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!



Aldworth, Alfred “Fred”

Major (Retired) RCAF

fred aldworthAlfred William Aldworth, 86, passed peacefully on January 11, 2018 in Ottawa. Fred will be lovingly remembered by his wife Sheila, his daughters Ann (Ed Cloutier), Joan (Michael Shaw) and Scott Aldworth. His grandchildren, Ryan (Alyssa), Chevonne, Alec, Callum, Brendan and Leo. His brother George (Margaret), sister-in-law Mona McGuigan, and brother-in-law Blair Scott. Fred took much pride in his career in the RCAF. He served as an Air Navigator with 408 Squadron, flying Lancaster aircraft devoted to the post war mapping of Canada’s Artic. He also served a tour of duty at a remote northern radar station on Baffin Island followed by years of service at the National Defence HQ in Ottawa in the Directorate of Air Operations. Following retirement from the air force, Fred was employed as the Aviation Historian for the Air Force Association of Canada. Upon graduation from RMC in 1954, Fred became class secretary – a position he embraced for the duration of his life. As a piper in the Central RCAF Pipes and Drums Band, he was equally dedicated being the band officer and organized their international performances in Scotland, Europe and the USA. While growing up as a young man in Hamilton, a love of history and classical music developed which he imparted to his friends and family – whether they wanted to hear it or not. Being a voracious reader, he was an ideal Trivia Pursuit partner. With his talent as a wordsmith, there was always a crossword puzzle nearby. A lover of the outdoors, he enjoyed cyclen marathon touring which developed from biking to the office. Fred’s love for golf developed upon his retirement, by which he continued to build good friendships. Fred was always there for support to his family.  Devoted, encouraging education, consistent mentorship was balanced with a joke in his pocket to make you smile. His clever, cheeky Irish wit was enjoyed by all who knew him. The family will greet friends at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa on Saturday, January 20, 2018 from 12:30 until time of Memorial Service at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa or to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Condolences, tributes and donations may be made at


Froebe Helicopter Cairn

In the 1930s, three brothers from Homewood, Manitoba, designed, built, and flew Canada's first helicopter. CAHS Manitoba Chapter is supporting the construction of a monument to Nicholas, Douglas, and Theodore Froebe in their hometown. Fundraising is nearly complete, thanks to generous support from the Froebe family and CAHS members and supporters. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help build the monument, you can send a cheque, made out to CAHS, to our national office at CAHS, PO Box 2700 Station D, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5W7. Please indicate that the donation is for the Froebe cairn. The cairn will be unveiled in July 2018.

The Froebe helicopter is currently on display at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada in Winnipeg. To read more about the helicopter, click here.

For more information, please contact CAHS Manitoba Chapter president Jim Bell at


convention2018 save the date 545


Time is marching on and the 2018 Convention is getting closer! Mark your calendar today for the convention - May 30 to June 3, 2018. Take a look at our heading, a head-on view of a Mosquito. Participants at the convention will have the opportunity is get up close and personal with the restoration of the Spartan Airways Mosquito, CF-HMS. Also, we have a deal for you, our host the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel is offering the chance to win a free night to someone who is an early bird registrant. Those who register before March 15th to stay at the hotel, will be eligible for a draw for a free night. Our special convention rate is $139 per night plus taxes (the regular rate is $169 per night). Check out the Sheraton Cavalier and book your room, CLICK HERE. We are working to keep costs down. For example, please note there is a free shuttle to the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel and back to the airport.

We are planning a trip to Viking Air Ltd. to see the construction of the new Twin Otters. There is also a possibility of going out on the apron to see the CL-215.  (Any participants in this will have to provide by March 15 ‘Name and Date of Birth’ to be pre-cleared by Transport Canada.) The Viking tour will dovetail with a visit to The Hangar Flight Museum (formerly known as the Aerospace Museum of Calgary). There will be a day trip to the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, with engine runs, four Merlins on a Lancaster and a Bristol Hercules, tours and lunch.

Book your airfare now or gas up your car, we look forward to seeing you in Calgary this year.  You may even wish to come early or stay after the convention to visit other attractions like The Military Museums (also Cold War Museum), Calgary Zoo (pandas and lemurs), Telus Spark Centre, Heritage Park, Glenbow Museum, The Reynolds-Alberta Museum (in Wetaskiwin), Edmonton, Banff, Lake Louise, shopping – (no provincial sales tax!).

