Written by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail on 07 December 2011.
CAHS Newsletter #14: Big news and new books!
This has been an eventful year at the CAHS, and we have more changes to announce going into 2012. As of January 1st, VP Gary Williams and I will be swapping positions on the executive while I go on maternity leave. Yes, I am so dedicated to increasing the CAHS's membership, that I am creating a new one from scratch!
I will be continuing to manage the Facebook and Twitter accounts, but you will soon have a new editor for this monthly e-newsletter, Caitlin McWilliams. Caitlin joined the CAHS last year, has a Master's in History, and currently works at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. She is getting her feet wet this issue by authoring the "Chapter News" section, but will be flying solo in January. Please continue to send in your excellent comments and news items to
and we will make sure Caitlin gets them.
To learn more about Caitlin's aviation history interests, and to see a photo of her in her uncle's 1941 Boeing Stearman, please visit her member's page on the CAHS website by clicking here.
Thank you for all your kind words over the past 14 issues. I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and all the best in the coming year.
On 17 November 2011, an awards presentation took place at Centennial College in Toronto. Representatives from CAHS National, CAHS Toronto Chapter, and the MacRitchie family, were on hand to present the $500 scholarship as well as memberships to both National and TorChp to this yearâ€™s recipient, Bernard Spiteri.
Doug MacRitchie was an early member of the CAHS in Toronto and avid supporter of Canadaâ€™s aviation heritage. The scholarship is awarded to a student attending Centennial College in the field of Aviation Technician â€“ Aircraft Maintenance. The MacRitchie Family honours his memory with this generous scholarship.
L-R: CAHS National Director Richard Goette, MacRitchie Award winner Bernard Spiteri, award sponsor Bruce MacRitchie, and Toronto CAHS Chapter 2nd Vice President Neil McGavock.
2012 Convention Dates Chosen
2012 CAHS Convention in Saint John, NB will be held 5-8 September. The New Brunswick Chapter hopes to have the preliminary program finalized shortly. A head's up: a block of rooms are reserved at the Delta Hotel in downtown Saint John at $100.00 per night, and the Convention will be held on site.
The Summer 2011 Journal is at the printers. To stay up-to-date on the Journal's progress between newsletters, please check our Facebook page or website.
Speaking of Facebook, if you are on it, please 'like' our fan page by clicking here. It is a great place to get up-to-the-minute news between newsletters, and share your events and photos.
We are also active on Twitter as @CanAvHistSoc. We are up to 182 followers from around the world. Some of our recent followers include: the Air Force Historical Foundation, Aeromuseums, and Fly Right Films.
New on the website: Mathias Joost's "The Short Life of RCAF Station Shirleys Bay." Check out this fascinating piece of history (with rare photos).
Kudos from Yellow Wings Program
This past summer CAHS National and Chapters across the country chipped in to help with Vintage Wings of Canada's Yellow Wings Program. Rob Fleck, VWofC's President, wrote the following in recognition:
"In this morningâ€™s mail we received a very nice letter from the Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, thanking us for our Yellow Wings program. The Yellow Wings program would not have been possible without the wonderful support of our partners, volunteers and supporters like the CAHS."
Give the Gift of Aviation History!
Looking for a perfect gift for that aviation history enthusiast in your life? Why not give a membership to the CAHS!
Your gift membership will provide your friend, family member or colleague with the following:
Opportunities to connect with other researchers and â€œthose who were thereâ€
Monthly electronic newsletters providing up-to-date information on news and events from the CAHS and around the aviation heritage community
Monthly electronic newsletters providing up-to-date information on news and events from the CAHS and around the aviation heritage community
Access to the member only section of the website (currently under construction)
A listing in the online membersâ€™ pages
Reduced rates for the annual convention
Opportunities to advertise your publications and events for free
It is $40 per year for a traditional membership (in Canada) or $25 for an online one. For more information, and to see rates for the U.S. and Overseas, please visit our website. To buy a gift membership, please contact us at
We also invite you to consider making a donation to the CAHS as a gift, or to honour the memory of a loved one. As a registered charity, we can issue charitable receipts. Please contact us for more information at
Full meeting details are available on our website at www.cahs.ca. Remember: guests and visitors are always weclcome!
8 December in Regina: Regular meeting.
13 December in Vancouver: Fred Carey of CASARA (Civilian Air Search and Rescue Association) will speak about the organization and their use of cell phone technology in tracking crash sites.
15 December in Calgary: Dr. David J. Bercuson, renowned author, historian, and professor, will speak about "The Bomber Command Exhibit Controversy at the new Canadian War Museum."
15 December in Manitoba: Speakers Jan Reidluff, Ed de Caux, and LCol Steve Bannister will be â€œCommemorating 70 Years of Air Cadet Historyâ€ at this month's meeting. Also look forward to a â€œFlying is Funnyâ€ slide/movie show, pot-luck dinner, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Western Canadian Aviation Museum Library/Archives.
