Attendees at the CAHS AGM via Zoom video on June 16 engaged in a lively, informal discussion on an increasingly important issue considering the age of most CAHS members. What are the best ways to arrange to preserve photo collections, art, books, memoirs, memorabilia, records and other historical resources of our members as they pass away?
The question is especially relevant in cases where a member has not designated his or her intentions, leaving the responsibility for aviation assets to family members who may or may not be interested in the material. In a worst-case scenario, the assets are discarded and disappear. Not only is history lost, there is also a loss of revenue for organizations that can use surplus books, for example, in fundraising.
A vast amount of material is held in personal collections among CAHS members and aviation enthusiasts across Canada. Preservation presents a daunting challenge. Aviation organizations and museums that could benefit from a collection may not have the space to accommodate it, nor the staff to catalogue it in detail.
The issue took on more importance for Toronto aviation enthusiasts this year, with a “garage sale” of the impressive collection of Jack Phipps, CAHS #25, in Toronto. Jack’s wife, Veronica, conducted a successful two-day sale after Jack did not specify any plans for his collection.
Many of Jack’s books are still in fine condition and not only that, they often contain a fascinating newspaper clip or two. For instance, Jack saved a 1968 Kingston Whig-Standard story on the Kingston Flying Club’s 40th anniversary. The opening of the club in 1929, by none other than W.A. “Billy” Bishop, attracted more than 10,000 people and included a crack squadron of Curtiss Hawk fighters flown in from Selfridge Field near Detroit.
Veronica is interested in expressions of interest about remaining items, including prints by CAHS Patron Robert Bradford and no less than 66 books on naval history.
A collection of photos and slides by prolific aircraft photographer Douglas Broadribb, CAHS #2155, of Hamilton is another valuable resource. Fortunately, Doug’s daughter Vicki saved this considerable collection, and I’m now assisting her with preserving it.
As an example of how collections often “migrate” from one person to another – for better or worse – Doug’s collection includes albums by Bill Crimmins. He was an American aviation buff from Virginia who visited Canadian Warplane Heritage air shows at Hamilton.
During the AGM, I mentioned that I planned to disperse some parts of Doug’s collection to different aviation museums. Ted Barris, for his part, rightly emphasized that we should aim higher than dispersal where we can.
It’s encouraging that Toronto Chapter Director Ken Swartz is very interested in acquiring photo collections such as Doug’s. Ken advised that Neil Aird, well-known aviation enthusiast in Kingston, scans photos from collections and uploads them to the AirHistory.com website. That’s a really positive approach.
The CAHS, unfortunately, is unable to accept, store or make collections accessible. However, the Executive is interested in an ongoing discussion of potential options. CAHS member Cameron Price, a Cub historian, has suggested an accessible metadata base – to identify a CAHS member’s expertise and collections – to serve as a reference tool on the CAHS website. Also consider the CAHS Journal editor's plea reiterated below, for another variation on this theme.
While we don’t have all the answers regarding this rather mammoth subject, we are certainly not lacking in enthusiasm. The recent conversation reminded all of us how important it is to arrange for the appropriate, secure disposal of the material before it is too late.
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
Journals in the works
The call for photos and other imagery
The front cover layouts for CAHS Journals 57-4, 58-1, and 58-2 featuring the artwork of Franklin Arbuckle (Norseman), Ken Mallett (Voodoo), and Cher Pruys (Beech 18).
Journal 57-4 has been printed and is on its way to the mailing house. The preview images for the feature article title pages, table of contents, and covers have been updated on our site here.
The final layout for Journal 58-1 will be with the proofreading team within the next few days. Previews will be posted to the website soon.
The final layout for Journal 58-2 will be with the proofreading team within the next 10-14 days.
Call for photos
As a sidebar to Vice President McNulty's item above, specifically his comment "The CAHS, unfortunately, is unable to accept, store, or make collections accessible…," I urge readers to remember that we at the CAHS Journal editorial office are still keen to receive photo collections for scanning (after which the physical photos would be returned) and holding in a searchable digital archive for the specific purpose of potential future use in our publication.
As already noted, this should be by prearrangement of course, so please do continue to reach out via email should you have imagery that could help us in our ongoing efforts.
Terry Higgins, Creative Director, Website Administrator,
CAHS Journal Managing Editor and Graphics Director,
Canadian Aviation Historical Society
From the Desk of the Treasurer
The CAHS held a successful virtual AGM a few weeks ago, where I was able to report that our Society's finances were in a much better position in 2021 than we had experienced the first year of the pandemic. We are most grateful for all the support we have received from CAHS members and friends. Your membership renewals, donations, and book/calendar purchases are so important in ensuring that we have the money in the bank to pay our expenses. And thank you to everyone who participated in the CanadaHelps "Great Canadian Giving Challenge" in the month of June; even though another charity won the grand prize, our spirits were buoyed by your helping us be part of the contest.
We hope that the summer months bring you some time to relax and recharge. Perhaps you will have the chance to take friends and family to an aviation museum or an air show. Or maybe you will have the opportunity to relax by a lake, or on your back deck, with an aviation book or two. Be sure to check out the special book offers we still have available - especially when you run out of reading material!
Cordially, Dr. Rachel Lea Heide,
Canadian Aviation Historical Society
Thorough, authoritative, and filled with over 700 superb previously unpublished photographs, Yukon Wings is an illustrated history of the birth and development of the aviation industry in Yukon. An astonishing book of ingenuity, courage, and determination, by engineer, researcher, pilot and long-time CAHS Member, Robert Cameron. Get your copy of this treasure trove for only $45 (the Publisher's retail is $60) plus $20 shipping (within Canada) while supplies last. Check out the review by Journal Editor Terry Higgins here.
