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Canadian Mint

Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge with this new, limited edition $2 circulation coin. Honour the solidarity, bravery and sacrifice of Canadians who fought together to take Vimy Ridge. For $10, plus shipping and handling*, you will receive five $2 coins in a specially sealed keepsake.

In the spring of 1917, the Allies launched a new offensive on the Western Front, where all four divisions of the Canadian Corps were ordered to capture the heavily fortified Vimy Ridge. For the first time ever, divisions from all across Canada fought side-by-side at the same time to secure victory. This special two-dollar coin honours the Canadians at Vimy, where their valour and sacrifice contributed to a defining moment for our young nation and its military.


Designed by Canadian artist Tony Bianco, the coin design features the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, France flanked by a First World War soldier on the left and a veteran soldier on the right.

Click here to purchase from the Canadian Mint website.


The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for November are:

Question: What aircraft was: 1) All Canadian designed and built? 2) Was selected by Belgium for its NATO forces? 3) The name given to this aircraft by the RCAF was never really accepted and a different name was given to it by the crews?

Answer: “The RCAF named the CF-100 “Canuck” after the much earlier Curtis JN-4 Canuck trainer of the First World War. However, the name Canuck was never really accepted for the jet aircraft and the crews more often referred to the type as the “Clunk.” The twin engine jet all weather interceptor was all Canadian designed and built. The CF-100s good climb, excellent fire control and radar systems, twin engine reliability and all-weather capability made the air-craft highly suitable for Canadian and NATO air defense roles of the Korean and Cold War eras. Belgium also selected the design for its NATO forces. After a successful career in the RCAF/CF as a fighter, the aircraft type was later modified as an electronic countermeasures (ECM) trainer and was fitted with electronic ECM and chaff dispensing equipment. A black paint scheme was chosen by Aero for the prototype aircraft and to commemorate the type’s retirement, a Mark V aircraft was repainted in this original colour scheme.” “ TOS: 1951 SOS: 1981 No: 692”

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – T.F.J. Leversedge – Page 63

Question: The 406 Lynx Squadron, as the Battle of Britain was winding down, became the first RCAF night-fighter squadron. Which crew of the 406 Squadron had scored the first RCAF night-fighter victory? HINT: The navigator was from Regina and the Iron Cross insignia from the downed aircraft is now displayed in the Canadian War Museum.

Answer: “Two hours and 10 minutes after they had taken off from Fumerton (Robert Carl “Moose Fumerton) and Bing (Sergeant L.P.S “Pat Bing of Regina) landed at Acklington. They had scored their first victory, the first ever for an RCAF night fighter and 406 Squadron’s first success. The next morning, the men of 406 found the wreckage and cut out the black Iron Cross insignia of the Luftwaffe, taking it back to base (the insignia is now on display in the Canadian War Museum). None of the German crew survived, so the officers of 406 Squadron provided a full military funeral.”

Source: Canada’s World War II Aces – Larry Gray – Page 41

Question: What report, created in 1917-1918, is viewed as the Magna Carta of airpower - and not only in Britain?

Answer: “In summer 1917, London was rocked by German bomber attacks. The World War I British Cabinet appointed a committee – Prime Minister David Lloyd George and General Jan C. Smuts – to find solutions. Smut’s report came in two parts. The first focused on homeland defense. The second (excerpted here) called for an independent air force, saying air actions “may become the principal operations of war, to which older forms of military and naval operations may become secondary and subordinate.” Smuts said maintaining both a Royal Navy Air Service and a Royal Flying corps caused dysfunction, and that the nation should create “one unified air service” out of the two existing services. The Cabinet accepted his report and passed the Air Force (Constitution) Act, leading to the creation, in April 1918, of the Royal Air Force. The Smuts report today is viewed as the magna carta of airpower - and not only in Britain.”

Source: Warning Order – Official Publication of The Royal United Services Institute/Regina Officers’ Mess – May-2009-June 1-Page 1


November Remembrance

By John Chalmers,
CAHS Membership Secretary

All across Canada, in small towns and large cities, there are monuments honouring and remembering Canadians who have lost their lives in wars. Each name on every memorial has a story attached. Especially at this time of year we remember those who have made the greatest sacrifice while serving Canada in times of conflict.

When I was a kid in school from grades 4 to 9, I lived in the small Alberta town of Sedgewick, population 500 at the time. At the end of Main Street stands the fieldstone cenotaph, on which a bronze plaque names the 26 men from the district who fell in the First World War and 13 who were lost in the Second World War.

