Written by Caitlin McWilliams on 11 March 2012.

CAHS Newsletter #17: Lancasters & Dreamliners & Hornets, Oh My!

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Dear CAHS Member,
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet two of the CAHS' favourite people – Scott Blue and Mikey McBryan of Buffalo Airways and Ice Pilots NWT! They were appearing at a convention near Toronto Pearson Airport and I just couldn't miss the chance to meet them so close to home. I brought along copies of "The Ice Pilots: Flying with the Mavericks of the Great White North" by Michael Vlessides (a very good read – highly recommend!) and they were kind enough to sign them in between launching sarcastic (read: hilarious) remarks at each other across the table. Very funny and charismatic, they seemed like very down to earth, regular guys despite their newfound celebrity status. And boy, Scott Blue really is tall. It was an absolute thrill to meet them and I am excited to report that Season 4 of "Ice Pilots" is on its way!

I hope you enjoy your March 2012 e-newsletter. If you are having problems viewing it in your e-mail, visit the online archive at the CAHS website here to view in your browser

I welcome any comments and suggestions on how to improve the publication; similarily, if you have anything you would like to be featured in future issues, send me an e-mail and I will do my best to accomodate!

Blue skies,
Caitlin McWilliams

This Month in Canadian Aviation History..

First Use of Lancasters for Bombing, March 1942
The Avro Lancaster first saw active service with RAF Bomber Command in 1942 as the new machine of the Allied spring offensive. Its first operational sortie was a mine-laying operation on the night of 3/4 March, 1942. Click the headlines to view newspaper articles reporting on the events:
On the night of 10/11 March, the RAF’s Lancasters conducted their first night-time bombing raids. The target was the city of Essen, Germany, in the central part of the Ruhr area.
As the strategic bombing offensive over Europe gathered momentum, the Lancaster became the main heavy bomber used by the RAF, the RCAF, and other Commonwealth and European squadrons.
(*All articles copyright of their respective publishers*)

CAHS National News
CAHS National, the Montreal Chapter, and the Woodhouse family would like to thank all of you who generously donated in memory of Robert "Bob" Woodhouse. Bob, an active member of our organization and an aviation enthusiast, passed away June 11, 2011.
If you believe in the work the CAHS does to preserve and celebrate Canada's aviation history, please consider supporting us as part of your legacy. In the case of the Woodhouse family, we created a donation page on our website in lieu of flowers. You can also learn how to include the CAHS as a beneficiary of your will, leaving us either monetary donations or gifts-in-kind (such as aviation books, photos, memorabilia) by clicking here or contacting us at We would be happy to discuss what you would like your gift to accomplish and answer any questions you might have.
Membership Renewal Forms for 2012
From the desk of the National Treasurer: "Membership renewal forms for 2012 will be included in the next Journal mailout - the Fall 2011 issue. Because we are behind in Journal production all four 2011 Journal issues did not make it into the hands of the membership before the end of December 2011. Consequently, we delayed the mailing of renewal forms until almost all 2011 issues were produced. Your membership expiry date is included on the envelope in which your last Journal came. Even if your membership expiry date was 31 December 2011, your membership will cover the mailing of the Fall and Winter 2011 issues. Filling out the renewal form and returning with payment will ensure you receive the 2012 Journal issues with no interruption. Cordially Yours, Rachel Lea Heide"
       Has your mailing or e-mail address changed? Keep in touch!    
      E-mail Rachel Lea Heide at to update your contact ......information or payment records.

2012 CAHS Convention
  • Event: 2012 Canadian Historical Aircraft Association Annual Convention
  • Theme: "First in the Air – New Brunswick’s Place in Canadian Aviation." (Sub-themes: balloons, fixed and rotary-winged aircraft)
  • Date: Wednesday 5 September – Saturday, 8 September 2012
  • Location: Delta Hotel, 39 King St., Saint John, New Brunswick (click to view in Google Maps)
  • Details: The preliminary program is pending but we’ll keep you updated!
  • Why you should go: If you’re debating on whether to make the trek to this year's event, maybe these member-submitted photos from last year’s meeting will sway you!
CAHS Journal

Looking for some light reading or sources for your next article? Check out the CAHS Journal index of past articles (from 1963 all the way until 2009!) online here. Click on an issue to view the table of contents or read a sample PDF. Full issues are available 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. Managing Editor Bill March is always looking for well-researched and intriguing manuscripts to consider for publication. Contact him via e-mail to inquire about submission guidelines and technical requirements (or check the 4th page of your latest CAHS Journal).
Newsletter Archive
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. 
CAHS Online
On Facebook: Like us at "Canadian Aviation Historical Society - National" for regular updates on CAHS news and aviation tidbits.

