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!



CAHS Convention 2017

2017 convention slide savethedate 600px

The next CAHS Convention and AGM will be held in London, Ontario, for the first time, on 8 - 11 June 2017. Most convention activities will take place at the Best Western Stoneridge Inn and Conference Centre. The hotel is conveniently located just off Highway 401 at Colonel Talbot Road, about a 20 minute drive from the London International Airport.

London is home to the Diamond Aircraft factory, the Secrets of Radar Museum, the Jet Aircraft Museum, and the International Test Pilot School. The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association in Tillsonburg, the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association in Windsor, the Waterloo Warbirds in Kitchener, and the Canadian Warplane Heritage in Hamilton, are all within a couple of hours' drive. The amazing Henry Ford Museum and the Yankee Air Museum (Willow Run) are just across the US border. The area is rich in aviation heritage, with significant aeronautical activity by the RCAF, de Havilland Canada, and Air Ontario, amongst others.

Convention Registration and Hotel

Convention registration is now open. Register online using our EventBrite page here. You can pay online, or you can pay by sending a cheque to our national mailbox at CAHS Convention, PO Box 2700 Station D, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5W7. Please make cheques payable to CAHS.

You can register at the hotel now, using this link. You can also call the hotel directly at 519 652-6022 or toll free at 1-888-471-2378, and quote reservation code 5B0VB6B3. Our special convention rate is $110 plus taxes, which is held for us until 7 May 2017. A breakfast buffet is included with your hotel registration.

If you have any problems registering through the hotel website, please contact Jim Bell at 204 293-5402.

We are pleased to offer an opportunity to win your stay, courtesy of Best Western Stoneridge. Attendees who register for the convention before 1 April 2017 will be entered into a draw to win a three night stay, which can be applied to your convention stay.

Getting to London

There are direct flights to London from Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Calgary. Most major car rental agencies have an office in the London airport terminal. The hotel is approximately a two hour drive from Toronto Pearson International Airport.

More information

The convention schedule and speaker list is now posted on the CAHS Convention webpage.

Questions about sponsorship opportunities and general enquiries may be sent to organising committee chairperson Jim Bell at

We are pleased to work with the following partners:

 Best Western PLUS Logo Vertical RGB 300 DPI CHAA  logo  rcaf a 
Best Western Stoneridge Inn Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association

No 427 Wing RCAFA


Hawk One for Sale

22 March 2017

Dear Friends:

It is with considerable sadness that I forward you this email. Mike Potter of Vintage Wings of Canada has decided to sell Hawk One. Those of us who have worked on or flown this magnificent aircraft would really like to see it remain in Canada. If you know of any organization or individual who might be prepared to purchase the jet please forward this email to them immediately. It won't be on the market long and it will be a real shame to see it leave Canada. There will never be another one like it.

Hawk One

Photo: Peter Handley

Please see this link for details of the sale.

In addition, I am attaching several items of interest as follows:

1. Our 2011 and 2012 Historical Reports representing the last of the four cross-country tours we did starting in 2009. I am including these reports mainly for some of the PR photos showing the popularity of the jet. I also wrote the 2009 report and can forward the same to anyone who might be interested.

2011 Historical Report

2012 Historical Report

2. A magazine article from the UK's "Jets" Magazine authored by myself in November 2012. Between this magazine and a similar article I wrote for "Air Classics" at the same time, we had Hawk One on 120,000 magazine covers in North America and Europe in Nov/Dec 2012. I worked with Doug Fisher and the respective publishers to get this PR coverage. There is some very nice history on the jet in this article. Click here to read the article.

3. My latest list of the 82 former RCAF and Canadian Forces pilots I have identified who flew Sabre 23314 between Jan 1955 and Jan 1969. Note that the stats include the dates of their first and last flights but not total flights flown on the jet. A total of seven former Golden Hawks flew this aircraft, either operationally or in training with the team in 1962-1963. Also included at the end of the list are the names of the 11 Vintage Wings of Canada pilots who were checked out to fly the aircraft from March 2009 to the end of 2013. Our latest designated demo pilot was to be Maj Erick "Hom" O'Connor who was the CF-18 demo pilot in 2011 and is now a sim instructor and reserve Hornet pilot in Cold Lake. Click here to access the list.

