The Lewis Letters

By Pam McKenzie
Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

Book launch November 2017

In the fall of 2016, Mr. Kelly Jones contacted me, saying he had his godfather’s memorabilia to donate to the museum. The two suitcases he delivered revealed one of the most significant personal history donations the museum has ever received. This treasure trove contained the whole life and career of Group Captain Alexander Lewis. We have personal letters, diaries, pictures, uniforms and memorabilia, over 100 items now in our Library & Archives to be preserved and protected.

Alexander Lewis was born in 1899 and during his life, was an active participant in the seminal events of the 20th century. He was an 18 year old RFC pilot over the front lines of WWI Europe, a survivor of Ireland’s Kilmichael Massacre and Palestine’s Gendarmerie, a founding member of the RCAF in 1924, the pilot of the Hudson Strait Expedition that crashed in the North Atlantic and walked thirteen days to survive, and a commanding officer and convoy pilot of the RCAF in WWII.

His hand-written letters and diaries, the earliest 100 years old now, told an amazing story. They told several in fact, and my notes became a book, told mostly in his own words.

The Lewis Letters was launched at the Royal Aviation Museum and at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Nov 2017, after a year in the writing and production. It has been well received; many readers do share our love of aviation history.

It is available through Amazon, on-line through Kindle and Kobo, at McNally Robinson Booksellers and the Gift Shop of the Royal Aviation Museum, and through Friesen Publishers. The price point is a very accessible $10.99 and I hope to bring this amazing adventure story to Calgary in May to our very knowledgeable Society.