NEWSLETTER OF THE CANADIAN NAVAL AVIATORS AND ASSOCIATES
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Deborah and I are still in Toronto but we have just moved all of three
kilometres. Our new address is:
E. Cruddas and D L Davis
1804 – 10 Kenneth Avenue
Toronto ON M2N 6K6 Canada
With respect to the return address label on your newsletter, we had a large
surplus with the Finch
address on them, and we knew that any returned would be
redirected here; so decided to use the
old address labels. Our real address
in the Kenneth Avenue one.
Our telephone number is unchanged at 416.224.5477, but we have abandoned the
which seemed to generate junk mail all day AND all night. Our
email address is also the same:
We have been doing lots of travelling since the last newsletter, including 26
days aboard the flagship
of the Celebrity fleet, GTS Constellation. That consisted of two cruises back to
back, with the second
one a re-location cruise from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. We now know
that we can live in 175
square feet for almost four weeks without ruining our marriage. Our best trip last year was a week in
Tadoussac, Quebec, as part of an ‘intergenerational
elderhostel’, accompanied by our granddaughter Jill,
then 11 years old. Tadoussac, at the junction of the St Lawrence and Saguenay rivers, is noted for
whale-watching, marine research, and fine scenery on both rivers. Two and a half
hours east of Quebec City,
it is well worth the drive from almost anywhere in
Eastern Canada. The elderhostel address is elsewhere
in this newsletter.
Alternatively, arrangements for guided tours can be made through travel agents,
especially those in Montreal or Quebec City. Package deals can be made through
Hotel Tadoussac at 165,
Bord-de-l’eau, Tadoussac QC G0T 2A0, tel.
418.235.4421, or 800.561.0718,
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For October 2004 we are planning a trip to New Zealand to visit relatives and
friends there, including
newsletter readers. We shall keep an eye out for Fordo
and Sam while there.
NEWS FROM THE READERS
John ‘Stretch’ Arnold reported on the bi-annual ‘Up Spirits’ in
June 2003 in Victoria organized at the Uplands
Golf Club by Jack Walter
and promulgated by Stu Soward.. Among the ‘good crowd’ were Red
Hank Bannister, Dick Bartlett, Bill Black, Graham Bridgeman, Norm
Bridges, Stan Brygadyr,
Derek Chandler, Dan Coakley, Al Collins, Frank Dayton,
Jim Dodds, Les East, ‘Pop’ Fotheringham,
Bob Gibbons, Gene Gosh, Herb Harzan,
George Laforme, Deke Logan, Kam Maxwell, Gregor MacIntosh,
Robertson, Stirling Ross, and Robin Thoms. Stretch noted that there were
only a few from the
Comox area, and some who declined because of minor or other
Concorde Flights. Last year I asked if any reader had flown in the
Concorde. Dick Bunyard was one who had
flown from Toronto to London on 27
June 1991. Dick writes:
‘Being an ex-Swordfish and Walrus pilot, it was quite a wonderful
experience. The following is a slightly
abbreviated log [my own] of the flight.
1440 - Take-off weight 180 tons! Take- at off speed at lift off was 240 MPH!
After burners off 300 MPH at 4,000 feet.
1445 - 12,000 feet, 550 MPH over Midland, Ontario.
To supersonic corridor NE across NE Ontario and Quebec
1447 - 20,000 ft 620 MPH ground speed.
1449 - 24,000 feet, mach. .92; ground speed 640 MPH
1515 - 27,000 feet, mach. .95; GS 690 MPH
1526 - 30,000 feet, mach. 1; GS 800 MPH
1533 - 41,000 feet, mach. 1.5; GS 1050 outside temp -56C
1545 - 52,000 feet, mach. 2; GS 1340 MPH
1645 - GS 1350 MPH; tiny windows warm, almost hot, from friction
1720 - 55,000 feet, mach. 2; GS 1370 MPH, 830 miles to London
1730 [1030 GST] - mach. 2, 56,000, GS 1370 MPH
1045 GST - Mach. 2, 60,000 feet, GS 1380 MPH
1115 GST - landed London airport [Heathrow] 3 h 35 minutes take off to
Dick described the aircraft as follows. "Interior, two seats, very
comfortable, either side of centre aisles.
Super first-class service - champagne, etc, with a wonderful dinner at 50,000
Oddly enough, I waited a long time for the luggage. Heathrow was partly closed
down at 11;30 at night."
He explained that a London-Toronto travel agency was running Concorde charter
flights for one-week trips to Canada, hence there were flights returning from
They returned via British Airways 747
business class, with a total fare of about $2,250.
From Carl and Peggy Hinch came a much different story.
‘On the advice of a fellow pilot and former squadron mate, Ray Sherk,
who had flown
on the inaugural flight
of the Concorde, my wife and I decided to experience it as a "once
lifetime thrill." We booked on
Concorde one year later while British Airways was still
in the process
of trying to convince travellers it was the best way to fly.
Well, it certainly was
all it claimed to be, but we got a little more than
we bargained for.
‘From the moment we arrived by cab at the airport, everything was done
and we were ushered into a special Concorde gate that was all decked out in
white and linen
and silver with champagne
and a "lavish spread" of food. It was without parallel to anything
ever experienced before with any other airline.
‘Ray had advised me to reserve well in advance to be sure to get the
first two seats on
either side of the cabin so that,
from the aisle seat, I could see right into the pilots’ compartment,
were no doors or curtains in between] and out through
the ‘windscreen of the needle nose,
while Peggy enjoyed the foremost window
seat in the aircraft. The feeling of excitement
began to mount we were pushed back from the gate.
‘As the pilot swung his huge plane into take-off position, I found myself
looking straight down
what seemed like and endless
length of runway ahead of us. With take off "clearance" given,
held the plane stationary with the brakes and I could
see his hands advance the throttles as he "spooled up" the engines to
several thousand RPM.
The feeling of enormous power
was very evident.
‘Then came the moment we had been waiting for. The pilot released the
brakes and moved the
throttles forward. Within
seconds we were literally hurling down the runway, the acceleration pushing
us gently back in our seats. I tried to guess the
actual moment of rotation, but just as I was sure
we had reached flying
speed, it was a shock to suddenly see the pilot’s hands
pull the throttle of,
push on the reverse thrusters, and abort the take off!
Now I had another interesting thing to try to
they get this giant plane to stop before we reached the end of the runway
now clearly in view? The answer? ...no!
‘Lady luck was with us. Just short of the end of the runway a taxi-way
angled off to the left, and
somehow the pilot managed to
swing this beautiful giant onto it, and bring the Concorde to a halt.
quite a "gasper" from where I was sitting watching the
entire occurrence. Peggy didn’t
seem to be the least bit alarmed, but the
people opposite were really terrified. When we taxied back
to the terminal, they left and never came back.
‘The flight, which was only delayed about 45 minutes, was really
fabulous. At 60,000 you could
actually see the curvature of the earth,
and looking up everything was black. We felt that we were
on the edge of
Thank you both for your stories.