Here are some key facts concerning the aircraft:

- Canadair Sabre 5 construction number 1104; RCAF Serial number 23314, manufactured in 1954.

- First Flight 13 Aug 1954 by Canadair Test Pilot Glen Lyne

- Taken on Strength by the RCAF on 14 Sep 1954

- First tour 441 (F) Sqn, RCAF No. 1 Air Division, Marville, France

- Seconded to the RCAF Golden Hawks as a training aircraft in November 1962

- Total of just over 14 years service with the RCAF/Canadian Forces; last operational flight 31 Dec 1968 with the closure of the the Sabre Transition Unit at CFB Chatham, NB, birthplace of the Golden Hawks.

- Feb 1972 - Sep 2007 - various American owners under registration N8687D; flown by legendary pilots Bob Hoover and Steve Hinton, the latter claiming it was the nicest Sabre he had ever flown. Note that the jet was equipped with brand new F-86F wings and an Orenda 14 engine circa 1972.

- New Canadian registration C-GSBR effective Sep 2007 with the purchase of the jet by Vintage Wings of Canada.

- Jan 2009 - aircraft repainted in the colours of the RCAF Golden Hawks courtesy Air Command to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada. Aircraft equipped with a Tutor ejection seat courtesy the Air Force under a MOU with DND as approved by both Transport Canada and PWGSC under a Controlled Goods Program.

- Hawk One national tours from 2009-2012 inclusive.

- Hawk One is currently dedicated to W/C (ret'd) Fern Villeneuve, original Team Leader of the Golden Hawks, along with Honorary Crew Chiefs MWO (Ret'd) Bill Briggs, a five-year crew chief with the team, and Cpl Jean Blache, the original designer of the Golden Hawk paint scheme while serving as a graphic artist at AFHQ in Ottawa in 1958-1959.

Please, let's give this information the widest possible dissemination in the hope of finding a Canadian buyer.

Thanks for your help and best regards,


D.V. Dempsey
Hawk One Pilot 2009-2012
High Flight Enterprises Ltd.
1174 Sloan Terrace
Victoria, B.C.
Canada V8Y 3C4
Ph/Fax 250-658-4397
Cell 250-661-0702


Seth Walter Grossmith
(Jan. 5, 1922 – March 17, 2017)

Seth Walter GrossmithLCdr Seth W. Grossmith CD RCN (Ret.), of Ottawa, was born and raised in Montreal and enlisted in the RCAF, obtaining his wings in 1940. During the Second World War, he served as a flight instructor in the BCATP before posting overseas, flying Lancasters with 635 Pathfinder Squadron in the RAF Bomber Command. After the war, Seth attended McGill University, graduating as an Electrical Engineer in 1951. He then joined the RCN as a pilot and went to England, where he graduated as a test pilot from the British Empire Test Pilot School in Farnborough in 1954. Seth had a rewarding career as a naval test pilot and executive officer with VX-10 squadron.

After retiring from the Navy in 1966, Seth had a successful career as a civilian test pilot, with private industry and government. His tenure at Transport Canada also included a secondment to NASA at the Ames Research Centre in California. He was awarded the McKee trophy for his work with NASA, and in 1990 he was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. In a flying career spanning nearly five decades, Seth flew more than 170 different types of aircraft, including gliders, helicopters, single and multi-engine aircraft and supersonic jets. Seth retired from active flying in 1986. He was predeceased by his wife Margot in 2010 and is survived by sons David (Margaret) and Mark (Evelyn).