Call For Presentations

2018 National Convention of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society

The Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) is holding our 55th Convention and Annual General Meeting in Calgary, Alberta, May 30 to June 3, 2018.  The conference theme is “Canadian Aviation Then and Now” with sessions exploring historical and current aspects of civilian, military and industrial aviation.

The convention is open to all: university students, aerospace industry professionals, academics, professionals in aviation or heritage associations, and aviation enthusiasts  of every kind. Our focus will be on historic and current aviation and aerospace topics.

Call for Papers / Presentations:
The CAHS invites proposals for papers to be presented at the convention. Individuals or groups should provide the following digital submission:

  • Topic (title) and subject
  • Short précis outlining the proposal, maximum 600 words
  • Presenter biography, maximum 300 words

If you have any problems or questions, please contact convention chairperson Bert Furlong at

Information to Note:

  • Presentations can utilize multi-disciplinary approaches, maximum 45 minutes in length and may be formal academic papers or informal talks.     
    All presentations must be in PowerPoint or Google Slides format.
  • Papers will be presented and published as part of the convention proceedings.
  • Note that the CAHS is a volunteer, non-profit corporation.  Presenters will be expected to register for at least one day of the convention, and no reimbursement can be offered for travel or other expenses.
  • Submissions must be received by 1 March 2018.
  • You will be notified by 31 March 2018 whether your submission has been accepted for presentation.

Convention updates can be found at

Please feel free to forward and post this message widely.  For more information, please contact us at the address or phone number below. 

Bert Furlong at; phone: 403-252-3246

We hope to see you in Calgary!
The 2018 CAHS Convention Committee


CAHS Ottawa Chapter - Online Presentations

In September of 2017, the Ottawa Chapter started the digital video recording of guest speaker presentations including the presenter’s Powerpoint slides thanks to the skills of new member Glen Mathews. They've also been collaborating with the Canada Aviation and Space (CASM) Museum to have these presentations posted on the CASM web site for viewing by the general public. It is hoped that through the CASM web site the Canadian and international public will become more aware of the CAHS and perhaps take out either a local chapter and/or National membership. The first three presentations are now available online for viewing - click here.

A new presentation will generally be posted each month from September through May (except December) however some speakers may not want to be recorded as is the case with the January 2018 speaker. As each new presentation becomes available a synopsis of the presentation will be announced in this newsletter as soon as it is available for viewing.


The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for January are:

Question: What was the number of the squadron (Bomber) (Auxiliary) authorized at Regina in 1935? When did it commence flying training? When was it renumbered and what was was it renumbered to?

Answer: “Authorized as No. 20 (Bomber) Squadron (Auxiliary) at Regina, Saskatchewan on 1 June 1935, the unit commenced flying training in April 1937 when it received four Moth aircraft. It was renumbered No. 120 Squadron on 15 November 1937. Called out on voluntary full-time duty in September 1939, and re-designated Bomber Reconnaissance on 31 October, the squadron flew Delta, Hudson, Stranraer, Canso A and Catalina aircraft on West Coast anti–submarine duty until disbanded at Coal Harbour, British Columbia on 1 May 1944. ”

Source: (site is now defunct)

Question: Who was officially credited with bringing down the Red Baron?


  1. Billy Bishop
  2. W.R. (WOP) May
  3. Flight Commander Roy Brown
  4. Two soldiers on the ground
  5. None of the above

Answer: “Nobody will ever know for sure who shot down the Red Baron. Many have claimed to be the one, however only three contenders are “in the running”. Flight Commander Roy Brown had a good chance in the air and two soldiers on the ground. Nobody was officially credited with bringing down the Red Baron”

Source: Website – The Chronicles of W.R. (WOP) May

Question: What was the name of the airfield in Alberta in 1943 that held the record as the busiest airfield in North America?