01 Sedgewick cenotaph

The Sedgewick monument, above, is flanked by two machine guns, which intrigued me when I was a schoolboy. Most meaningful to me were the names of men on the plaque, as some of their descendants were among my schoolmates. From time to time I visit that small town which holds so many special memories for me. I stop again to read the names on the cenotaph. (Chalmers photo)

More often, I visit the small city of Fernie, British Columbia, population 5,000. It is home to my older daughter, a son-in-law and three grandsons. I have come to know the place well, including the war memorial in front of the court house.

02 Fernie Memorial and Court House

The Fernie war memorial, with a statue of a First World War soldier atop, stands in front of the court house. The base of the monument bears the names of all the young men from Fernie who gave their lives in service to Canada during three wars – 93 in the First World War, 20 who fell in the Second World War, and one lost in the Korean War. (Chalmers photo)

03 They Shall Grow Not Old

I wondered how many Fernie men who died in the Second World War served in the RCAF. My research began in a book of 892 pages called They Grew Not Old, published by the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at Brandon, Manitoba. Along with 128 more pages in two later supplements, all RCAF personnel are listed who fell during the Second World War. The internet and other sources helped provide information about six Fernie airmen who served with the RCAF. (Chalmers photo)

Those six served in aircrew and would have trained in Canada at stations of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Not all six were killed in battle. Three lost their lives in accidents. Four are buried with military headstones marking their graves. Two have no known graves, but are remembered in other ways. Their names are commemorated on the Fernie war memorial, on the internet, in some cases on the names of mountains in British Columbia and on street names in Fernie. They are also remembered on military monuments in Canada and England, and at cemeteries in England and Europe.

04 Airspeed Oxford

Richard Paul Frayn was born in Gettysburg, South Dakota. A pilot with the rank of Flying Officer, he was killed in a night cross-country flying exercise on January 8, 1943, when the crew’s Airspeed Oxford (type shown above) crashed in England. Two other crew members, not Canadians, were also killed in the crash. F/O Frayn is buried in the Cirencester (Chesterton) Cemetery, Gloucestershire, England. He died at the age of 30 and left behind a wife and three young children in Fernie. Mount Frayn near Fernie is named for him. (Internet photo)

05 Halifax

James Howell, son of Charles and Sarah Howell of Vancouver, British Columbia, was killed in action on February 20, 1944, at age 23 while serving with the RCAF’s 431 Squadron on a Halifax bomber operation to Leipzig, Germany. Photo above is the restored Halifax bomber at the National Air Force Museum of Canada. (Internet photo) A pilot with the rank of Pilot Officer, Howell is buried in the Berlin War Cemetery at Charlottenburg, Germany. His squadron first flew Wellington, then Halifax and Lancaster bombers. Reformed as a fighter squadron in 1954, it is known today as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, based in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and is known as Canada’s famous aerobatic team, the Snowbirds.

06 Stratford on Avon Cemetery

Flight Sergeant Aloysius William “Bill” Klauer from Fernie, son of Adam and Sarah Klauer of Fernie, was an air gunner, killed at the age of 29 on May 4, 1943. He was serving with No. 22 Operational Training Unit, preparing for combat service, flying in a Wellington bomber that stalled and crashed while making a turn. The entire crew of six perished. Flight sergeant Klauer left behind his wife, Catherine, and is buried in the Stratford-on-Avon Cemetery in Warwickshire, England, shown above, where 97 of 179 Second World War graves are of Canadian airmen. F/S Klauer is commemorated by Mount Klauer north of Fernie and on Mount Klauer Street in the city. (Internet photo)

07 Ottawa Memorial

Another Fernie son, Pilot Officer James Robert McLean, was a navigator, killed at the age of 21 while serving with No. 111 Operational Training Unit at Nassau, Bahamas, on April 21, 1943. He and his pilot were lost when their B-25 Mitchell bomber crashed, and they have no known grave. P/O McLean is commemorated on the Ottawa Memorial in Ottawa, seen above. Mount McLean and Mount McLean Street in Fernie bear his name. The Ottawa Memorial names almost 800 men and women of the Commonwealth air forces who lost their lives while serving from Canada, the British West Indies and the U.S.A., or while training in Canada and the U.S.A., who have no known grave. (Chalmers photo)

