Dear CAHS Member,
Spring is in the air and with its sunny weather comes the air show season! To keep you informed of what (or who!) is coming to an airport near you, the CAHS newsletter will begin marking the dates of aviation-related events across Canada. This will be a great resource for highlighting the 2012 dates of your reliable local air show, but also for discovering new aircraft, new venues, and new people.
More information on this new section of the newsletter is forthcoming and in the meantime I'll be working to make this an interactive community feature. We'll be debuting an open Flickr group (similar to that of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, seen here) where members can share photos as they attend air shows, expos, Chapter meetings, or the Convention! Flickr also includes a "Discussion" feature where members can connect, debate, and swap stories.
This will be a great forum for you to share your personal aviation-related experiences with other members as you take an active part in celebrating Canada's aviation heritage. Every month you hear about what the CAHS is up to - now we want to hear about what you've got planned!
P.S. As the month of April began, some very creative aviation headlines popped up in the internet.... You really have to think twice about what you're reading on April Fool's Day! (Click on the headline to read more).
This Month in Canadian Aviation History..
100th Anniversary of the Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was established on 13 April 1912 and operated until 1 April 1918 when Britian’s air operations were amalgamated into the Royal Air Force (RAF). 25,000 Canadians served with the RFC as pilots, observers and mechanics. They earned more than 800 decorations and awards for valour. Three noteworthy Canadians who served with the RFC and received the Victoria Cross were William Avery (Billy) Bishop, William George (Billy) Barker, and Alan Arnett McLeod.
Below are some resources touching on their lives, military career, and accolades.
"For Valour" profile: William Avery Bishop
2012 also marks the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge where Canadians manned aerial reconaissance and fighter aircraft over No-Mans Land. In one example, the soon-to-be-famous Billy Bishop, of RFC Number 60 Squadron, won the Military Cross on April 7 for shooting down a balloon near Vimy.
Source materials come from the superb website "For Valour: Canadian Airmen and the Victoria Cross" and Library and Archives Canada.
(*All source materials copyright of their respective publishers*)
CAHS National News
Membership Renewal Forms for 2012
A reminder that your membership expiry date is listed on the mailing label of the envelope your Journal arrives in. If the expiry date says "31 Dec 2011," then your membership is valid until the end of 2011 and you will receive all four of the volume 49 Journals. We will be including your 2012 renewal form with the upcoming Journals. You can also renew for 2012 (and beyond) at any time on our website by clicking here. CAHS - A labour of love you just can't quit!
Has your mailing or e-mail address changed? Keep in touch!
E-mail Rachel Lea Heide to update your contact.information or payment records.
2012 CAHS Convention
An update from the New Brunswick Convention office: Our 2012 Convention will be held at the Delta Brunswick (click to view in Google Maps) in Saint John, New Brunswick from Wednesday, September 5 through Saturday, September 8. The hotel has a block of rooms at the rate of $100/night. When you call (1-888-890-3222) simply mention you are with the CAHS to get the discounted rate.
This year we have an excellent line-up of presentations as well as a potential companion’s program for those spouses who don’t share our same level of passion for aviation history. We will make the registration forms available by the end of April through the next issue of the Journal, Chapter Presidents, and the website. The Maritimes in fall will be exceptional and the convention well worth the trip “out East!”
For more details on the convention including a listing of featured topics, special activities, and location highlights, visit the "Events" page on our website here.
The Fall 2011 issue is at the printers and should be in the mail by the end of April. The Winter Journal is hot on its heels and we expect to be back on schedule this summer through some changes to the editorial team and process. Our current editor, Major Bill March, has been exceedingly busy this last year with his full-time job with the Armed Forces and a deployment to Afghanistan for several months. 2012 is turning out to be just as busy, so Major March will temporarily be turning over the controls to our excellent graphics manager (and publisher of Aviaeology), Terry Higgins.
We also have a set of well-known guest editors to work alongside Terry for the Journal's 50th Anniversary, and an editorial board at the ready. Once again, we thank you for your patience while our volunteers strive to preserve and disseminate Canada's aviation heritage through this important publication.
CAHS in the Media
CAHS recently got a brief mention in an Avenue Edmonton magazine article about former President (and current VP) Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail's attempts at prioritizing and balancing life commitments. Check out page 43 in the magazine's free digital edition for the story.
On the website: Visit cahs.ca to view our rotating blog feature. This month, we're featuring "A Life through a Lens" By Eric Dumigan.
On Twitter: Follow us at @CanAvHistSoc along with 341 of our followers!
In his preface, Eric writes: "I grew up spending time in the darkroom listening to classical music and watching my father develop photos during the ‘70s. My grandfather, Robert Dumigan, also enjoyed photography and when the R-100 made its one and only trip to St. Hubert in 1930, my grandfather took a photo of my aunt and father standing in front of the R-100. I’m sure this is where my father caught his love for aviation. This and many more photos are presented in the full story."
