Written by Caitlin McWilliams on 10 January 2012.

CAHS Newsletter #15: A High-Flyin' Happy New Year!

e Newsletter

Dear CAHS Member,

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012! I hope very much that the new year brings you overwhelming happiness, good fortune, and good health.

2012 will bring about some (positive) changes to the CAHS, one being this e-publication! I was taken by surprise when upon the announcement of my appointment as newsletter editor the congratulatory e-mails began to flow in. I was struck by all the warm greetings: “WELCOME ABOARD, CAITLIN!” they exclaimed, “Best wishes for success with CAHS!!” they cried. I sincerely appreciate all of the kind words and I know that this newsletter will be a great way to meet many of the individuals who contribute to this generous and enthusiastic organization.

If you’re like me, after the presents have been opened and all the guests have gone home you start to feel a bit of the post-holiday blues. For many it’s either back to the old grind or back to school, while for some it’s the long wait until golf season returns. During the downtime of these winter months take solace in the fact that there are still lots of aviation-related activities to tide you over until the sun (and the chocks!) come out. Until then, if you’re in hibernation mode until Spring mix up some hot cocoa, grab a blanket, take a gander at your latest CAHS Journal, relax, and repeat. If you’ve retreated to warmer climates do the same, but substitute in a fruity drink and a hula skirt.

Blue skies,

Caitlin McWilliams
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This Month in Canadian Aviation History

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) begins in Canada

On 17 December 1939 the "Air Training Agreement" was signed and Canada became the primary location for what became the most ambitious, successful, and uniting training scheme ever initiated.

The new year was an exciting time for Canada as news of the massive Empire Air Training Plan swept the nation. Click on the headlines below to read newspaper articles announcing news about the BCATP in January 1940:

(Articles can be accessed using the Canadian War Museum's online database, "Democracy at War")

CAHS National News
2012 CAHS Convention
The 2012 CAHS Convention will be held 5-8 September in Saint John, NB. The preliminary program is pending. Book your stay early since a block of rooms have been reserved at the Delta Hotel in downtown Saint John at $100.00 per night. Note that the Convention will be held on site. 
Journal Update
The Summer 2011 Journal was completed and circulated last month. If you have yet to either browse an issue expect interesting topics spanning both vintage and contemporary aviation:
  • The second instalment of Pierre Thiffault’s article on modern weather kites.
  • Carl Vincent’s thoughts on Spitfire L1090 in North America.
  • John Chalmer's report on the 2011 Aviation Hall of Fame inductees.
The CAHS Journal is the official quarterly publication of the CAHS and presents the history of all aspects of Canadian aviation. If you wish to have a manuscript considered for publication, please consult Managing Editor Bill March.
CAHS Online
If you are on Facebook, please “like” our fan page by searching “Canadian Aviation Historical Society - National.” It is a great place to get up-to-the-minute news between newsletters, share your events and photos, and stay updated on the progress of the Journal between issues.
We are also active on Twitter as @CanAvHistSoc. We are up to 204 followers from around the world including Ice Pilots NWT and CBC’s Arctic Air!

                                   Member News
Be sure to watch this four-minute clip of an interview Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail did in December with CTV Edmonton where she discusses flying, family, work, and the CAHS! Hear what continues to inspire the current CAHS VP and listen for an update on her upcoming publication work.

Chapter News
Full meeting details are available on our website at 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.
  • 26 January at 1930hrs
  • Guest Speaker: Bill Tate, President of Project North Star, details their plans and progress restoring RCAF Canadair North Star 17515 at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum
  • 10 January
  • Guest Speaker: Jim Jorgenson will be showing a variety of videos from old air shows he attended, at places such as Midland and Dallas, Texas, Paris Air Show, etc.
  • Note: Since January is the Chapter Annual Meeting some time will be devoted to annual Chapter business.
  • 19 January
  • Guest Speaker: Chris Weicht on "Aviator with a Difference: My Flying Career."
  • 26 January at 1800 hrs
  • Guest Speaker: Authors John Bradley, (Air Defence of Canada) and Robert D. “Bob” Moore (The Voodoo and I: From Wind-in-Wires to Thunder in the Sky) will speak about the air defence of Canada.

Events and Announcements
Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame 2012 Induction Dinner
The 2012 annual dinner and ceremony will be held at Le Windsor, 1170 Peel St, Montreal though dates and ticket sales information TBA. The list of Inductees for 2012 has been formally announced and are as follows:
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 “Canadianization” of the RCAF’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.
Dr. Daffyd (Dave) Williams, born in Saskatoon in 1954, is a pilot, medical doctor and a retired Canadian astronaut of outstanding skill, management ability and accomplishment in his work with the Canadian Space Agency. He was appointed Director of NASA’s Space and Life Sciences Directorate, a rare accomplishment for a non-American astronaut. Dave made two flights on the Space Shuttle, 1998 and 2007, and in the second was involved in three spacewalks for installations at the International Space Station.