17 December in Toronto: Author Gene Manion will speak during this monthâ€™s topic, â€œFlying on the Edge: Bush Flying in Newfoundland & Labrador.â€ Note: This is also the annual Toronto Christmas Gift Exchange meeting. If you wish to participate, please bring a wrapped gift â€“ youâ€™ll receive one in exchange!
It was long-time Journal editor, former CAHS president, and recent CAHF inductee Bill Wheeler's 80th birthday last month. The Toronto Chapter surprised him with a CAHS cake at its last meeting. Photos by Neil McGavock.
News from P.E.I. Carle Burke Chapter:
The Air Force Heritage Park opened 26 August and was attended by over 1,000 people, including many veterans and dignitaries. Many on the organizing committee come from this CAHS Chapter and were instrumental in bringing about its successful completion. The next PEI Chapter meeting will be 3 March at 2 p.m. in Charlottetown. Mark your calendars now and spread the news - it is a bring-a-friend event!
A few books recently released by members you could give as gifts (or put on your own list for Santa!):
Norman Malayney's USAAF 25th Bomb Group RCN book is available from amazon.com. It details the USAAF de Havilland Mosquito acquisition history and combat operations from Watton, England. Included is the OSS Joan-Eleanor Mosquito project to communicate with secret agents inserted near Berlin and in southern Germany. Cost: US$69.50. It is 130,000 words with 300 photos to illustrate 300 pages.
LCol (Reâ€™d) is now shipping copies of the second edition of his book, "A Tradition of Excellence - Canada's Airshow Team Heritage," for the Christmas season. It makes an excellent gift for both airshow aficionados and young people interested in an aviation career since it chronicles the complete history of Canada's aerial demonstration teams dating back to the beginning of flight in Canada. At 768 pages and with over 1,800 photographs, it is the largest single volume aviation book ever published in Canada. For more information and to order please go to www.CanadasAirshowHeritage.com, or contact Dan at 250-661-0702 or
CANAV launches book on the Canadair Argus. For more information, please visit the CANAV blog by clicking here.
â€œThis is 1940s technology as applied to my glider. I am happy to say that it is virtually finished. Only requires plexiglass windows on lower wing stubs, registration letters and three instruments. I would have brought it to Oshawa Airport for the weight & balance report and ramp party but, unfortunately, the trailer still needs work to be roadworthy.
Among the photos is a closeup of the windshield. It was a rather difficult piece to lay out accurately and to securely mount to the frame. The wings and tail sections were finished long ago and are stored in the trailer."
Readers Write Back!
Jacques Chenail sent in the following link to an article on William Barker in the Ottawa Citizen. Click here to read.
Steve Sanderson suggests you check out this photo slideshow with musical accompaniment (caution: the slideshow opens immediately in your browser, so make sure you have your volume turned down or your headset on if you are at work!).
Don MacNeil shared a link to the Halifax 57 Rescue society. For updates and photos, please click here.
John Chalmers wants you to know about the Alberta Aviation Museum's bid to purchase an F-104 Starfighter. For the Edmonton Journal article, please click here.
Stoney Jackson has written in with the west-coast round-up:
There is a rumour that Viking Air is to take over a hangar from Victoria Air Maintenance . This should give Viking more space for pre-delivery preparation. Viking is hoping to deliver eight Twin Otters by the end of the year. Apparently five have been delivered to date.
The Super DC-3 here has been scrapped. Damn and blast.
British Columbia Aviation Museum now has an ex-RCAF D-6 Sicard Mule (or Tug). This machine will move the A-26 Invader and Viscount easily.
There is a new association, the â€œCatalina Preservation Society.â€ This group absorbed the old â€œOdyssey DC-3â€ to form the new group. They have great plans for Canso CF-EAW.
Board Member Colin Webster wrote in about the recent unveiling of a plaque in Prince George, B.C. to commemorate Lester Bower, who passed away in March 2001. The original plaque was lost when the Northern Thunderbird Air hangar burned to the ground in December 2009. The plaque reads as follows:
"Captain Lester Carlyle Bower, a native of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, was hired as a pilot with Northern Mountain Airlines in 1966 and remained with the company through the merger with Thunderbird Airlines in 1971, until his passing on March 14, 2001. In 35 years with the airline, Les held the jobs of Captain, Engineer, Operations Manager and Director of Maintenance. His favourite aircraft was the rugged Beech 18 and he amassed an amazing 13,000 hours on this type, with 7,000 hours on C-FWPO alone. There are very few places in the North that Les has not been with his Beech and even fewer that escaped the scrutiny from his other keen interest - prospecting. Throughout his career with NT Air Les touched the lines of literally generations of people from the villages of Fort Ware and Tsay Keh Dene (formerly Ingenika). He was highly respected and admired by all who knew him and is deeply missed by those friends and family left behind."
Huge news for anyone doing research involving aviation in Britain and its empire: the British Library has digitized 300 years worth of newspaper archives, bringing 65 million articles online. It is searchable, but there will be fees for users to download PDFs. For more on this story, please click here.
