As we come to the close of another year of pandemic restrictions and the frustrations all that entails, I want to also reflect on all the positive events and advancement that we have seen this past year.
We have been able to hold many of our monthly chapter presentations via Zoom, allowing attendance by those both local and at great distances. We were able to have our Board of Directors meeting, also via Zoom, and hold our Annual General Meeting successfully. The election of your board members saw no changes to our slate of officers, and I want to thank every one of them for their dedication and support. I could not do my duties as president without their commitment and advice.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel our annual in-person convention again for 2021. Our hope and plan is to make the 2022 convention a huge celebration of the end of the pandemic restrictions. It will be great to have those in-person meetings and reconnect with everyone once again.
We have now put together a plan to accelerate the Journal schedule with the help of five associate editors. They will each take on one or more issues of the Journal and I am looking forward to the success of their fine editorial skills.
We are still holding our own financially, but we depend on and are so grateful for every donation, regardless of amount. We still need your help so please consider making a tax-deductible donation if you can.
I want to send a special thank you to our Newsletter Editor, Katherine Simunkovic, our Journal Editor and Website Administrator, Terry Higgins, and our Webmaster and Data Administrator, Zach Downey-Higgins. These three individuals work to keep all of us informed and our online presence current and alive.
It is now time to renew your national membership for 2022. Your membership is much more than the four issues of each Journal volume, it also supports our website, chapters and expert speakers. Collectively, these initiatives help the CAHS continue to be the authoritative voice of Canadian aviation history.
On behalf of your National Executive and Board of Directors, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year. Please stay safe and healthy, look after your family and friends, as we look forward to better times in 2022.
National President, Canadian Aviation Historical Society
Click the button above or, if you have a smartphone, simply point its camera app at the on-screen QR code to donate via mobile.
From the Desk of the Journal Editor
Printing completed – Mailing soon!
The Journal 57-3 print edition is awaiting pick-up on the printer's dock for the short trip to our mailing house. Membership mailing is scheduled for the first week in the New Year. An email providing on-screen reading and direct download access to the full colour digital edition will be sent out within that same week.*
Journal 57-4 will go to final layout proofreading – the final stage before print production – shortly. Studio proofing of the layout is very nearly completed.
Follow this link for a preview of feature articles in these, and for ongoing updates on other work-in-progress Journal editions.
* Each digital edition is posted to the website as a high-resolution PDF (published with colour throughout since Journal 57-1) so that all current CAHS National Members will have immediate online access.
Terry Higgins, Creative Director, Website Administrator,
CAHS Journal Managing Editor and Graphics Director,
Canadian Aviation Historical Society
From the Desk of the Treasurer
We hope that all our readers had a lovely Christmas celebration - visiting with family and friends, opening gifts, seeing the wonderment on children's faces, enjoying good food, singing carols, and having some down time to relax and recharge. We also hope that many of you received some fun aviation-themed gifts and books as presnts. Just in case there was an aviation book you wanted that Santa didn't deliver, we are making our book offers available for another month, so you can buy that book for yourself.
Click on the montage image below to find out more information about the books by Shelia Serup, Carl Vincent, Chris Weicht, Shirlee Matheson, Tim Cole, Deana Driver, the Alberta Aviation Museum, Joel From, Terry Higgins, and others.Don't forget to browse the calendar link below to see images of each month's artwork.
The Executive, Board, and Chapter Presidents would like to thank everyone for their support of the CAHS organization - whether through your memberships, donations, or book/calendar purchases. We have survived a second year of the pandemic, which has forced us to cancel two conventions (and the fundraising we do onsite and through clothing merchandise sales), abandon in-person monthly chapter meetings (which also affects onsite donations/landing fees and book sales), and turn to video-conferencing for online meetings with special guest speakers (although this has allowed people to attend from across the country, this has increased chapters' operating costs to secure the appropriate Zoom licenses). Your continued support is so important for our 2022 operations - as we continue to weather the impact of the pandemic and implement our plan for Journal catch-up. As we bring 2021 to a close and ring in the new year this weekend, we would appreciate any additional donations, book/calendar purchases, membership renewals, and new memberships (a great new year's gift!).
Wishing you a lovely rest of your week and a very Happy New Year's celebration. Here's to staying happy and healthy in 2022.
Cordially, Dr. Rachel Lea Heide,
Canadian Aviation Historical Society
CAHS Annual Aviation Art Calendar, 2022 edition
There are now less than two dozen left from our intial print run. Always popular always fresh, open up a new, colourful window on aviation history each and every month of the new year. Get yours directly from our e-shop today.
At just 19, Raymond (Ray) Cyriac Gran enrolled in the RCAF in the frigid January of 1942. At that time, nearly a million Canadian families would be torn apart. With his eyes set on the war unfolding overseas, Ray undertook his first overseas trip to Britain. Through aerial attack, Ray and his fellow RCAF / RAF would at last confront the enemy eating a nightmarish swath through Europe.
Danielle, former President of the CAHS and author of several books of aviation history, is pleased to share these limited-release videos free of charge through the CAHS site for the next few months. You will also find a printable craft kids of all ages can do at home. Please follow this link to access them. Enjoy!
Canadian Arnold B. Massey, RAF Catfirth, and the first Flight to Shetland, 1918
In the 1970s, Simon Gunn was employed as a secondary school art teacher at the Anderson High School in the Shetland Isles. His family lived some miles from Lerwick, Shetland’s capital, and while out walking his dog near his home along the shore of a small sea loch, Simon came across some ruined buildings that had a military look about them. As well as these, there was a large concrete slipway with only a few old huts nearby. Asking his next-door neighbour about them, Simon was told “Oh they were part of the old station!” The station had once been the flying boat station RAF Catfirth
Building/Rebuilding the Bf109G-6 and Bf109G-10 in Canada
Don Bradshaw gives a detailed overview of what it takes to build a Bf 109 fuselage using pieces of recovered 109s, as well as newly manufactured parts. From armament mounts to fuselage skin, Don's presentation is not to be missed by any Bf 109 enthusiast. This presentation was given to the CAHS Regina Chapter in October 2021.