While on the subject of the UK, here is a story about politics in the
days of Prime Minister Margaret
The Iron Lady took
her cabinet members to lunch at a posh London
restaurant. The waiter
asked her first for her order. ‘Roast beef,’
replied. ‘What about the vegetables?’ asked
the waiter. Thatcher answered, ‘They’ll
have roast beef, too.’
Mel Babcooke has sold ‘my old horse farm and moved into the city of
Florence, Alabama.’ See his new address
in the annex. He sent ‘best wishes
to all of you up north where the weather gets cold.’
Dick Bone wrote a letter to the editor of the Halifax Mail Star in May
2003. It was entitled ‘Cut the propaganda’,
and had some insightful things
say about the war in Iraq.
Frank Buckley was honoured by membership in the Order of Canada in
recognition of his charitable work. His
Buckley’s Mixture commercials
also honoured by being parodied by two of the country’s best comedy shows,
Hour Has 22 Minutes’ and ‘The Royal Canadian Air Farce.’
It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
both counts, Frank.
Ken Bullock is a former member of the RCN and the Air Branch. He
emigrated to Australia years ago, and has
had a second career as a writer.
latest book is ‘The Fixers’, a comic novel about senior citizens trying to
their retirement community from developers. Its ISB Number is
187 608774 9.
His address is in the Annex.
‘Perfect pitch’ is achieved when an accordion is thrown into the
trash and lands on a set of bagpipes.
An article in the National Post dated 29 November 2003 featured Leonard
Birchall, then 87, in a series celebrating
the 100th Anniversary
Wright Brother’s first successful powered flight, and also Canadian Aviation
The ‘Saviour of Ceylon’ reminisced about his early flying
days in Montreal. He said that he still dreamed about being
shot down in the
Catalina after reporting the approach of the Japanese fleet toward Ceylon.
According to Roger Campbell, the JAOBTC Course 6 Reunion in Victoria
in October went well, attended by Bob Baird,
Hank Bannister, Ken Brown,
Campbell, Fred Hawrysh, Jim Stegen, and Pappy Weiss. Hank did most of the
organizing, and a good time was had by all. They hope to
hold another get-together soon, and hope that for a few more
who had planned to come cancelled out.
Chuck Coffen managed the completion of the Shearwater Aviation Museum’s
Atrium ‘brilliantly’, according to
Curator Christine Hines in the
Spring 2004 edition of the SAM Foundation Newsletter. Don Cash was also
his architectural design work, as were ‘all involved in the
of the Atrium.’
Bill Davey sent a tale of a ‘bad trip’, without any reference to drugs.
Last winter he and his wife decided to travel to
Ontario by train to visit
After barely making it through the snow to the train station, they found that
snow had delayed the trains coming in from Montreal.
They were eventually able to make it as far as New Brunswick,
where they found
that they were alongside the eastbound train, the one would take
them to Montreal -- once it reached
Halifax and turned around. After due
deliberation, they decided to quit their trip and return home. On arrival in
they found that there was no public transportation, not even a taxi, to take
them back to their home. Eventually they
did get back home, where they
needed a vacation after the trip. Later they headed for sunny Cuba.
Their train trip coincided with the worst snow storm to hit Nova Scotia since
records have been kept. The province
suffered two natural disaster
in a few months, the other being Hurricane Juan, with the highest wind speeds
Point Pleasant Park in Halifax was so badly damaged
that it has opened only this month.
Sheila Davis is still trying to accomplish everything she wanted
to do at home since she moved to Victoria fourteen
years ago. However, she feels
that she is still ‘just reading and filing volumes of paper in cabinets and
she enjoys seeing and reading about old friends,
especially attending the Uplands Golf Course annual party and the
Association and RUSI lunches. From time to time she feels
she is ‘lurching around with permanent vertigo.’
It sounds to me like a normal
retirees life. How did we ever find time to work 40-hours plus weeks
for all those years? When will the paperwork stop? Anyone with fewer than five
volunteer jobs is under-employed.
Ted Davis is in his 27th year as a volunteer, driving seniors
to appointments and bringing meals-on-wheels to other seniors.
Often those he is
are younger than he. But he also finds time to travel and to visit old
friends and old haunts.
Last fall he was in Kent attending the air show at Duxford:
‘A morning was spent wandering through hangars full of a wide variety of
aircraft from a SPAD XIII of World War 1 vintage
to a giant B32 of the Gulf War era.
the afternoon there were aerial displays featuring British, American, and
aircraft from World War II as well as a varied assortment of
modern aircraft from the ageless Tiger Moths to
turbo-prop and jet trainers
in use by the RAF today
Ted also tries to get to the monthly Fleet Air Arm meetings in Toronto at the
Rose and Crown pub in the Eglinton area.
He also wrote the obituary for Leonard
B Page in the FAA’s News Sheet.
Marsh Dempster sent along good information on the Naval Aviation Dinner
that he had attended at the Old Orchard Inn
in Kentville on 23 September 2003.
Others there included Bob Arthur, Bruce Baker, Rod Bays, Dick Bone, Glenn
Ken Brown, Red Chandler, John Cody, Chuck Coffen,
Don Cumming, Colin Curleigh, Eric Edgar, Gord Edwards, Ted Gibbon,
Bud Jardine, Ted Kieser, John
Lehmann, Jim MacIntosh, Bud MacLean,
Gerry MacMillan, Mike McCall, Mal
Hugh McNeil, Barry Montgomery, Ralph Nelson, Jack Ouellette, Wally
Sloan, John Shee, Ed Smith,
Sweeney Todd, Bob Timbrell, Gary White,
and Frank Willis. The prime organizer, Mike McCall, wrote to say that
expanded to include both golf and a luncheon, so that ‘dinner
guests might enjoy a longer visiting opportunity’; and wives
were included in all events.
He also remarked that some of the attendees
‘spiffed up...if you have a Cinderella at your side, you probably prefer
to look more like Prince Charming than
the Terminator. ...
Due to poor
planning ... the cost of the dinner was $1,244.49 less than the amount received,
the overage would be donated to the
Shearwater Aviation Museum Foundation.’
He felt that the amount of wine budgeted for was more appropriate to that
which would have been consumed by the same group
forty-some years ago. Mike
expected that there would be another dinner in two or three years time, possibly sooner if someone
wished to organize it.
Harry Dubinsky sent along the following, attributed to ‘a retired Alaska
Airlines Captain.’ who heard it on a flight between from
Seattle to San
The Flight Attendant spoke over the PA System before take-off.
‘Hello, and welcome to Air Alaska Flight ... to San Francisco. If you’re
going to San Francisco, you’re in the right place.
If you’re not going
San Francisco, you’re about to have a really long evening.
‘We’d like tell you about some important safety features of this
aircraft. The most important safety feature we have
aboard is ... the Flight
Please look at one now.
‘There are five exits aboard this plane at the front, two over the wings,
and one out the planes rear end. If you are
seated in one of the exit rows,
please do not store your bags at your feet. That would be a really bad idea. Please take
a moment to look around and
find the nearest exit.