On Twitter: Follow us at @CanAvHistSoc along with 268 of our followers!
On the website: Visit to view our rotating blog feature. This month, Jerry Vernon has added to the story of "The Bell P-38 Airacobra in the RCAF."

In his preface Jerry writes: "During one of my visits to the Directorate of History in 1983, I was given a copy of a couple of research papers by Dr. Steve Harris on the procurement of fighter and other aircraft for the RCAF early in the Second World War. Most of this information was later incorporated in the appropriate places in the 3-volume official RCAF history, and can be read there in more detail."
Read the full story on the blog! Note: All featured blogs are available as downloadable PDF's for easy reading on your smartphone or tablet.

Chapter News
Full meeting details are available on our website at or click below on the city name. Remember: all chapters are always on the lookout for new speakers and welcome guests and visitors to their monthly meetings.
  • Thursday, 29 March at 1930 hrs
  • Speaker: Renowned author and historian Hugh Halliday presents "Mission to Warsaw - Planes, Penicillin, and Politics" about the RCAF’s post-war commitment to fly penicillin to war-ravaged Poland
  • Held: Thursday, 8 March at 1930 hrs
  • Speaker: Will Chabun and a slideshow presentation of his visit to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
  • Held Saturday, 10 March at 1300 hrs with speaker Rob Godwin (Space Expert, Music / Film Producer, Author, Publisher) on "Creating New Lunar Images."
  • Next Meeting: 14 April with speaker Dr. Walter Dorn on "The Canadian and United Nation Involvement in the Congo during the 1960's"
  • Tuesday, 13 March at 1900 hrs
  • Speakers: Jerry Vernon will present on "The Hapless Hampden" followed by an exposé of his research on aircraft crash sites
  • Thursday, 15 March at 1900 hrs
  • Speaker: Dan Dempsey on "Canada's Airshow Heritage: the Snowbirds and Hawk One"
  • Regular meeting: Thursday, 29 March
  • Speaker: Keith Olson presents on his career with Lambair.
  • Note: A special meeting was held on 8 March in cooperation with the Recreational Aircraft Association
  • Thursday, 15 March
  • Speaker: Mert Cevik will speak about the aims and objectives of Vintage Wings of Canada and the 2012 "Yellow Wings" BCATP tribute tour

Events and Announcements

CAHS New Brunswick to Erect New Cenotaph in Saint John
Congratulations to the CAHS New Brunswick Chapter which will be responsible for the construction of a new cenotaph commemorating four local individuals who lost their lives while serving in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. The future monument, made of stone and a brass plaque, will be located in Wade-Myles Aviation Park in Millidgeville, Saint John – the site of the former Millidgeville Municipal Airport and RCAF Station. Click here to read a news article on the project.

Canadian Aviation Expo 2012 Postponed
From the official press release: "The Canadian Aviation Expo has postponed the 2012 Expo and its 20th anniversary celebrations until 2013 in order to support this years 40th anniversary of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Associations [...] Given the significant anniversary celebration plans of CWH and COPA in 2012, the Expo’s management team has decided to postpone the 2012 Expo and our 20th anniversary celebrations until the spring of 2013 when it will once again be hosted by CWH."
Canadian Warplane Heritage will again host the 2012 Hamilton Air Show (which was spectacular last year!) on the Father’s day weekend, 16th and 17th of June.

Finding Your Great War Ancestors Workshop: Toronto, ON.

