In last month’s message, I referenced Elsie MacGill as the first Canadian female Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME). That was incorrect. Elsie was never an AME. She was, however, an Aeronautical Engineer – a demanding profession to which she did great credit. I thank our members for pointing out the error and all those that provided documented evidence of her correct credentials. The AME profession has not been as thoroughly recorded as we’d like in the CAHS, but we are working to give it the historical coverage it truly deserves.
Speaking of Elsie, I wish to congratulate the eight fine recipients of Northern Lights Aero Foundation 2020 “Elsie” awards.
TORONTO, ONTARIO, 25 September 2020
The Northern Lights Aero Foundation today announced the 2020 recipients of its annual “Elsie” award, honouring Canadian women who have made outstanding contributions to aviation and aerospace.
"Our goal is to bring more recognition to women working in the world of aviation and aerospace in Canada,” says Kathleen Lang, President of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation. “This year’s recipients are an incredible line-up of role models for the next generation of women in these industries. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we look forward to celebrating them in 2021."
Named after aviation pioneer and human rights advocate Elsie Gregory MacGill, the award recognizes eight outstanding women across seven categories: business, education, engineering, flight operations, government, trailblazer, and rising star.
Business Award recipient Nancy Barber,
Education Award recipient Jo-Anne Tabobandung,
Engineering Award recipient Kathryn Atamanchuk, P.Eng., MBA, PMP, FEC,
Flight Operations Award recipient Stacey Jackson,
Government Award recipient Lieutenant Colonel Diane Baldassaro,
Trailblazer Award recipient Honorary Colonel Kendra Kincade,
Rising Star Award recipient Maegan Extross, and,
Rising Star Award recipient Kathleen Legge.
Please reference the website for detailed accounts on these distinguished Canadians.
Bonded through flight, Gary Williams and father shared a love of flying:
CAHS National President and Regina Chapter President Gary Williams shares his passion and love of aviation with his late father, George, a Bomber Command pilot in the Second World War. During his time in Bomber Command, George very narrowly avoided death on his 21st mission after his aircraft suffered fatal damage and he was forced to crash land in water. A story of heroics, returned aircraft pieces and connections across the ocean. To read the full article, please click here.
Katherine Simunkovic, Digital Content Editor,
Canadian Aviation Historical Society
CAHS Journal Update
If you are a CAHS National Member with an up-to-date email address on record, you will be able to access the digital edition PDF of CAHS Journal Volume 57, Number 2 within the coming week (current and grace-period members will receive an email with access link once the digital edition is posted).
This PDF is included in the repository of all digital editions (published since 2010) in our website's new Members' Only area. Simply log in to enjoy your CAHS Journals on your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, to view the PDF at full-screen magnifications. From there, you can also print individual articles, ranges of pages, or whole Journals on your home/office printer.
These title-page images provide a preview of some of the subjects covered in this edition.
At the same time that the digital edition PDF is posted to the site, the print edition will go to the printers. Both 57-1 (PDF already posted) and 57-2 will be printed and mailed to all Traditional category Members – including Individuals, Museum Members, and Corporate Members – at the same time.
We are also in layout with Journals 57-3 and 57-4, so they may be posted, printed, and mailed together as well.
Select this link to check the website's Journal area for ongoing updates in between Newsletters. Instructions for logging in to the Members Only area are also provided (in red text) on that page.
An Easy Upgrade for Newsletter Subscribers
First of all, in these pandemic-restricted times, it is heartening to see your membership renewals continue to come in. We hope you are enjoying the members-only side of the website as much as the site's traffic monitoring suggests.
It is equally encouraging to see so many newsletter subscribers become CAHS National Members, and so many new members join us seemingly out of the blue! This is, in many cases, a product of newsletter sharing. Please continue to share this newsletter with your aviation-minded friends and associates.
If, as a subscriber, you enjoy the content of our newsletter and website, we're especially confident that you will enjoy our flagship publication, the CAHS Journal. Follow this link to take you from subscriber to member with just a few clicks. The Anywhere-Online membership, which gives you access to all digital editions of the Journal through to the end of the year you join, is just $25.00! The cost of Traditional Membership (which includes the print edition by mail) varies according to mailing destination. Anywhere-Online members can upgrade to Traditional at any time.
Terry Higgins, Creative Director, Website Administrator,
CAHS Journal Managing Editor and Graphics Director,
The Trio of Shirlee Smith-Matheson books on exclusive offer in our e-shop with one day remaining…
This compelling collection of stories chronicles aviation anomalies from the shores of Labrador to the British Columbia coast, and beyond our aerial borders to describe Canadian participation in bringing resolution to far-reaching aviation mysteries and disasters.
We are offering this book for $19.00 (GST included) plus $6.00 shipping per copy in Canada.
The publisher's retail price is $21.95 plus GST (plus shipping if purchased online).
From the perils of First World War aerial dogfights to the daring antics of his post-war barnstorming stunts, the adventures of Captain Freddie McCall, flying ace and maverick Calgarian, come to life in Shirlee Smith Matheson’s book.
We are offering this book for $8.00 (GST included) plus $6.00 shipping per copy in Canada.
