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!



CAHS Journal Complete Set

journal set

Special Offer – purchase a complete set of the CAHS Journals (from the first issue in 1963 to the 2017 issues) for a special price of $325 (postage included).  This would make a great gift for an aviation literature collector, for a young person with a budding interest in aviation history, or for a local school, public, or museum library.

CLICK HERE to download the order form.


2019 CAHS Convention Call for Presentations

Sainte Anne de Bellevue CanalWe are pleased to announce the call for presentations for the 2019 CAHS Convention in Ste Anne de Bellevue, Montreal, Quebec. The convention will take place 22 - 25 May. There will be a tour of the Montreal Aviation Museum and other local aviation attractions, a banquet, and the opportunity to meet others who share your passion for aviation. Persons wishing to present at the convention should review the Call for Presentations at this link, and fill out the form no later than 31 January 2019. Those selected will be advised by the end of February. We look forward to hearing from you.


A Celebration of Life: Ronald W. Wylie

wylie ron 300By Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President

Canada’s aviation community lost an exceptional and widely respected contributor on November 22 with the death of Ron Wylie, a Life Member of CAHS National and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, at the Carpenter Hospice in Burlington at age 77.

A large gathering of colleagues and friends joined Ron’s family to celebrate his remarkable life at Appleby United Church on November 30. It was fitting that a ceremonial guard from Ron’s beloved 400 (City of Toronto) Squadron served as ushers and paid tribute as the service concluded with the hymn Amazing Grace.

Ron’s extensive career in aviation had many dimensions. He will always be remembered for his warm personality, wonderful sense of humour, keen interest in aircraft restoration, preservation of history and a sense of duty. He continued to engage in lively conversation, sharing countless stories and memories with visitors at the hospice, throughout his long illness.

The CWHM honoured Ron’s service to the Museum by giving him a last flight in the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster as his health failed. On Remembrance Day, a flypast in his honour at the hospice was flown by the Lancaster, the B-25 Mitchell and an RCAF Hercules.

Ron was especially known for his 37-year career in the RCAF Reserve, where he achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. He joined the RCAF (Auxiliary) in 1959, starting as an Airframe Tech trainee. He was posted to 400 Squadron in 1961, and steadily advanced as he qualified as a Float Crewman, Cargo Para Dispatcher and Aerial Photographer.

In 1977 Ron was posted to 411 Squadron, where he was promoted to CWO. In 1984 he was posted to 2 Reserve Wing Headquarters at CFB Toronto, where he served until the disbandment of the Wing in 1996. That year, he wrote On Watch to Strike: History of 400 Squadron. He then assumed leadership roles with 715 Mohawk Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in Burlington, and ultimately became Commanding Officer until “retirement.”

Ron impressed everyone with his enthusiasm and talent for restoring vintage aircraft. While in the air force, he was involved in restoring a Fleet Finch and a McDonnell Banshee, both for the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

Ron accelerated his activities at the CWHM after retiring from the air force, helping to meticulously restore the Lancaster among other aircraft. In recent years, he was a dedicated volunteer on the Bristol Bolingbroke. A colour and markings specialist, he was also a member of the Jet Aircraft Museum in London.

For decades, Ron led a civilian air show team, The International Blue Crew, that runs the ramp at numerous air shows around Ontario and upper New York state. He was very prominent on the flight line at the warbird air shows staged by the CWH at Mount Hope beginning in 1975. Condolences on Ron’s passing were sent by the North East Council of Air Shows, which mentioned his work at the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto.

Ron was also a good friend of my father, Jack. The Great Burlington Centennial Seaplane Race of 1973 was among the fine memories we shared. Ron was a crewman on 400 Squadron DHC-3 Otter tail number 3671, ‘big number 24’ in the race, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Burlington in 1973.
Ron later wrote about the five days of excitement he enjoyed during the event. Forty-nine competitors from across Canada and the U.S. flew in a 1,973-mile endurance test starting with a flight to Kenora, on to Ottawa, and then returning to Burlington.

DHC 3 Otter of 400 Squadron crosses the finish line of the Great Burlington Centennial Seaplane Race Sept 15 1973 Gord McNulty photo

I was fortunate to take a photograph of the Otter as it crossed the finish line at Spencer Smith Park on the Burlington waterfront September 15, 1973. Ron had many favourite photos, but as wife, Sally, mentioned at the reception, that one-time-only photo was certainly one of them.