Count the rows between you and the exit. In the event
that the need
arises to find one, trust me, you’ll be glad you did. We have pretty blinking
lights on the
floor that will blink in the direction of the exits. White ones along the
normal rows and pretty red ones at the
‘In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, those baggy things will drop
down over your head. You stick it over your nose
and mouth like the Flight
is doing now. The bag won’t inflate. But there’s oxygen there,
promise. If you are
sitting next to a small child, please do us all a favour
and put your
mask on first. If you are travelling with two ‘or more
children, please take a moment to decide which one is your favourite. Help
that one first, then
work your way down.
‘In the seat pocket in front of you is a pamphlet about the safety
features of this plane. I usually use it as a fan when
I am having my
It makes a very good fan.
It also has pretty pictures. Take it our and play with it now.
‘Please take a moment to make sure your seat belts are fastened low and
tight about your waist. To fasten the belt,
insert the metal tab into the
To release, it’s a pally thing -
not a pushy thing like your car
because you’re in
an airplane –HELLOOO!!
‘There is no smoking in the cabin of this flight. There is also no smoking
in the lavatories. If we see smoke coming from the
lavatories, we will
are on fire and put you out.
This is a free service we provide. There are two smoking sections in this
one outside each wing exit. We do have a movie
in the smoking
sections tonight ... hold on let me check
what it is ...
Oh here it is: The movie tonight is "Gone With the Wind."
‘In a moment we will be turning off the cabin lights, and it’s going to be
really dark, really fast. If you are afraid of the dark,
now would be a good
reach up and push the yellow button.
The yellow button turns on your reading light. Please don’t
press the orange
button unless you absolutely have to.
The orange button is your seat
‘We’re glad to have you with us on board this flight. Thank you for choosing
Alaska Air, and giving us your business and your
money. If there’s anything
we can do to make
you more comfortable, please don’t hesitate to ask.
‘If you all weren’t strapped down, you’d have given me a standing
ovation, wouldn’t you?’
After the landing, she spoke on the PA again,
‘Welcome to San Francisco International Airport. Sorry about the bumpy
landing. It’s not the Captains fault; it’s not the co-pilots fault.
asphalt. Please remain seated until the
plane is parked at the gate. At no time in history has a passenger beaten
the plane to
the gate, so please don’t even try. Please be careful opening
the overhead bins because "shift happens."’
John Eden is in the process of reducing markedly his involvement with the
Canadian Naval Air Group as Secretary, on the advice of his family doctor.
all hope that you are returned to robust good health very soon, John; and we thank you for all your good work over the past
Gord Edwards wrote from Ottawa to say that, since the death of his wife
Claire, he has been doing a lot more travelling in Canada, including attending
both the east and west coast naval aviation dinners. While in Victoria, he took the opportunity to visit his daughter and
grandchildren there. He later
scheduled some time in Mexico and possibly the
southern USA ‘to break the back of winter.’ Later plans involved train travel through Europe,
and visits to places that he had not
been allowed top visit while in the forces. The complete itinerary included
Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Vienna,
Venice, Nice Barcelona and Madrid.
Gord was one of several readers who answered the my question about the Saunders
Farm, featured on the Map Art map of Eastern Ontario, and
Saunders was involved with it. Unfortunately, half the answers said ‘yes’ it was Gus’s place, and the other
half said that it wasn’t. I guess
that I’ll have to settle that one myself with
‘Fighter makes night landing on carrier.’ From
‘The Chronicles of Aviation.’
Valletta, Malta, 26 November 1929. ‘Last night a
Royal Navy pilot from HMS Courageous, Owen Cathcart-Jones, carried out one
of the of
the most difficult flying manoeuvres: landing on an aircraft
carrier in darkness. It is the first time a fighter has made a night landing
on an aircraft
carrier. For this experiment, he flew one of the Royal Navy’s
best established fighters, a Fairey Flycatcher. He took off from Hal Far
and touched down uneventfully on the carrier’s deck while she was
at anchor in Valletta harbour. Jones’s most celebrated flying exploit to
date took place
earlier this year when he bombed the bridge of flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth
with lavatory paper.’
This was passed along by Eric Edgar from an email
received by way of the Navairgens. It is entitled >A
Salute=. It has been edited
'I sat in the back of the Boeing 767 waiting
for everyone to hurry up and stow their carry-ons and grab a seat so we
could start what I was
sure would be a long uneventful flight home. ... I
was anxious to get home and see my loved ones, so I was focussed on Amy@
just felt like standing up and yelling for some of these clowns
to get their act together . ... With everybody finally seated, we just sat
with the cabin door open and no one in a hurry to get us going though
we were well past the scheduled take-off time. AEO wonder the airline
industry is in trouble@, I told
myself. Just then, the attendant came on the intercom to inform us all that
we were being delayed. The entire
plane let out a collective groan. She
resumed speaking to say, awe are holding the aircraft for some very special
people who are on their
way on a connecting plane, and the delay should=t
be more than five minutes.@
>The word came, after six times as long as we were promised, that
I was finally going to be on my way home. Why the hoopla over These@
I was expecting some celebrity or sports figure to be the reason for
hold-up. JUST get your butts in a seat and let=s
hit the gas@, I thought.
>The attendant came back on the speaker to announce in a loud
voice that we were being joined by several Canadian soldiers returning
from Afghanistan! Just as they walked on board, the entire plane erupted
into applause. The men were a bit taken by surprise by the
cheering for them as they searched for their seats. They were having their
hands shook and touched by almost everyone who
was within an arm=s
distance of them as they passed down the aisle On e elderly woman kissed the
hand of one of the soldiers as he passed by.
The applause, whistles, and
cheering done=t stop for a long
were finally airborne, I was not the only civilian checking his conscience
as to the delays in getting home, finding my easy chair, a cold
and the remote in my hand. These men had done for all of us, and I had been
complaining silently about me and my issues.
I took for granted the everyday
freedoms I enjoy, and the conveniences of the Canadian way of life that I
took for granted while others paid the
price for my ability to moan and
complain about a few minutes [delay because of] those heroes going home to
their loved ones.
before we landed, I suggested to the attendants that she request that
everyone [else] remain in their seats until our heroes were
gather their things and be first off the plane. The cheers and applause
continued until the last soldier stepped off, and we arose
all rose to go
about our too-often-taken-for-granted everyday freedoms ... I felt proud of
them. I felt it an honour and privilege to be among the
first to welcome
then home and say Thank you@ for a
job well done.
that I would never forget that flight [or] the lesson learned. I can=t
say it enough, THANK YOU to those veterans and active servicemen
who may read this, and a prayer for those who cannot, because they are no
longer with us. God bless! Welcome home! And thanks for
a job well done!!!!=
The writer was not identified, but our thanks to him/her too.
Laurie Farrington forwarded some additional
information about Pat Ryan’s death in December 2002. Pat had had
extensive heart surgery in Montreal after
a series of heart problems. There had
been no warning of further problems when he went for a morning walk near his
Ottawa home; but he felt unwell, and
sat down on a curb to rest. There he
collapsed, and was dead on arrival in hospital. He is survived by his wife,
Francine, who lives in Ottawa. Her phone number is 613,749.5552.
