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The Regina chapter of the CAHS is helping a committee in Estevan, Saskatchewan, that is working on a monument commemorating the Sept. 15, 1946, crash of an RCAF Dakota at the former site of 38 SFTS near Estevan.

Organizers have found photos of 19 of the 21 RCAF members killed. Two remain to be found.

These two airmen are:
- Flight Lieutenant Clifford Somerville Coppin of Kamsack, Saskatchewan, and;
- Leading Aircraftman Vitantos Luke Kirko of Toronto.

Did any of the Toronto newspapers of that day carry a photo of LAC Kirko? Are there any Finnish historical groups in Toronto that might be able to help?

If you can help, get a screen grab or take a photo with your smartphone and send it to Will Chabun on FB or to


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 March are:

Question: What is the name and the number of the squadron that was adopted by Regina? The squadron was sent comforts by the Rotary Club and which Bomber Squadron ladies’ auxiliary?

Answer: (Part 1) “No. 426 Squadron RCAF, now known as 426 Transport Training Squadron, or Thunderbird Squadron originated as a squadron in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) that fought during the Second World War as a bomber squadron. After undergoing several reformations, it remains active today as a transport training squadron. The motto of the squadron is "On Wings of Fire" and the squadron's badge contains a Thunderbird. The badge refers to the squadron's Thunderbird designation..”

Source: Wikipedia

Answer: (Part 2) “ The Thunderbird squadron is the squadron adopted by Regina and to which the 120 Bomber Squadron ladies’ auxiliary and the Rotary club sent comforts.”

Source: Regina Leader Post – Aug 19, 1944 - Page 2

Question: How did Wilfrid Reid “Wop” May get his nickname?
He was an illegal immigrant
It’s the sound a propeller makes
He whopped the enemy
He learned to fly on the Westland Wapiti
None of the above

Answer: None of the above is correct. “Wop” got his nickname when a 2 year old cousin could not pronounce Wilfrid – she tried & it came out “Woppie”, got shorted to “Wop” and stuck. And the Westland Wapiti was not built until 1927 – Wop learned to fly in 1917 on a French built Caludron G.III”.

Source: Website – The Chronicles of W.R. (WOP) 

Question: Maple Flag is a Canadian variation of the United States Air Force RED FLAG exercise. Why were the RED FLAG and MAPLE FLAG exercises created and when was each created?

Answer: “Exercise MAPLE FLAG is a Canadian variation of the United States Air Force RED FLAG Exercise, held several times a year at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Both exercises were developed in response to a Vietnam War finding that 90 percent of aircraft losses took place during the first ten combat missions. Aircrew who survived these critical first ten missions were more likely to survive the remainder of their combat tour. In order to enhance survivability and improve performance of aircrew, Exercise RED FLAG was created in 1975. Canadians first participated in RED FLAG in 1977 and a year later, the Canadian Commander of Air Command invited the United States Air Force to hold a northern RED FLAG, which was a great success and was held by 4 Wing Cold Lake bi-annually thereafter until 1987 ”



Sons and skies AW CoverI would like to alert you to our new title: OF SONS AND SKIES by Robert Arley - which takes a fresh, accessible perspective on those challenging years. It covers appreciation for the vital work of Canadian airmen, and the training programs based in Canada.

RAF Air Vice Marshal Paul Robinson considers it is "brilliant".

For more information, click here.



I hope this will be of interest to CAHS members.

With regards,

Kirsty Macaulay,
Splash TV


April Events at the Alberta Aviation Museum

Blatchford Boogie-Woogie

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Saturday April 7th, 2018, 7 PM – 1 AM

Take a step back in time, grab your favourite pair of saddle shoes, and dance the night away at an event inspired by Edmonton’s own WWII era Hangar 14.

Let the C-Jam Big Band and Sugar Swing Dance Club swing you into spring at the Alberta Aviation Museum’s Blatchford Boogie-Woogie.

The museum will be open from 7pm – 9pm with exclusive access for ticket holders, then music and dancing will top off the evening. This is an 18+ event and includes cash bar, 50/50, and a light late lunch.

Tickets are $35. Available online through TIX on the Square and in person at the museum.

100th Anniversary of the Red Baron’s Last Dogfight

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Saturday April 21st, 2018, 10 AM – 4 PM

  • Decorate one of one-hundred "Red Baron" Airplanes
  • Earn Your Ace Kids Games
  • Dress-up Photo Booth

At 1 PM guest speaker Denny May will present the story of the famous April 21st, 1918 dogfight where the Red Baron chased down Edmonton’s Wop May and was ultimately shot down.

Regular admission prices.


2017 Donation Tax Receipts

The CAHS appreciates all the donations that members and sponsors gave this past year. Your generosity plays an important role in helping the CAHS carry out its mission to preserve and celebrate Canada's aviation history.