In his resume of the race, Ron wrote that the prize money wasn’t what counted. “The competition, the laughs --- the common interest --- flying, and the friendships made are the things we’ll all remember.” He described everyone in the event, from the organizers to the contestants, as a great group of people who were a pleasure to work with.

As much as he “never had a day off in retirement,” as the saying goes, Ron always had time for family --- and cooking too! “I didn’t get this big by missing many meals,” he wrote in an overview of his career in the 400 Squadron History Hangar.

The CAHS extends sincere condolences to Sally and the family on the loss of Ron, a friend and mentor to many whose legacy will long be remembered.


Shaw, Samuel Bernard


November 16, 1930 - November 10, 2018

Born to Ida and Samuel Shaw in Derbyshire, England, Bernie died on Saturday, November 10, 2018. After service in the RAF as a meteorological technician, he joined Rolls Royce as a designer for both the Car and Aero Divisions. Jean and Bernie were married in 1952 and emigrated to Canada with two small children in 1957 when he joined Computing Devices of Canada, moving on to Defence Research Board and the department of Industry from which he resigned in 1986 to establish his own consulting business. His interests in the Ottawa Valley and aviation led to the publication of seven books and numerous magazine articles. He was also an accomplished woodworker and supplied his family with furniture and amused friends with ingenious puzzles. He joins his wife and best friend, Jean. He was very proud of their children Judith (John Connor), David (Mira Lipura) and Susan (Ian Silsly), grandchildren Kristy, Amy, Jennifer, James and Sam and 7 great-grandchildren. A private family funeral will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ottawa Food Bank would be appreciated.

To view the obituary, click here.


Think Typhoon!

By Anne Gafiuk

In the spring of 2017, Harry Hardy, DFC, 440 Squadron, pilot of The Pulverizer, approached me to write a book about Typhoon pilots and their aircraft. “Tell our story! Be our Mrs. Muir.” Harry reminds me each week we chat on the phone, “Think Typhoon!”

PL 42746 440 Harry Hardy

Harry Hardy, 440 Squadron

Following the format of my books (Wings Over High River,
She Made Them Family and Quietus) how could I tell each Typhooner’s story with enough detail?

The Typhoon Project is the result, with articles, specs of the Typhoon, links to videos, books, images, and a bibliography.

PL 42817 440 Pulverizer

Harry Hardy flying the Pulverizer IV

So far, 200 men’s stories have been uploaded to the website, with an additional 75 more stories to be added in 2019, possibly more.

If members have names of Canadians connected to Typhoons with images, etc., and feedback about the website, please contact Anne Gafiuk at or

Anne and Harry

Anne and Harry


Willa Walker Blazed the Trail for RCAF Airwomen

By Elinor Florence

Willa Magee Walker rose rapidly through the ranks in 1941 to become head of the newly-formed Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division. Only 28 years old, grieving the recent death of her baby son, her husband locked away in a German prison camp, Willa rose to the challenge with courage and dignity, breaking down barriers for future generations of women in uniform.




Five “New” Aircraft for Alberta Museums –
Four Biplanes and a Crane!

By John Chalmers
CAHS Membership Secretary

Five aircraft recently placed in three Alberta museums are two Curtiss biplanes, two de Havilland biplanes and a Cessna Crane, all types that have had an important part in Canadian military and civil aviation. Those types have figured prominently in training pilots for two world wars.

At the new location of the Royal Alberta Museum, in the centre of downtown Edmonton, is a restored Canadian-built 1918 Curtiss JN-4 (Can). Known as a “Canuck,” it hangs suspended in the entrance of its new home. A notable feature that characterizes the Canuck is that it has ailerons on both wings. Its American counterpart, the JN-4D, has ailerons on only the upper wings.

01 Curtiss JN 4D

As visitors come into the museum, which opened on October 3, the Canuck is the first artifact they will see, “flying” above them in the entrance. To see more, click here. (Chalmers photo)

02 JN 4D at Wetaskiwin

The 100-year old aircraft is now suspended in its third location, transferred from the Reynolds-Alberta Museum at Wetaskiwin, Alberta, where it had been hanging for 20 years, as seen above. Wilfrid “Wop” May and his brother, Court, rented the aircraft for $25.00 per month from the City of Edmonton and flew it commercially as the Edmonton with May Airplanes from 1919-1924. Wop May was inducted as an original Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974.