Laurie passed along the names of those who attended the Naval
Air Rendevous in May 2003 at Bytown, and he included a comment that ‘the
to be changing.’ The list included Bob Armstrong, Bill
Babbitt, Peter Berry, Bruce Baker, Glenn Brown, Doug Cale, Bill Christie, Bill
Cody, Glenn Cook,
Bruce Cormack, Gord Edwards, Bob Falls, Laurie Farrington, Ted
Forster, John Frank, Fred Frewer, Seth Grossmith, Robbie and Di Hughes, Rod
Norm Inglis, Roy Kilburn, Ed L’Heureux, Bud MacLean, Al McIntosh,
Butch Miller, Peter Milson, Gord Moyer, Bob and Elizabeth Murray, Stuart Murray,
Roger Piper, Ken Roy, Richard Taylor, Rod Wade, Gene Weber, Bruce Wilson, Pat Whitby, and Vic Wilgress. Thanks for sending the information, Laurie.
Alistair Gillespie would be proud to see that another
well-known Scottish-Canadian, John Kenneth Galbraith, is still publishing late
in life. His newest book came out
last month. John Kenneth is 95.
Kit and Bob Geale sent this update from Australia.
‘It has been quite a year. I [Bob - ed] started off by
getting my eye sight back and regaining the driver’s seat when I had a
‘It has been a year of drought, and the fire season was
bad. Around here in January and February, the stench of fire, the black smoke, and flames
at night kept us all on watch.
Across the road from our home is the bush,
and it was tinder
dry. A cigarette butt thrown by a passing driver started
one off. Fortunately, with the cooler weather fire dangers
lessened, but the
drought continued, and it was not for some months before water rationing was
‘Around mid year we got the word that we were going to be
At our young age, too! Kellies, our eldest grand daughter and
he husband Joss are expecting in [January 2004].
‘As for the remainder of the family, our eldest, Sara,
is still in Saudi Arabia and has recently been promoted to managing a new
hospital. It meant a move
from the Aramaco Compound to a city two hours
away. Although a worry in these times, she figures she is reasonably safe.
‘Bev is the Persona Assistant to the Captain of HMAS
‘Albatross’, the [RAN] Fleet Air Arm base outside Nowra, while Peter has
recently been promoted to a
demanding job in his company. Robyn and Myall
live not far from us and our doing well. Nick and Julia have both been busy
in Sydney and now his eldest son,
Liam, is an apprentice at Nick’s marine
‘For us, we keep busy. I still ride my bike most mornings,
while Kit does a three-mile walk. I am still giving a day a week as Curator to
the [RAN FAA] museum, but for
my sins usually end up with a week’s work answering queries. We are
both well and enjoying life.’
Thanks for the good news, and we all hope that Sara is safe
and sound during these trying times.
Si Green and a few others have been trying to find Andy
Rioux, who lives somewhere in the Caribbean. Andy may be in Laguna Izabel,
Guatemala. Although Andy
seldom returns to Canada, his former wife, Aline, has
returned to Canada and lives in the Ottawa area. Does anyone have his address?
Si attended the funeral of George Merkley, who died on
Christmas Day 2002. Si wrote,
‘The service was held in a small but quaint church in
Indian Point [NS] on the shore of Mahone Bay, a location that I would say
was perfect considering
the circumstances. [George loved the sea.] The place
was packed with local residents and old navy buddies. I had a brief chat
with Lee Myrhaugan, Frank Willis,
Bill McKinney, John McDermott and Noel
Murphy, all accompanied by their wives. The eulogy was delivered by
Commodore "Boomer’ Cocks who held
the congregation spellbound
with his powerful, humourous, but serious speech. He closed by stating that
he had lost a dear friend. Hadn’t we all.
‘A few other old shipmates I ran into during my visit,
all ex-OMs, included Knobby Clark, who lives in Hubbards, Doug
Robinson, who has been mayor
of Parrsboro for some time, and Carl and
Gloria Laming who retired to Truro. Also in Truro and just a few doors
from the Lamings are Ray and Jane Doucette.’
Ray was admitted to hospital when Si was there, but is
believed to be okay now.
In a long email, Casey Hale said that he was going to
Victoria for the welcoming of HMCS ‘Victoria’ last September. There he would
be presenting an ensign from HMCS Victoriaville,
‘the "last frigate", given to me by an uncle
... who was Yeoman of Signals when Victoriaville took the surrender of U190
in May 1945. [He passed it on to me 25 years
ago and asked me to find a home
Casey said that it had nothing to do with naval air, but
might be of interest to some fishheads. It is of personal interest to me, since
I was in Victoriaville when she commissioned
again in 1959, along with Peter
Drage and Hugh McNeil who also have naval air affiliations.
Peter Holmes has been doing some research on the
Internet, and has found several references to the term ‘goofing stations’
and the short form ‘goofers.’ There was one
reference from Al Cooper
writing in Maritime Command’s Trident newspaper, claiming that the origin was
the RCN in ‘Maggie’; but Peter found other references to ‘goofing’ going
back to WW2. The earliest specific reference was from HMS ‘Kenya’ in 1943,
and another was from the prestigious British authority on the English language, Eric
classified is as ‘Naval [1939-45], anyone who watches the
flying is known as a goofer.’ The term ‘goofer’ itself seems to be a
combination of ‘goof’ and ‘gaper’, and also referred to
people who ‘gaped
at enemy bombers instead of talking shelter.’ In an even earlier reference,
the RAF used the term ‘goof’ to mean ‘a man ever running after women.’
Peter notes that modern carriers with closed-circuit TV
probably have eliminated the need for goofing stations. And surely age and
infirmity have at least slowed down most goofs
from a run to a walk. Thanks,
Peter, for sharing your research.
In their 2003 Christmas letter, Robbie and Diana Hughes
reported that they were ‘in great health despite our galloping aging. Di has
had one eye overhauled by a de-cataract
operation. ... Ian and Sandi have
been transferred to Florida so we can add a 500 mile detour coming and going
between residences to see them. It has been many years since
inter-visit on a regular basis.’ [Ian has been stationed in places like Moose
Jaw, I think, Ed.]
Mike Langman sent a Christmas card that was a copy of
an original painting by C.E.A. Willson, sold in aid of the Royal Navy Historic
Flight. It was in the style of the great British
cartoonist, Giles, and showed
Santa Claus dropping Christmas packages of small swordfish on the Swordfish
aircraft belonging to the Historic Flight. In his card, Mike mentioned
‘was very much involved flying Swordfish in the Western Desert between March
1942 and June 1943.’ He also wondered how long Swordfish would remain flying.
‘For some time to come, I hope.’
During Hugh Laughland’s brief stay in Canada as an
RNVR officer on Observer Training in 1955 and ‘56, he flew with several
Canadian pilots, most from VU 32, which supplied
the aircraft and pilots for the
Observer’s School. Last year while golfing at the Royal Dornoch Golf Course in
northern Scotland, Hugh encountered Dan Munro, also golfing their,
they, and they realized they had flown together almost fifty years ago in
Canada. Dan and Hugh were able to reminisce over some mutual friends from the
Gunroom in Shearwater.