The tax receipts for donations made in 2017 have now all been sent out. Most tax receipts were sent electronically (as PDFs) to the email addresses in our database. If we did not have an email address, or if the email message bounced back, we sent a hard copy to your regular mailing address.

If you have not received your tax receipt by the end of March, please contact treasurer Rachel Lea Heide ( to determine if the correct email or mailing address was used and to get another copy sent.


Johnny - John Fauquier DSO and 2 Bars DFC

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The Bomber Command Museum of Canada has recently published Johnny, the biography of Air Commodore John Fauquier DSO and two Bars DFC.

The Air Commodore was Canada’s most decorated airman and its leading bomber pilot during World War II, flying at least 93 combat operations. ‘Johnny’ did it all during his flying career as a bush pilot, flying instructor, bomber pilot, squadron commander, pathfinder, master bomber, base commander, and finally leading the legendary ‘Dambusters’ squadron as they dropped 22,400 pound Grand Slam bombs on Nazi targets.

The book is available at the museum or click here to purchase from their on-line store.

Johnny back cover2


Exile Air tells inspiring story of World War II “Little Norway” in Canada

Book review By Gord McNulty

Exile Air by Andrea Baston

The contributions of the young Norwegian airmen who trained in Canada during the Second World War, first in Toronto and then in Muskoka, are described in an excellent new book. Author Andrea Baston provides a comprehensive overview of the fascinating story of “Little Norway” in her well written and well illustrated volume, Exile Air.

Canada, home of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, quickly proved to be an ideal refuge for Norwegian airmen after Nazi Germany invaded Norway in 1940. The Royal Norwegian Air Force initially built a training camp at the Island Airport in Toronto. Recruits came from everywhere to join and many risked their lives just to get from Norway to Toronto.

Soon, Fairchild Cornell trainers and other aircraft arrived at Little Norway and were flying over the city. Torontonians welcomed the Norwegians with open arms and friendships blossomed. Little Norway’s airmen found ways to help the Norwegian government in exile, pledging a portion of their pay for a Spirit of Little Norway Fund used to purchase three Cornells.

It was a demanding and hectic period. The Island Airport became crowded and training fatalities occurred. The most serious accident occurred in June, 1941, when a RNAF Northrop Nomad seaplane struck the upper level of a passenger ferry, the Sam McBride, sailing across Toronto Harbour. Both RNAF pilots died. Luckily, no one on the ferry was hurt. The frequency of accidents was a major issue at an inquest.

Relocation of Little Norway to Muskoka Airport, a safer airfield that didn’t have much air traffic, became a necessity. The Norwegians received a rousing ovation from a crowd of 2,000 people at opening ceremonies in May, 1942. RCAF and RNAF flags were raised and Cornells flew overhead.

The relationship between Gravenhurst citizens and Little Norway was superb. Andrea Baston, a lawyer who grew up in Gravenhurst, describes living conditions in depth, with colourful details exemplified by at least three orphaned bear cubs raised by the RNAF. A black bear cub named “Funny” wrestled with the men in the evenings and loved to drink beer and Coca-Cola!

Before the Norwegians prepared to return to Norway after its liberation, they held a special ceremony to say farewell to Canada. On Feb. 17, 1945, more than 1,000 guests gathered at the Little Norway hangar. There was relief the war was coming to an end, but the day was tinged with sadness at the departure of the Norwegians.

LCol Ole Reistad, Commanding Officer of Little Norway, told the crowd Canadians would “forever occupy a special place” in Norwegians’ hearts for “the care and support that was given their flying sons on foreign soil in a dark hour.” He spoke of the friendship between the two countries that would grow stronger. At sunset, the RCAF and RNAF flags were lowered.

During the war, 3,323 personnel trained at Little Norway, nearly 2,000 of whom went overseas to fight the enemy. Flying in Norwegian squadrons of Britain’s Royal Air Force, they hunted enemy submarines off Iceland, battled Nazi fighter planes, flew bombers over Germany, and dropped secret agents behind enemy lines. Some 309 RNAF members died. A total of 213 Norwegians married during their time in Canada, and 93 children were born to RNAF personnel.

Today, the RNAF training camps in Canada are fittingly commemorated in a granite monument at Little Norway Park in Toronto’s waterfront and at a memorial at the Muskoka Airport terminal. Andrea Baston deserves full credit for further enriching a story that remains a significant, respected part of the history of both Norway and Canada.

Exile Air, published by Old Stone Books Ltd. (, 240 pages, $28.95 plus tax and shipping.


CAHS Museum Members

By John Chalmers, CAHS Membership Secretary

Museum Members of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society comprise a valued component of our membership. Each issue of our newsletter lists those members, with their names linked to the museum’s website. We encourage readers to visit those web locations, and to visit the museum itself when opportunity arises. This is the third in a series about our Museum Members.