The Canuck was acquired by the Reynolds family of Wetaskiwin 90 years ago in 1928. The aircraft was restored by three generations of the family, starting with the late Ted Reynolds; his late son, Stan, for whom the Museum is named; and Stan’s nephew, Byron Reynolds. Restoration was completed in the early 1980s and the biplane was then placed in the Edmonton Convention Centre in 1984, the 75th anniversary of powered flight in Canada. Byron Reynolds rightly states that, “This aircraft is truly a national treasure.” (Chalmers photo)

03 Canuck on ground

The aircraft has an important place in both Canadian and Alberta aviation history. It is one of only two Canadian-built JN-4 types still in Canada, the other being at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. To see more, click here.  One of the notable flights made by the aircraft occurred in June, 1919, when pilot George Gorman and engineer Pete Derbyshire were contracted by the Edmonton Journal newspaper to fly copies to Wetaskiwin, some 45 miles south of Edmonton. When high winds prevented landing to deliver the papers, they were dropped to the town’s fairground, in the first commercial flight in western Canada and the first delivery of newspapers by air! (Photo courtesy of Wop’s son, Denny May)

04 Baseball flight

On another occasion, pilot Wop May flew Edmonton mayor Joe Clarke in a low pass over the city’s Diamond Park baseball field to drop the first ball to open the 1919 baseball season, as seen above. The game was won by the Calgary Hustlers, defeating the Edmonton Veterans. Both Wop May and George Gorman had flown as pilots in the First World War. To see more, click here (City of Edmonton Archives, EA 10-3181).

05 Tiger Moth

A DH-82 Tiger Moth from the Reynolds-Alberta Museum is also flying overhead at the Royal Alberta Museum. It was built by de Havilland Canada in 1942 and used as a pilot trainer. After the war, it was struck off in 1945 and made available for sale by War Assets. Eventually, in 1984, the Tiger Moth was acquired by Stan Reynolds, C.M., restored and then flown by him. He served as an RCAF pilot during the Second World War, flying Beaufighters and Mosquitos. When he returned after the war at age 23, Stan began his massive collection of aircraft, vehicles and farm equipment that became the basis of the museum’s collection. He was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2009. To see more, click here. (Troy Nixon photo)

06 Curtiss Jenny

The latest addition to the Alberta Aviation Museum, a CAHS Museum Member, is another century-old aircraft. It is an American-built 1918 Curtiss JN-4D, commonly known as a “Jenny.” It was acquired by Jack Johnson in 1977 who spent 21 years restoring it to flying condition. The aircraft last flew in 2009 and at that time was the oldest flying aircraft in Canada. It is seen above, ready for flight at an Alberta air show in 2006. (Chalmers photo)

07 Jenny at AAM

Jack donated the Jenny, which arrived at its new home on September 27. The wings were removed for transporting the aircraft from Westlock, Alberta, to Edmonton. A new display is being prepared while it awaits completion with re-installation of its wings. New signage and extra Curtiss OX V-8 engines are part of the display. To see more, click here. (Chalmers photo)

08 Jenny airborne

In flight, with Jack Johnson at the controls, the Jenny is seen airborne in 2006. The biplane flew barely 24 hours after restoration before being donated to the Alberta Aviation Museum. Both the Canadian and American versions of the aircraft were powered by liquid-cooled Curtis V-8 engines (Chalmers photo)

09 Rapide 1

At the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, the latest aircraft to be put on display is a DH-89A Dragon Rapide, built in the U.K. by the de Havilland Aircraft Company in 1935. The biplane is a fabric-covered aircraft designed by de Havilland in 1933, primarily for short-haul flights for passengers or freight. In Canada, the Rapide saw service with Canadian Pacific Airlines and Quebec Airways. The DH-89A is a modified DH-89, equipped with a landing light in the nose, and the addition of flaps, which were not on a DH-89. (Chalmers photo)

10 Rapide 2

The de Havilland Rapide is powered by two de Havilland Gypsy Six inline six-cylinder air cooled engines and has a 48-foot wingspan. This aircraft was the fourth DH-89 built, and is the oldest surviving Rapide of 727 that were built. It began flying with Railway Air Services Ltd. of Croydon, England. Bearing the name, City of Bristol, it flew with a number of small U.K. airlines until 1961, when it was sold to a Canadian interest and flown in Canada under new registration, CF-PTK. (Chalmers photo)

11 Rapide 3

During the Second World War, Dragon Rapides flew with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. This aircraft was added to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum collection in 2001 and underwent a complete restoration by Historic Aviation Services Inc. of Wetaskiwin prior to being placed on display.