Another RN member of that course is Bill Kavanagh, also
a Scot, who has recently retired after selling his own company in Hartford,
Connecticut. Bill is considering returning to
Scotland, after about thirty years
away in Germany and the USA; he plans to build a log house for himself and
Deb and I hoped to meet Hugh in London is March, but
he was vacationing in France during the week we were in England.
On Canada’s favourite theme, ‘How cold was it?’, it
was so cold that the lawyers had their hands in their own pockets, and so
cold that the girls were
wearing turtle-neck bras.
John Lehmann is still working here in Toronto as
Registrar of the Canadian Forces College. As mentioned earlier, he attended the
naval aviation reunions in Kentville and Victoria last fall.
His son, one of
Canada’s top photographers, received the first Commonwealth Photographers’
Award last year. John’s grandson was also featured in an article on families
in the Globe
and Mail April this year. John is about to enter his FIFTIETH year
with DND, something of a record no doubt. He has no immediate plans for
retirement, but may reduce his working hours
next year so that he can enjoy more
golf and travelling with Isabel. They plan to travel to the west coast in
September for the Venture Association’s’s 50th Anniversary.
A nice card and photo came from Phyl Lowe in
Vancouver. She doesn=t march very
often in her clown persona, but did participate in the West Vancouver Community
Day parade on a lovely
June day last year. Those readers who live outside Canada
may not be aware that 2003/ 2004 was very difficult time for British Columbians,
with a terrible drought, floods, extensive forest fires,
and continuing problems
in the farming community. Even home gardeners like Phyliss were affected, losing
flowers and shrubs that had taken years to bring to full potential.
Phyliss sent along some information that would be of interest
to the naval historians in the readership, a large group. Most of us remember
reading about the WW1 sea battles of Coronel and
the Falkland Islands. The
German navy=s East Asia Squadron won
the former battle, but the Royal Navy avenged that loss by virtually destroying
the German navy=s forces in the South
and South Pacific at the Battle of the Falkland Islands. The one German
ship that escaped was the cruiser Dresden, which escaped from the Falklands to
eventually take shelter in
Cumberland Bay, Ila de Juan Fernandez, Chile, where
she attempted to take on coal. Three British Cruisers, HM Ships Kent, Glasgow,
and Orana found her there. Although the Germans tried
to surrender under a white
flag, the British fleet attacked the anchored ship and sunk her, aided by the
Dresden=s actions in scuttling
herself. It was alleged that the Royal Navy=s
flag officer had
ordered the Dresden to be sunk even if they surrendered, and
that the on-site commander complied, knowingly violating Chilean sovereignty in
the process. Evidence from recent underwater archeology work
on the Dresden
seems to confirm those allegations.
The only Canadian connection to the story is that the RCN,
fearing an attack on British Columbia after the Battle of Coronel, bought the
first submarines that Canada had ever owned, since there were no surface
on our west coast capable of facing the Germans.
One other historical and literary significance is that the
island where the sinking took place was the model for Daniel Defoe=s
classic >Robinson Crusoe=.
In real life, a Scottish seaman and privateer named
Alexander Selkirk was left
on the island by his privateer shipmates when he refused to leave the island,
originally believing the privateers’ ship was not sound. At the last moment he
changed his mind only to be
rebuffed and marooned by his captain. He had a few
tools and his Bible, and was able to stay on the island for more than four years
until rescued in January 1709. Selkirk retired with a small fortune from his
privateering, and settled back in Scotland. In 1960, Chile re-named the island
Ila de Robinson Crusoe. [Taken from a Special Report in the Vancouver Sun, 12-14
March, 2003.] Thanks, Phyll for that information.
Jack McGee wrote from West Vancouver in a new address.
See the annex. He said that he had
'met Terry Lynch, an Observer who flew
on Harry Hollywood’s crew
with me and Fred Illingwood or Al Downie. It had been a long
time since we last met, but what great memories came back.
incredibly fit and so youthful looking it is hard to believe we flew
together that long ago.=
Jack and Doreen Moss, like myself, have been hunting for
a new place to live, having found that four bedrooms were more than they needed
as empty-nesters. Jack says, ‘We have searched for a bungalow or condo
coast to coast and locally. We have found the right location but not the right
home, or vice versa, many times’ but nothing better than their current
accommodation. As well, they ‘enjoy our time spent with old friends
the area. Maybe some day!’ Jack added,
‘We frequently join Mary and Dave Tate
for lunch, dinner, drinks, or whatever , and reminisce about years gone by.
Dave and I first met when we played football for the Flyers in ‘52, and
Doreen are from the Halifax/Dartmouth area ... In May  the Tates, together with their daughter and son in law, headed back to the coast
on an RV holiday. Their daughter, Judy, hadn’t been
there for years, and
their son-in-law. Dwight, had never been east. Prior to their departure,
Dave mentioned that he couldn’t wait to tour Shearwater with Dwight, and
would also like to go aboard
one of the ships. Our son, Derek, was the
Combat Control Officer aboard HMCS ‘St. John’s’, so a quick email was
all that was needed to arrange a tour of the frigate. ... He also arranged
for a friend
of his from the Hel Air Det to meet Dave at Shearwater and show
them around. ... Derek was delighted to have the opportunity to spend some
time with such a long-standing friends of mine. It was a good feeling.’
Retired Major General Lewis MacKenzie told a
conference on ‘world conflict and the military’ that Canada could revitalize
its military by acquiring aircraft carriers like HMS ‘Ark Royal’, according
to an article in the
Halifax Chronicle Herald of 31 May 2004. MacKenzie agreed
that the $1.8 billion cost would be a ‘tough sell.’
Those attending included Linc
Alexander, Herry Alix, John Arnold, Bob Baird, hank Bannister, Dicker Bartlett,
Dave Benton, Peter Bey, Bill Blake, Irv Bowman, Stan Brygadyr, Jim Burns, Tom
Murray Caldwell, Derek Chandler, Ivor Cooke, Dave Crampton, Geoff Craven,
Dave Critoph, Wayne Dannhaeur, Les East, Gord Edwards, Don Fair, Sid Fairbairn,
Hugh Fischer, Gary Plath,
Jack Ford, Ted Gibbon, Gareth Gwilliam, Hal Hallaran,
Herb Harzan, Jon Hewer, Bert Jarrett, Tim Kemp, Jake Kennedy, Viljo Kippel,
Arnie Lambert, John Lehmann, Andre Lemeux, Deke Logan,
Lorne McDonald, Brian Moorhouse, Ian Muir, Gregor MacIntosh, Bud MacLean, Malcolm McCulloch, Jack
McGee4, Bob McNish, Bob McPhail, Eric Nielsen, Brian Northrup, Dave Oliphant,
Larry O’Brien, Mike Page, Bill Park, George Plawski, Steve Queale,
Neil Robertson, Don Robertson, Fred Sander, Mike Shaw, Al Snowie, Joe Sosnkowski,
Stu Soward, Ken Stephens, Fin Sterling,
Jim Todd, John Turan, Jack Tucker, Tom
Turner, John Turner, Glen Urquhart, Ben Van Ek, Gerry Van Ek, Larry Washbrook,
Lee Weber, and Nigel Williamson.
