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Also visit the Newsflash page at to read about the latest developments.

Thanks for your patience, support, and interest!



Additional Photos from the 2015 CAHS Annual Convention

Photos courtesy of Gord McNulty

image6 570

Convention attendees are shown arriving at 447 Wing RCAFA to attend the opening Meet and Greet on June 17.

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CAHS President Gary Williams climbs into the CWHM Cornell to enjoy a flight during the Skyfest on June 21, 2015.

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Wayne Ready, right, of the Canadian Warplane Heritage discusses the museum's Bolingbroke project during the CWH Skyfest

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Presiding at the 2015 AGM are, from left, Rachel Lea Heide, Gary Williams, Jim Bell and Richard Goette.

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The rebuilding of a Bolingbroke has been a daunting but worthy challenge for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

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Don Coit, left, and a fellow CWHM volunteer, with the Avenger restoration project at the Skyfest on June 21, 2015.

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Matt Schweyer made a presentation on Final Descent, the book written by his father, Rob, during the 2015 CAHS Convention.


2014 journal awards2

Journal Awards Voting Extended

The National Board of Directors of the CAHS voted at their June meeting in Hamilton to extend the voting on the two CAHS Journal Awards to July 31, 2015. This should give all our members the time to read the final two Journals for 2014 and consider their voting for the C. Don Long Best Article and Mac MacIntyre Research Award.

Please mail or e-mail your completed ballot to the address listed on the form, either by Canada Post or email to the attention of Gary Williams at Be sure to include your name and membership number (found on the address label of the Journals). If you have already cast your ballot we will definitely include it with the final tally. There is no need to vote again and any duplicate ballots will not be considered.

If you are not a National member and the list of articles stirs your interest, please consider sending in your annual membership fee so you can join our group of Canadian aviation history enthusiasts. The membership application can be found on our website,



CAHS Annual Convention, June 17-21

Photos and story by John Chalmers,
CAHS Membership Secretary

The 52nd annual general meeting and convention of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society was held in Hamilton, Ontario. Starting with a Meet & Greet session on the evening of June 17 held at the RCAF Association 447 Wing facility, attendees from coast to coast had a chance to raise a glass and renew friendships.

On June 18 the formal program at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel began with the theme of “Celebrating Canada’s Aviation Industry.” Presentations covered aviation in Canada from the first flight through bush flying, wartime production, aircraft restoration and present-day developments.

The program organized by Richard Goette, Jim Bell and Gordon McNulty was based around sessions with two half-hour presentations plus time for questions. It allowed for 21 well-prepared and well-illustrated sessions plus three lunch presentations.

Two optional evening events were offered for June 19. Shown at the hotel was the classic 1942 film, Captains of the Clouds. Held at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum was a Night Fighter Run, a chance to see warbirds running their engines under special lighting. Following the last of presentations on June 20, an optional day on the 21st to attend the Skyfest event at the Museum was enjoyed by many who stayed over.

The 2016 convention and annual general meeting will be held in Winnipeg, date to be announced.

001 Richard Goette 575

Convention co-chair Richard Goette welcomed attendees at the convention.

002 CHAA 570

At the Meet & Greet social event held at RCAF Association 447 Wing, the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association was the subject of a video presentation by Roger Cross.
(CHAA photo)

003 Dean Black 570

Retired helicopter pilot and squadron commander, RCAF LCol Dean Black was the first speaker in the program starting on June 18, on the topic of “John Boyd and the Procurement of the F-35.” Dean serves as publisher and editor of Airforce magazine and as National Executive Director of the RCAF Association.

004 Maya Hirschman 570

Maya Hirschman, of the Secrets of Radar Museum in London ON, spoke about “Canada’s Second World War RCAF Radar History.”

005 Gerald Haddon 570

Gerald Haddon spoke about his famous grandfather, J.A.D. McCurdy, the first man to fly in Canada, and McCurdy’s affiliation with the Aerial Experiment Association and the development and building of the Silver Dart, which first flew at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, in February 1909.

006 Peter Roe 570

Peter Roe, author of six books of aviation pioneers in his Pigs Might Fly series, spoke of early aviation inventor and entrepreneur, William Wallace Gibson.

007 Anna Marie Willey

At the June 18 lunch, Anna Marie Willey of Regina presented her video, “The Willow Tree,” a story put to original music telling the story of her father’s RCAF wartime service in England. The seven original songs that she wrote were based on the contents of her late father’s kit bag, which had remained unopened for 70 years after the Second World War.