The Belt of Orion Award for Excellence was founded by Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988 to honour organizations, groups, societies or associations who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of aviation in Canada. The winner of this year’s award is Leavens Aviation Inc. The company began as Leavens Brothers Air Services in 1927, and is one of Canada’s great aviation success stories. Its life encompassed several aspects of aviation in Canada and operated until 2011,starting with barnstorming a single aircraft, then flight training, running a major training facility under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), spraying operations, commercial airline operations, light aircraft manufacturing and the sale, distribution and overhaul of aircraft parts.
HeritageCon 2012
Calling all aviation model enthusiasts! The sixth annual HeritageCon Model Contest held by International Plastic Modeling Society (Hamilton branch) will be held on 12 February at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The event is one of the largest in scale modeling in Canada and is a fundraising activity for the Warplane Museum.
Air Force Association of Canada Annual Awards Ceremony
The Air Force Association of Canada recognized excellence in Canadian military and civilian aviation at its annual awards ceremony in Quebec City, Que., on Oct. 15.
National Aviation Day
Since 2009 the Government of Canada has recognized 23 February as “National Aviation Day” in Canada. Stay tuned for more information on special events to mark the anniversary of Canada’s first powered flight, celebrate past achievements, and open new chapters in aviation excellence.

Museums and Airshows
Britain's Premier Air Shows Tour 2012
Expedia Cruise Ship Centres is offering a U.K. Air Show Tour from 28 June - 12 July. The tour includes four air shows: Duxford Flying Legends Airshow, Military Air Pageant, the Royal International Air Tattoo, and the Farnborough International Airshow. For a detailed itinerary and more information visit Expedia’s website.
Canadian Aviation Museum
In February the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum hopes to first send you to the moon but bring you back down to earth with the soulful serenades of big band:
A day long event with hands on family activities that demystify flying and living in Space.
Swing tunes and ballads performed in the big band style with special guest the Grey Jazz Big Band.
Warplane Heritage Museum
Win a 2012 Mustang Convertible (or better yet, a flight in a Lancaster!) There are a still a few days left to purchase your ticket for the Warplane Heritage Museum’s raffle in support of their Bolingbroke Restoration project (Click here for an in-depth article on how the restoration team intends to use the proceeds). Second prize is a flight in their Avro Lancaster, and third prize is a Primary Trainer Membership. Draw date is 14 January at the CWHM and tickets can be purchased by calling the CWHM at 905-679-4183, online at, or at the CWHM’s front desk. 
Canadian War Museum
A great lead up to this year’s CAHS convention, the Canadian War Museum is currently featuring an 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.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
If you happen to be visiting Washington, DC the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is constantly showcasing a wide range of aviation-related activities including book signings, children’s days, and an Ask-an-Expert lecture series twice a month. On 11 February, “African American Pioneers in Aviation” offers an opportunity to meet local Tuskegee Airmen who will discuss their experiences as well as the history of the famous World War II fighter group. Check out their extensive calendar of events.
Vintage Wings of Canada
Vintage Wings soars into 2012 continuing their stimulating news series. Each story is brought to life through personal interest material and vivid photography and I highly recommend subscribing to their Vintage News e-newsletter. They also regularly update a blog chronicling maintenance and restoration projects.
I would also strongly suggest signing up for one of their third annual “Warbird U Technical Ground Schools” which offers the rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with your favourite vintage aircraft alongside superstar instructors! Choose between the Harvard, Mustang, Spitfire, Sabre, or Swordfish. Each two-day course is spent learning the aircraft technical systems and history, touring the Vintage Wings collection and facilities, and chatting it up with Vintage Wings warbird pilots. For schedules and registration visit their website and register today!
National Air Force Museum of Canada
Currently the NAFMC in Trenton is highlighting a donation of sports memorabilia from the RCAF Flyers Olympic Hockey team. Also being showcased are two recently donated logbooks from RCAF serving members, as well as an air cadet exhibit.

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.
Update on the Science and Technology Corporation
No doubt many of you have heard about the dispute regarding the layoff of 17 employees who work for the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, which runs the Science  and Technology Museum, the Aviation and Space Museum, and the Agriculture Museum. Stay tuned for updates, but in the meantime you can familiarize yourself with the story via the links below:

We received a request from television producer Kalin Moon on behalf of "Air Aces," a new TV documentary series which will feature an episode about George "Buzz" Beurling. He wishes to speak with individuals who fought alongside “Buzz,” friends, family, and historians. To share your knowledge please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Garry Maclean is looking for information on his uncle Art Burtt, including details relating to a   rumoured memoir he was co-writing with someone in Thunder Bay, Ont. before he passed away in   the early 1970s. Art flew for Ontario Forest Service for the last thirty years of his career, as well as  in Canada's north. If you have any information, please contact Garry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bits and Bytes

Charlie Hogsden passed away after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma and kidney failure on 11 December, 2011. A memorial service will be held on January 13, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, 17 Wing, Building 94, Silver Avenue at Whytewold Road in Winnipeg, MB. His full obituary can be found here.
Excerpt from his obituary: “In 1963, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force 402 Squadron Reserves, where he first learned to be an aero engine mechanic, and remained there for 35 years, climbing up the rank structure until he achieved Warrant Officer. He received an honourable discharge in 1998.”
Membership Secretary Don MacNeil received a phone call in December from one of Bradley Richards' daughters to say that he had passed away recently. “I understand from her that he was a Fleet Air Arm pilot and had also authored a book. Apparently his father was also a pilot in WWI.”

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January 2012 - Issue 15



  Special thanks to the following supporters:




North Wright Airways Ltd.


Corporate Members:


Clearwater Fine Foods

VAC Developments



AC Family Network

Alberta Genealogical Society - Edmonton


Bomber Command Museum


Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre

Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

Experimental Aircraft Association

Fondation Aérovision Québec

Leavens Aviation

Linguistek Inc.

Rockcliffe Flying Club

Vintage Wings of Canada



Canadian Aviation Historical Society
PO Box 2700 Station D
Ottawa, ON
K1P 5W7