Robert also sent some information that he had received about
how a layman could diagnose a stroke. Not being a doctor myself, I cannot
comment knowledgeably on it, but you might wish to discuss it with your family
doctor. Robert wrote,
‘Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to
identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke
victim may suffer could suffer brain damage when people fail to recognize
the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say that any bystander can recognize a
stroke asking three simple questions ;
- ask the victim to smile.
- ask him or her to raise both arms.
- ask the person to speak a simple sentence.
If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, phone
911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
‘After discovering that a group of non-medical
volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness, and speech
problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions.
They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association’s
annual meeting... Widespread use of this test could result in prompt
diagnosis and treatment of the stroke, and prevent damage.’
Thanks for all your work, Robert.
[In a ‘death by spell-checker’ situation, Larry Washbrook’s
name in the list at the west coast dinner was changed to Larry Washroom! Thank
goodness my own name has been added to my word processor’s dictionary,
Larry’s now. Has any reader found other unusual names when spell-checking?]
Eric Nielsen has moved from Nova Scotia to the west
coast, and left his position of President of SAM Foundation,
‘with a feeling of regret as well as satisfaction. My
regret is that I was just getting the "hang of it", and was
beginning to have fun at it. My satisfaction comes from the success that
SAMF had in raising
money over the last two years. I am pleased that we were
able to fund the construction of the ATRIUM entrance on a cash basis while
continuing to make payments on the hangar load. Everyone at
SAMF deserves a
hearty BZ. Some new projects promise to be lucrative. So everybody please
keep up your strong support for SAMF!’
Thanks to Eric for his work on behalf of all of us. See the
Annex for his new address.
Ed Smith was instrumental on bringing the Memorial
Windows back to the Cornwallis Military Museum, the former Protestant Chapel at
Cornwallis. But they won=t
be the original ones. Ed said in the Halifax Chronicle Herald,
'The windows are not coming
back, which done=t
surprise anybody too much ... but the navy agreed to have full-size, plastic
laminated replicas of the windows made and shipped to the museum, where
will be installed. The cost will be about $10,000.=
The navy has promised to deliver them in time for Battle of
the Atlantic ceremonies in 2005. For those who don=t
remember the background of the dispute between the museum and the navy, the
original 24 panels
from the chapel represented navy ships that had been sunk in
WW2, and had been taken to Halifax after the closure of CFB Cornwallis in the
1990s. They had not been put to use, though they were kept in the
Chapel, now closed.
If you are visiting the Maritimes in the next few months, the
museum is a worthwhile stopping place, and Annapolis is a great place for a
meal. A Memorial Park is in the works for Cornwallis,
the sailors who
trained at the base, many of whom lost their lives in the Korean
according to Geraldine Conway of the Cornwallis Parks and Recreation Society. A
rose garden is also in the plan. The park is the size of a city block,
already has a gazebo built by the navy. [From the Halifax Herald 3 September
Jean Veronneau has ceased his
Venture Association duties as editor of >the
and Registrar for the organization. Venture=s
President, Joe Cunningham, wrote in >the
of April 2004,
'This will be the last Signal
under the aegis of our loyal and faithful servant Jean Veronneau.
Volunteers for his job [and mine] have been as scarce as rocking horse
manure. So I will be taking over
the tasks of the Editor of the Signal, and
Association Registrar -- as well as the fundamentally activated broom. ... I
would like to thank Jean for all his efforts... I think that he has done an
amazing job, maintaining meticulous records and created a system even I
should be able to follow. On behalf of all of us, thank you, Jean.@
My thanks go out to Jean for keeping me in touch with the
goings-on of this large segment of the naval aviation community. Jean and I
first met here in Toronto in 1965 when we were both students on the first
the RCAF Staff School to take in RCN students. Three of us were
naval aviators, including Al Horner. One of the naval officers won the
only individual prize given out on the course: The prize for worst volleyball
awarded to yours truly. I was in a cast longer than any other
injured. The late Surgeon Commander [P] Chick Oliver was a member of
the Institute of Aviation Medicine, which was collocated with the School on
Avenue Road, and he an I occasionally crossed canes, since he, too, was on the
Bruce Vibert phoned from the UK to talk about the
BBC mini-series on the Battle of the Atlantic, and it’s lack of recognition
of the Fleet Air Arm’s contribution, The series was mentioned in last year’s
letter, and since
then has been redone after negative feedback from many
veterans. Unfortunately, the BBC has not made sufficient changes to satisfy
the veterans concerns, according to Bruce. As well, they have ignored the
contributions with respect to the ‘jeep’ carriers. The arguments are
ongoing, but the BBC is not expected to do much more in the way of changes.
It is of interest that ‘the Beebe’ has recently been
criticised for lack of accuracy in its reporting during the recent Iraq War.
Cards, notes, letters, e-mails or telephone calls were were
also received from Norm Cash, Don Crow, Jacques Cote, Trix Geary, Ivor
Hamilton, Lorne McDonald, Eddie Myers, Gene Weber,
MARITIME AVIATION/SHEARWATER & OTHER NAVAL OR AVIATION
Future of Shearwater. DND is planning to buy back some of the property
that it earlier had sold to Canada Lands. The long-term situation is still as
murky as ever, but it seems that there will be a military presence at
Shearwater for years to come.
Venture Reunion 2004 - This will be the 50th anniversary of
the first Venture Class and the reunion will be held in Victoria BC from 7 -
12 September 2004. Those attending MAY also be able to join other Venturites
Alaskan cruise starting 15 September. Registration should be made before
August 2004. For details you can contact:
PO Box 53507 - Broadie RPO
Victoria BC V8X 5K2
The group organizer is Phil Johnston [class of ‘62], tel
250.652.0264 or email -- Johnston@shaw.ca .
CNAG Reunion 2003 - BC Main Land. The reunion was hosted by ‘Swordfish’
Chapter, and held at the Executive Airport Plaza in Richmond, i.e. Vancouver
International Airport. Approximately 160 people attended the
banquet, with even more people attending the ‘meet and greet’ on Friday.
The banquet featured ‘BC salmon and other West Coast delicacies.’ The
guest speaker was Ben Oxholm who spoke about his days
as hangar Officer
in ‘Maggie’ On Sunday about 80 CNAG members travelled to nearby Steveson
for an Oktoberfest event at the Army Navy and Air Force Club. Bob Murray
of Hampton Gray Chapter was awarded the
‘Tul Safety Equipment/Fred Lucas
Trophy for his 15 years [2000 volunteer hours] as a volunteer researcher with
the Canadian Aviation Museum, mainly ‘furthering and promoting naval
[From ‘Across the Flight Deck’, December 2003.]
New Combined Mess in Halifax. Halifax is following the trend by
building a combined mess for officers, and chief and petty officers that
will cost $32.4 million. It will retain parts of the current officers mess in
structure that will house 160 people, mainly those in transit
or on courses. The older messes will remain in use until January 2005, when
the new structure is scheduled to be completed. After that, the former messes
demolished. If my memory is correct, this will be the third mess for
each group in 50 years. "According to a navy spokesman, the existing
quarters are not up to today; standards." Collocation will save the navy
million dollars yearly.