Journal Report

Dear CAHS National Members:
After a patience-trying series of unanticipated delays in late 2016 and earlier this year, the first two numbers of CAHS Journal Volume 54 – the Spring and Summer editions of the 2016 publication year – are finally very close to mailing. Number 54-1 (Spring) is now at the printers while 54-2 (Summer) should be either in proofreaders hands or also at the printers by the time you read this. These two editions will be mailed (emailed, if you have an online-only type Membership) together once print production is completed, with an ETA just the other side of mid-April.

CAHS Volume 54covers

Work is also well underway on Numbers 54-3 (Fall) and 54-4 (Winter) with more than half of the feature articles for each now at some stage of layout or photo preparation. The finalized cover art is included in the illustration above. We are aiming to get these through to proofreading nearer the end of April / beginning of May and ultimately to print within a few weeks of that. I will provide an update on their progress, as well as for 55-1 (Spring), the first number of the 2017 publication year, in the next newsletter. Meanwhile, here are some details on those now closest to being in your mailbox / inbox:

Journal 54-1 (Spring 2016):

TCAHS 54 1 sidebar bannerhe RCAF’s UK-Built Hurricane Mk.Is – Part 2: Into Service with No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron
Carl Vincent resumes his account of the UK-built Hurricanes in RCAF Service.

Keep Them Flying: The C-119 Flying Boxcar, its Replacement and the Development of the RCAF’s Air Transport Capability
A penetrating look behind the scenes as a postwar Air Force brass copes with the acquisition of modern aircraft types to fulfill a very specifically RCAF heavy transport role. By Dr. Richard Mayne.

In Brief: The CPAL Canso A’s – Highlighting CF-CRV
Canadian Pacific Airlines Ltd chronicler, Bill Cameron, notes the changes made to his former employer’s small fleet of ex-military amphibious aircraft as they entered and progressed through civilian careers, with particular focus on Canso CF-CRV.
A small graphic essay of Canadian Vickers Canso A production is appended.

The Aviation Career of John A. MacNeil:
Tantramar Air Services and the Maritime Aviation Association
Son Don MacNeil provides an account of his father’s four decades in aviation under both civilian and military hats.

Historical Snapshot: Beaufort W6484 Answers the Call… Almost!
Elizabeth Vincent offers a brief glimpse at the RCAF’s very brief attempt to find a harassing Japanese submarine off of Canada’s west coast.

In Review
Philip Jarrett’s Sopwith Dove is reviewed by Carl Vincent.

CAHS 54 2 sidebar bannerJournal 54-2 (Summer 2016):

The RCAF’s UK-Built Hurricane Mk.Is – Part 3: The First Nine Months of War
The Second World War is no longer just a threat as Canada’s lone fighter squadron possessed of modern aircraft is mustered for battle. By Carl Vincent.

Keep Them Flying: The C-119 Flying Boxcar, its Replacement and the Development of the RCAF’s Air Transport Capability (Part 2)
Dr. Richard Mayne concludes his incisive analysis of the post Second World War RCAF’s quest for an air transport capability tailored to Canadian requirements – both policy and hardware decisions are examined.

Flying Boxcar: Canada’s One & Only Junkers Ju 52 Commercial Freighter
Author Jack Stiff presents an overview of Junkers Ju 52 CF-ARM’s decade of service with Canadian Airways and Canadian Pacific Airlines.
A detailed timeline table accompanies the article, courtesy of Terry Judge.

Canadair’s Tutor-Emeritus: Addendum 1 – The Civilian CL-41s
This is the first of a short series of three addendum installments that will conclude Bill Upton's exhaustive coverage of this iconic Canadian aircraft.

In Review
Patrick Martin’s Canadian Starfighters is reviewed by Kim Elliott.

With thanks!


Remembering Bill Briggs

The New Brunswick Aviation Museum lost a great friend in February. Master Warrant Officer (Retired) Bill Briggs was a member of the RCAF Golden Hawks ground crew from 1959-1964. He served as the Crew Chief for Squadron Leader Fern Villeneuve from 1959-60, Flight Lieutenant Alf McDonald from 1961-62 and Flight Lieutenant Al Young in 1963. Bill succumbed to cancer on February 7 at the age of 77.

