The CAHS is in the final stages of developing a new website.

We invite you to Click Here to visit now to view the new site and take advantage of the new features.

Once all relevant material from the old website has been transfered to the new website,
typing will automatically bring you to the new website.

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

Thanks for your patience, support, and interest!



Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada Events

UNEXPLORED BushPilots 318x250Guided Tour - Bush Pilots Open Up the North

At the turn of the 20th century, much of Canada was still a vast and unexplored frontier. Flying under primitive conditions over impenetrable terrain, early bush pilots revealed the wealth of the undeveloped North to populations in larger Canadian cities. Fur-clad and courageous, pilot and plane often disappeared for days on end with little – if any – radio communication and when their compasses were rendered unreliable by magnetic influences.

The workhorses of history, our bush planes are presented in a special “Bush Gallery.” These aircraft are rare and historically significant – and were flown hard. Some were retrieved from the bottoms of lakes or the sides of mountains and have been painstakingly restored to showroom condition. Others are on display in their retirement splendour – dented, patched and pranged, souvenirs of a career in Canada’s relentless terrain.

Join us as we pay tribute to the bush planes that made history, as well as the men and women who flew them. Tours are free with admission. Tours are always free for members. Tours are held at 2:00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Multiple dates. Click here for more information.

Girls in Aviation Event

GIALogo e1438373307819Saturday September 26th, 2015 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Have you dreamed of having a career in aviation?

Join us for our first annual “Girls in Aviation” event at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada! Designed for girls aged 8-16, we have a jam-packed morning planned with interactive activities. Meet a pilot, flight attendant, air traffic controller, airline dispatcher, maintenance engineer, airport operations manager and aerospace engineer at each of our career stations set up throughout the museum.

At each station you’ll get a chance for a hands-on activity and learn about their specific career.
Sign up today! Registration is free!

There are no fees to attend this event, but pre-registration is necessary.


Bomber Command Museum Events

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FM159 70 Info Sheet Poster 570

Click on poster for larger image.


CAHS Annual Convention, June 17-21, 2015

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In the July issue of our newsletter, we featured an article with photos by John Chalmers with additional photos from Gord McNulty, covering the 2015 CAHS Annual Convention. If you missed the article, not to worry – you can now read it on the CAHS website! To view the article, click here.


The CAHS extends our condolences to long-time CAHS member Hugh Halliday in the passing of his wife, Monique Halliday.

(nee Ahern)
Wife, educator, family historian, aunt par excellence and friend. At home, July 28, 2015. Born February 24, 1939 in Quebec City, she was raised in Parent, Quebec where she began her career in teaching which led her through schools in Hull (Quebec), Niagara Falls, Kanata and Orleans. For four summers (1970 to 1973) she lived in a tent trailer while pursuing studies at University of Ottawa. Monique was a superb, imaginative teacher who brought all her life experiences to the classroom, and her last job was as a vice- principal mentoring a new principal. After retirement, she was often recognized by parents and former students. Her interests included gourmet cooking, fine wines, literature, theatre, curling, travel and owls. She was fiercely proud of her French and Irish roots and overcame seasickness to visit Rainsford Island (Boston) where her father was born. Survived by husband Hugh, sister Pierrette (Lambert) and numerous nieces and nephews. Condolences may be offered online. Click here to view.

To view the full notice, please click here.


Request for Research Information from Brian Croft:

I’m trying to write a comprehensive history of early aviation in BC up until the opening of Vancouver airport on Sea Island in 1931. The work is based on previous research and a great deal of new research in archives and newspaper files.

The book will include the most complete chronology of local aviation events as well as a number of other features such as a catalogue of the names (with brief histories) of people involved in aviation and a completely revised aircraft registry of aircraft (by type) that flew in BC up until 1931 and this registry includes new information on the history of many of these aircraft. Another feature is an index with short histories of every aviation company during this period.

The book itself is entirely chronological and for the most part divided into chapters by year. I have written it in what I hope will be an engaging and entertaining manner. The story covers not only aviation events but also the local and provincial politics in play, the most entertaining of which is the rather difficult time Vancouver City Council had initiating the airport project and taking it to completion.

The RCAF plays prominently, as do several local WWI veterans and aces.

If anyone has any information they would like to contribute, please contact Brian.


Recalling Era of Airline Freebies

By: MIKE FUHRMANN, The Canadian Press

First posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 10:20 AM CDT | Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 10:26 AM CDT

airline freebies

Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

A new exhibit at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada offers a glimpse of the not-so-distant past of air travel. Like when you could smoke on an airplane. And when airlines handed out free stuff to passengers, all of whom were well-heeled.