On 31 March the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library are offering a workshop and speaker series to help you trace your family’s lineage back to the First World War! Concurrent presentations will help you find any nurses, soldiers, sailors, airmen, or workers in your family and offer great insights on life during the First World War. Tim Dubé, Chairman of the Ottawa CAHS chapter, will present on Canadian Airmen of the First World War and how to search through their service records. For full details on the workshop visit the Society's website here.
2012 Demo Hornet Revealed at 3 Wing, Bagotville

On 1 March the paint scheme of the 2012 CF-18 Demonstration Hornet was official unveiled. "The True North, Strong and Free," according to the press release, “speaks to the magnificence of Canada’s North and to the Canadian resolve to demonstrate a visible presence there and have the capacity to defend our Arctic territory.” Watch for the spectacular demo Hornet at your local air show this year! For more details and photos of the new demo Hornet click here!
Air Canada Celebrates 75 Years
This year Canada’s largest airline celebrates its 75th anniversary. The company has been busy with the festivities so far, inviting the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the party and hosting a vintage uniform fashion show! To mark the event Air Canada has also commissioned a line of five Canada Post stamps, and showed its thanks to the community by launching the Air Canada Foundation to support children and youth in need.
Museums and Airshow Updates
Alberta Aviation Museum

This month the Alberta Aviation Museum is featuring an exhibit on "The Mad Trapper of Rat River" and the first RCMP air searches in Canadian history. On 18 March, the Alberta Aviation Museum with the Edmonton Aviation Heritage Society hold their Annual General Meeting (check out their websites to become a member and get involved!)

Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Just in time for March Break, the Canada Aviation and Space has lots of activities to keep the kids or grandkids busy. On 16 March, take part in the 21st Annual LEGO Contest challenging builders to come up with their own "energy efficient" Lego aircraft. On 17 March the museum hosts air and magic showman Chris Pilsworth as he explores and demonstrates aviation through magic and illusions.
For the adults, check out the museum's new aircraft on display including the HE 162 Volksjager, the Avro Avian, the TravelAir 2000, the de Havilland D.H.60X Moth, and the Épervier X-01. "Canada Wings: A Remarkable Century of Flight," a recent and ongoing exhibition, is a four-part gallery looking at the significance of aviation in the past 100 years.
Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre
A Fairchild KR-34 water bomber will be restored by the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The aircraft was donated to the Centre in 2005 and is the only one of its type still in flyable condition. Donations to fund the project can be made at their website. To read an article about the project and the Centre, click here.
Canadian Museum of Flight
Ever feel compelled to escape to Waikiki? Now you can, while still helping a worthy aviation cause! The Canadian Museum of Flight is holding a fundraiser on 31 March with proceeds going to support the museum. Their annual silent and live auction features a grand prize trip to Hawaii, and tickets for the event can be purchased at the museum or online.
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum does a great job of regularly updating their blog, "Plane Talk," simultaneously with their Facebook page as they chronicle the museum’s 40 year history! Check the blog for archival photos from the collection, event listings, and air show updates. The February 2012 edition of their newsletter, "Flightlines," is also definitely worth taking a look at! 
  • CWH also has some March Break programs for kids including workshops on building aircraft models and woodworking.

Vintage Wings of Canada

Hold onto your wallets! Vintage Wings is now offering an significantly discounted version of their successful "Warbird U" program geared to keep both your aviation appetite and your wallet full. "Warbird U No Frills" focuses on the technical meat and potatoes of the course without the bells and whistles (which are overrated anyways!). Courses begin in March and April and cost $100 (or $50 for members). Visit their website to reserve your spot today!
For candid reports on activities and goings-on around their facilities check out some of the recent entries on their blog: New on the Vintage Wings Newsreel: Western Canada Aviation Museum

On Sundays in March at the Western Canadian Aviation Museum take a guided tour through "Now Boarding: The Golden Age of Passenger Travel," an exhibit chronicling the dawn of passenger travel both in Canada and around the world.

On the Radar

Canadian Air and Space Museum - Downsview Update

As of 4 March the Canadian Air and Space Museum is only open to members, volunteers, and staff who are helping with packing the facility as it prepares to be evicted. According to their website, "the Museum will be closed until further notice as we are in the process of dismantling aircraft and packing artifacts for storage."

