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Also visit the Newsflash page at to read about the latest developments.

Thanks for your patience, support, and interest!



George "Ray" Gibson

The CAHS is sad to learn of the passing of CAHS National and Toronto Chapter member George Ray Gibson, (CAHS # 1220).

Suddenly on August 14, 2020 at his residence, surrounded by his family. Ray has gone to join his beloved wife June of many years. Cherished father of son Glenn Gibson and daughter Cheri Gibson. During his youth Ray was a talented pilot and had worked on many aerospace projects. Ray will be missed by his friends and colleagues in The Rotary Club of Bramalea, The Society of Manufacturing Engineers and The Honorable Company of the Freemen of the City of London.

A Funeral Service took place at the Scott Funeral Home – Brampton Chapel, on Wednesday August 19 2020 at 2 PM, followed by a private burial.

Donations may be made in memory of Ray to the Health League of Canada via the Funeral’s web site.



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 September are:

Question: What donation of what planes and by who was considered to be an important asset of the small Canadian Air Force established in 1920?

Answer: “The new Royal Canadian Naval air Service had been quickly disbanded after the war, but the U.S. Navy left the flying boats it had operated in Nova Scotia, and these became an important asset of the small Canadian air force established in 1920, which in 1924 received the King’s permission to use the prefix royal.”

Source: War In The St. Lawrence – Page 09

Question: When did the first delivery of bombers to Britain take off from Gander, how many were delivered and what type were they?

Answer: “Aircraft urgently required by the RAF were being lost at sea as a result of submarine attacks on shipping carrying aircraft from America. Lord Beaverbrook, Minister of Aircraft Production in England was looking for solutions. Someone asked him why he didn’t have the bombers flown to England. While he seized on the idea, senior staff officers in the RAF laughed at the suggestion: they said it could not be done because of the weather and particularly icing conditions over the ocean. Most of the aircraft would be lost in the sea.” “A group of seven Lockheed Hudsons, led by Captain D.C.T. Bennett of BOAC, took off at 22;33 GMT (19:03 local time). The Atlantic Bridge was thus established and, by the end of the war, thousands of aircraft had been flown from North America to the war zones of Europe. It was very successful operation and was accomplished with surprisingly low losses. Those who said the Atlantic could not be flown in winter were proved wrong in the first two months of the operation.”

Source: Atlantic Air Ferry, by T.M. (Tom) McGrath, CAHS Journal, Fall 1993, Page 100


Question: Which squadron provided the first 24 hrs support out of Halifax to shipping in approaches to ports in Canada and was considered the only modern maritime patrol aircraft in the RCAF’s inventory. What planes did they use and how many did they have?

Answer: “The greatest danger of submarine attack was in coastal waters where the concentration of shipping in approaches to ports enabled the enemy most readily to find targets. For the first forty-eight hours (about 740 kilometres) out of Halifax, the convoys were escorted by two of the RCN’s destroyers. There was support for the first twenty-four hours by Supermarine Stranraer twin-wing flying boats operated by 5 Squadron RCAF at the Dartmouth air station. There were only five Stranraers in the squadron, and these were the only modern maritime patrol aircraft in the RCAF’s inventory.”

Source: War In The St. Lawrence – Page 22


CAHS 2021 Calendar

2021 Calendar mockup 500Good news... COVID didn't cancel the calendar! Thanks to the generous art contributions from amazing artists within our membership, we are able to continue our annual aviation art calendar series. This calendar would make a wonderful Christmas gift! Are there aviation enthusiasts on your shopping list who would love to receive an aviation-related gift? Please consider giving them a copy of the 2021 CAHS Aviation Artists' Calendar. This 13-month calendar features 13 full colour aviation artworks by talented artists within the CAHS membership. And the price of $20 with shipping is hard to beat!


Order deadline is 15 November to ensure delivery before Christmas.

order now

To download the order form, CLICK HERE.