Read the full story on the blog here. Note: All featured blogs are available as downloadable PDF's for easy reading on your smartphone or tablet.
Current VP Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail and her book "For the Love of Flying" was featured in the March 2012 Women in Aviation e-newsletter! Check out "Book Corner" on page 5 of their downloadable PDF!
Danielle was also recently interviewed by her mum! Read "Something About an Apple and a Tree" on her blog here.
Amidst the hype over the re-release of the blockbuster film, CAHS member and historian Norman Leach was interviewed by the Calgary Herald regarding Alberta's connection to the tragedy surrounding the the R.M.S. Titanic. Read about Norm's interpretation of survival and scandal in the article here.
Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Full meeting details are available on our website at www.cahs.ca or click below on the city name. New guests and regular visitors are welcome at all monthly meetings.
Thursday, 26 April
Speaker: The 'Romance of Flying' will be discussed by Dick Pickering, President of the CAHS Montréal Chapter, as he details the 47-year flying career of his late-father, Doug Pickering.
Held: Tuesday, 10 April. Speakers Jim Jorgenson and Keith Wade showed items from their personal collections of digital and photographic aviation-related materials.
Next meeting:Tuesday, 8 May
Remember: Your local Chapter needs YOU! Are you a student working on an interesting research paper? An aspiring author? Pilot? Veteran? World traveller? Astronaut? If you have something unique and aviation-related to share, contact your local CAHS chapter and inquire about becoming a speaker!
Events and Announcements
2012 Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Gala
The organizing committee of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame invites you to attend the Annual Gala dinner to induct this year's aviation pioneers into Canada's Hall of Fame. The event will take place in Montréal at Le Windsor, June 14th, 2012. The biographies of inductees for 2012 can be read on their website here, and includes the following gentlemen:
Tickets for the event can be purchased through PayPal or by mail here. Download and share their beautiful e-invitation from here!
The Hawk One Team Debuts First Promotional Photograph
The first promo photo, taken by Katsu Tokunaga, has been released of the 2012 Discovery Air Hawk One.
From the media release by D.V. Dempsey, Team Leader: "You will note that the 100th anniversary logo has been replaced by the tail livery that the RCAF Golden Hawks flew in 1963 and 1964 up until their disbandment. The scheme also features the RCAF serial number 23314 below the Red Ensign. We have now identified 78 former RCAF pilots who flew this aircraft in service between 1954 and 1968, including seven former Golden Hawk pilots. Of interest, we have also identified two legendary friends in the United States who flew the aircraft back in the 1970's for its American owners, Bob Hoover and Steve Hinton."
National Archives, UK - Air Ministry Records Online
Attention all researchers! You can now search and download Air Ministry Squadron operation records from the United Kingdom’s National Archives website. These records provide a daily record of events and include information including aircraft type and number, names and rank of flight crew, names of passengers, weather conditions and flight details. The database can be searched here. To get an idea of what the records look like, here are the Records of Events of 101 Squdaron for December 1943.
If you need help with your research you may find their Royal Air Force operations research guide useful. This guide covers all the major series for operational records from 1914 up to 1945 and also post war operations. It also contains guidance for records associated with RAF operations.
Conference: Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums
On 26 April the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Reston, Virgina will hold the Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums Conference. The 4-day event includes panel presentions and fields trips, and is sponsored by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Program details and full schedule is located on their website here.
Museums and Airshow Updates
Alberta Aviation Museum
The Alberta Aviation Museum is commemorating the centenary of the Royal Flying Corps with a new exhibit focusing on the experiences of fighter pilots from Canada and the Edmonton area. Read a news article about the new exhibit here.
In addition, the Museum is appealing for donations to send candidates from 12 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets to compete in the annual Schools Aerospace Challenge. The Challenge is designed to encourage young adults to become involved in the exciting high technology world of aerospace. The Museum’s immediate concern is to raise the $45,000.00 budget to send the team to the competition in England over the next 60 - 90 days. All donations to the project should be directed specifically to the Alberta Aviation Museum Schools Aerospace Challenge Program and are eligible for a CRA accepted Charitable Tax receipt. You can read more about the competition and the Museum’s involvement here.
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum will finally begin restoration work on its RCN Grumman Tracker, thanks to the generous financial backing and enthusiasm of two former Hamilton residents. The Tracker is navy serial number 1577, the 76th one built by de Havilland. It entered service on Dec. 10, 1959. The Tracker will be restored to flying condition in about two years. When it flies, it will carry the paint scheme appropriate for its service aboard HMCS Bonaventure. Click here to read about the history of this aircraft and the motivations of the two generous donors.
Click here to join the CWHM's mailing list!