008 Robert Galway 570

Robert Galway from Toronto presented his session on “Capt. William Roy Maxwell, the Forgotten Pilot of Canada’s North,” which outlined Maxwell’s accomplishments in aviation.

009 Diana Trafford 570

Diana Trafford of the Montréal chapter spoke of “Howard Watt: From Bush Pilot to Independent Operator, 1928-1941.”

010 John Coit 570

Don Coit and Wayne Ready (not shown) presented sessions on the fascinating and time consuming projects to restore and rebuild an Avenger and a Bolingbroke at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

011 Mark Peapell 570

Mark Peapell of the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum in Halifax spoke about the production of Canadian-built Lancasters at the Victory Aircraft factory in Malton, Ontario, during the Second World War. He illustrated his talk with photos selected from over 800 recently-discovered and previously unpublished pictures of building the Lancasters.

012 Jerry Vernon 570

Jerry Vernon from Burnaby BC spoke about “The Hapless Hampden,” a lesser-known and fateful twin-engine bomber of the Second World War.

013 Bernie Runstedler 570

Bernie Runstedler from Nepean ON presented a session on the story of the Sabre Mark III and the mighty Orenda jet engine.

014 Bill Zuk

Bill Zuk of the CAHS Manitoba chapter in Winnipeg, spoke on the intriguing topic of “Avro Canada’s Secret Projects,” including attempts to develop a flying saucer. Bill has written a book on the subject of the strange aviation projects undertaken post-war by Avro, entitled Canada’s Flying Saucer: The Story of Avro Canada’s Secret Projects, published in 2001.

015 Allan Snowie 570

July 19 lunch speaker Allan Snowie of Bellingham, Washington, a former Royal Canadian Navy pilot and Air Canada pilot, described the plans for “A Nation Soars” to build replica First World War biplanes to fly over the Vimy Ridge monument on the 100th anniversary of the famous battle there. Allan flies his own Nieuport biplane reproduction, one of the aircraft to participate in the flypast. Following the Vimy Ridge flight, the group plans a cross-Canada tour.

016 Mindy Gill Johnson 570

Mindy Gill-Johnson of the Bishop House Museum in Owen Sound, Ontario, spoke about the career of Billy Bishop VC, during and after the First World War. Bishop was an original Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974.

017 Nadine and Will Chabun 570

Will Chabun of the Regina CAHS chapter presented an historical account of “Aviation Genealogy in Saskatchewan. At a lucky draw on first day the full program, he won a Snowbirds cap, poster and pin, which he gave to 11-year old Nadine Carter of Stouffville, Ontario, our youngest CAHS member. Nadine was a guest for the day, and had received a one-year complimentary membership for her successful work in seeking recognition for Roy Brown at Stouffville, his last home. He is largely credited with bringing down the “Red Baron”, Manfred von Richthofen, in the First World War. Brown later founded General Airways Limited, which operated from 1928-1940.

018 Isabel Campbell 570

Isabel Campbell from the Department of National Defence’s Directorate of History and Heritage delivered her paper on a post-war story, “Sitting Ducks: The Air Division 1959-1967.”

019 John Bertram 570

John Bertram from Toronto explored the depiction of aviation in postage stamps from Canada and other countries in his presentation on “Aerophilately: Where Business, Art and History Fly Together.”

020 Jonathan Scotland 570

Western Ontario University doctoral student Jonathan Scotland from Etobicoke, Ontario, gave his paper on “George Drew and Canada’s Fighting Airmen,” based on the title of Drew’s 1930 book that dealt with 12 distinguished pilots of the First World War.

021 John Weatherseed 570

John Weatherseed from Cheltenham, Ontario, spoke of the painstaking work involved in research to restore and replicate vintage aircraft. He is building a 1917 Fokker D.VII to flying condition.

022 Marilyn Dickson 570

A retired professor who still teaches flying, Marilyn Dickson of Durham, Ontario, spoke about Vi Milstead Warren, a Canadian pilot of the Second World War who served with the Air Transport Auxiliary, flying 47 types of aircraft. Vi was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation
Hall of Fame in 2010.