12 Crane

At the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, Alberta, which is also a CAHS Museum Member, a Cessna Crane has been added to the aircraft collection. The aircraft was built in 1942 and served with the American military in the Second World War. Two Jacobs seven-cylinder radial engines power the aircraft. It was acquired by Lloyd Drake of Lundbreck, Alberta, and restored in 2002 to flying condition by his son, Loren, who donated it to the museum. (Chalmers photo)

13 Crane on flatbed

On October 20, travelling on Highway 2 for 20 kilometers, the Crane was taken to the museum on a flatbed trailer from the airfield at High River, Alberta. Ben Schwartz, a museum volunteer and director, drove the rig which transported the aircraft. Its flying days are now over, but it will still be used in engine run-ups for events at the museum. Plans call for it to be painted in yellow livery of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, in which Cranes appeared during the war when the RCAF used Cranes as trainer aircraft for pilots and navigators in the BCATP. To see more click here. (CBC photo by Kate Adach, via the internet)

14 Crane airborne

In wartime training livery, a Cessna Crane is seen in flight as a multi-engine trainer in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. This aircraft’s home is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, a CAHS Museum Member. To see more, click here. (Photo by Rick Radell)

15 Selfie

Visiting the museum in Nanton provided an opportunity to take a selfie with the Cessna Crane’s pilot! During the war, Nanton was surrounded by stations of the BCATP that flew Cranes – 100 at No. 3 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) in Calgary; 100 at No. 15 SFTS at Claresholm, Alberta; and 50 at Vulcan, Alberta, home to No. 2 Flying Instructor School and No. 19 SFTS, which was my father’s last posting as an RCAF navigation instructor during the war.

The ongoing restoration of aircraft by Canadian museums to put them on display for the public continues to add the preservation of our aviation heritage for all to enjoy and appreciate.



On behalf of your National Executive, Board of Directors, and myself, I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and nothing but blue skies for 2019.

I received this post on my Facebook page and thought “what a great idea” so wanted to pass it along to everyone and suggest that you also send a card. When filling out your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address:

Any Canadian Forces Member
PO Box 5140 Stn Forces
Belleville ON
K8N 5W6


If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards will be sent overseas to these wonderful, special people, who have sacrificed so much.

We have seen another successful year for the CAHS. We have a new chapter in Medicine Hat and enjoyed a fantastic convention in Calgary last June. 2019 is looking like a continuation of great things for our society with plans for our national convention this coming May in Montreal, increasing museum and individual memberships, and exciting activities at all the chapters.

I thank all the National Board of Directors, the Chapter executive members, our Journal editor, our e-newsletter editor, our webmasters, and all our members for their passion and support that continue to make the CAHS the authoritative voice of Canadian aviation history.

To everyone in The Canadian Aviation Historical Society, all the best this Christmas Season and let’s keep making aviation history throughout 2019.

Blue skies,

gary williams sig
Gary Williams
National President
Canadian Aviation Historical Society


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 December are:

Question: Why did the 1936-1944 RAF/RCAF (Royal Air Force/Royal Canadian Air Force) flying training sequence of instruction state that aerobatics were prohibited when Tiger Moths were set up for night flying?

Answer: “The reason for this was was the battery providing power to the lights was situated on the floor of the front cockpit, immediately in front of the control column. This meant that any undue maneuvers would slop battery acid around, making the instructor quite uncomfortable.”

Source: CAHS Journal – Spring 2010 – Letters – Page 5 

Question: What personnel in the RCAF were under-appreciated by the general population during World War II?

Answer: “It is generally conceded that during World War II, it took ten persons on the ground to keep one person in the air. The general population has under-appreciated those who worked tirelessly to keep the air-craft flying in all capacities as the ‘glory’ was directed to the aircraft flying crews. The ground staff deserves more recognition by historians. Their training was just as rigorous as was the aircrew’s.  Ground staff consisted of everything from engine mechanics (fitters) to airframe riggers, instrument fitters, administration, armourers, vehicle mechanics, drivers, cook, service police and other various trades and occupations.”

Source: CAHS Journal – Spring 2010 – Page 16

Question: During its five-year life, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan involved how many schools and units and how many sites (not including relief fields)? What percentage of the pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, air gunners, and wireless operators of the Commonwealth Air Forces were trained under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan?

Answer: “During it’s five year life, The Plan involved 360 units and schools at approximately 230 sites not including relief airfields. Canada had virtually unlimited space, good flying conditions and was a safe distance from the conflict in Europe. It was one of the largest aviation-training programs in history and was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, air gunners, and wireless operations of the Commonwealth air Forces.”                     

Source: CAHS Journal – Spring 2010 – Page 16