Shearwater Aviation Museum And Foundation
The museum's web site is:
Their other addresses are:
13 Bonaventure Avenue
PO Box 5000 Stn Main
Shearwater NS B0J 3A0
Tel. 902.460.1083; Fax 902.460.2037
The museum is interested in adding to its permanent collections, as well as
to improve the quality of reference material available to their patrons. If you
own any photographs, slides, films, manuals of documents, or other
feel may help the museum tell a chapter of Shearwater=s
story, consider a donation to the Shearwater Aviation Museum. They are
especially hopeful to find memorabilia from the technical trades.
If a donation is made, donors will receive an acknowledgment and display
credit. A receipt for a charitable donation for income purposes can be issued on
To discuss your donation, please contact Christine Hinds at your convenience,
Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Atlantic Time. [From an insert from CNAG.]
Toronto Aerospace Museum /Downsview. The Toronto Aerospace Museum
[TAM] is up and running, and would welcome any visitors from Monday to Saturday.
It has a restored Tracker, and is currently restoring the
Lancaster that was on
a pedestal in a waterfront park here in Toronto for many years. The museum is on
the site of the former RCAF Downsview/CFB Toronto site, now and urban national
park. Although many of the RCAF
buildings on the site have been torn down, some
of the former DeHavilland buildings still stand, including the one where the
Trackers were built. The long-term fate of the museum is still in the hands of
Canada Lands, the
federal organization formed to look after former CF property. The museum can be reached from Sheppard Avenue just east of Keele Street. Its
street address is 55 Carl Hall Drive.
Also on the site is a new Army building officially know as >The
Denison facility=, AKA the >super
armoury=, that replaces many of the
smaller armouries in the city. It also houses Land Forces Central Area, the >aid
to civil power=
NATO Flying Training in Canada [NFTC] Programme. Advanced training is
still being done in CFB Moose Jaw. Fighter training is being held at CFB Cold
Lake. The German Air Force has decided to pull out of CFB Goose Bay,
after 2005. The Germans are phasing out their Tornado jets and reducing flying
Engagement Bonuses. An advertisement for MDs that I read in my family
doctor’s’s office offered an initial ‘bonus’ of $225,000 for MDs who
would commit themselves to four years of service in the CF. A two-year
would be rewarded with an $80,000.
Sea King Replacement. Lee Myrhaugan was interviewed by CBC TV in
Halifax last November, and he made the point quite clearly that the cancellation
of the programme in the 1990s should now be put behind us, and
concentrate on ensuring that the replacement aircraft is the best that can be
had. Nevertheless, more recent information [May 2004] suggested that until 2012
the Sea King will still be flying, given the long lead times
for the training of maintenance and flight crews.
Built-in parachute. In an article entitled ‘In Case of Emergency, Pull
the Plane’s Rip Cord’ by Chris Wattie in the National Post of 17 April 2004,
the author introduces us to the Cirrus Airframe parachute [CAP] made by the
manufacturers of Cirrus light aircraft. The device is a giant parachute that,
‘Pops out of a hatch in the back of the aircraft’s fuselage ...set
off [by] a magnesium charge, which ignites a solid-fuel rocket just behind
the passenger compartment. The rocket blows out a hatch that
parachute compartment and slows the plane’s forward momentum. Harness
straps will unfold from both sides of the fuselage, and the parachute will
begin to unfold ... the stricken plane will
stop flying and start drifting
gradually down, within seconds landing with an impact equivalent to jumping
off a three-metre ladder. Specialised landing gear and a roll cage around
the passenger compartment
produce what the company calls "a survivable
‘Albert Kolk of Picture Butte Alberta was flying over [a] scenic
mountain range with his grandson ... and two friends when "for some
reason one wing dropped and it started to get out of control." Kolk
the rip cord at 2,800 metres above the ground, and he says that the
system worked exactly as described.
‘We came down safely and sound and just stepped out of the plane ... It
did substantial damage to my plane, but nobody was hurt. Not even a sore
muscle or a bruise. It’s amazing.
‘The parachutes, which can be bought separately and added to other
small aircraft work at altitudes as low as 100 metres above ground."
Anyone who wishes to read more of Mr Wattie’s work can find him on the
Internet. He is a prize-winning reporter -- and a self-declared ‘naval air
brat’, who, as a child, watched Bonnie enter Halifax Harbour for the last
FAA in Canada. The Canadian branch of the Fleet Air Arm Association,
which usually meets in HMCS York Officers=
mess twice yearly, has fallen into difficulties since three of their
hardest-working organizers have fallen ill:
Ken West, Don and Pat Cooper.
Pat and Don recently moved from Kitchener, Ontario, to Stratford to be nearer
their daughter, but suffered some major set backs involving hospitalization
shortly after arriving.
After being released from hospital, they have moved to
the Ann Hathaway retirement home in Stratford, and are doing much better. They
would be pleased to hear from you or see you, especially if you are in Stratford
for the Summer Theatre Festival. See the annex for their new address.
FLEET AIR ARM NEWS. [Taken from The Fleet Air Arms Officers’
Association’s News Sheet, March 2004, edited by John Shears.]
Some upcoming events in 2004 -- Culdrose Air Day 14 July, Plymouth Navy
Days 29-30 August, Yeovilton Air Day 18 September, FAA Squadrons 8th
Annual Dinner 20 November.
The New Zealand FAA Association Convention will be held in New Plymouth,
Taranaki, North Island 10-12 February 2005. The convenor is Alan Lane, 31
Frank Wilson Tce, New Plymouth, New Zealand.
The Canadian First of the Month meeting is held in the Rose and Crown pub on
Yonge Street north of Eglinton on the first Wedneday of the month, at noon. For
more info contact John Bailey at 416.755.7628.
Personal Column -- Jim Temple wrote about one of his experiences
in Canada while on the way to Pensecola for flying training with the USN in
‘We had arrived ... after a long and dirty overnight train jouney from
Halifax and were billeted in the grounds of the Canadian National
Exhibition, which had been opened by the Duke [of Kent] earlier
in the day.
In trying to avoid him because of our grubby appearance, we encountered him
quite by chance in the Grand Ring, where prize cattle had been on show
earlier in the day.
‘The press photographers got busy and the photograph appeared on the
front page of the Toronto Evening News on the very same day.’
The picture showed Jim, Jack Sisley, Les Farthing, and Johnny Lowdes
Colin Watkins wrote about his experiences in the FAA, and later running
the London Sea Cadets.
‘I think that with my retirement after 36 years and two months I was
the last Gannet Looker to leave the mob [but I bet that somewone will
correct me]. Looking back, it was all great fun, Gannets,
carriers, cruisers, frigates etc., and of course sailing; but working with
the Sea Cadets was most rewarding.
‘Thanks to the FAAOA and Bertie Vigrass, a lot of youngsters,
many from strained circumstances, are given the chance to experience the FAA
and even if they do not eventually join our branch,
there is a fighting
chance that they will join the Navy. In any readers are ever asked to give
their local SCC unit a hand, better still a gung-ho lecture, please say yes.