Please email the completed order form to the CAHS Treasurer at the address indicated on the form, or return by mail to:

Canadian Aviation Historical Society,
P.O. Box 2700, Station D,
Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada K1P 5W7


Battle of Britain Virtual Ceremony

Battle of Britain Virtual Ceremony

The Battle of Britain ceremony will be held Sunday September 20, 2020 at 10:00 AM via live Facebook feed (, for those able to "tune" in." Details available here.

Some links of interest from the RCAF Public Affairs shop

Unrealistic expectations: The Luftwaffe’s doomed mission during the Battle of Britain - Part I

Unrealistic expectations: The Luftwaffe’s doomed mission during the Battle of Britain – Part II

Unrealistic expectations: The Luftwaffe’s doomed mission during the Battle of Britain - Part III


CAHS Manitoba Online Meeting
Thursday 24 September 2020 7 pm CDT

lcol art brownThis month we feature a presentation by Lieutenant Colonel Art Brown, retired, on his time serving in Afghanistan. From November 2009 to August 2010, LCol Brown was the Air Operations Officer for Task Force Silver Dart, the air component of the Canadian mission based out of Kandahar Airfield. He oversaw all Canadian air assets in the theatre of operations, including Chinook and Griffin helicopters, Hercules transports, and the Heron UAV. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Art Brown, Royal Canadian Air Force, completed two tours in Afghanistan and participated in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Art also worked extensively within the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) tasked with the air defence of Canada. His previous military postings involved anti-submarine patrols over the North Atlantic.

The meeting poster is here. This meeting will be online only. To attend, you must sign up at, no later than three hours before the meeting, so that we can send you the link. Our events are free and open to CAHS members and everyone interested in Canadian aviation history.


Captain Jenn Casey
Memorial Journalism Bursary

The University of King’s College, Halifax, recently announced the Captain Jenn Casey Memorial Journalism Bursary.

All of Canada mourned Jenn’s passing in the tragic Snowbirds accident on May 17 at Kamloops, BC during Operation Inspiration.

To honour her memory, the bursary will help ease the burden of university costs for a journalism student at King’s. Jenn graduated from King’s in 2011 with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. Prior to becoming Public Affairs Officer for the Snowbirds, Jenn worked as a journalist, as well as a producer of news radio, having worked in Ontario as well as her native Nova Scotia. Jenn was 35 years old.

The bursary will be awarded annually to a student in the School of Journalism who demonstrates, as Jenn so nobly did during her lifetime, “community spirit and involvement.”

Donations can be made online.


London’s ‘Skydrive’ Air Show
safely thrilled aviation fans

By Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President
Photos courtesy of Gus Corujo,

Sept12 33 545

An RCAF CC-150 Polaris, escorted by two CF-18s from Bagotville, opened the London air show.

Canada’s first socially distanced, drive-in air show at London, Ontario, more than lived up to expectations.

‘Skydrive’ London was conducted safely with sellout crowds on Sept. 12-13. The event showed that it’s possible to overcome the restrictions of COVID-19 with innovative planning, logistics and exceptional community support.

Organizers weren’t sure if an event of such magnitude could be done amid the pandemic. However, they used the expansive space of London International Airport to produce a show that was a remarkable success --- especially considering it was the first socially responsible air display of this kind.

To ensure safety, about 2,500 six-by 7.5-metre parking spaces were created in three different zones at the airport. People enjoyed watching the action from their vehicles and lawn chairs. Many more sanitation areas and protocols were implemented. The feedback has been really positive.

Airshow London chairperson Jim Graham felt that organizers were not only making history with the drive-in format, but bringing the community together and honouring front-line workers battling COVID-19.

London has traditionally had an outstanding air show. This year’s edition once again provided what Airshow London chairperson Jim Graham described as “signature aviation entertainment.”

Organizers were rewarded with good weather for the show. It opened with an RCAF CC-150 Polaris from 8 Wing escorted by two CF-18s from Bagotville. The CF-18s flew a flypast in tribute to Captain Jenn Casey, the Snowbirds fondly remembered Public Affairs Officer.