The publisher's retail price is $9.95 plus GST (plus shipping if purchased online)
With a passion to save RCAF Halifax bomber history, the Halifax 57 Rescue team at the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, Alberta has a busy 2021 full of restoration projects and acquiring parts. From restoring of Hercules engines, to the reconstruction and restoration of a Halifax bomber and an underwater recovery mission later this year, they have some exciting updates to share.
CAHS Member Brian Cotter reviews Dominuque Prinet's wonderful new book documenting some of the more memorable moments of the author's long history of experience flying in Canada's north. Mr. Prinet has also been making the rounds as guest presenter for a number of CAHS Chapter Zoom meetings lately.
Doug Collins, a researcher and writer of aviation history, provides an in-depth and thorough review of Red Stars Over Canada for readers interested in rarely covered subjects, northern flying, political intrique, or all of the above!
Our Aviation Moments quiz series will resume in the May e-newsletter.
March 2021 Aviation Moments Quiz Answers:
Question One: What were the first systematic flying regulations that were introduced in 1917 by the IRFC (Imperial Royal Flying Corps) training plan in Canada during WWI?
Answer(from Dancing In The Sky, pp 224 - 225):
Hoare did not generally grant press interviews but privately both he and his staff officer were concerned at the high casualty rate. They had already implemented a few safety measures, such as requiring flyers to wear safety belts to prevent them falling from their airplanes. In the summer of 1917, as casualties grew, they introduced the first systematic flying regulations in Canada. These required that flyers not take off until a signaller with a flag gave the go-ahead. When an aircraft was coming in for a landing, no other machine was allowed to take off until the other machine had landed safely. Aviators in the air had to keep at least one hundred yards away from each other or at least 200 to 300 feet above one another. Windsocks were made mandatory at all aerodromes so that any pilot could easily determine the direction of the wind. Henceforth, he could take off and land only if he was going into the wind. Moreover, a thorough inspection of each airplane was mandatory before it could be taken up. Every aircraft had a mechanic specifically responsible for each airplane’s air-worthiness and only he could give the plane clearance to be flown.
Question Two: Who recommended to the Canadian Government that all Axis aliens be removed from the west coast?
Answer (from Jericho Beach and the West Coast Flying Stations, pp 177 - 178):
On January 2, 1942, the new Air Officer Commanding Western Air Command L.F. Stevenson bypassed the Joint Service Committee and communicated directly with Air Force Headquarters to recommend that all Axis aliens be removed from the west coast. A/C Stevenson received a strong reprimand for his lack of protocol. However, the following month he voiced his concerns again. This time he was supported by Air Vice-Marshal Johnson. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December1941 had amplified concerns about the safety of the Pacific coast and residents of the west coast also supported A/C Stevenson’s recommendations. At the end of February 1942, the Cabinet War Committee bowed to political pressure and ordered the evacuation of Japanese from the west coast of Canada. There were several actions, carried out as precautionary measures, that took place prior to the announcement of the evacuation order.
Question Three:What was the impact of the bombing raid by the RAF Bomber Command on Hamburg the night of July 27, 1943?
Answer(from No Prouder Place, pg 176):
Most of Hamburg’s fire vehicles had been in the western part of the city, damping down the fires still smouldering there from the raid of 3 nights earlier, and only a few units were able to pass through roads which were blocked by the rubble of buildings destroyed by high-explosive bombs early in the raid. About half-way through the raid, the fires in Hammerbrook started joining together and competing with each other for oxygen in the surrounding air. Suddenly the whole area became one big fire with air being drawn into it with the force of the storm. The bombing continued for another half-hour, spreading the firestorm area gradually east-wards. It was estimated that 550-600 bomb loads fell into an area measuring only 2 miles by 1 mile. The firestorm raged for about 3 hours and only subsided when all burnable material was consumed. The burnt-out area was almost entirely residential. Approximately 16,000 multi-storied buildings were destroyed. There were few survivors from the firestorm area and approximately 40,000 people died, most of them by carbon monoxide poisoning when all the air was drawn out of their basement shelters. In the period immediately following this raid, approximately 1,200,000 people – two-thirds of Hamburg’s population – fled the city in fear of further raids.
More Canadian Aviation Moments
– In the News and Around the Web –
Canadian Beaufighter Pilot and POW Survivor Celebrates Birthday
Happy 100th Birthday to Harold Soderland!
Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Association member Harold Soderlund is turning 100 years old on April 21, 2021. Born in 1921 to Swedish immigrants, Harold joined the RCAF in 1939 when the war broke out, serving as an aircraft mechanic. Soon after joining he realized his passion for flying and went on to become an officer and pilot. In an interview with SooToday journalist, Darren Taylor, in April 2016, the war veteran recounted his time as a Second World War POW. A story of survival and bravery, if you would like to learn more about Harold’s story, please click here.
The photo is an rocket-armed Beaufighter TF.X of the RAF Wing in the Med on which Mr. Soderland served (via the Terry Higgins collection)
A Virtual Chapter Virtual Event!
First Annual Virtual Art Show
– Announced by the CAAA Chapter of the CAHS –
The CAAA will present a virtual art show on the theme Help From Above - Humanitarian Aviation, in August of this year. The show is open to all members of the Canadian Aerospace Artists Association and of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. Accepting any media, including photography and digital. For more information, please click here.
Wes Lowe's Sea King Rescue is a fine example of this theme. You can see more of this CAAA Member's work at
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The Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS)
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