I want to start with expressing my congratulations to all the women in Canadian aviation as March is recognized as Women’s History Month.
There are so many strong and independent women that deserve our praise for their contributions to our aviation history and continue to excel at their chosen professions. Whether it is in military, commercial, general, or any of the other aviation fields, we as Canadians, continue to support and encourage everyone to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. I am proud to say we have many great women in the CAHS, and we support the organizations that encourage women in aviation.
I want to recognize several outstanding women we can all be proud of:
Eileen Vollick – Just 19 when she earned her wings and the right to call herself a true Canadian pioneer as Canada’s first licensed woman pilot;
Elsie MacGill – Was the first woman AME in Canada, held a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering, and was in charge of production of the Hawker Hurricane for the British and the Curtis-Wright Helldivers for the United States Navy;
Vi Milstead – In 1943 at the age of 24, she flew new fighter planes from factories to military bases across England and Allied Europe;
Maryse Carmichael – The first female pilot to fly with the Canadian Forces national aerobatic team, No. 431 Squadron, The Snowbirds;
Rosella Marie Bjornson – The first woman to be hired as a First Officer for a North American commercial airline.
There are so many female CAHS members that I can not list them all here, as well as the members of the Canadian Ninety-Nines and every woman that is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. We acknowledge them all for their contributions to our Canadian aviation heritage.
I invite you to suggest other Canadian women that should also be commemorated so they may be recognized within one of our CAHS publications – Journal, website History Online section, or this newsletter – in future.
NEW! – A Trio of Shirlee Smith-Matheson books on exclusive offer in our e-shop through to the end of April…
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 World War 1 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)
Click the button above or, if you have a recent smartphone, simply point its camera app at the on-screen QR code to donate via mobile.
CAHS Journal Update
If you are a CAHS National Member with an up-to-date email address on record, you can access the digital edition of CAHS Journal Volume 57, Number 1.
This digital edition 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 destop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, where they can be read at full-screen magnifications. From there, individual articles, ranges of pages, or whole Journals can be printed on your home/office printer.
If you haven't already created your Members' log-in account on the site, you can find the instructions for doing so on the CAHS Journal page (text in red just below the content summary), where you can also check out the latest Journal production news.
With the Members' Only area, the ultimate goal is for all CAHS National Members with access to the internet to be a few clicks away from access to all Journals published to date.
This is also a good place to remind members and non-members alike that the table of contents for all CAHS Journals published to date is indexed on the site. date such that Article titles or authors are quickly searchable. Even if you prefer to read the print edition, using the site search engine to locate a particular article might save you hours of flipping through Journals (as enjoyable as that may be for some!).
A Journal 57-1 correction note
If you downleaded the digital edition of Volume 57 Number 1 before the second week of March, you may have gotten a pre-publication draft due to a file upload error. That PDF file has since been replaced with the actual published copy with all proofreading results in place. Simply log in with your CAHS National Member credentials (email address on record and password) to get the correct PDF.
An Easy Upgrade for Newsletter Subscribers
First of all, I wish to extend a warm welcome and many thanks to all of the subscribers – former members among them – who have have become CAHS National Members since the last newsletter.
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 within just a few clicks. The Anywhere-Online membership which gives you access to all digitial editions of the Journal through to the end of the year you join is just $25.00! Traditional memberships (which include the print edition by mail) vary 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,
Canadian Aviation Historical Society
New CAHS.com features…
Alberta Museum Updates
The Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, Alberta has revamped their membership program and is offering educational resources online for schools. By purchasing a membership
Question One: After which comic strip character was the RAF’s Wellington bomber named?
Answer: The most successful of Bomber Command’s wartime starting stable was the Vickers Wellington. Affectionately nicknamed the “Wimpy” after J. Wellington Wimpy, Popeye’s corpulent hamburger-eating chum, the somewhat portly Wellington was a docile, yet lively, performer.
Question Two: What was the total number of personnel in the RCAF at the beginning, and at the end, of the Second World War? What was the authorized strength after the war’s end, and how long did it take to reach that strength?
Answers: At the Beginning: Around the end of 1939 the RCAF had only 4,061 officers and airmen (including the Non-permanent Force).
At the End: At the cessation of hostilities the RCAF had 164,846 all ranks (the peak was in 1944 with 215,200) serving; this was to be reduced to an authorized strength of 16,000 all ranks. This demobilization was to take place over two years.
Question Three: There was only one Canadian squadron named after a person. Which squadron was it, and after whom was it named?
Answer: No. 419 Squadron was based at Mildenhall in No. 3 Group territory and flew its first operational sorties in January 1942. …following what had become something of a tradition, the unit’s first commanding officer was a CAN/RAF, the highly capable and charismatic Wing Commander John “Moose” Fulton, DFC, AFC, who had already completed a distinguished tour of thirty operations with No. 99 Squadron, RAF, and an equally distinguished tour of duty with the Armament Defense Flight Experimental Section at Farnborough.
Fulton was a tireless, fearless and popular commander, who led from the front and fully shared the risks of his men, in spite of orders at the time to squadron skippers to minimize their operational flying.
This combination of dedication and concern would lead the squadron into taking Fulton’s nickname for its own after his death in action, and eventually getting it officially recognized, so it became No. 419 (Moose) Squadron, RCAF – the only Canadian squadron to be named after a person.
More Canadian Aviation Moments
– In the News and Around the Web –
The Billy Bishop Museum
A New Name and New Website
The Billy Bishop Museum has changed its name from the Billy Bishop Home & Museum and has launched a new website. Their new website has content on current and past exhibits, a page dedicated to honouring and supporting veterans, information on Billy Bishop and an online gift shop where you can purchase a variety of items. The museum is currently open and if you would like to visit and support them please visit their website for more information on hours, admission and ways to donate. To visit the website, click here!
A Bomber Command Love Story
The CBC has shared a story of service, survival and love about a 98-year-old veteran who lives in Saskatoon. The story of Reg Harrison tells of his time flying in the Second World War, the meeting of his friend Buddy Holloway, his incredible luck in surviving not just one but four aircraft crashes and his finding love upon returning home. To read the complete story shared by CBC, please click here.
Freighting in Northern Canada
Filmed almost entirely in northern Saskatchewan, this film is a compilation of aircraft flying. In terms of historic aviation this may be one of the earliest films of the famous Vikers Vedettes. The majority of the footage of take offs and landings as well as the base of operations that are shown were at the RCAF base at Ladder Lake near Big River, Saskatchewan. To view the video and the complete description of its content, please click here
Select a chapter to discover what they have been up to since the last newsletter.
This month marks the first inter-chapter event bwtween the Toronto, Regina, and Manitoba organizations, while Ottawa's latest Zoom presenter is the author of a book we will be offering in the next newsletter. Visit their pages for more, or elsewhere to see what's happening in your own area…
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The Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS)
P.O. Box 2700 • Station D • Ottawa • Ontario • K1P 5W7