The wide-ranging program featured the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, who staged from Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan, 140 kilometres from London.

Always known for impressive U.S. military participation, London showcased an unprecedented lineup this year. Four USAF demonstration teams, F-35 Lightning II; F-22 Raptor; A-10C Thunderbolt II; and C-17 Globemaster III were among the many highlights.

A touch of nostalgia was provided by a B-52 Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. In an incredible testament to its longevity, the B-52 is projected to remain in service at Barksdale until 2050.

As Graham noted, the show involved a cast of thousands and hundreds of hours and generous support to produce, and to produce quickly. The board of directors, staff, volunteers and partners deserve full marks and hearty thanks for a successful air show that was definitely an uplifting event in more ways than one.

Sept12 33 545

The CF-18s flew a flypast during the show to honour the memory of Capt. Jenn Casey of the Snowbirds.


Sept12 237 545

The USAF Thunderbirds at the London air show, arriving from Selfridge ANG Base in Michigan.


Sept12 33 545

Photographer Gus Corujo captures the Thunderbirds in action at London


Sept12 33 545

The Thunderbirds made their own only appearance in Canada this year at London


Sept12 33 545

Four Thunderbirds' F-16 Fighting Falcons in tight formation impressed the fans at London


Thunderbirds officer makes aviation history

By Gord McNulty

T12 Capt Nelsonhe sky is the limit for the first Black woman to become an officer in the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team.

Captain Remoshay Nelson serves as an inspiring role model for many Black youth in the tradition exemplified by the Tuskegee Airmen of the Second World War.  

The articulate and thoughtful Nelson, Public Affairs Officer for the Thunderbirds, overcame “very humble beginnings” in Georgia. She and her siblings were raised for a time by a young single-parent mother who did her best in a low-income household.

As a child, she loved to sit by a tree near her house in Douglasville, GA, and watch the planes flying to and from Atlanta’s nearby Hartfield Airport.

“I was always curious about where they were going,” she recalled in an interview at London, Ontario, where the Thunderbirds were featured in a socially distanced, drive-in air show Sept. 12-13.

Nelson’s stepfather, who served in the navy, would tell her about “all the amazing places you could go if you joined the military.” She chose the air force, loved science and engineering and obtained a scholarship at Howard University in Washington.

Nelson thrived on meeting the challenges of the major push for student excellence” at Howard, aiming high in various leadership and training activities. Attending the historically Black university was “by far the best decision I ever made in my life.”

The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a community service organization established by 22 collegiate women at Howard in 1913, also helped to build her self-confidence.    

Trailblazing women and men who have advanced the cause of Black people are uplifting for Nelson. She cites legends such as Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) the first African-American woman to become a pilot and celebrated early aviation pioneer; the Tuskegee Airmen; and the Buffalo Soldiers all-Black regiments of the U.S. Army.

“These are people who have paved the way to overcome some tough circumstances, going into a field to overcome obstacles of race and gender. Not only did they meet expectations, but they proved people wrong by exceeding expectations,” Nelson said.

“It’s definitely an honour to stand on the shoulders of giants like this.”

Nelson has visited no fewer than 43 countries in eight years with the U.S. Air Force. Her assignments included a stint as chief of public affairs for the 8th Fighter Wing in Kusan, South Korea before she joined the Thunderbirds in September, 2019.  Only 332 officers have served on the team since its inception in 1953.

Nelson enjoyed the Thunderbirds’ contribution to raising spirits in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Multi-city flyovers were held in tribute to first responders as the Thunderbirds partnered in formation with the U.S. Blue Angels team.

“We were really honored to do flyovers as a salute to the people who we saw as heroes working extremely hard on our behalf,” said Nelson, enjoying her first season as Thunderbird No. 12.

She is a fine ambassador for the Thunderbirds, representing the team with the aplomb shown by the late Capt. Jenn Casey, the Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer.   We extend best wishes to Capt. Nelson.