The museum, adjacent to Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, is showcasing about 70 items — most of them produced for now-defunct Canadian airlines — in its Airline Memorabilia display, which runs until the end of the year.

There’s everything from Canadian Pacific Air Lines swizzle sticks and a Trans-Canada Airlines pen set to a Transair overnight bag containing toothbrush and toothpaste, tissue paper, a hair brush and a couple of mini-bars of soap.

A ceramic ash tray from the mid-1960s features Canadian Pacific’s stylized geese logo. As dated as the item may seem today, first-class lounges on airplanes actually had ash trays on tables, said Paul Balcaen, the museum’s exhibits co-ordinator.

Freebies were also once common practice: “They were good PR for the airlines,” he said.

“If you were flying to Europe you would get perfume, cologne, all the fancy toiletries, in a beautiful box with a nice decal on it,” Balcaen said, describing a piece of 1950s Trans-Canada Air Lines swag on display.

Other souvenirs shown include a Canadian Pacific golf ball and golf tees, and a flight attendant doll that the airline would give to children.

“Back in the 1940s and ‘50s, it was very expensive to fly,” Balcaen said.

“To try to lure the more affluent population to fly instead of taking the train, airlines would offer little bonus items, blankets and all kinds of things, that people could keep.”

There were other key differences between air travel then and now.

“The service in those days was so much better,” Balcaen said. In particular, Canadian Pacific, which operated until 1987, had “this amazing reputation for offering really good service.”

“And back then, of course, the meals were delicious,” he added.

Pacific Western Airlines, Canadian Airlines International and Wardair — all now just distant memories — are also represented in the exhibit, which highlights a small selection of material from the museum’s archives.

Air Canada, which was called Trans-Canada Air Lines until the name was changed in 1965, is featured as well, with such oddball memorabilia as oven mitts and a stainless-steel coffee pot once used by its flight attendants.


Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer Joseph Émile Paul Larichelière

Royal Canadian Air Force News Article / July 15, 2015

By Major William March

bob profile laricheliere july 300
Pilot Officer Joseph Émile Paul Larichelière – Photo: Canadian Virtual War Memorial

By the standards of the day, Joseph Émile Paul Larichelière was an “old” man of 26 when he joined the flying game.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, on December 3, 1912, he graduated from the University of Montreal in 1933. Over the next six years, he combined work with continuing his education, but concern about the deteriorating situation in Europe caused him to apply to the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a pilot. The bilingual, university-educated Larichière was just the type of young Canadian that the RAF was looking for and, in short order, he found himself onboard a ship on his way to England.

Initial training was provided at a civilian flight school located at Cambridge. The facility was in a bit of a shambles as the RAF, quickly moving to a war-footing, was in the process of converting the Cambridge flying club into what would become No. 22 Elementary Flying Training School. Granted a commission in the RAF reserve in October 1940, Larichelière continued with his training, obtaining his wings early in the New Year. In early May 1940, he found himself at No. 6 Operational Training Unit, Sutton Bridge, operating the Hurricane fighter aircraft.

Quickly qualifying on the Hurricane, Larichelière was posted to No. 504 Squadron on 18 May. However, this unit was in the process of deploying to the Continent to take part in what would become known as the Battle of France. Someone in the chain of command thought that taking a brand-new pilot with only a few hours on fighters into intense combat was not a good idea, so a week after his arrival at 504, the young Canadian found himself moved again, this time to No. 213 Squadron at Wittering, Lincolnshire.

Although elements of No. 213 Squadron saw action at Dunkirk, Larichelière was not involved, spending his time studying his trade and mastering the Hurricane fighter. In June 1940 the squadron was transferred to RAF Exeter, Sussex, in the south-west England, to prepare for the anticipated Luftwaffe onslaught. Although the young Canadian pilot had a front row seat to the Battle of Britain, flying numerous combat patrols and interceptions throughout July and into August, he was unable to come to grips with the enemy in any meaningful way. This all changed by the second week of the month when – in just four days – Pilot Officer Larichelière would score his first victory, become an “ace” and die.

At this stage of the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe was attacking RAF airfields in force. On August 13, Larichelière was with his squadron patrolling the skies above the Island of Portland located just off the southern coast of England, when he spotted a German Junkers (Ju) 88 bomber. After fifteen minutes of futilely chasing it through cloud, he caught it in a clear space and, with a careful burst of fire, set its port engine on fire causing it to dive into the sea.

While circling the wreckage, he was surprised by the unexpected appearance of a Messerschmitt (Me) 109 fighter and beat a hasty retreat by climbing away steeply into cloud. Circling for a “go” at the enemy fighter, Larichelière surprised the German pilot, who was also absorbed with the wreckage below, and shot him down. A third victory was added later in the day during his second patrol over Portland when, climbing through a thick layer of cloud, he inadvertently found himself in the middle of a large formation of Me 110 fighters. Twisting to dive back into the relative safety of the clouds below, he managed to get off a burst at the nearest German aircraft causing it to disintegrate.