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum

01 Brandon

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at Brandon, Manitoba, housed in a wartime hangar, commemorates the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of the Second World War. Collection aircraft were for training or types flown in combat. The Museum has published They Shall Grow Not Old, naming all members of the RCAF who were killed during the war, and those names appear on a huge granite memorial. Also featured are displays, vehicles and historic flying aircraft. (Chalmers photo)

Comox Air Force Museum

02 Comox

Located at 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, the museum commemorates the role and history of 19 Wing (CFB/RCAF/RAF) and achievements in west coast military aviation history. The museum was founded in 1982 as part of the Air Force Indoctrination School, then accredited as a standalone Canadian Forces Museum in 1987. In the Heritage Air Park are several types of aircraft flown by the RCAF, and exhibits deal with history starting from the First World War. (Museum photo)

Great War Flying Museum

03 Brampton

Founded in 1970, operated by the Ontario Aviation Historical Society, and located at the Brampton, Ontario, airport, the Great War Flying Museum emphasizes aviation history of the First World War. As well as displays of artifacts, five flying replica aircraft are representative of types flown during the war. Two more period aircraft are under construction, one of which is the legendary Sopwith Camel, and the Fokker D. VII under reconstruction is expected to fly this summer. (Museum photo by Eric Dumigan)

Harvard Historical Aviation Society

04 Penhold

Located at the site of the former Penhold base in Alberta, built for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the Harvard Historical Aviation Society plans construction of a wartime H-hut and a hangar. A Night at the Museum event is held on two Mondays each month for volunteers to experience hands-on museum work. Programming commemorates and celebrates the unique history of the RCAF Station Penhold, the RAF Station Bowden and the Red Deer Airport. (DND photo)


convention2018 save the date

2018 CAHS Convention & AGM
Calgary – May 30 to June 3, 2018

We have chosen some great speakers for the 2018 CAHS Convention and we are finalizing arrangements with them. Speakers cover topics from WW1 to the present time, military, civil and commercial. The tours that we have arranged are to the Nanton Bomber Command Museum (Avro Lancaster, restoration of a Spartan Air Services de Havilland Mosquito and a chance to get up close and personal with a running Bristol Hercules), Viking Air (building new Twin Otters, and the new Twin Otter simulator) and The Hangar Flight Museum (see a Twin Otter that flew a rescue mission to the South Pole). These should offer something special for everyone. Remember, with a full registration you will have a chance to win one of two seats onboard the Lancaster during the engine run.

NOTICE: This is a final notice to anyone intending to attend and wishing to visit Viking Air during the conference, to please ensure that your full name and birth date be submitted to on or before Monday April 2. So even if you have not decided if or when you are coming, please follow through on this ASAP. Anyone who does not reply on time will not be allowed airside at Viking Air.

There are a great many aviation related attractions available in the immediate Calgary area. Some of these include: the Military Museums featuring the RCAF Museum, The RCN Museum and the Cold War Museum with seven aircraft on display; the AVRO Museum at Springbank with a scale flying Arrow replica under construction; an outstanding art display at Mount Royal University and more smaller aviation exhibits elsewhere. There are also things to see in Red Deer and Wetaskiwin. If you registered, and are interested in visiting any of these other attractions please let us know and we may be able to help arrange transportation.

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit Calgary and sample some of what we have to offer, including the Calgary Zoo featuring dinosaurs, penguins, lemurs and pandas. The Convention is from May 30 to June 3. Please refer to this newsletter or the CAHS website for a registration form and a link to the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel (special Convention rates for us).

There is a partial list of speakers and their topics listed below in this newsletter.

See you in Calgary,
The Convention Committee


CAHS 2018 Convention Preliminary List of Confirmed Speakers

The Canadian Aviation Historical Society Executive and Convention Committee are excited to announce the preliminary list of confirmed speakers for the 2018 Convention in Calgary, Alberta. Topics span both civil and military aviation, from the First World War through to the present day. There is no particular order in the list below.


Speaker Topic
Richard de Boer The Spartan Mosquito
Jack McWilliam The Spartan Mosquito
Robert Galway The Red Lake Gold Rush
Carl Mills RCAF Pilots in Korea
Jerry Vernon The Loss of a TCA Lodestar
Will Chabun RCAF Station Saskatoon
Bill Cameron Fred McCall
Jim Bell No. 403 City of Calgary Squadron
James Winkel Saskatchewan Government Air Services
Mark Cote That Lucky Old Son
Richard Goette NORAD
David Waechter Avro Arrow Aeroballistic Testing
Fred Petrie F/L Herb Briggs
Bill Zuk Amelia Earhart in Canada
Allan Snowie
The Vimy Flight
Shirley Matheson To be announced



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 Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel

The Sheraton Cavalier Hotel 

Our special convention rate is $139 per night plus taxes (the regular rate is $169 per night). Check out the Sheraton Cavalier and book your room before the hotel fills up. Click here to register.


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