A memorable rendezvous
with the Thunderbirds

By Gord McNulty

Climbing the ladder to the Thunderbirds F100 Super Sabre at the 1957 CNE Air Show Jack McNulty photo

Climbing the ladder to the Thunderbirds F-100 Super Sabre at the 1957 CNE Air Show (Jack McNulty photo)

What a thrill for a 10-year-old kid to check out the controls of an F-100 when the Thunderbirds visited Canada for the first time in 1957.

The elite demonstration squadron was in Toronto for the Canadian International Air Show and naturally my father, Jack, was among the aviation photographers who flocked to Malton to view the aircraft.

No sooner had my father and I arrived then my dad talked his way past the security and I was invited to “inspect” a Thunderbirds’ Super Sabre. Wow!

I eagerly climbed up the ladder, met a member of the ground crew who gave me a briefing, enjoyed a pilot’s view of the cockpit, and donned a helmet. It isn’t any wonder that I was hooked on aviation as a youngster.

The F-100, introduced by the Thunderbirds in 1956, was the first supersonic aircraft in the squadron and was flown by the team until 1969.

The Canadian National Exhibition was in its heyday back in 1957. Starring in the CNE grandstand show that year were Bob Hope, Dave Garroway, original anchor of NBC-TV’s Today show, and singer Helen O’Connell.

That information was provided by the late Texas Congressman Sam Johnson, a member of the Thunderbirds Alumni Association, who had a remarkable career in the U.S. Air Force. He was a fighter pilot in the Korean War and then the Vietnam war, where he was shot down and spent nearly seven years as prisoner of war, including 42 months in solitary confinement.

Johnson flew the solo position for the Thunderbirds in 1957. He died at age 89 on May 27 of this year.

Fun in the office of the Thunderbirds F100 Super Sabre at the 1957 CNE Air Show Jack McNulty photo

'Fun in the office' of the Thunderbirds F-100 Super Sabre at the 1957 CNE Air Show (Jack McNulty photo)

Ready for takeoff in the Thunderbirds F100 Super Sabre at the 1957 CNE Air Show Jack McNulty photo

'Ready for takeoff' in the Thunderbirds F-100 Super Sabre at the 1957 CNE Air Show (Jack McNulty photo)


Coming Together With Technology

By John Chalmers,

CAHS Membership Secretary

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has kept us apart with social distancing, the circumstances of the crisis have prompted us to use new ways of being together!

More and more we are seeing products such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and BlueJeans used for video conferencing, presentations, meetings and webinars. For example, this year our CAHS Annual General Meeting brought members together from across Canada with Zoom and the last few meetings of the CAHS executive have been via Zoom.

Airforce article 545However, in meetings recently I have begun to appreciate the value and use of Zoom and MS Teams. After my article about the Link Trainer appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Airforce, published by the RCAF Association, Bill Zuk of the CAHS Manitoba chapter was prompted to invite me to speak about the Link Trainer at a meeting of the chapter.

Edwin Albert LinkThat, in turn, inspired me to produce a PowerPoint show about the famed flight simulator, invented by Edwin Link and patented in 1929. So on August 27 I spoke from Edmonton to the meeting of the Manitoba chapter. In fact, online for the meeting were participants from five provinces, Alberta to Québec, and I incurred no time or costs for travel and accommodation to speak to a meeting based in Winnipeg!

CAHS Manitoba chapter president (and national CAHS secretary), Jim Bell, convened the meeting and operated Zoom, for which the chapter has a license. He and I rehearsed a couple of times online prior to the meeting to ensure that the PowerPoint show would work well – and it did. Jim also recorded the meeting, using another feature of the software.

LAC in Link Trainer 545The total experience has made me realize more fully how technology can bring together the members of the CAHS membership family to share experience and information. As well, it showed how video conferencing does more than just show the faces of folks participating. You can’t run a PowerPoint show or present other visual material in a telephone conference!

With new technology we can broaden our reach of the work done by CAHS chapters in making participation and involvement possible in new ways. The internet provides opportunity to do that. So following the August meeting, I revised my PowerPoint presentation and added a few notes to it to prepare it as a self-explanatory show that doesn’t need me to present it. But I did use PowerPoint’s capability of recording voice to add a few comments!