023 Gary Williams 570

CAHS National President, Gary Williams of Regina, in addition to his official duties, described the rescue of his father, Flight Sergeant George E. Williams, an RCAF Lancaster pilot in the Second World War. He was saved by a 19-year old Swedish girl, Aina Kristiansson, and her father, Oskar. They put their own lives at risk to rescue George. He was the only survivor of the crew when their bomber of No. 61 Squadron, RAF, was ditched off the coast of Sweden. Last August, Gary travelled to Sweden to meet Aina, then a lively 92 years old.

024 Crystal Sissons 570

CCrystal Sissons, author of Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill, spoke of MacGill’s success as an aeronautical engineer in a field dominated by men. MacGill was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983.

025 Erin Rice Gregory 570

Erin Gregory Rice from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa spoke about the work of Canadian Aeroplanes Limited in building Curtiss JN-4 Canuck aircraft during the First World War.

026 Rachel Heide

CAHS National Treasurer, Rachel Lea Heide, presented the financial report of the Society.

027 AGM

Left to right at the annual meeting are CAHS treasurer Rachel Lea Heide, president Gary Williams, secretary and convention co-chair Jim Bell, and vice-president and convention co-chair Richard Goette.

028 Questions

George Fuller, centre, of the CAHS Montréal chapter, poses a question to the National Executive at the Annual General Meeting.

029 Awards

Rachel Lea Heide, left, and Jim Bell, centre, were recipients of the William J. Wheeler Volunteer Service Award for their years of service to CAHS. Gary Williams, right, made the presentations.

030 Larry Milberry 570

Inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2004, writer Larry Milberry, owner and publisher of CANAV Books in Toronto, spoke of the development of CAE, the subject of a book he plans to publish.

031 Handoff 570

At the convention banquet, convention co-chairs
Richard Goette and Jim Bell presented “Avi,” the
CAHS mascot to Bill Zuk, right, of the Manitoba chapter.
Winnipeg will host the 2016 annual convention of the
Canadian Aviation Historical Society.

032 Nadine and John 570

Budding historian Nadine Carter, left, and CAHS membership secretary, John Chalmers.


We hope you enjoyed answering the Canadian Aviation Moments in June. We encourage readers to send in their responses to the Canadian Aviation Moments questions at: Your responses will be included in the following month's newsletter. Here are the correct answers:

Question: What airplane, first acquired in 1927 by the RCAF, made it highly suitable in the ground liaison role? How many in total were acquired?

Answer: Designed for an all encompassing “Army Co-Operation” role, the Armstrong Whitworth Atlas was a two-seat bi-plane. First acquired in 1927, the aircraft’s excellent low-speed handling made it highly suitable in the ground liaison role. Message dropping and snatching techniques were routinely practised. Additional reconditioned examples were purchased in 1934 after financial restrictions imposed for the Depression had eased. Badly outclassed by the eve of the Second World War, there were still sixteen Atlases on strength in the RCAF. The type was therefore pressed into coastal reconnaissance patrols in the Bay of Fundy at the outbreak of the war until they were passed on to No. 118 (Coast Artillery Co-operation) Squadron for brief use prior to their retirement.

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Page 53.

Question: When was the first reported theft of an airplane in Canada?

Answer: It was at an unspecified date in 1917 or 1918, when the Imperial Royal Flying Corps had a large training establishment in southern Ontario. "Two Americans training at Camp Leaside... were particularly enterprising. Having taught themselves to fly, the mechanics proceeded to steal a JN-4. B.J. Auluffe and Oscar Slade of New York City, both 23, hold the dubious distinction of being the first felons to steal an airplane in Canada. The mechanics flew the Jenny to the United States and, wearing IRFC uniforms, gave lectures and collected money, ostensibly for the Red Cross, but in reality with themselves as its beneficiaries. They were apprehended in Roanoke, Virginia, and brought back under guard by the IRFC. The Toronto Evening Telegram reported that the enterprising recruits had collected a large sum of money. The miscreants were court-martialled. Maintaining its policy of secrecy, the RFC did not disclose the trial results."

Source: "Dancing in the Sky -- The Royal Flying Corps in Canada", by C.W. Hunt, published by Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2009, ISBN 978-1-55002-864-5.

Question: What was the average number of Airspeed Oxfords on strength at 32 SFTS Moose Jaw and, what was the time frame the Oxford was on strength at 32 SFTS?

Answer: At Moose Jaw, Ansons and Harvards were used initially, but Oxfords began arriving in late 1942 and eventually built up to a strength of no fewer than 109 by the end of that year. The average number of Oxfords at Moose Jaw was around 100 until the station began running down in the late summer of 1944. It was closed by December.

