the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola (Gord McNulty)

A de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter, designated the NU-1B in U.S. Navy service, held a distinctive place for me as the only Canadian-built aircraft on display on a recent visit to the U.S. Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida. The beautifully restored Otter was among 13 examples that were bought by the U.S. Navy following the lead of the U.S. Army, which procured the Otter, designated the UC-1, in 1951 because of its ruggedness and ability to lift a large amount of cargo from makeshift fields.

The navy employed the Otter to support Operation Deep Freeze in the harsh environment of Antarctica. The Museum states that Otter 144672 (c/n 160) on display was one of three destined for transport in 1956 to the Weddell Sea area, bordering the northern coast of the Antarctic. During nine years of service with the Air Development Squadron (VX) 6, at Naval Air Station (NAS) Quonset Point, Rhode Island, Otter 144672 spent the majority of its time flying over the ice-covered landscape hauling cargo in support of scientific field parties. Some missions landed as long as 10 hours. Otter 144672 (c/n 160) and the two other Otters sent to the Weddell Sea were disassembled and packaged in crates. On 9 November 1956, the aircraft departed Davisville, Rhode Island, on board the attack transport Wyandot (AKA-92) for the long voyage south.

Entering the Antarctic Circle in mid-December, the ship plowed its way through 1,600 miles of ice-covered waters before finding a suitable site for a base on 27 January 1957. Once “ashore,” members of VX-6 went about the business of assembling their crated aircraft. A suitable landing field was marked by using barrels. Once assembled, the aircraft began flying over the ice, with one pilot likening the Otter to “a single-engine PBY.”

It proved to be a difficult winter for the aircraft. When flying weather returned, and the Otters were dug out of the snow, the personnel of VX-6 discovered two had been severely damaged. Luckily, 144672 needed only a replacement wing. One of its sister aircraft was a total strike. In October 1957, the Museum’s Otter was ready to support Operation Deep Freeze.

The Museum’s aircraft remained with VX-6 until 1965, when the navy changed the designation to NU-1B. After serving in various capacities at Naval Air Test Center (NATC) Patuxent River, Maryland; Naval Air Test Facility (NATF) Lakehurst, New Jersey; and the Pacific Missile Range (PMR) Point Mugu, California, the well-travelled Otter was donated to the Museum in 1975. When Hurricane Ivan hit the Pensacola area in 2004, this aircraft was tied down on outdoor display. It was the aircraft that was most heavily damaged by the hurricane’s high winds. Two years of extensive restoration work were completed in 2007, making the Otter another fine example of the outstanding collection on display at the Museum.


2017 merch

CAHS Merchandise

In conjunction with this year's convention, the CAHS is continuing the merchandise sale concept, and a variety of items 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 2017 convention in London. It combines the distinctive CAHS logo, the date and location of this year's convention, and featuring the Canadair Silver Star. Items that include this commemorative logo are polo shirts (in nine different colours and in men's and women's sizes with a few exceptions), t-shirts (available in two colours), a mug, tote bag, and mouse pad. T-shirts are available in men's and women's sizes. Baseball caps (four colour options) are also available with the tradtional CAHS logo.

cahs 2018 calendarAdditionally, the CAHS has partnered again with our amazing Canadian aviation artists to produce a stunning full colour bilingual 2018 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 London 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.

The deadline to pre-order and pay is 15 May 2017.

order now

To download the 2017 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