Two days later, on Thursday, August 15, Larichelière was in the thick of it again.

Late in the afternoon, and over Portland once more, he attacked a Me 110, knocking it down into the sea. Then his attention turned to a Ju 87, the infamous “Stuka” dive bomber that was desperately trying to evade RAF aircraft by weaving in and out of clouds. Closing to within a few hundred yards, Larichelière fired two bursts causing “all kinds of bits and pieces” to fall off the German aircraft, which subsequently spun down into the sea below. Climbing back up into the battle, he engaged another Me 110. Closing to within yards of his quarry, he emptied his guns into the German aircraft’s port engine causing the wing to explode and the Me 110 to cartwheel into the sea. A well-satisfied Larichelière, now an ace with six victories to his credit, returned to Exeter.

Less than twenty-four hours later, he was listed as “missing in action”. That fateful Friday dawned clear and bright with temperatures perhaps a bit above seasonal. Once again Larichelière and his squadron mates were scrambled to intercept German aircraft above the now intimately familiar landscape of Portland. When combat was over for the day, Larichelière did not return to Exeter.

After a few weeks – because rescued or injured pilots sometimes took days to return – he was listed as missing in the RAF’s 44th Casualty List dated August 30, 1940. Less than a year later his status was changed to missing – presumed dead.

Pilot Officer Joseph Émile Paul Larichelière, an old man at 27 years of age, was one of more than a hundred Canadians who flew with the RAF during the Battle of Britain. His accomplishments would likely have rated an award, but he died before any could be conferred.

His name, along with the approximately 20,000 allied air personnel with no known grave, is inscribed on the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey, England.


We hope you enjoyed answering the Canadian Aviation Moments in July. 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 was perhaps the most important RCAF aircraft of the interwar years? How many were acquired and how long were they on strength?

Answer: “The Armstrong Whitworth Siskin was perhaps the most important RCAF aircraft of the interwar years. Indeed, along with its cousin, the Armstrong Whitworth Atlas, it represented the only pure military aircraft design in service with the RCAF between 1929 and 1936. A fighter design, the Siskin originally served with the RAF in this role and when acquired by the RCAF in 1926, it represented a state of the art design. The aircraft received a great deal of exposure in the 1930's when the RCAF formed an aerobatic display team using the type. The three-plane Siskin aerobatic team put on popular displays from coast to coast. The Siskin also formed the basis of No. 1 Fighter Squadron. The aircraft remained with this unit until the outbreak of the Second World War, eventually to be replaced by modern Hawker Hurricanes in 1939. The airframes were then turned over to various technical establishments for use as instructional airframes.” “TOS:1926 SOS: 1942 No: 12”

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?

Answer: “After the war, there was some surprise at how low the scores of our leading successful night fighter crews were compared with those of many Luftwaffe night fighter crews. The reason was simply one of opportunity. First, from 1941 onwards, the number of enemy aircraft over Britain at night was so much fewer than the hundreds, even thousands of RAF bombers over Germany. RAF night fighters had relatively few chances. Then there was geography. The few Luftwaffe aircraft usually spent perhaps only 30 minutes over the Channel and British soil. In that time, they had to be picked up by GCI, a fighter directed at them and an interception completed before they crossed back over the Channel. They could not be pursued into enemy territory; such were our fears that British radar secrets might be discovered by the Germans, that only right at the end of the war were RAF aircraft with any but the most outdated radars allowed to fly over enemy soil. In contrast, Luftwaffe night fighters had a plethora of targets that were over their territory, for at times as long as six hours. The Luftwaffe could hardly fail to make contact and attack - and identification was easy, anything with four engines was obviously "hostile". On clear nights, even day fighters ("Wilde Sau") had a ball. Having exhausted fuel or ammunition, they even had time to land, refuel and rearm to take off for another go at the bomber stream on the way out. If their ground and air radar had been as good as ours, who knows how much greater would have been the slaughter of Bomber Command. Alternatively, if our night fighter aces had had such opportunities, those high Luftwaffe scores must have been exceeded.”

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?