Source: Windsock – Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter – CAHS – December 2008 – Page 7 – Report by Will Chabun

The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS.

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions for June are:

Question: What was perhaps the most important RCAF aircraft of the interwar years? How many were acquired and how long were they on strength?

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Page 54

Question: Who had the highest scores during WWII: the British or the German night fighter crews and why?

Source: CAHS – The Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society – Vol. 46 No. 3 – Fall 2008 – Allied Night Fighting Techniques During The Second World War– By Jack W. Meadows DFC, AFC, AE, W/C RAFVR (ret) – Page 87

Question: What was “OP FRICTION”, what aircraft was used and how was it modified for the operation?

Source: The Observair – Ottawa Chapter Newsletter – Canadian Aviation Historical Society – Pages 1 and 2 – Past Meeting – Ernie Cable – The CH-124 Sea King and OP Friction



The Death of the Red Baron

A terrific animation of the shooting down of the Red Baron. Click on the image to view.

Red Baron animation


George Neal Named World's Oldest Active Pilot

By Elaine Kauh | June 25, 2015 | Source:

George nealCresting a sparkling aviating career, George Neal is now the oldest active pilot in the world at age 96, as entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. Neal, a longtime test pilot, flew his Chipmunk from Brampton Airport to Toronto Pearson International on June 2 to set the record. Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, which inducted Neal in 1995, submitted the record application. “George’s experience is unparalleled in the world of aviation, I believe, holding a Canadian Pilot’s Licence from 1936 until now,’’ said Tom Appleton, chairman of the Hall of Fame. “He is as tireless as he is professional, and we are proud of his airborne exploits, which seem to go on indefinitely.”

Neal, who has logged more than 15,000 hours in 150 types of aircraft, joined de Havilland in 1947 as a test pilot and in 1948 was one of the first Canadians to be jet qualified on the Royal Canadian Air Force’s de Havilland Vampire, according to the Hall of Fame. He retired in 1983 as director of flight operations of de Havilland Canada and was chief pilot for the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa until 1991. “Flying has been a part of me for most of my life, and I believe it has kept me able to do what I like best,” he said. “And I plan to continue to fly my Chipmunk for a long time yet.”


Photo ID Requested


I dropped in to your convention in Hamilton with some post cards of an unidentified location. You offered to put them on a site that your members could see and maybe we would finally have an identification as to location.

The person who wrote on the back did not identify the location or give any clues. A calendar on the wall appears to date it to about 1944. One of the ladies appears to be dressed as a nurse (image 04).

The captions on the back are as follows....

Unknown Location and Building 01

Unknown Location & Building 01 - This is the outside of the staff house. My room is marked by the arrow. Jack

Unknown Location and Building 02

Unknown Location & Building 02 - This is the lounge. You can see the tobacco stand and billiard tables on the sides. Jack

Unknown Location and Building 03

Unknown Location & Building 03 - This is the bowling alley. Jack

Unknown Location and Building 04

Unknown Location & Building 04 - And this is the dining hall. Jack

Unknown Location and Building 05

Unknown Location & Building 05 - This is the writing room. Jack

Unknown Location and Building 06

Unknown Location & Building 06 - This is our soda bar which is directly in front of the bowling alley. Jack

If you are able to assist us, we would be very grateful and of course give credit when the cards are shown or talked about.

I thank you for your assistance, and should you require any further information, then please do not hesitate to contact me. My personal information supplied below may be given out if people wish to contact me directly.

Jon Soyka
President, Golden Horseshoe Post Card Club
119 Tyrone Drive
Ontario, L9C 2M9

Phone: 905-388-5849, email:


The Mynarski Statue Project

Avro Lancaster VR-A, from 419 "Moose" Squadron, RCAF, was lost on the evening of June 12/13, 1944, over Northern France. Only one of the crew died that day. Although the aircraft was on fire, “Andy” Mynarski’s valiant efforts to save Flying Officer “Pat” Brophy, the tail-gunner, were in vain; forced to retreat through the blazing bomber, he stood to attention at the exit and saluted his trapped comrade, before falling to a fiery death.

Brophy miraculously survived the subsequent crash, later recounting the bravery of his friend. His story resulted in Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski in 1946 becoming the recipient of the Victoria Cross, the last of its kind presented after the Second World War to a Canadian airman.

