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Aviators in Hymns

When CAHS membership secretary John Chalmers went to church on July 2, 2017, he didn’t expect to learn about early aviators! The day after the 150th anniversary of confederation, the church service was organized around hymns from 150 years of history.

One of those hymns, “Crusaders of the Air,” was written as a tribute to early aviators who were at risk in flying and in attempting record-setting flights, sometimes with tragic results. The hymn was written by Kathryn Munro Tupper in 1925 as a poem in a small book of poetry called Under the Maple.

Another poem in Kathryn’s chapbook was dedicated to the memory of William George Barker VC, a fighter pilot of the First World War and the most decorated serviceman in Canadian history. Seen in the photo below, he died at the young age of 35 in 1930 while doing a demonstration flight.

The church service prompted John to write an essay called “What I Learned in Church About Aviation.” It first appeared in print in the newsletter of the Historical Society of Alberta (HSA) in January 2019. Since then, it has been picked up and published by the Royal Canadian Air Force, where it can be seen online when you click here.

In pdf form from the HSA, it can be read and downloaded when you click here. William Barker was an original Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. In John’s essay, other early pilots are mentioned whose outstanding accomplishments have contributed to Canadian aviation heritage and history.


Registration is now open for the 2019 CAHS Convention and AGM. The convention will take place 22 - 25 May, at the John Abbott College in the village of Ste Anne de Bellevue, west of Montreal, Quebec. Full convention registration includes 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.

We have arranged a terrific slate of speakers for everyone's interest:

Ted Barris, author of Dam Busters - Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany;

Jerry Vernon, CAHS Vancouver Chapter President, The Supermarine Stranraer in RCAF and Commercial Service;

John Orr, PERSEVERANCE: Some reflections on 55 years of the Canadian Sea King;

Dick Pickering, former CAHS Montreal Chapter President, The Romance of Flying: The flying career of Doug Pickering;

David Waechter, author, The R100 Airship and the Contributions of Barnes Neville Wallis and Nevil Shute Norway;

Pierre Thiffault, The story of the first known aviator in Canada... a boy of only 14 !

Jim Mason, CAHS Montreal Chapter President, Canadian Boardrooms in the Sky;

and more. The complete speaker list will be posted on the CAHS website.

We are very pleased to announce that our banquet speaker will be John Maris, a 2018 inductee into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. John is an engaging speaker whose presentation will be interesting to all.

To register for the convention, please complete this form:
and send your payment by cheque, made out to CAHS, to
Box 2700 Station D, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5W7
or by electronic transfer to
Your registration will be confirmed once payment is received.

courtyardThe link to register at the convention hotel is here:
Courtyard Marriott West Island / Baie d'Urfe
The rate is $142 per night, plus taxes, for double occupancy, $152 per night plus taxes for three, and $162 per night plus taxes for four people.

Budget accommodations are available at the dormitory. Please indicate on the registration form that you would like us to make a reservation for you. Dorm accommodations must be paid in advance to the CAHS. If you are bringing a car to the convention site, you will also need a weekday parking pass, available on the registration form.

We look forward to seeing you at our convention!

Convention promo


I am looking for information on a former Arctic Airlines Lockheed Lodestar, which is being restored in California. I have included a photo with its current paint job.

Here is the airframe history:

Thank you for any help you can provide!

Tondelayo Murray


I am writing a short piece for my web page G. F. M. Apps was involved with aerial photographic mapping operations, one of the men mentioned in Photographing Canada from Flying Canoes, by Shaw. I am trying to find out the full name of a chap mentioned - "R. Marshall". Can any one help me with this?

Many thanks,
J M Grech


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: Which bomber was used predominately by RCAF Bomber Squadrons during World War II? What percentage of combat operations were flown using this aircraft?

Answer: “It is worth mentioning that records show that over seventy percent of all combat operations flown by RCAF Bomber Squadrons used Halifax aircraft.”

Source: CAHS Journal – Spring 2010 – Page 17

Question: The American President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, during World War II, had referred to Canada as “The Aerodrome of Democracy”. Which Canadian had written this phrase? Hint: This person became very well known in Canadian Politics after World War II.

Answer: “By 1945, the RCAF had become the world’s fourth largest airforce and the American President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt referred to Canada as “The Aerodrome of Democracy” – a phrase written for him by Lester B. Pearson who was the Consul to the Canadian Legation in Washington at the time.”