Answer: “World condemnation was immediate following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 with United Nations resolutions calling for a trade embargo against Iraq and the immediate withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. On 10 August 1990, Prime Minister Mulroney pledged Canadian support, dubbed “OP FRICTION,” multi-national force forming to enforce the UN resolutions. Shearwater’s HS 423 Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron would supply the ships’ helicopter detachments. Before proceeding to the Persian Gulf, Maritime Air Group decided to convert the Sea Kings from an anti-submarine helicopter to a surface interdiction aircraft. For this, the Sea Kings would be fitted with a Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) optical system for night surveillance; a Global Positioning System (GPS) for accurate navigation; Radar Warning Receivers (RWRs) to warn of hostile of hostile fire control or missile guidance radars; Laser Warning Receivers (LWRs) to warn of laser guided weapons; chaff and flare launchers to foil radar guided and heat seeking missiles; an infra-red missile jammer to foil infra-red guided missiles; a door-mounted General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) for self-defense; troop seats to double seating to six passengers; armoured aircrew seats; and ancillary items, including a cooling fan for the aircraft’s radar, desert survival kits, and a wooden floor to reduce wear and tear on the aircraft floor. The goal was to have all the equipment installed and ready for sea in less than 2 weeks.”

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

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions for August are:

Question: What British troop and vehicle transport was designed and test flown in less than ten months? It was on strength with the RCAF from 1948 until 1959.

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft – Page 51

Question: How many appearances did the Red Knight make and in how many seasons? How many pilots flew the Red Knight and what type(s) of airplane was it?

Source: CAHS – The JOURNAL of the CANADIAN AVIATION HISTORICAL SOCIETY – Vol. 46 No. 3 – Fall 2008 – THE RED KNIGHT – John Corrigan – Page 105

Question: What influenced the British bombing policy during the Second World War?

Source: No Prouder Place – Canadians and the Bomber Command Experience, 1939 to 1945/ David L. Bashow – ISBN 1-55125-098-5 – Page 15


Edmonton Airshow

August 22-23, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Villeneuve Airport

The Edmonton Airshow is an entertainment spectacle that celebrates both the rich history and the modern evolution of aviation, particularly in Edmonton.

There will be plenty of thrills at the Edmonton Air Show, including Canada's only Wing Walker, Carol Pilon. Other performances include pilots from Air Canada who love to do aerobatics instead of just taking off and landing. Some of these pilots that have flown since they were 12, including an Canadian Air Force pilot who used to lead the famous Snowbirds. Some of the pilots are stars from the Discovery Channel’s Airshow. On the ground — or what should be on the ground is FMX, the freestyle motocross exhibition by Keith Sayers. He takes to the air, flipping his motorcycle before landing the jumps.

To read more about the Edmonton Airshow, click here. To read a great article about Carol Pilon, Canada's only Wing Walker, click here.


Comox Air Show

August 15, 2015
19 Wing Comox, Comox, British Columbia
Gates open at 9:00 A.M.
Flying commences at 11:00 A.M.
Gates close at 5:00 P.M.

The wait is almost over. The Comox air show takes flight on August 15, 2015.

At the 2015 Armed Forces Day and Comox Air Show you will be dazzled by adrenaline-pumping aerial demonstrations in the air, and can get up close and personal with dozens of unique displays on the ground. From an array of modern military arsenal to vintage flyers, cutting-edge fighters and classic aviation collections, they have something for all aviation aficionados.

To get a sneak peak at some of the performers they have already lined up, click here.



Aviation Art Prints

In addition to donating numerous aviation art prints for the CAHS's annual silent auction, Hélène Girard also kindly loaned some stunning original aviation art pieces to display as a backdrop in the meeting room at the recent CAHS convention in Hamilton, Ontario. This artwork is available for purchase for the prices listed below (plus shipping). Please peruse the images and directly contact Rachel Lea Heide ( if you wish to purchase any paintings or prints we are advertising. Hélène has agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from each sale to the CAHS. More information about gifted artist Hélène Girard (whose art has been featured in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 CAHS aviation art calendars) can be found at her website, as well as the CAHS website at

Fly by The Norseman 570

"Fly By"
(Norseman flying over Tazin river in NWT)
Original acrylic painting, 30”w x 20”h

First landing on Slave river 570

"First Landing on Slave Lake"
(From a 1930 archive photo, Fort Smith, NWT)
Original acrylic painting, 36”w x 18”h

mission to the far north 570

"Mission to the Far North"
(Squadron 440's twin on skies with Rangers in the arctic)
Original acrylic painting, 36”w x 24”h

Beaver on stand by

"Beaver on Stand By"
(Beaver on skies under northern lights north of Yellowknife, NWT) Original acrylic painting, 36”w x 24”h

Helicopter Yellowknife Helene Girard 570

"Northern Sky"
(Helicopter, Yellowknife Airport)
Giclée print on canvas, 30”w x 16”h

Antinov on Stand By Helene Girard 570

(Antinov, Yellowknife Airport)
Giclée print on canvas, 30”w x 20”h

(Helicopter reflected in lake)
Numbered print on paper, 22.5”w x 16.5”h