08 mount swiderski

Flight Sergeant Alexander Swiderski, also a Fernie native, was a wireless operator/air gunner. He was killed in action at the age of 20 on June 12, 1942. He and all crew were lost when their Wellington bomber of the Royal Air Force No. 9 Squadron failed to return after night operations. F/S Swiderski has no known grave, but is commemorated on the Runnymede War Memorial in Surrey, England and on the Ottawa Memorial. Mount Swiderski, north of Fernie, seen above, bears his name. (Photo © Jack Brauer

09 Dean Washburn 10 Typhoon


Dean Jerome “Butch” Washburn was the son of Lenox and Teresa Washburn of Fernie. A pilot, he held the rank of Flying Officer and flew with RCAF 438 Squadron. He was killed on December 24, 1944, at the age of 21. F/O Washburn was diving and firing at an enemy vehicle from under 1,000 feet when his Typhoon fighter-bomber (type shown above) was hit by flak. It went into a spin and crashed near Schmidtheim, Germany. He is buried in the War Cemetery, Hotton, Luxembourg, Belgium. Washburn Street in Fernie was named for him, as was Mount Washburn, north of Fernie. (Photos: Library and Archives Canada; Internet)

11 Bomber Command Memorial

As P/O Howell, F/S Klauer and F/S Swiderski served with Bomber Command, their names are among the more than 10,600 listed on the Bomber Command Memorial at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada at Nanton, Alberta. (Chalmers photo)

12 Fernie statue

The statue of a soldier on Fernie’s war memorial honours the 114 men of Fernie who are named on the monument. In communities across Canada, stories can be found similar to the stories of Fernie’s men who were lost in wars defending our country. Canada’s men and women served on the sea, on the land and in the air – remembered in perpetuity. We must never forget. (Chalmers photo)


For those interested...

On 1st October my new "World War II Allied Aircraft Crashes in the Netherlands & North Sea" website was launched!

The purpose of the website is to help researchers, family members and any one interested, to search for detailed information about Allied Aircraft Crashes in The Netherlands and North Sea in the Second World War. Please note that not (yet) all crashes are available in the database, though it is gradually filled with more data. At present the database lists the information on 1363 crashed aircraft, 6457 crew members, and 630 cemeteries/memorials.

The address to go to is:






Any comments/corrections and/or more information is most welcome...
Greetings from Texel island,

Jan Nieuwenhuis

Note: The web site may also work on a tablet, but it's more difficult to handle because listing are not shown the way they should be (a common problem with tablets); You have to do more, in a not so easy way, to get all the data.


Centennial College Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Downsview Campus progressing well

by Gord McNulty, with files from Centennial

A state-of-the-art Centre for Aerospace and Aviation on an iconic site at the Downsview Campus of Centennial College continues to make impressive progress. On Oct. 11, a CAHS contingent including Toronto Chapter President Sheldon Benner, CANAV Books publisher Larry Milberry and I were among guests who attended an exclusive reception and tour of the $72-million project.


In a “topping off” ceremony, students, staff, dignitaries and guests were on hand to sign a steel I-beam before it was hoisted and incorporated into a new hangar that forms the central feature of the rejuvenated former headquarters of de Havilland Canada.

CC Aerospace 1

CC Aerospace 2

CC Aerospace 3

The project includes a hangar large enough to accommodate today’s commercial jets, as well as new classrooms, laboratory space, workshops, offices and a library. The campus is slated to open in the fall of 2018, giving Centennial access to working runways for the first time in its 51-year history.

Centennial currently trains about 300 aircraft and avionics technicians at its Ashtonbee Campus hangar in Scarborough. By comparison, the 138,000-square-foot Centre for Aerospace and Aviation will have enough instruction space to accommodate 900 students annually.

The project, designed by MJMA/Stantec (Architects in Association), involves repurposing the historic de Havilland building, at 65 Carl Hall Road, with selective demolition and new construction. Training and research facilities at the campus will include structural labs (sheet metal/airframe assembly), a composites lab, two aircraft hangars, and engine shops (turbine/piston).

Funding support included the federal government contributing $18.4 million in Strategic Investment Funds; the Ontario government provided $25.8 million; Centennial College and its partners and donors contributed $11.2 million.

Centennial views the project as the first step towards creating an aerospace training and research hub to develop new technologies in Ontario --- an ambitious goal that was first outlined in a 2012 federal review of Canada’s aerospace industry.

The new campus will anchor the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR) Consortium, which is working to maintain Canada’s ranking as a major aerospace supplier to the world. DAIR brings together the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, Ryerson University and York University, as well as industry partners Bombardier, Safran Landing Systems, MDA, Canadensys, Pratt and Whitney Canada, FlightSafety, Honeywell and UTC Aerospace.

