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  • Plaque Celebrating Aviation History in Mount Dennis

    Saturday, July 15 - 10:45 am

    Hearst Circle and "The Wishbone" (Opposite Harding Park in Mount Dennis)

    Reception to follow at The Atrium, 12 Division Police Station, 200 Trethewey Drive, North York

    This event is a joint function of Heritage Toronto, CAHS (Toronto Chapter & National) and 400 Squadron Historical Society.  The plaque is honouring the airfield that hosted 1st flight over Toronto in 1910, the startup location of DeHavilland Aircraft in Canada in 1928 at this airfield and in 1932 the first operational base of the RCAF 400 "City of Toronto" Squadron as 10 Sqn and later 110 Sqn.

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    Background on the William G. Trethewey Property

    By Dr. Robert Galway

    This property was purchased by William Trethewey following his sale of two Silver mining properties that he discovered in Cobalt, Ontario on 1904. He and his brother Joseph O. Trethewey made millions in this transaction. William Trethewey came to Toronto and purchased 600 acres in Weston, near present day Jane St. & Lawrence Ave. in 1907 The Royal Automobile Club of Canada and the OML of which Trethewey was a member, asked for permission to use a portion of the property for an exhibition Air Meet. This took place July 9-16th, 1920 following closely on the heels of the initial Air Meet held in Pointe Claire, PQ.

    During the Toronto meet, French Aviator Jacques de Lesseps completed the first flight over the city of Toronto as he had done two weeks previously in Montreal. The Toronto flight occurred on July 13, 1910. This is the basis for recognizing Jacques de Lesseps on the Heritage Toronto Plaque that will be unveiled this summer on July 15, 2017.

    However, this is not the sole reason for recognizing the contribution that this plot of farmland made to Canadian aviation history.

    Following the Air Meet of 1910, the property became the center of early aviation activity in Toronto. Indeed, it became known as de Lesseps Field. In 1928 de Havilland UK decided establish a manufacturing center in Canada. They were persuaded to do so because of the success they had met in selling the DH60 Moth to the Ontario Provincial Air Service. In their search for a suitable property, they were put in touch with Frank Trethewey who had inherited the property on his father’s demise in 1926. Trethewey leased a parcel of the land to de Havilland and with the incorporation of de Havilland
    Canada was appointed to the DHC Board.

    Consequently, the Trethewey property became the first manufacturing site of de Havilland. In fact the first building used to assemble the DH60 series was the Trethewey Canning Shed made famous by the sketch completed by famous aviation artist, Robert Bradford.

    Frank Trethewey was given the opportunity to purchase DH aircraft at a significant “favored” price. He and his brother were RNAS veteran pilots. In the 1930's he was Chairman of de Havilland Canada.

    The establishment of de Havilland Aircraft on this property in 1928 is the second reason to grant historic recognition to this property.

    Frank Trethewey not only over time purchased three aircraft from DHC but went one step further and joined the RCAF. This led to the establishment of the RCAF Squadron 10/ 110 on Trethewey Field. Frank Trethewey was one of the first four flying officers appointed to the Squadron. In 1940 he was appointed commanding officer of Base Trenton.

    The squadron was formed in October 1932 as 10 (Army Cooperation) Squadron and began flying in 1934 at the Trethewey Farm airfield (aka de Lesseps Field) in Toronto. In April, 1935, the City of Toronto adopted the squadron which then became officially known as “10 (City of Toronto) Squadron”. In 1937, the squadron was re-designated “110 (City of
    Toronto) Squadron”.

    The squadron flew five basic types of aircraft, all biplanes, from Trethewey until late 1939 when it deployed to Rockcliffe. During the Trethewey era, the squadron was involved in recruitment and flight training. At Rockcliffe, the squadron underwent conversion to the Canadian-built Westland Lysander until mid-February 1940. The squadron then deployed to the UK as the first RCAF squadron to enter the Second World War.

    In the UK, the squadron was initially equipped with the Lysander III and was involved in the Army Co-op and photo reconnaissance role. The squadron was active in the Dunkirk evacuation (27 May - 3 June 1940) but not directly involved in the Battle of Britain (10 July - 31 Oct. 1940). In mid-1941, the squadron was re-designated “400 Squadron”.

    Today, the Squadron is located at Camp Borden and is the main maintenance centre for maintenance of the RCAF's Tactical Helicopter Squadrons.

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  • My Snowbirds Flight - Aide-Memoire

Regina History

Written by Will Chabun.

History of the CAHS Regina Chapter

Had you been hanging about the Saskatoon Municipal Airport in the city's north edge in the 1930s, you would have noticed a thin lad named Ray Crone peddling his bicycle to watch the aircraft of the day come and go. It made an impression on him -- and ultimately, one can say, led to the creation of a chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society in Regina Saskatchewan.

After the Second World War broke out, young Ray joined the RCAF, trained as a radar mechanic, and served in Canada and in Iceland. Returning to Canada after the war, Ray joined Saskatchewan Government Telephones, which took him to a number of communities in the province, where he pursued his keen interest in aviation history. Other people talk about aviation history: Ray wrote about it, initially for the historical journal of the Saskatchewan Archives Board, and later for the Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal. He was frequently interviewed about the province's aviation history, and he sat as the Western representative on an advisory body for the National Aviation Museum. But he always dreamed of setting up a CAHS chapter in Regina, an idea that came to fruition in 1988. Mindful that other CAHS chapters bear the names for distinguished aviators, he even found one for our group, that of Roland J. Groome.

Groome was born in Britain, raised in Regina, and logged First World War service as a mechanic and instructor pilot with the Royal Flying Corps (Canada) in 1917 and 1918. As a partner in a small flying company after the war, Groome held (from 1920) Canadian commercial pilot's licence No. 1, operated Canada's first licensed commercial aircraft -- Curtis JN-4 (Can) Canuck G-CAAA -- and flew from the country's first licensed "air harbour" in what is now a residential suburb of south Regina. His partner, Robert McCombie, was Canada's first licensed air maintenance engineer. Ray received permission to use the name Roland Groome for the Regina Chapter from Roland's brother Paul.

The Regina Chapter grew steadily; its first project was a monthly newsletter called "The Windsock." A regular event is the Chapter's display at the annual open house held by the Regina Flying Club, which traces its own history back to 1927. The Chapter meets 10 times a year. In 1993, the Roland Groome Chapter hosted the first CAHS National convention held outside of central Canada. Before Ray died in 2005, he was able to see the chapter grow and take root, holding its second National convention in 2005. Ray deservedly has a place in the Saskatchewan Aviation Hall of Fame. Sadly, he was not able to live to see the airfield at the Regina International Airport named in 2006 for Groome.