Written by Caitlin McWilliams on 12 February 2012.
CAHS Newsletter #16: National Aviation Day, Museums, etc!
Dear CAHS Member,
Recently my independant research has revolved around romance, relationships, and nostalgia during wartime - themes somewhat fitting for this time of year. I have been studying panels of Canadian nose art and it is evident love (and sometimes infatuation) was a common ailment affecting the artists. Whomever the inspiration – whether it be a sweetheart at home or a girl overseas - these feelings often manifest as sultry pin-ups on the fuselage. This week I will be giving a talk in Guelph on RCAF nose art and I invite you all to come by for a very photo-heavy presentation!
The sweetest thing I came across this Valentine's Day wasn't expensive or edible, but rather quite the contrary. When browsing the internet for newsletter material I came across the "Valentines for Veterans" program which encourages schools, organizations, and individuals (especially children) to create a hand-made valentine for a Veteran. The cards are then distributed to Veterans in long-term care facilities across the country in time for February 14th. The program is sponsored by Veterans Affairs Canada to "show Veterans your gratitude for their sacrifices and achievements in serving our country... [and] bring joy to a Veteran this Valentine's Day."
I know everyone has different ideas about Valentine's Day, but I think this one trumps all notions of chocolates and flowers.
If you're still aching for more heartstring-tugging romance, here's a link to a serendipitous love story about two Second World War pilots, Herbert Carter and Mildred Hemmons - a Tuskegee airman and the first African American woman in Alabama to earn pilot's wings.
*Note: Please let me know if you are having any trouble viewing the newsletter or attached media. The newsletter should work with all browsers and e-mail clients. (May have to "view entire message" in Gmail, for example, due to length*
This Month in Canadian Aviation History
The First Flight of the Silver Dart
23 February, 1909 marked the flight of the first powered, heavier-than-air machine in Canada.
Canadian John Mccurdy flew the "Silver Dart" - an aircraft made of steel, bamboo, wire, wood, and silk - off the ice of Baddeck Bay, Nova Scotia. The aircraft was also the first in Canada to carry passengers! The "Silver Dart" continues to be regarded as a feat of engineering and a turning point in Canadian aviation history.
Click on the headlines below to read Canadian and American newspaper articles reporting about the successes of the Silver Dart in 1909:
(*All articles copyright of their respective publishers*)
CAHS National News
2012 CAHS Convention
Start booking time off work or looking for flight seat sales! The 2012 CAHS Convention will be held 5-8 September (Wednesday to Saturday) in Saint John, NB. The preliminary program is pending and the Convention will be held on site. Contact the Delta Hotel in downtown Saint John (click to view in Google Maps) to inquire about the discounted conference price. Hope to see you there!
To curb anticipation for the forthcoming Fall 2011 issue of the CAHS journal consider ordering some back issues or browsing past articles to use for research! A list of all articles published by the CAHS (from 1963 all the way until 2009!) is available online here. Click on an issue to view the table of contents and read a sample PDF. Full issues can be ordered for a small fee
The CAHS Journal is the official quarterly publication of the CAHS and touches on the history of all aspects of Canadian aviation. If you have an intriquing manuscript you would like considered for publication, please contact Managing Editor Bill March.
Vice President Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail does a fantastic job managing our social media accounts. Subscribe to both our Facebook and Twitter feeds to maximize your daily dose of CAHS news:
If you are on Facebook please "like" our fan page by searching "Canadian Aviation Historical Society - National." Here you'll find neat tidbits of information between newsletters, events and photos, and stay updated on the progress of the Journal between issues.
We are also active on Twitter as @CanAvHistSoc where we are now up to 244 followers from around the world!
On the website: Major Matthias Joost's "Yukon- The Coldest Place in North America." The blog commemorates the date of the when Snag, Yukon became the coldest place in North America (3 February, 1947). Featured blogs are regularly updated and are available as downloadable PDF's for easy reading on your smartphone or tablet.
Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail: Air Apparent
Pick up a copy of Canada's History Magazine (formerly The Beaver) and you'll be delighted to see Vice-President Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail featured on page 7! Here she delves a bit into what it feels like to be deemed a "maverick" of her generation. Read the article on her website here!