Scott Maclagan: "I am looking for information on the second airbase that was supposedly built somewhere in northern Manitoba for the Arrow as an advanced recovery field. As a former RCAF CF-100 Navigator (433 & 414 Squadrons at North Bay) I was familiar with the one at RCAF Stn. Casey and visited it in 1960 when I was stationed at RCAF Stn. Parent, Quebec. RCAF Casey was only utilized for two weeks in the summer of 1960 when 6 CF-100's from North Bay operated from the field. The runway can still be seen via Google Earth. Try as I might I cannot find the one that was built in Manitoba. Like everything to do with the Arrow following its cancellation the existence of these bases and the costs involved in building them were kept quiet. Please email me at
if you can shed some light on this."
Christian Larsen is researching the history of Pennfield Ridge Air Station (No.2 ANS, No.34 OTU & RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge), Pennfield Ridge. He would like to hear from anyone who served there and is especially looking for pictures and artifacts. He can be reached at
The Western Canada Aviation Museum has extra aircraft manuals on planes from early props to jets, bush, military and civil. It also has extra blueprints (eg. Cessna, DC 4, 6, 7, 8, 9) Fokker Friendship). If you are interested, please contact the Museum at
Prices $5 - $50 plus shipping.
The 2012 annual dinner and ceremony will be held at Le Windsor, 1170 Peel St, Montreal. Dates and ticket sales information TBA. Here are brief bios of next year's inductees:
Mr. Nils Christensen of Salt Spring Island, BC, made his contribution to Canadian aviation with the founding of Viking Air and the acquisition of the rights from de Havilland Canada to manufacture spares for some of its post-war products. The venture has given rise to an internationally reputed aircraft and parts manufacturing concern. Born in Norway in 1921, Nils served in the Merchant Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force during the Second World War and, emigrated to Canada in 1951.
Air Marshal Harold Gus Edwards
(1892-1952) was born in England and raised in Nova Scotia. He served as a pilot with the Royal Naval Air Service in the First World War and was later intimately involved with the founding of the RCAF. Gus was in charge of the monumental personnel management aspects of the BCATP when it began and then fought successfully for the â€œCanadianizationâ€ of the RCAFâ€™s contributions to Allied efforts in the RAF as Air Office Commanding-in-Chief of RCAF Overseas.
Mr. Pierre Jeanniot, O.C. C.Q., who was born in France in 1933 and emigrated to Canada in 1947, is a former president and CEO of Air Canada, known as an innovator in the field of airline operations and management. An internationally recognized leader in the airline industry, he contributed to the development of civil aviation in Canada and around the world. His work in Air Canada and with the International Air Transport Association as Director General and CEO has been recognized with honours from Canada, France and international organizations.
Alan Bartlett passed away 11 November in Winnipeg at the age of 86. He was a long-time member of the CAHS Manitoba Chapter and, as Chapter President and National Secretary Jim Bell says, "He was well known to many of us as an instructor at the Winnipeg Flying Club. Al gave me my private pilot flight test."
From his obituary:
"Al left us with many wonderful memories of his adventurous life and his unique sense of humour. He lived his life to the full, on his own terms right to the end. He was lifelong resident of Winnipeg, mostly in St. James. From an early age, Al showed an aptitude for mechanics, recycling old bicycle parts to make new ones, and he was passionate about flight and all things to do with aviation. These boyhood fascinations were the foundation for his career as an aircraft maintenance engineer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served his country from the mid 1940s until 1969, stationed in Germany, Bagotville, Quebec, and Gimli, Shilo and Winnipeg, Manitoba. He recorded over 18,000 hours in his flight logs, as a bush pilot flying float planes into the north, doing test flights with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and as a flying instructor with the Winnipeg Flying Club.
A regular attendee on the North American air show circuit, his annual pilgrimage to the EAA AirVenture Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin was one of the highlights of his year. He seemed to know everyone who had ever flown an airplane in Canada and he almost certainly knew someone at every airport in North America. He put that knowledge to work as a volunteer at the Western Canada Aviation Museum archives, identifying aviation people in old photographs.
Paul Laserich, general manager of Adlair Aviation in Yellowknife, NT, died suddenly 19 November at the age of 52. He grew up in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut and took over operations of the small company from his father, Willy Laserich, 28 years ago.
Paul was known for his kindness and generosity, which included sponsoring a $5,000 scholarship to the Aviation Career Development Program. He loved aviation and the north, and could often be seen zipping around in his Cessna.
Paul's mother, Margaret, who was known as a matriarch of the northern aviation industry, also recently passed away.
On a personal note, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul and Margaret this past summer at their home during the Midnight Sun Float Plane Fly-In. They were gracious hosts, and I can only imagine the hole this has left in the Yellowknife community. Our thoughts are with the town and family.
Paul on far right at the induction ceremony for Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010, when his father, Willy, was made a member.