The Turnbull (NB) Chapter have successfully secured the Freedom of the City, for No. 403 Squadron, an honour bestowed by a municipality upon a valued member of its community. Click the link below to read about the hard work that went into this endeavour.
Canadian aviator, outstanding leader and pilot and previous leader of the Snowbirds aerobatic team, George Miller, has generously donated his well known 1947 Ryan Navion to the New Brunswick Aviation Museum.
The Retired Airline Pilots of Canada (RAPCan) recently honoured Jim Bruce at their Montreal May Luncheon. Jim helped to produce the May PX (Position Report – RAPCan's journal) featuring his Viscount “At The Fence” painting as a full wrap-around cover. This issue had all 42-pages dedicated to member stories about the Viscount.
At the event Jim was presented with a framed copy of the Viscount PX Edition cover and a printing plate, used in producing the cover painting. Jim was also named an Honorary Member.
via Katherine Simonkovic
Northern Lights Aero Foundation Awards Gala
The Northern Lights Aero Foundation announced their 2022 recipients of the Annual Elsie MacGill awards honouring women who have made outstanding contributions in aviation and aerospace. To read about each award winner, please click here.
via Katherine Simonkovic
Family Fun and Flight at
Medicine Hat Municipal Airport
Hello our valued members:
Hope you will be staying cool over the upcoming predicted heat wave. It looks to be a hot few days in the week to come.
The Family Fun and Flight is rapidly approaching, and I do hope you are making plans on attending. The date is Monday 25 July at the Medicine Hat Municipal Airport. There will be a number of food trucks in attendance, and we are planning on holding our Summer Social at the event. Bring your lawn chairs.
We will be holding a Fundraising silent auction on the framed Barrie Clark Spitfire print that was donated by Earl Morris. There will be private bidding and all bids will be tabulated near the end of the day and the winner announced.
Visit the Airport's Facebook page for more information:
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, has published a new book about the museum and its history in celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2022. Fifty Years: Canadian Warplane Heritage is a hard cover book in 9" x 12" format of 304 pages with over 800 photos. It is described as chronicling "the organization’s history including the many trials and tribulations – from the growing pains of a fledgling volunteer organization, to the loss of a co-founder in a tragic crash, to a devastating hangar fire, and to narrowly escaping financial ruin."
Shown above are authors Bill Cumming, left, and Al Mickeloff. Only 1,000 copies of the book have been printed. Cost is $79.95 and may be ordered from the museum when you click here.
Canadian Aviation Moments
Question 1: How many different enemy planes did Billy Bishop engage in one hour in the spring of 1917?
Canada’s Fighting Airmen,
pg. 34 (Drew)
Question 2:What were the roles that the Canadian Vickers Vancouver performed for the RCAF?
Jericho Beach and the West Coast Flying Boat Stations,
pg. 247 (Weicht)
Question 3:Why did the American VIII Bomber Command not go against Berlin in force until after the RAF Bomber Command’s main bombing effort against Berlin?
No Prouder Place,
pg. 247 (Bashow)
The answers will appear in the July 2022 Newsletter
Here are the answers to May's Canadian Aviation Moments:
QUESTION 1: What practicing did Billy Bishop do during the First World War, that he himself attributed most of his success to?
ANSWER: “Bishop was now filled with ambition to become the leading British pilot, and almost daily he spent as much time as possible when off duty practicing on the Petit Bosche. This was a target on the ground representing the vital parts of an aeroplane. The pilot would dive steeply at this target firing as he would at an enemy. He could see where his bullets hit, which gave valuable experience and an opportunity to correct defects in his sighting. This practice was not without dangers that in peace time might in themselves be considered formidable, as it was necessary to plunge at full speed to within a few feet of the earth before flattening out, the whole procedure duplicating the course followed when a pilot was successful in getting “on the tail” of an enemy machine. To the skill acquired in many hours of work on the Petit Bosche Bishop himself attributed most of his success.”
FromCanada's Fighting Airmen, pg. 28
QUESTION 2: What were the Fairchild FC-2, 71 floatplanes used for by the RCAF?
ANSWER: “The RCAF became interested in the FC-2 in 1927, and after Canadian Vickers obtained the Canadian manufacturing rights, the company built 12 FC-2s for RCAF service use. The RCAF eventually purchased 27 of these small, yet flexible and hardy aircraft. The Canadian-built FC-71B was test flown in mid-June 1930 and delivered to the RCAF on June 26th. The gross weight in the 71B was increased to 6,000 pounds, and an innovative design feature allowed the occupants of the aircraft to exit through the roof skylight in the event of an emergency. The RCAF used the FC-2 and the FC-71B for photographic and transport work and several were in service at Jericho Beach during the 1930s and the 1940s. Thirty-four model 71s were used by the RCAF from 1929 to 1946.”
From Jericho Beach and the West Coast Flying Stations, pg. 243
QUESTION 3: What statement, made by Albert Speer, after the bombing siege of Hamburg, validated the strategy of area bombing?
ANSWER: “By August 1943, Sir Arthur Harris believe the siege of Hamburg had been successfully brought to a close. Losses had been lower than anticipated, at 87 aircraft from the 2592 that had sortied against the port city. This constituted an acceptable 2.8 percent loss rate, significantly less than the recently concluded Ruhr campaign. Also, in the wake of the Hamburg raids, Albert Speer made a statement which certainly got the attention of Harris: namely, that if six more German cities were pummeled as badly as Hamburg, Germany might not be able to continue the war. This appeared to validate the strategy of area bombing the German industrial cities.”
From No Prouder Place, pg. 246
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