Challenger Winter Rendezvous
According to eye-witness testimonials the 22nd Annual Challenger Owners Winter Rendezvous (or "Montebello") was a success! From 3-5 February approximately fifty aircraft from Ontario and Quebec met along the Ottawa River in front of the historic Chateau Montebello hotel. Reported highlights include:
"Ol No.1," the very first Helio Courier built in 1954
two Robinson helicopters
Citabria's and Stinson's
dozens of Quad City Challengers
two P&M Aviation light sport trikes (that's open- cockpit in February!)
Check out Jim Bell's fantastic photos from the event on his webpage page here! Don MacNeil also has some great shots (such as the one above) which may appear on the website soon - keep an eye out!
On Thursday, 16 February Caitlin McWilliams will be presenting on "Flying Billboards: How Canadian Nose Art Brought Colour to the RCAF" as part of the Guelph Military Lecture Series. The talk will take place at 7:30pm in the new Guelph Museum (52 Norfolk St, Guelph).
Full meeting details are available on our website at www.cahs.ca or click on the city. Remember: all chapters are always on the lookout for new speakers and welcome guests and visitors to their monthly meetings.
Guest Speaker: Mr. Christopher Terry, the first Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre at 8 Wing Trenton, ON, returns to speak about visiting aviation displays around the globe in "Touring Aviation Collections"
Speaker, Alan H. MacDonald Memorial Lecture: Wayne Ralph, best-selling aviation author and air historian, will use literature to speak about the existential world of the fighter pilot with emphasis on Canadian air aces
20 February is Family Day in Canada and here are some suggestions for aviation-related activities coinciding with the civic holiday, but be sure to stop by your local aviation spot to see what they have going on!
The Canadian War Museum invites families to try their hand at parachute making using common household items, or discovering the clothing and equipment used by Second World War airmen.
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museumwill be hosting Hamilton's Kids Fest(18-20 February). Touted as "Central Ontario's Largest Indoor Inflatable Show" the festival provides lots of activities for children 12 and under, and a great opportunity to spend time with the little ones.
The Western Canada Aviation Museum is offering a guided tour exploring Canada's bush pilots and the MacAlpine Expedition in 1929 (and as a bonus all admissions to the museum on this day are a Toonie though the tour is free!). Note that this tour also runs on all Sundays in February.
National Aviation Day (23 February)
Since 2009 the Government of Canada has recognized 23 February as "National Aviation Day" in Canada to celebrate Canada's first power flight. According to Transport Canada's website, "National Aviation Day offers Canadians an opportunity to advance this vibrant industry by encouraging youth to pursue careers in Canadian aviation." Mark the day by doing something aviation-y (maybe going flying with a buddy or taking your kids to watch planes at the airport?). Perhaps visiting your local aviation museum? The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, for one, promises lots of family fun and special activities. If you do something special, send me an e-mail or photos for the March newsletter!
Bomber Command Association: Memorial Construction
A memorial, located overseas in London"s Green Park, is now under construction to honour the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives in the Second World War. It is being erected by the Bomber Command Association and is expected to be completed in June of 2012. The Association is seeking volunteers to lobby members of parliament for provide public funding to enable bomber command veterans to travel to London for the unveiling. Contact the Association here if you would like to help! The Association is also seeking donations to fund future maintenance of the memorial which you can access here.
Western Canada Aviation Museum: Construction Project
On 24 January the Western Canada Aviation Museum, Winnipeg Airports Authority, and Exchange Income Corporation announced plans to build a new facility to house the collection of bush aircraft and artifacts held at the Aviation Museum. The endeavour will "forever connect Manitoba to its aviation roots, provide new connections with the North and a state of the art vision for the future." Read the full announcement on their website here.
Museums and Airshows
Canadian Aviation and Space Museum
The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum really wants to get your kids involved in aviation! Registration for "Kids, Clouds, and Cosmos" summer camp opens on 21 February at aviation.technomuses.ca. Six different camps take place in July and August and are open to boys and girls ages 6 to 12. Details and pricing available on their website.
Canadian War Museum
As I mentioned last edition the Canadian War Museum is featuring a special exhibit on "New Brunswickers in Wartime." The display explores the impact of the two World Wars on ordinary people of the province and highlights, among many things, the brothers who all served in the air force. On 23 FebruaryGary Huges, curator at the New Brunswick Museum, will lecture on the creation of the exhibition.