Bomber Command Association Memorial / Air Force Association of Canada Appeal

A memorial, located overseas in London’s Green Park, is under construction by the Bomber Command Association to honour the men of Bomber Command who lost their lives in the Second World War. The Air Force Association of Canada has decided to use the RCAF Trust Fund to help defray some of the costs of sending Canadian veterans to the unveiling and is now seeking donations to supplement the Fund's current total. All donations over $25 are eligible for a tax receipt and significant donations will be recognized in the Association’s magazine. The Association is also asking to be connected with any Bomber Command veterans who would be interested in travelling to the unveiling. Contact the Association here for more information.


We receive numerous requests per month from independent researchers and associations looking for help with projects. If you have a research question or are looking for information on a topic, drop me a line at - the CAHS community is a great resource!

  • Randy Klaassen, member of Civil Air Search And Rescue Association (CASARA), is researching a book on CASARA Ontario’s history and current operations. If you've had experience with CASARA Ontario, contact Randy at or at
  • Wartime Canada, a collaborate project focused on digitizing textual material and ephemera from the First and Second World Wars, would be grateful for the donation, use, or loan of any materials that can be scanned and added to the website. Please contact either of the project co-directors, Jonathan F. Vance or Graham Broad, or if in the Greater Toronto / K-W area contact Caitlin McWilliams. Peruse the current collection at
  • Dr. Randall Wakelam is looking for information on the life and career of Air Marshal Wilfred Curtis. If you can recommend any sources regarding the man or his lengthy career, contact his research assistant here.

Korea Veterans Wanted for Recognition

The United States Department of Defense and the Republic of Korea are trying to find Korean War Veterans, whether they served in the Canadian Forces or with an allied nation, to award them with an official certificate of appreciation. To be eligible for the Certificate the veteran must have served in the Korean War during the period June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953.
The Republic of Korea is also actively seeking all Korean War veterans for the award of the Ambassador for Peace Medal. The special medal is available to those that served during June 25, 1950 to March 1955. If you or a family member meets either of these requirements, contact Guy Black at
In addition, the War Memorial of Korea is seeking artifacts for an expansion of  the United Nations Allies exhibit. For more information visit their website here.

Bits and Bytes

Current Events

Terry Bastable of Turner Valley, Alberta, passed away on 7 February. Terry heldCAHS membership #5606 and his obituary can be read here.
Past Montreal CAHS President and active member W. Ross
Richardson passed on 22 February. Excerpt from his obituary:
"He cut his teeth as a member of the Final Design team on the Avro Arrow... On the shutdown of the Arrow project he moved to the Canadair/Bombardier team in Montreal... After retirement, Ross acted as a consultant for the Canada Aviation Museum, Western Canada Aviation Museum and the Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre. With membership number 15, Ross had a long association with the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. Along with unflagging support for the National CAHS, in the late 1960’s Ross became the first President of the Montreal Chapter of the CAHS." View an alternate obituary here.
Lt. Col Harold Mervin Wright passed away on 13 January. Although not a member of the CAHS, he was an author, enthusiast, and proponent of aviation history.
From his obituary: "He served in the RCAF and Canadian Forces from 1942 until 1975 and then worked for Corrections Canada until his retirement. Throughout his life, Harold loved to learn and to take on new projects, whether it be gardening, wine-making, organizing trips, or writing a book about the RCAF veterans of World War II aviation medicine."
Lynn D. "Buck" Compton, one of the true-life characters portrayed in Stephen E. Ambrose's "Band of Brothers," died on 25 February of a heart attack. He was 90 years old. Compton was a first lieutenant in Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the U.S.Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He is also known for heading the team that prosecuted Sirhan B. Sirhan for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy. A public celebration of life will be held Saturday, 24 March at 2:00pm at His Place Church in Burlington, WA. Read more about his distinguished career below:

Dear {tag:email}, thank you for reading this newsletter. We hope you have enjoyed it! Please feel free to forward it to friends and family members, and encourage them to sign up on for FREE to receive future copies directly. If you have any news or events to share, please contact us at 


March 2012 - Issue 17




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
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