  1. Namao
  2. Grande Prairie
  3. Edmonton City Centre Airport
  4. Calgary
  5. None of the above

Answer: “Under the federal government, Blatchford Field, lengthened and improved runways and increased construction of taxiways. Larger hangars were constructed, and a new administration building was built. Air traffic increased considerably between 1939 and 1945, as the British Commonwealth Air Training Schools, defence activities, and the Northwest Staging Route brought increasing demands on the airport. In March and April of 1942, there was an additional demand made on Blatchford Field when the American government pressed ahead with the construction of the Alaska Highway, which added a land-based transportation route north. Air transport of personnel and supplies was a factor in the rapid building of the Alaska Highway, allowing work to take place at several places at the same time. Airfields at Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray also saw significant increases in air traffic during this time. Another development that added to the air traffic in Edmonton, Peace River, Embarras, Grande Prairie and Calgary was the construction of the Canol Pipeline which would run from Norman Wells to Whitehorse. Crude oil from Norman Wells was to be sent to a new refinery at Whitehorse and then moved by additional pipelines to where it could be used on the Northwest Staging Route and the Alaska Highway. During a 24-hour period at the Blatchford Field in June 1942, there were 500 landing aircraft reported. One of the busiest days, 29 September 1942, saw over 850 arrivals and departures. In 1943, Blatchford Field held the record as the busiest airfield in North America. Before the summer of 1943, the demand had increased so much at the Edmonton airport that a new airfield known as Namao was built 11 kilometers north of Edmonton, and was operated by the Americans until the end of the war.”

Source: Alberta Heritage Website 


Eastern Air Command

My name is Tim Friese and I am part of the education program for Canada's Naval Memorial, HMCS Sackville. During our week's celebration in the first week of May, of the RCN's involvement in the Battle of the Atlantic, we make the public aware of the role Canada played in defeating the Axis powers and maintaining the constant flow of materials to aid Great Britain in its struggle against occupation and starvation. Sadly, we do not celebrate one branch of the service that was very important to the victory and that is the role of Eastern Air Command. This year I wish to try to remedy this by having a gathering of sorts to commemorate their achievements and perhaps have a veteran or two, be on hand for the accolades or at the very least, their family members. The problem I am having is trying to locate any EAC veterans, still alive and/or in the Halifax area. I was hoping you may be able to spread a little light on the situation by having some knowledge of any veterans still alive and potentially available for our tribute. I appreciate your time in aiding me in my quest and if you are ever in the city of Halifax, I would be honoured to give you a tour of the ship as well as to partake of a fine meal. Many thanks in advance, and have a very Happy New Year!

Tim Friese


RCAF Film Project

A message from Mr. Bob Barrett:

I am a director. My recent film series was A Nation Soars, a trilogy of 1 hr films celebrating Canadian pilots of the First World War. I worked with a great cast of RCAF alumni, and the experience was powerful. I would now like to feature the RCAF in a film of its own. This documentary would cover the history and role of the RCAF in Canadian culture. Mapping our country, flying commercial aircraft, leading in our communities, these are the contributions I wish to document. To this end, I'm trying to collect first-hand stories of Canadian aviators, beginning with those who served during the Second World War. Can you help us find some of these veterans? Sincerely, Robert Barrett, 416 518 3238 or write to:

P.S. The RCAF Association supports Mr. Barrett and his project to document the experiences and contributions of Canadian air force veterans during the Second World War. If you know of any such veterans or family members in your community, please write or call Mr. Barrett.


The Lewis Letters

By Pam McKenzie
Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

Book launch November 2017

In the fall of 2016, Mr. Kelly Jones contacted me, saying he had his godfather’s memorabilia to donate to the museum. The two suitcases he delivered revealed one of the most significant personal history donations the museum has ever received. This treasure trove contained the whole life and career of Group Captain Alexander Lewis. We have personal letters, diaries, pictures, uniforms and memorabilia, over 100 items now in our Library & Archives to be preserved and protected.

Alexander Lewis was born in 1899 and during his life, was an active participant in the seminal events of the 20th century. He was an 18 year old RFC pilot over the front lines of WWI Europe, a survivor of Ireland’s Kilmichael Massacre and Palestine’s Gendarmerie, a founding member of the RCAF in 1924, the pilot of the Hudson Strait Expedition that crashed in the North Atlantic and walked thirteen days to survive, and a commanding officer and convoy pilot of the RCAF in WWII.

His hand-written letters and diaries, the earliest 100 years old now, told an amazing story. They told several in fact, and my notes became a book, told mostly in his own words.

The Lewis Letters was launched at the Royal Aviation Museum and at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Nov 2017, after a year in the writing and production. It has been well received; many readers do share our love of aviation history.

It is available through Amazon, on-line through Kindle and Kobo, at McNally Robinson Booksellers and the Gift Shop of the Royal Aviation Museum, and through Friesen Publishers. The price point is a very accessible $10.99 and I hope to bring this amazing adventure story to Calgary in May to our very knowledgeable Society.


2017 Milton Patterson Award Presented in Scarborough

Story and photos by Gord McNulty

Flight Sergeant Zoe Elizabeth Chee proudly accepted the 2017 Milton Patterson Scholarship presented by Sheldon

Flight Sergeant Zoe Elizabeth (Eng-Tsieng) Chee proudly accepted the 2017 Milton Patterson Scholarship presented by Sheldon.