On the 18, 19, 20, 25, and 26th of February the War Museum will showcasing the clothing worn and equipment used by Canadian aircrew members in a family-oriented demonstration. Click here for more information.
British Columbia Aviation Museum
On Saturday, 18 February the British Columbia Aviation Museum will hold a Career Day from 9:00am - 3:00pm. Become a member or a volunteer to participate in their monthly movie nights, luncheons, and more fun events!
Canadian Museum of Flight
Telus TV recently stopped by the Canadian Museum of Flight and put together this great 5-minute video for "myVancouver Faces & Places" about the museum, restoration work, and the importance of Canada's aviation history. Narrated by Bill Findlay.
Canadian Historical Aircraft Association
After an ambitious renovation the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association in Windsor, Ontario, has opened its doors to the public as an aviation tourism destination. With the support of numerous contibutors its facilities now boast a new archives / library / museum, and updated static display and workshop areas. Funds have also facilitated the continuing restoration of Lancaster FM212.
If you have yet to hear about the CH2A, check out what comedian Rick Mercer had to say about the organization at the 2011 Windsor International Air Show or watch this 5-minute video about the CH2A and Windsor International Airport.Become a member of the association to enjoy updates through their seasonal "Pathfinder" newsletter (and other benefits)!
Vintage Wings of Canada
In January the Vintage Wings facility at 19 Wing Comox underwent a hangar renovation to make space for restoring a rare Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX. New on the Vintage Wings Newsreel (click titles to view):
National Air Force Museum of Canada / Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum
The National Air Force Museum of Canada in association with the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museumis has been restoring a 1942 Mk VI Lockheed Hudson since 2010. Doug Rutley, Hudson Restoration Manager, wrote in with more details: "When restored, FK466 will... be the only Mark VI Hudson on display in the world. FK466 is not a complete aircraft... and it requires numerous items including interior furnishings, cockpit instruments and engines. Restoration time for FK466 is estimated at five to ten years to complete." Read more about the project here.
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum The Warplane Heritage Museum publishes a monthly online newsletter, "Flightlines," available to the public in PDF format. February's issue features Part One of a feature on the museum's 40th Anniversary. Read this month's issue here. The museum has also stated a Flickr photo sharing page. Members of the group have posted over 700 photos already, so head on over to the group here, browse the user-submitted photos or join the group and submit your own!
Alberta Aviation Museum The Alberta Aviation Museumwill hold its "Gathering of Eagles Dinner: Past, Present, and Future" on 17 February with a Silent and Live Auction. The night will include a dinner and talk by documentary producer Michael Jorgenson about his film "Search for the Mad Trapper," and a seperate presentation on the status of the museum. More information can be found here.
On the Radar
Canadian Air and Space Museum - Downsview Update
The Canadian Air and Space Museum continues to struggle with eviction. To sign the petition, make a donation, or find links to the media coverage campaign please visit the museum's website. Watch their television Public Service Announcement here on Youtube as well.
Bill Zuk has penned a plea for Downsview entittled "Canadian Air and Space Museum in Peril." Please read his letter here, forward to your contacts who may be interested, and contact Robert Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of the Museum, if you wish to show your support.
We receive numerous requests per month from independant researchers and associations looking for help with projects. The CAHS community is diverse in background and experiences and can be a great resource!
Doug Rutley of the National Air Force Museum is looking for information on Hudsons in the RCAF especially from those of RCAF Stations Debert, Nova Scotia and Torbay, Newfoundland, or anyone involved in Hudson Air-Sea Rescue conversions at 21 Repair Depot in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Long-time Vancouver Chapter member John McQuarrie passed away on 16 January. John used to attend the Chapter meetings regularly. His ashes were interred on 24 January and a memorial gathering was held on 11 February.
Excerpt from his obituary: "John passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, at Royal Columbian Hospital. Predeceased by his wife Audrey of 45 years and survived by his common-law partner Sadie Taylor. He will be greatly missed by his sons Blake (Sam), Brian (Wanda), Keith (Deborah), his grandchildren Bradley, Cameron, Christopher (Sarah), Breanne (Brendan), Derek, Aidan and his great granddaughter Audrey."
On 9 February, Stan Reynolds of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, passed away at 88 years old. A formal memorial service is being planned for the spring. Danielle has provided me with a few links to share with you that touch on his contributions to aviation history.