Observair article 545Again, I had help from a fellow CAHS member. Tim Dubé of the Ottawa chapter provided me with two files. One is a page about the Link Trainer factory in Gananoque, Ontario. It appeared as an article in the October 2010 issue of the Observair, the Ottawa chapter’s newsletter. The other article is instructions on how to make a model Link Trainer.

So to share those, I have posted them and my article from Airforce. For that publication I worked with another CAHS member, Richard Goette, an editor with the magazine. Along with the Link Trainer PowerPoint show at my space on Microsoft OneDrive, you can see all files when you click here.

Membership in the Canadian Aviation Historical Society brings together fellow aviation enthusiasts across Canada. I can’t think of a better reason than that to keep your membership current and up to date! As well, in these troubled financial times, your donations to the CAHS are needed and appreciated more than ever.


Note from the Treasurer:

Renewals, Donations, and Bill Sponsorship Opportunities

The CAHS Executive would once again like to thank everyone who has continued to respond in the past couple of months with renewals and donations. Your generosity is amazing and is helping us not fall too far behind in paying our financial commitments. Nevertheless, we are still in financial need. As mentioned before, the CAHS has maintained 100% of its operations on the Journal, the website, the e-newsletter, and the behind-the-scenes administration - all of which incur costs. The income sent to the CAHS for renewals and donations this spring and summer was less than 50% of what was received by the CAHS in 2019 over the same period of time. Unfortunately, this decrease in income over our first and second quarters continues to affect our ability to carry out our operations for the rest of the year. Specifically, we still do not have all the cash we need to pay for the printing and mailing of the next two Journals on which our editor and editorial committee have been working over the past weeks.

Renewals Needed: We ask our members who still need to renew for 2018, 2019, and 2020 to do so as soon as possible. Even when people are behind in renewing for a year or more, the CAHS has had 100% of its operating costs for 2018, 2019, and 2020. You can renew online (paying with your credit card or PayPal) at the following link: If you would prefer to mail a cheque or credit card number for your renewal or donation, you can download the PDF version of the membership form here or the donation form here. If you choose to mail your renewal, we ask that you email our treasurer (Rachel Heide) for her home address, which will ensure quicker processing of your renewal. You may also email her to inquire as to your membership status.

Donations Needed: Donations are also an important part of our funding streams. We would greatly appreciate it if you could consider donating to the CAHS to help us maintain our bills, website, and Journal production. You can donate online at our website (paying with your credit card or PayPal) at the following link: Do you know of a corporation that would be interested in, or is in a position to, support the CAHS through a Corporate membership or a sponsorship donation? It would be greatly appreciated if you could reach out to your corporate donor network and advocate supporting the CAHS financially. More information about corporate membership is available at the link

Bill Sponsors Needed: Returning to the topic of our annual operational expenses, did you realize that operational costs for printing, postage, the website, insurance, auditing, bank charges and storage rental surpasses $40,000? The CAHS would welcome individuals or businesses willing to commit to sponsor the payment of specific bills, either in full or partially. Committing to covering a specific bill (for 2, 3, or 5 years) would help us know we have the funds to cover specific recurring bills and would allow us to focus our income streams and fundraising efforts on a shorter list of operational bills. For example, we need $1500 a year for banking and credit card fees, $2000 a year for storage, $3500 a year for the website, $4000 a year for insurance, and $6200 a year for our audit. Mailing each issue of the Journal requires $1000 for mailing house services, $1200 for postage, and $3500 for printing. If you are interested in sponsoring an operational bill (either in full or in part), please reach out to the treasurer (Rachel Heide) to discuss which bill, the amount, the commitment length, and payment options.

Thanks again for your support of the CAHS, especially as we try to find ways to continue our operations and Journal production during the added mental and financial stress of COVID-19.

Cordially Yours,
~Dr Rachel Lea Heide
CAHS National Treasurer