In an impressive ceremony on Nov. 29 that reflected well on the CAHS and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, the 2017 Milton Patterson Award for $1,000 was presented to Flight Sergeant Zoe Elizabeth (Eng-Tsieng) Chee of No. 631 Sentinel Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets, in Scarborough.

Sheldon Benner, President of the CAHS Toronto Chapter, congratulated FSgt Chee and presented her with the award on behalf of the CAHS Board of Directors, President Gary Williams, and the membership of the CAHS. Sheldon served as the Reviewing Officer and participated in the inspection of the Commanding Officer’s Parade, attended by 76 cadets, at the Don Montgomery Community Recreation Centre. Several badges were presented to cadets for marksmanship and long service as CO Capt. Brad Davidson and Sheldon presided. The multicultural diversity and inclusiveness of 631 Sentinel Squadron was remarkable. To their credit, Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadrons are setting a positive example of leadership for the entire country.

In his remarks, Sheldon noted the scholarship is not given every year. The student must be found worthy of earning the scholarship and stand out as having future potential and a desire to increase his or her flight training. The exceptionally capable and dedicated FSgt Chee certainly displays these qualities. A member of the air cadets since 2013, she completed summer training courses including General Training Course in 2014, Basic Aviation Course in 2015, glider pilot Scholarship in 2016 and Power Pilot Scholarship in 2017. She has obtained both her Glider Pilot and private pilot licences through the program.

In addition, FSgt Chee received the award for Top Level 4 cadet for the 2016-17 training year and was awarded the 2017 Aircrew Officers Association of Canada Award at the Air Cadet League of Canada Annual General Meeting. Moreover, she is also the Drum Major of 631 Sentinel Squadron, a position to which she was appointed in October.

During fall and spring, FSgt Chee spends her weekends at the Markham Cadet Flying Centre, taking other cadets on their first glider flights. She has expressed an interest in taking courses at Buttonville Airport or Durham Flight Centre in Oshawa.

Sheldon noted the first formal gathering of the “Founding Fathers” of what is presently known as the CAHS took place on November 18, 1962. The Society was originally called “The Early Birds Association of Canada.” Several passionate individuals from the Toronto area came together to form what has become the authoritative source for our rich Canadian aviation history.

The CAHS now has a membership of nearly 900 members, predominately across Canada, as well as eight local chapters across the country. Sheldon cordially invited members of the public in attendance, including air cadets, to attend meetings of the Toronto Chapter, held seven times a year at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto.

A framed certificate to formally record the award was included with the presentation to FSgt Chee, along with some of the latest examples of our CAHS Journal. FSgt Chee was also registered to receive a complementary one-year membership covering the latest issues of the publication.

The CAHS established the Patterson Award in honour of the late J. Milton Patterson, who joined the Society in 1980. His estate, along with other CAHS members, provided funds so a flying continuation award could be presented to 631 Sentinel Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Milt had been an instructor at the squadron. The winning cadet is selected by staff of 631 Sentinel Squadron in conjunction with a designated CAHS Director. The award is intended to allow a cadet to pursue additional ratings or check-outs and further improve their flying skills.

Congratulations once again, FSgt Chee. The CAHS wishes you all the best with your future aviation career.

631 Sentinel Squadron Drum Major FSgt Zoe Elizabeth Chee leads the band on parade
631 Sentinel Squadron Drum Major FSgt Zoe Elizabeth Chee leads the band on parade.
631 Sentinel Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets at the COs Parade in Scarborough on Nov 29
631 Sentinel Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets at the CO's Parade in Scarborough on Nov. 29.
631 Sentinental Squadron Air Cadets are inspected by Sheldon Benner
631 Sentinel Squadron Air Cadets are inspected by Sheldon Benner.
From left CAHS Vice President Gord McNulty 631 Squadron CO Capt Brad Davidson CAHS Toronto President Sheldon Benner
From left CAHS Vice President Gord McNulty, 631 Squadron CO Capt. Brad Davidson, CAHS Toronto President Sheldon Benner.
Sheldon Benner presents Flight Sergeant Zoe Elizabeth Chee with the 2017 Milton Patterson Scholarship

Congratulations are extended to FSgt Zoe Elizabeth Chee recipient of the 2017 Milton Patterson Scholarship by Sheldon Benner
Sheldon Benner presents FSgt Zoe Elizabeth Eng Tsieng Chee of 631 Sentinel Squadron with a descriptive plaque outlining the 2017 J. Milton Patterson Award 

Sheldon Benner presents FSgt Zoe Elizabeth (Eng-Tsieng) Chee of 631 Sentinel Squadron with a descriptive plaque outlining the 2017 J. Milton Patterson Award.
The multicultural diversity of 631 Sentinental Squadron is evident as Sheldon Benner participates in the inspection
The multicultural diversity of 631 Sentinel Squadron is evident as Sheldon Benner participates in the inspection.