Source: CAHS Journal – Spring 2010 – Page 19


1. How many sorties did the RAF Bomber Command fly during World War II?

2. How many aircrews of all nationalities flew with Bomber Command?

3. How many were killed, wounded, became prisoners of war, managed to evade capture and escaped from prison camps?

4. In what year did 1/3 of the casualties occur?

5. What number of those killed were air gunners?

6. How many men and women were killed or wounded while engaged in various ground duties?

Answer: “Historians differ as to the exact figures but during World War II, RAF Bomber Command flew more than a third of a million sorties with 125,000 aircrew of all nationalities serving within the Command. Approximately 55,550 were killed, 9,838 became prisoners of war, 8,500 were wounded, 1500 managed to evade captures and 100 escaped from POW camps. Over one third of of all these casualties occurred in 1944. Of the total killed, 20,000 were air gunners. In addition, some 2,000 men and women were killed or wounded while engaged in various ground duties either from enemy action, accidents or from the effects of exposure working all hours day or night in the bitter cold of six war winters. It is high praise indeed for those ground staff whose faithful service on the operating airfields, in administration, training and supply units contributed so much to the success of the bomber offensive. Without then, the bombers would have never left the ground.”

Source: CAHS JOURNAL – Spring 2010 – Page 27


An Aviation Memory

Retirement of the Dakota took place 30 years ago
this month

Photos and report by Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President

On a frigid day in March, much like the cold and icy weather in Ontario this year, a Canadian Forces Dakota arrived at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum to commemorate the retirement of the legendary multi-purpose transport from service.

Dakota 12963 was repainted in “Canucks Unlimited” Burma colours for the special occasion on March 19, 1989. A throng of aviation fans, news media, politicians and others attended the historic event at the original CWHM hangar. The last operational flight of a Dakota to Hamilton left an indelible memory with those of us, including a number of CAHS colleagues, who were on hand.

Originally RAF FZ658, the aircraft entered service in 1943. On the night of June 5, 1944, it was one of 32 Dakotas from 512 Squadron to drop paratroopers of the 6th Airborne Division behind enemy lines in Normandy for Operation Tonga (part of the larger Operation Overload and D-Day landings).

In September, 1945, it was tasked for service in India, with the RCAF’s 435 and 436 Squadrons. Like many other Dakotas, it transported supplies and troops to the British Army in Burma during the war in the Pacific. When the war ended, it was the last Canadian aircraft to leave Burma.

The Dakota returned to England with 435 Squadron and in 1946 was officially transferred to 436 Squadron, RCAF. After the war, it served in various squadrons until its retirement in 1989. The aircraft then became part of the National Air Force Museum of Canada at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton and remains proudly on display at the RCAF Memorial Airpark.

A crowd of spectators watch Dakota 12963 taxi into the Canadian Warplane Heritage 19 March 1989

A crowd of spectators watch Dakota 12963 taxi into the Canadian Warplane Heritage 19 March 1989.

Dakota 12963 in Canucks Unlimited colours arrives on farewell Dakota retirement tour at CWHM 19 March 1989

Dakota 12963 in 'Canucks Unlimited' colours arrives on farewell Dakota retirement tour at CWHM, 19 March, 1989.

Dakota 12963 in Canucks Unlimited colours visits CWHM 19 March 1989 for the retirement of the Dakota from the Canadian Forces G McNulty

Dakota 12963 in 'Canucks Unlimited' colours visits CWHM 19 March 1989 for the retirement of the Dakota from the Canadian Forces.

Aviation fans and news media surround Dakota 12963 on its farewell visit to the CWHM in March 1989 Gord McNulty

Aviation fans and news media surround Dakota 12963 on its farewell visit to the CWHM in March, 1989.

Dakota 12963 repainted in Canucks Unlimited colours visits CWHM during Dakota retirement tour March 19 1989 Gord McNulty

Dakota 12963 repainted in 'Canucks Unlimited' colours visits CWHM during Dakota retirement tour, March 19, 1989.


Hall of Fame 2019 Induction Gala

Five outstanding Canadians will be inducted as Members of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame at the 46th annual induction dinner and ceremonies to be held this year at the Bombardier Centre de finition Laurent Beaudoin (Laurent Beaudoin Completion Centre) at the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport on May 16, 2019. The inductions will bring to 237 the total number of individual Members of the Hall.

Laurent Beaudoin 300Featured guest speaker and presenter for the ceremonies will be Laurent Beaudoin, chairman emeritus of Bombardier, who retired in May 2018 after 55 years with the company. He had joined the company in 1963 when it was a snowmobile manufacturer in Valcourt, Québec. During Beaudoin’s years of service, Bombardier grew to become a global leader in rail and aerospace production. The company’s centre for completion of the Global 7500 aircraft was renamed for Beaudoin following his retirement.

To order tickets for the annual induction dinner and ceremonies, contact Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame at or call 780-312-2073. To print a ticket order form, click here.

Poster 2019 545