Bill was especially proud of the years he spent with the Golden Hawks and gathered an impressive collection of newspaper clippings, air show pamphlets, post cards and photos. He spent thousands of hours over the past three years organizing his collection into a series of five albums, broken down by year. He generously donated the albums to the New Brunswick Aviation Museum in September 2016 so they could be returned to the Golden Hawks' original home in Chatham (now Miramichi), New Brunswick.

Bill and his wife, Pat, returned to Chatham in August 2013 for a Golden Hawks reunion. The event was held in conjunction with the Atlantic Canada International Air Show to mark the 50th anniversary of the Golden Hawks' final air show season. Making the event even more special was the participation of Hawk One, the F-86 Sabre in Golden Hawks markings flown by Vintage Wings of Canada.

Bill is survived by Pat and sons Michael and Kevin, and fondly remembered by his teammates of the Golden Hawks.

Fern, Bill & MarcBill Briggs (right, then an LAC) was Crew Chief to original Golden Hawks team leader, Fern Villeneuve (seated in cockpit). At left is LAC Ron Embree.



Golden Hawks

At the induction ceremonies for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, to be held in Vancouver on June 15, the Golden Hawks will receive the Belt of Orion Award for Excellence. Attending will be the aerobatic team’s original leader, Fern Villeneuve. Other team pilots and former ground crew members will also be present.


Research Request

I am currently researching Hugh Burns Hay. He was a highly decorated RCAF Navigator during the Second World War, having flown over 100 operations, first on the Lancaster, finishing up on the Mosquito.

After he was repatriated, he earned his pilot's wings. From there, he returned to medical school at the University of Western Ontario in London, then was posted to the Canadian Joint Staff (CJS) based out of London, England during the 1950s. In the 1960s, he was the head of the Institute of Aviation Medicine (IAM) in Toronto.

I continue to look for more information about Hay, the CJS and the IAM. If there is a CAHS member who knew Hay or worked as part of the CJS and/or IAM, I would appreciate hearing from them. My email address is

Thank you

Anne Gafiuk

HB Hay 1

HBH IAM from Bernie Matheson



History in the news

Check these recent newspaper stories for more fascinating stories about history past and present:

RCAF airman who survived a Nazi death camp passes away

WW2 Airman finally laid to rest


The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. The questions and the answers are now being published together in the same e-newsletter, rather than questions one month and the answers the next. We are hoping this instant gratification might encourage more interest and research by our readers. Spoiler alert - if you read any further, you will find the answer to March's questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for March are:

Question 1: What were some of the aircraft, part of the Imperial Gift received after WW1, that were tinkered with and how were they modified?

Answer: “The D.H.4s, as received, were judged difficult machines, and almost at once work began to convert several to D.H.4 B standards (an American version). The principal change was moving the fuel tank from a point between the two cockpits to immediately in front of the pilot’s cockpit. This placed the tank nearer the aircraft’s centre of gravity, and thus ensured greater stability as fuel was consumed ( the standard D.H. 4 tended to become nose-heavy during a flight). In 1922, it was proposed to convert a Bristol Fighter to seaplane configuration. It became apparent that even a brand new “Brisfit” could not be modified; wartime experience has shown that whenever the type had been required to lift something extra (such as bombs) it had been necessary to sacrifice weight elsewhere, as with fuel. In January 1924, skis were fitted to D.H.4s at High River. No amount of modification could make the open-cockpit D.H.4s comfortable in winter; official issue clothing (designed for wartime France) was often inadequate and locally produced moccasins were tried.”

