Plan now to attend the 2023 CAHS National Convention in beautiful Kingston, Ontario, from June 21st to 24th. We have an outstanding programme with lots to interest any aviation fan. The convention opens on Wednesday evening with our traditional meet and greet, with hors d'oeuvres provided and a cash bar. The convention jumps off on Thursday morning with a trip to 8 Wing Trenton, for a tour of the military base. After lunch, we will spend the afternoon on an in depth tour of the National Air Force Museum. The museum is currently restoring the Lancaster Mk X KB882, formerly on display at Edmunston, NB. After we return, you will have a free evening with dinner on your own. If there is sufficient interest, we may arrange a group dinner on the scenic Kingston waterfront. On Friday we will have sessions on a variety of topics, including Kingston's aviation history, the Canadair Argus during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tribute to one of our most esteemed members, George Fuller, and sessions about Bev Shenstone and Frank Lince Trethewey. The day concludes with our annual banquet. Saturday starts with detailed looks at Louis Bisson, the aileron patent battle between the Wright brothers and the Aerial Experiment Association, a view of RCAF Air Transport Command in the 1950s, through the eyes of future air force general Bill Carr, developing an interest in aviation in youth, and how to get flights in over 360 types of airplanes. Our speakers include John Chalmers, Robert Downes, H. Robert Galway, Richard Goette, Chris Hargreaves, Russ Klingaman, David Riach, Dr. Dick Stojak, Diana Trafford, Dr David Waechter, and Nick Wolochatiuk. This promises to be another fascinating CAHS convention.
Convention registration is open now. Please use this registration form. If you have any problems with the form, you can email your information to email@example.com. The convention registration costs only $240, and includes hors d'oeuvres at the meet and greet, travel to Trenton for the tours, admission to the National Air Force Museum, snacks and lunch all three days, plus the banquet. You can send your Interac transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a cheque made out to CAHS to P.O. Box 2700, Station D, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5W7. Payment must be received before your registration will be confirmed. We also have rates for daily registrations and for guests to attend the banquet. You can attend the sessions by Zoom for only $50.
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
The cover of Volume 58, Number 2, featuring "Nightfall" depicting a Beech 18 floatplane in an evening dock scene by Ontario artist, Cher Pruys.
I was delayed getting Volume 58 Number 2 to final proofreading due to a lag in finishing some layout details in newly added pages.This will be remedied well before the next newsletter when we will have either it in proofreading or in print.
This fine example of Canadian aviation art sets the theme for Kurt Ariano's "Floatplane on Ice: A Fleet of Beech 18s and a Shortage of Skis," featured in this Journal. This is one of several similar articles penned by Kurt, a retired Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME), on post-1945 Canadian bushplane operations. A quick romp through the tables of contents of all of the Journals available in our e-Shop indicates that the bush plane theme is a popular one, and that a large proportion of what has been recorded on this broad subject in our pages thus far tends to concentrate on the pre-Second World War era.
While there are, no doubt, many stories out there yet to be published on the pioneer years (some of which also appear in this Journal), I encourage potential CAHS authors to help us continue to fill out the postwar big-picture of Canadian bushplane operations. Whether from the AME perspective of Kurt Ariano or Bill Walton* – the people who keep the multitude of singles and twins flying safely – or from pilots and operators who bus the people and truck the freight to and from remote communities in Canada's near and far north (typically), we welcome your stories.
Featured in this Journal are:
Wooden Wings Over the Wilderness 9 (Seaborn)
British Air Ministry Winter Trials in Canada – 3. The Wapiti (Vincent)
Floatplane on Ice: A Fleet of Beech 18s and a Shortage of Skis (Ariano)
Sidney Cotton and his Aerial Adventures in Newfoundland, Part 2 (Singfield)
*Bill Walton was an ex-RCAF AME who, following his Air Force career, ran a successful aircraft maintenance operation in the north for decades. The next of his occasional "Northern Engineer" series is set to appear in Volume 58 Number 3.
Terry Higgins, Creative Director, Website Administrator,
CAHS Journal Managing Editor and Graphics Director,
Canadian Aviation Historical Society
From the Desk of the Treasurer
Mother's Day is just around the corner, with Father's Day only a few additional weeks away. Which means a lot of people are thinking about the perfect gift to get for our loved ones. Have you thought about purchasing a membership in the CAHS as a unique gift? It gives the recipient four issues of our quarterly Journal (in either hard copy or PDF), as well as discounted convention registration fees, plus access to the library of past Journals posted on our website. You can purchase gift memberships using this link.
The CAHS also has an excellent selection of discounted aviation-themed books in our store that could make excellent gifts for any aviation enthusiast, of any age, in your life. Don't forget to check out the discounted books offered through Login Canada. And we still have some 2023 Aviation Art Calendars for sale too at this link. We appreciate your interest in our fundraising initiatives.
Historian and Red Knight expert, John Charles Corrigan, has released his new book, The Tutor Knights. Following the release of his first book, The Red Knight, a complete and comprehensive history of the Canadian Air Force’s solo jet-aerobatics performer, Mr. Corrigan has released his second book highlighting the Red Knight’s final seasons.
For ways to purchase The Tutor Knights, or any of Mr. Corrigan’s books, please visit his website.