Sydney Baker 1915-2017

sydney baker with col chris hadfield 300Sydney Baker passed away at 10:30 pm, Saturday 30th December 2017. Syd will be remembered by many volunteers and employees at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum; by members of the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society; and by ex-employees of Spartan Air Services.

Syd was a dear friend and I will sadly miss visiting him at his Alta Vista Manor residence.

The picture of Syd with Col. Chris Hadfield was taken at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in 2015 during a 100th birthday celebratory tour of the museum, a day many of us will not forget. (Photo courtesy of Lesley Law, Syd’s daughter.)

Syd might have been old in years (102) but his memory was remarkable. People doing research into Spartan Air Services' history and into DH Mosquito aircraft that Spartan operated, continued to consult Syd on issues, technical and historical, even in 2017!

My thoughts go out to Syd's close friends and family at this sad time. Syd you will missed and remembered by many.


Welcome New Museum Members!

By John Chalmers, CAHS Membership Secretary

Membership in the Canadian Aviation Historical Society in 2017 ended on a high note when five more aviation museums from across Canada joined our Society as Museum Members late in the year. We welcome the Billy Bishop Home and Museum, the British Columbia Aviation Museum, the Calgary Mosquito Society, the Montreal Aviation Museum and the Shearwater Aviation Museum, bringing our total museum membership to 16. Click the name of any of our five new members to visit the web site.

Billy Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum

At Owen Sound, Ontario, the Billy Bishop Home and Museum is located in the 1884 boyhood home of the highly-decorated pilot, Air Marshal William Avery “Billy” Bishop (1894-1956). He flew for Canada in the First World War, serving with the Royal Flying Corps and became the first Canadian airman to be awarded the Victoria Cross, credited with 72 aerial victories. Bishop was an original member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, inducted in 1974. (Chalmers photo)

British Columbia Aviation Museum

Eastman Sea Rover

Located in Sidney, British Columbia, at the Victoria International Airport, the British Columbia Aviation Museum is home to the BC Aviation Hall of Fame. Aircraft at the museum are restored to static display or airworthy status. The only remaining 1920s Eastman Sea Rover flying boat, above, restored at the museum by volunteers, is among the collection that is dedicated to collecting, preserving and displaying aircraft and artefacts that emphasize aviation history in British Columbia. (Chalmers photo)

Calgary Mosquito Society

Mosquito 545

Headed by president Richard de Boer, who serves also as president of the Calgary chapter of the CAHS, the Calgary Mosquito Society has two major restoration projects underway. A Hawker Hurricane is being restored at Historic Aviation Services Inc. in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. At the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta, south of Calgary, volunteers from the Society are rebuilding a Mosquito fighter-bomber, seen above, which was flown post-war by Spartan Air Services. (Chalmers photo)

Montreal Aviation Museum

Fairchild FC-2

Founded by the late Godfrey Passmore in 1998 as the Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre, it is now known as the Montreal Aviation Museum. Located in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on Montreal Island, the museum occupies a former century-old stone cow barn on the Macdonald Campus of McGill University. An early Blériot monoplane built at the museum is in the collection. One aircraft restored by volunteers who operate the museum is a Fairchild FC-2 Razorback, shown above. (Robert St. Pierre photo)

Shearwater Aviation Museum

Grumman Tracker 482

Located in Shearwater, Nova Scotia, the Shearwater Aviation Museum was founded in 1978, and since 1995 has occupied its current and larger facility. In addition to aircraft on display, the museum’s extensive library and archives document Canadian maritime military aviation history. Facilities include a gift shop, a meeting room and a theatre available for presentations. Shown above is a one of the museum’s two Grumman Trackers that flew with the Royal Canadian Navy. (Web site photo)


Museum Members of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society comprise a valued component of our membership. Each issue of our newsletter lists those members, with each name linked to the museum’s website. Also, at, Home - Giving - Museum Membership, all Museum Members are named and linked to the museums’ web sites.

We encourage readers to visit those web locations, and to visit the museum itself when opportunity arises. Future newsletters will highlight other CAHS Museum Members.