Canadian Heritage Aviation Centre
The Canadian Heritage Aviation Centre is appealing for donations to help fund a move to larger premises. The centre is currently based in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que., at the Western tip of the island of Montreal, and suffers from a lack of presence in the tourist industry. At this peripheral location more than 250 volunteers work to raise public awareness of national and local contributions to aviation. The work takes place in one of two workshops at the centre, which is also home to an art gallery, machine shop, library and artifact preservation area. Read more about the challenges facing this organization here and visit their website to donate.
Canada Aviation and Space Museum/ Vintage Wings of Canada
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Vintage Wings of Canada continue their Warbird Technical Ground Schools. This month, enroll to get the inside scoop on the technical and operational information surrounding the Canadair Sabre 6 (21 and 22 April) and the Fairey Swordfish (28 and 29 April). Register here to reserve your spot today!
Vintage Wings of Canada
On 4 April Vintage Wings of Canada, with the support of the Ottawa International Airport Authority, launched the second Gear-Up aviation heritage-inspired clothing and gift shop at Ottawa International Airport. It was the perfect opportunity to debut their two new lines of aviation heritage-inspired t-shirts:
- The Victory Collection features five classic designs (thoroughly researched by military historian Clarence Simonsen) that were actually found painted on the aluminum skins of RCAF aircraft during the war.
- The Home Front Collection brings to life iconic visual and spoken messages of the Second World War.
Follow this link on the Vintage Wings website to peruse the collections and learn more about the history that inspired the designs!
New on the Vintage Wings Newsreel:
For candid reports on activities and goings-on around their facilities check out some of the recent entries on their blog:
Western Canada Aviation Museum
On Sundays in April, the Western Canada Aviation Museum will be conducting tours focusing on the exciting "outside of the box thinking that has been accomplished in the world of Canadian aviation." Tours will showcase the aircraft in their collection that were inspired by a new way of seeing the world, including the Dynavert, the Freobe Helicopter, and the Avrocar!
On the Radar
Canadian Air and Space Museum - Downsview Update
Potentially great developments in the Canadian Air and Space Museum's case against eviction! The Chairman of the Canadian Air & Space Museum in Toronto recently posted a message on the Museum web site on March 30, 2012:
"The Canadian Air & Space Museum is pleased to confirm discussions with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) regarding the potential opening of a revitalized Museum in an outstanding new location which will allow for vastly improved access for residents and visitors to the Greater Toronto Area... No binding commitments have been made at this time. However the Museum Trustees and the GTAA are evaluating opportunities to preserve and present Toronto’s aviation past which includes watershed achievements at both the Malton and Downsview airports."
Fingers crossed! Read the full media release on their website here.
Bomber Command Association Memorial / Bomber Command Museum of Canada
As you may be aware, the Bomber Command Memorial is currently under construction in London. A video producer named Jim Blondeau has produced an excellent video that includes overhead shots of the site under construction, and interviews with those involved in the project. The video (eye-candy for the technically-minded) is available via YouTube here. For more updates and reports on the Memorial, visit their News page.
There is some exciting news regarding Canada's contribution to the Memorial! The Bomber Command Museum is providing several hundred pounds of aluminum recovered from 426 Squadron RCAF Halifax LW682 which will be incorporated into the ceiling of the Memorial.
In addition, Minister of Veterans Affairs Steven Blaney has announced Canada's contribution of $100,000 toward the creation of the Memorial, as well as support for the Bomber Command Veterans travelling to London for the official unveiling of the Memorial in June of this year.
The Military Aviation Museum in Virgina is restoring a Mosquito. They are looking to buy or trade for lower cowlings for single stage supercharger engines, as well as bottom cowling sections or two back plates for the spinners. If you could direct them where to find these pieces, please contact the Museum here.
A reqest concerning members of the Air Force Association of Canada. “In his capacity as the Queen’s representative in Canada, the Governor General has invited the Air Force Association of Canada to nominate its most deserving members who are deemed eligible to receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal." The criteria and nomination form is available online from the airforce.ca website and here.
Bits and Bytes
We just learned that longtime CAHS member, Doug Hawkes of Calgary, passed away in February at the age of 95. As Bob Winson of the Toronto Chapter reminds us: "Doug's amazing WWII experiences were written up in the Spring 2010 Journal pages 16-29. He was one of the few Bomber Command pilots to write about the fear that bomber pilots felt in carrying out their duties." Read more about Doug's life here.
An American veteran of the air show circut was recently killed in a tragic accident. On 4 April, Howard Pardue and his vintage Grumman F8F Bearcat crashed just after takeoff from his home airport in Breckenridge, Texas. The aircraft burst into flames after impact not far from the departute end of the runway. He was 77. Click here to view the prelimiary report on the crash, and here to read a news report of the accident. The EAA has published this brief summary of Pardue's stellar career as a warbird pilot.
Whether you are a long-time subscriber who has missed an issue or you just signed up and want to get aquainted with the CAHS, note that all National e-newsletters (including this one) are indexed online on our website! Click here to view past issues.