Source: Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal – Vol. 47 No 1 – Spring 2009 – Page 30

Question 2: The following questions are in regards to the MAPLE FLAG 2004 exercise:
1. Number of countries participating?
2. Number of personnel participating?
3. Total number of flight hours during Maple Flag ?
4. Fuel Consumed?
5. Food Consumed?
6. Trailers for operations?
7. Chairs?

1. Countries participating: 10 ( Belgium, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States) plus a NATO AWACS contingent.
2. Number of personnel participating: 2,200 per period – more than 6,000 cycling through the wing during the entire exercise
3. Total Number of Flight hours during Maple Flag: Approximately 1,098 hours.
4. Fuel Consumed: Up to 1.7 million litres of jet fuel per day.
5. Food Consumed: 330,000 pounds
6. Trailers for operations: 72.
7. Chairs: 2,100.

Source: Airforce – Volume 28 No. 3 – Fall 2004 – Page 35

Question 3: When and for what reason did Rockcliffe’s military history begin and when was it taken over by the RAF?

Answer: “Rockcliffe”s military history began in 1898 when the Department of Militia and Defence needed land for a rifle range. Upon acquiring the area north of the 50-foot limestone escarpment that separates the top part of the base from the lower, more land was added a few years later. During WW1, army units trained there before the Royal Air Force flew thee round-trip air mail flights to Toronto with JN-4 aircraft in 1918.”

Source: Airforce – Fall 2004 – Page 9


The CAHS Sesquicentennial Book List


On July 1, 2017, Canada will mark its Sesquicentennial – our country’s 150th birthday. To help celebrate, the Canadian Aviation Historical Society hopes to publish a list of 150 recommended aviation books by Canadians, about Canadians.

All we need to build the list are names of books you would recommend. Just provide the title, name of author, publisher, and date of publication. That will help make it easy for anyone to locate a recommended book to read.

Books can be histories, memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, stories of aviators, stories about aircraft builders, airlines or any aspect of aviation. Civil aviation, military aviation, general aviation, fact or fiction – we welcome them all! With all the books about Canadian aviation in print, we hope you will have titles to recommend as worth reading. We especially welcome books written by CAHS members.

We’re not making any judgment! We are just asking for books you personally recommend. The first 150 titles get on the list, and then the project is done! We hope to publish the list in June, before our 150th birthday!

To get us started, here in no particular order, are 15 books worth your time to read. They represent many types of aviation stories from Canada. Only 135 spaces are left now for our list of 150! Send your recommendations soon to

Here are some examples, and now they are on the list!

The Great Escape: The Untold Story, by Ted Barris, Dundurn Publishers, 2014

Kittyhawk Pilot, by J.F. “Stocky” Edwards, Turner-Warwick Publications, 1983

Bush Pilot With a Briefcase, by Ronald A. Keith, Doubleday, 1972

The De Havilland Canada Story, by Fred Hotson, Canav Books, 1983

For the Love of Flying: The Story of Laurentian Air Services, by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, Robin Brass Studio, Inc., 2010

Wings Over High River: Conversations with A. Gordon Jones, by Anne Gafiuk, Bomber Command Museum of Canada, 2012

More Stories About Wop May, by Denny May, Maycroft, 2011

Wings Over Calgary, 1906-1940, by Bruce Gowans, Historical Society of Alberta, 1990

The Bonnie: HMCS Bonaventure, by J. Allan Snowie, The Boston Mills Press, 1987

The Lindbergh of Canada: The Erroll Boyd Story, by Ross Smith, General Store Publishing House, 1997

Bird’s Eye View, by Elinor Florence, Dundurn, 2014

Captain Roy Brown: A True Story of the Great War, (1914-1918), by Alan Bennett, Brick Tower Press, 2012

Baz: The Biography of Ian Bazalgette VC, by Dave Birrell, Nanton Lancaster Society, 2014

Skippers of the Sky: The Early Years of Bush Flying, by William Wheeler, Fifth House Books, 2000

GUS: From Trapper Boy to Air Marshal, by Suzanne K. Edwards, General Store Publishing House, 2007