Aviator Ralph Cargill Davis
Ralph Cargill Davis had an interesting and varied career with the RCAF. His career began in 1935 and would go on to include mapping Northern Canada, training pilots with the BCATP, fighting U-boats on Canada's east coast, handling a strike by overseas RCAF personnel immediately post-war, being responsible for the RCAF flight safety program, and finally commanding officer RCAF Station Saskatoon. Will Chabun gave this presentation to members of CAHS Regina in February 2022.
The Secrets of Radar Museum is celebrating 20 years on May 22! Running from 10:00am - 4:00pm, admission for the event is free. The Museum will host a Welcome Ceremony at noon followed by cake and light refreshments and a craft station for children.
The Secrets of Radar Museum is located at 2155b Crumlin Sideroad, London, Ontario. Join them on May 22nd to celebrate their anniversary!
The 100th anniversary of the establishing of the RCAF occurs on 1 April 2024. The RCAF 2024 Team are curating a year-long program that includes International, National and Regional events, such as the RCAF Run, RCAF Gala, Legends of the Sky, and allied air demonstration team participation in Air Shows across Canada, as well as activities to Inspire future generations of Canadians through STEM initiatives, such as the RCAF Gaming Tournament.
A website has been set up to share the preparations that are taking place as part of the celebrations, including historical highlights, events being scheduled, and centennial merchandise that will be for sale. You can visit the website here.
by Dr. Rachel Lea Heide,
CAHS National Treasurer
RCAF Centennial Documentary
Toronto filmmaker Bob Barrett is producing a documentary for the RCAF Centennial next year. For the video, Bob is looking to connect with any centenarian veterans who flew during the war, whether fighter aircraft or other types. In particular, if there are any centenarian veterans who flew flying boats such as the Canso or Catalina on Canada’s east or west coast as well. Bob can be reached by email here.
Canadian Aviation Moments
Here are the questions and answers to this month's Canadian Aviation Moments:
Question 1:What ranking as an aerial fighter did the author of the source give First World War Canadian aerial fighter Raymond Collishaw?
Canada’s Fighting Airmen,
pg. 60 (Drew)
Question 2:What were the three conditions that the Australians and New Zealanders declared their participation in the British Commonwealth depended on?
Wings For Victory,
pg. 42 (Dunmore)
Question 3:What was the “The Ruhr Express”?
No Prouder Place,
pg. 264 (Bashow)
Spoiler alert - the answers to this month's questions follow. Skip the rest of this section and come back later if you wish to guess/research the answers first. Good luck and have fun!
ANSWER 1: “In 1929 Collishaw proceeded to Palestine with the rank of Wing Commander, taking part in the operations of the royal air force against the fanatical Arabs. He is today by far the most experienced aerial fighter in the world and has probably destroyed more enemy machines in battle than any other pilot, living or dead, his exploits during nearly fifteen years of continuous service at many times surpassing even those attributed by Dumas to his amazing hero.”
Canada’s Fighting Airmen,
pg. 60 (Drew)
ANSWER 2: “Early in November, the Australian and New Zealand delegations arrived. If Riverdale and King expected their presence to make things easier, they were rapidly disillusioned. Within a few days, the representatives from the antipodes began complaining about receiving second-class treatment and being forced to wait in anterooms until the British and Canadians were ready to receive them. What’s more, they were now nursing serious reservations about the whole plan. For one thing, Canada wanted payment in a form that could be readily converted into U.S. dollars; Australian and New Zealander currency reserves were strictly limited. The Australians and New Zealanders declared that their participation in the plan depended upon three conditions: first, that Britain underwrite their monthly payments to Canada; second, that the contribution of aircrew candidates be recalculated on the basis of populations – in other words, 57 percent from Canada, 35 percent from Australia, and 8 percent from New Zealand; third, that Australia be allowed to train most of its aircrew recruits at home. The Australians and New Zealanders seemed to be in no mood for protracted negotiations on these points; they threatened to head home by the next available ship if their proposals were rejected.”
Wings For Victory,
pg. 42 (Dunmore)
ANSWER 3: “In August 405 Squadron in 8 Group began its conversion to Lancaster 1s and IIIs, and Canadians in Bomber Command could take pride in the delivery of the first of what ultimately became 430 Canadian-built Lancaster Xs produced for the war effort. The aircraft, coded KB 700 but soon to become known by its nickname, The Ruhr Express, was flown to Britain in a well-organized public relations effort by Squadron Leader Reginal Lane, DSO, DFC. Both Lane and The Ruhr Express had many exciting wartime experiences still in store for them, but the aircraft, ceremonially presented to 405 Squadron at Gransden Lodge in October, was far from being combat ready. In fact, only thirteen more of the variant were completed before year’s end, and on average they required around 1000 man-hours of modifications to bring them up to operational standards once they arrived in England. This was because modifications developed in the United Kingdom could not be incorporated quickly into the production line at Victory Aircraft in Downsview, and changes in Canadian specifications played a delaying role as well. Thus, when The Ruhr Express bombed Berlin as part of 405 Squadron on 27/28 November 1943 on its first operational sortie, no other Lancaster Xs were used operationally until 419 Squadron became the first unit to convert to the type in March/April 1944.”
No Prouder Place,
pg. 264 (Bashow)
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