More than 60 years later, a group of local Winnipeggers active in business, government, heritage, military and community organizations embarked on a project to raise the funds to leave a lasting memorial to a Winnipegger, one who never returned home. The project was named the “Mynarski Statue Project” with the goal of “Bringing Andrew Home”.

In January 2006, the Mynarski Statue Project began its work by approaching the Canadian Aviation Historical Society to act as the charitable body that could provide not only financial oversight but also issue tax receipts to donors. For the first years of the project, the CAHS continued in that role until the Air Cadet League of Canada (Manitoba) Inc. became the administrators and financial body that supported the goals and objectives of the Mynarski Statue Project.

In order to complete the project, a small executive group led by a number of CAHS members: Jim Bell, the president of the local chapter and national director, Roger Beebe, former CAHS national president, along with Bill Zuk, a local CAHS Manitoba member, provided the leadership that eventually resulted in the creation of a memorial to honour Andrew Mynarski. On June 12, 2015, the Mynarski Statue, designed and created by local artist Charlie Johnston, was unveiled to the public at the Vimy Ridge Memorial Park, the culmination of a decade-long fund-raising project, made possible in part by the efforts of the CAHS.

Mynarski Statue


Oldest and Youngest CAHS Members at Hall of Fame Induction

By John Chalmers, CAHS Membership Secretary

Oldest and youngest members of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society attended the June 4 induction ceremonies for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF), held at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. George Neal, now 96, inducted as a Member of the Hall in 1995, flew his beautiful custom-painted Chipmunk in for the occasion. The flight earned him recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest active licensed pilot. The Chipmunk was on display at the Skyservice hangar, converted to a giant banquet hall for the induction. It was one of four historically important aircraft at the event. The others were a Beaver on floats, a restored Lockheed 12, and a CT-114 Tutor from the Snowbirds.

Eleven-year old Nadine Carter has been instrumental in getting recognition in Stouffville for Roy Brown, the last town where he lived. Brown was inducted as a Member of CAHF at the ceremonies. Nadine’s work has also led to the Last Post Fund purchasing a plot in the Necropolis Cemetery in Toronto where Brown’s remains are interred. This summer the Fund plans to erect an appropriate marker there for his grave.


Dave Nadine and George 575

At the June 4 induction ceremonies for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, shown at right is George Neal, now officially recognized as the world’s oldest active pilot. At centre is Nadine Carter with her father, Dave, at left. Nadine was given a complimentary one-year membership in CAHS in appreciation for her work in seeking recognition for Roy Brown. (Rick Radell Photo)

Also inducted in 2015 as Members of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame were Jim McBride, founder of Midwest Aviation; “Father of the Snowbirds,” career RCAF airman, the late Colonel Owen Bartley “O.B.” Philp, C.M., DFC, CD; and George Miller, O.M.M., CD, who served 35 years with the RCAF and succeeded Philp as Snowbirds commander.

Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson were honoured for their work with their company, AeroVelo Inc., which followed success of their human powered ornithopter by building of a human powered helicopter that won the $250,000 Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition. For 33 years the prize had gone unclaimed. At the CAHF induction gala, they received the Belt of Orion Award for Excellence.


AeroVelo helicopter 575

Above, Todd Reichert is shown powering AeroVelo’s human powered helicopter to its record setting flight on June 13, 2013 at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario. Half of their helicopter is now on permanent display at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. The ornithopter is on permanent display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. (Photo courtesy of AeroVelo Inc.)

As a footnote to the Hall of Fame induction and the CAHS convention, Nadine Carter, shown in top photo, went for her first flight in an airplane on June 29. It was provided by Lesley Page, a member of the First Canadian Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, the international organization of licensed women pilots. The flight was flown from Oshawa by Lesley in the Cessna 172 owned by Lesley and her husband, Jeff. Nadine was given the controls to handle three times. Joining her in the back seat were her father, Dave, and one of her sisters, 13-year old Clarice, who said, “That was the greatest thing I have ever done!”

Lesley and Jeff were recently honoured with a COPA Award of Merit in recognition of their extensive efforts to introduce youth and women to aviation, as well as for their leadership that had resulted in Oshawa Airport being named the 2010 “Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport” in the world.

Pilots 575

Shown above with pilot Lesley Page, Nadine has stated, "What I remember most is that when we landed and I got out of the plane, all I wanted to do was get back in and take off again!"