The historic de Havilland Canada facility built 1,134 examples of Britain’s remarkable D.H. 98 Mosquito light bomber, photo reconnaissance aircraft and night fighter, the versatile “wooden wonder” that was instrumental during the Second World War. The company then produced its famous line of post-war civil and military aircraft, from the DHC-1 Chipmunk through to the Dash 8 series which evolved into today’s highly successful Bombardier Q400.


Downsview Site

As speakers noted during the reception, Centennial could not have chosen a better location for its newest campus in building on the rich aviation heritage of Downsview. There is palpable excitement as the Centre will soon open new opportunities for high-tech employment and innovation in aerospace and aviation, helping among other things to make the next generation of aircraft lighter and more efficient.

The CAHS is linked to Centennial through the Douglas MacRitchie Memorial Award presented to a deserving student in the College’s Aviation Technician (Aircraft Maintenance) program. We extend best wishes for the success of the Centre as Centennial builds on an incredible tradition of Canadian aviation excellence.

For information: Jim Passant, Program Co-Ordinator, / 416-289-5000, ext. 7510


Christmas Gift Giving

cahs 2018 calendarChristmas is only a little over a month away. Are there aviation enthusiasts on your shopping list who would love to receive an aviation-related gift?

How about a copy of the 2018 CAHS Aviation Artists' Calendar? Or how about note card stationary with aircraft profiles (designed by our Terry Higgins) such as DH83 Fox Moth, Liberator GRV Can, Blackbrun Shark II, Catalina Mk 1, and Spitfire Mk XVI?

cahs note cards3

Order deadline is 1 December in order to receive before Christmas.

order now

For more information, or to place an order, please click here.


Memorial Plaque Dedication

On November 8, members of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society Turnbull (NB) Chapter joined members of 403 (City of Calgary) Squadron, RCAF, and staff of JD Irving Ltd. for a Remembrance Ceremony. They dedicated a memorial plaque at the crash and burial site of the first two members of the RCAF to die on duty in the Second World War.

turnbull plaque


Aviation fans enjoy Tiger Boys Open House at Guelph Airpark

Photos and report by Gord McNulty

This year’s edition of the annual Tiger Boys Open House at Guelph Airpark, held Sept. 16 and 17, demonstrated why this event is among the most-anticipated events on the fall calendar for aviation fans in southern Ontario. A wide variety of antique, classic and home-built aircraft flew in to the delight of visitors who appreciated close access to the aircraft, conversing with pilots and taking the opportunity to ‘hop rides’ on one of the Tiger Boys, rare antique aircraft.

The event, traditionally held on the third weekend in September, is hosted by Tom Dietrich and Bob Revell (, who have been restoring antique aircraft for more than 35 years. A small selection of photos provides a sample of what you can expect to see. For extensive photo coverage of the 2017 event, check out the websites of Gus Corujo and Eric Dumigan at and


Tiger Boys Fairchild Fleet Cornell C FNOR beautifully repainted in the Little Norway colours of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Guelph Sept 16 2017 Gord McNulty

Tiger Boys Fairchild Fleet Cornell C-FNOR, beautifully repainted in the Little Norway colours of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.  Guelph Sept. 16, 2017.

Grassroots aviation is exemplified by the colourful scene at the Tiger Boys Open House at Guelph Sept 16 2017 Gord McNulty

Grassroots aviation is exemplified by the colourful scene at the Tiger Boys Open House at Guelph Sept. 16, 2017.

Lil Harry Cane C GWPN is a five eighths scale reproduction of a Hawker Hurricane built in 1985 by Harry Lasachuk of Toronto and purchased by the Tiger Boys in 2006 Gord McNulty

'Lil Harry Cane,' C-GWPN, is a five-eighths scale reproduction of a Hawker Hurricane built in 1985 by Harry Lasachuk of Toronto and purchased by the Tiger Boys in 2006.

DH82A Tiger Moth C GMTH Woody taking off is a replica of the famous Tiger Moth that Linley Wright of Texas flew for many years Gord McNulty

DH82A Tiger Moth C-GMTH 'Woody', taking off, is a replica of the famous Tiger Moth that Linley Wright of Texas flew for many years.

Boeing Stearman C FBBS arrives at the Tiger Boys Open House Sept 16 2017 Gord McNulty

Boeing Stearman C-FBBS arrives at the Tiger Boys Open House Sept. 16, 2017.