CAHS member Anne Gafiuk has been hard at work during the pandemic, on three websites highlighting different aspects of Canadian Aviation history. This month, we are happy to share The Typhoon Project website with you.
This website has been designed as a repository of RCAF Typhoon history, dedicated to those Canadians who served with Typhoon Squadrons during the Second World War. Initially to be a book, urged on by Harry Hardy, DFC, 440 Squadron, the vast amount of information and images turned into an accessible website where updates can be made if and when required. To access the website, please click here.
Typhoon veteran of the Second World War, Harry Hardy
"It is all facts," as Harry used to tell me. To read Harry’s military history, please click here.
The men's BCATP experiences are often noted, expanding knowledge of that organization.
This website has been supported by the RCAF Heritage Fund.
Ann Gafiuk with Katherine Simunkovic
They Also Served
Artist Charles Thompson's piece, They Also Served, depicts two bombers departing England on a night bombing raid over German occupied Europe. The nearest aircraft is a Handley Page Hampden I of #408 Goose Squadron RCAF and the one behind it is an Armstrong Withworth Whitley V of 978 Squadron RAF.
Question One:How was the RAF/RFC training plan in Canada crucial to the outcome of the First World War?
Dancing in The Sky,
pg. 289 (Hunt)
Question Two: What was the requirement of the RCAF that was fulfilled by the Canadian Vickers Varuna II?
Jericho Beach and the West Coast Flying Boat Stations,
pg. 232-233 (Weicht)
Question Three:How many members of RAF Bomber Command and the RCAF became prisoners of the Axis Nations during the Second World War?
No Prouder Place,
pg. 192 (Bashow)
The answers will appear in the January 2022 Newsletter
Here are the answers to November's Canadian Aviation Moments:
QUESTION 1: During the five months the IRFC (Imperial Royal Flying Corps training plan in Canada during the First World War) was training in Texas, how many flying hours were racked up, how many pilots were trained and how many officers and ground crew were trained?
ANSWER: “During the five months the IRFC was training in Texas, a total of 67,000 flying hours were racked up and 1,960 pilots, including IRFC, Army Signal Corps, and U.S. Naval cadets, were fully or partially trained. In addition, another 4,150 men and 69 officers were trained in various ground trades and skills. Moreover, in spite of the dangerous stunting, flying fatalities made up just 1.88 percent of pilots trained, considered excellent for the times. The Medical Corps was especially effective. Winter weather and inadequate clothing supplies led to an outbreak of flu and children’s diseases such as measles, yet only 3 percent of cadets were incapacitated from all medical causes.”
FromDancing In The Sky
QUESTION 2: For what was the Canadian Vickers Vedette seaplane used, and how long was it in service with the RCAF?
ANSWER: “The origins of the Vedette can be traced back to 1922 and the Canadian Vickers Viking IV, the larger flying boat used as a forestry patrol aircraft by Laurentide Air Services of Montreal. At the time, Laurentide employees recommended reducing the size of the Viking in order to make it more serviceable in their forestry patrol work. Vickers British parent company acted quickly. R/K Pierson designed a small flying-boat and in the summer of 1924 W.T. Reid arrived in Montreal with the design layout. He took the position of Chief Engineer with the Canadian Vickers company and had the project well in hand by mid-July. Laurentide then suffered a financial setback and the RCAF entered into the design picture intending to use the seaplane for forestry survey and fire protection patrols. The original concept of the Vedette was kept but, after a battery of tests had been completed, the RCAF stipulated the use of air-cooled 215 hp, Armstrong Siddley Lynx engine. The Wright Aeronautical Corporation came forward with a money-back guarantee on their J-4 Whirlwind engine, and the cost-conscious RCAF took their offer. On the morning of May 9,1925, the Wright-powered Vedette was taken on a successful flight test by Squadron Leader B.D. Hobbs. The RCAF put the aircraft into active service on forestry patrols and received very favourable reports on its performance during the 1925 forestry season. Canadian Vickers put the Vedette into production in 1926. The Vedette Flying Boat was well-liked by the RCAF for both forestry patrols and photographic work. The small, single-engine pusher biplane was in use from coast to coast and remained in service with the RCAF until the early days of World War II?”
From Jericho Beach and the West Coast Flying Stations
QUESTION 3: What kind of radar anti-aircraft fire avoidance tactics were used from 1943 on by RAF Bomber Command Pathfinders and, later, by elements of the main force?
ANSWER: “From 1943 onward, the Pathfinders and later, elements of the Main Force, were actively using avoidance tactics against the radar-directed guns from known sites. The rough rule of thumb, as worked out by the 8 group Tactics Officer, was to change headings randomly by at least fifteen degrees in either direction every twenty seconds or vary the altitude by 500 feet every twenty seconds. This would usually cause the radar-directed flak to lag the bomber’s flight path, although it did nothing to mitigate the possibility of a hit on a following aircraft."
From No Prouder Place
Select a chapter to discover what they have been up to since the last newsletter.
Many of our Chapters remain very active on Zoom with presentations every bit as good as they would be if we did not have pandemic restrictions to deal with!
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The Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS)
P.O. Box 2700 • Station D • Ottawa • Ontario • K1P 5W7