Many of you may not appreciate
that the cadets look up to the RN and in
particular the FAA with admiration and awe.’
Bryan Wood has tendered his resignation as the RN Historic Flights’
General manager after showing ‘early signs of heart failure.’
‘This was not a decision that came easily, because I have thoroughly
enjoyed my work, and my 47 years of direct association with the Royal Navy
and the Fleet Air Arm. It has been a huge privilege
to be the
"Custodian" on behalf of you all, for our priceless collection of
historic naval aircraft, to lead my most enthusiastic and skillfull team at
Yeolvilton, and to act as one of the key links between
Heritage" and the public, especially the Ex-Service Asssociations.
‘Thank you all for the tremendous support you have given me in different
ways during the eight years that I have been privilged to be the Flight’s
Brian Randall weighed in on an ongoing discussion on who was the first
National Service aviator to volunteer for the Korean War. Derek Green had
some claim to the title, as did Jim Hopkins, and Jeremy Wailes,
was put back a course for a close encounter with a cottage chimney.
‘[In May, 1952. As we anchored in Tor Bay, Lieutenant Commander Pete
London asked for two volunteers to join 802 Squadron aboard HMS
"Ocean" in Korean waters to replace two casualties.
I now had 17
deck landings and 363 hours.
‘Lieutenant Johnnie Jones and I stepped forward. I was within
two months of the end of my 24 months NS [National Service] and I wanted the
experience and the hours that a Korean tour who provide.
demurred at first because of the lack of remaining time, but when I
suggested that I voluntarily extend my NS to cover the rest of "Ocean’s"
tour he said that he imagined Their Lordships would be
very pleased to have
an extra pilot, and so when he signalled the Admiralty, it proved to be the
Later, when Brian joined ‘Ocean’ he found another RNVR pilot already
aboard, having risen through the ranks to take flying training. He was Nick
Cook. Brian thinks that Nick was clearly the first NS pilot in Korea,
Brian can claim second place.
Mike Simpson writes about his time with the Sea Otter, after a very noisy
party in the wardroom.
‘Early next morning I [found] that someone had used one of the pots of
marking paint to paint down the port side of the Otter:
"Bollocks to Cdr Air."
‘Obviously a cunning plan, as this was the side which would not be seen
from Flyco on takeoff. I got to work with thinners, and before breakfast the
slogan was gone. About half an hour later,
Commander [Air] Bungy Bracken
burst into the hangar, examined the clean Otter closely, and left. Although
my prime subject was Irvin Bowman, our Canadian Otter pilot, the
was never mentioned.
‘Later on when we were anchored in Portland harbour, there was a
requirement one Saturday morning for a water takeoff to fly Admiral Charles
Lambe to Lee. I managed to persuade
Irvin Bowman that it was
necessary for me to go, on the grounds that this particular Otter [RD 895]
was more difficult to start than most. He bought it but stressed that take
off on Monday
morning at Lee must be no later than 0800, as the ship was
under sailing orders.
‘In the event, the social side of this free weekend went so well that I
was very late. Approaching Lee from the direction of Fareham I urged my new
girlfriend to drive faster, with the intention of
taking a short cut through
Argus Gate at 781 Squadron where the Otter was parked. However, when turning
right into the Argus gate road I was dismayed to see RD 895 taxying along
peri-track on its way to takeoff. With one bound I cleared the fence
[only a simple coil of barded wire in those days] and managed to scramble
aboard and strap myself in next to Irvin Bowman.
He looked straight ahead,
passed no comment and the incident was never mentioned again. In fact, the
first time it was mentioned was when Irvin stayed with me in June 2002
In our maturity we concluded that it was a neatly balanced
New book on the Tirpitz. Cato Guhnfeldt is a Norwegian writer who
is producing a new book on the Tirpitz. He needs as many personal reminiscences
as possible, so you can help him with a few lines.
He can be contacted at:
Cato speaks excellent English, and is the author of seven books on aviation
subjects. ‘He is most keen to feature personal FAA experiences in this book
Hill, Michael, ‘Duty Free’ Hovellers Press [London] 2003. 214 pages
paperback . Nine pounds sterling. ISBN 0 954 6101 3.
A ‘ no holds barred book which describes life as a twenty-year old going to
war.’ Hill was an FAA pilot during WW2.
Hobbs, David ‘Royal Navy Escort Carriers.’ Maritime Books [London] 2003,
232 pages price 20 pounds sterling. ISBN 090 777199 8.
‘An excellent reference book on these ships which played such an important
part in winning the Second World War.’
Deaths. [Those marked with an * have some Canadian connection though
possibly only from having done their training in Canada..]
Dr James F Adams -- *Commander Henry Edwards Randall Bain, RN -- Sub
Lieutenant [A] Leslie Barber RNVR -- Sub Lieutenant [A] Thomas Brown, RNVR --
Lieutenant [A] James Victor ‘Paddy’ Brownlee RNVR --
Commander Lionel F Coulshaw RN -- Lieutenant Commander Albert V M Davies RNR -- Lieutenant Alan
Peter Frame RN --*Commodore Alexander Beaufort Fraser Fraser-Harris, RCN --
Lieutenant [A] Robert A Freeman RNVR -- Lieutenant [A] Charles Friend RN --
Second Officer Janet Haig Grieve WRNS -- Lieutenant Robert B Hambleton-Jones RN
-- Chief Petty Officer Eric Haslam --
Commander Martin Kenworthy Johnson, RN --
Lieutenant Commander W Neville Jones, RNR -- Commander Robert W Kearsley RN --
Lieutenant Commander Mike Kinch, RN -- Commander John Manley, RN --
David Thomas ‘Paddy’ McKeown RN -- *Lieutenant [A] Alfred George McLaren,
RNVR -- *Lieutenant [A] Leonard Francis Page, RCNVR -- Lieutenant [A] Roger D P
Proudlock RNVR --
Lieutenant [A] John G Sisley RNZNVR -- Commander H R Spedding
RN -- Lieutenant Malcolm Lane Soper RN – John Taylor -- Sub Lieutenant [A] D F
Vallis RNVR -- APN Ward --
Lieutenant Commander Peter Scott Wellington, RNVR --
and Lieutenant Commander Ronald Stephen Jesse Wightman, RN.
Bill Reeks was one of the sqaudron cartoonists in 852 Squadron. He notes
that the Grumman Avenger was originally re-named the ‘Tarpon’ in the RN. ‘It
was a rigid policy that bombers were named after
predatory fishes and fighters
.CONGRATULATIONS - To Frank Buckley and Latham B [Yogi]
Jensen on being inducted into the Order of Canada. Yogi’s award was for
contributions to Canadian heritage for his
books and sketches. Frank’s was for
his support to various charities. And to Admiral D Piers for receiving the
French Legion of Honour for his services in WW2. Congratulation also to Bob
Murray as CNAGER
of the Year in 2003.
Terminology Corner - Aviation terms are from >Words
on the Wing= by Tom Langeste. Naval
terms are from >Origins of Sea
Terms= by John G. Rogers.
Half Seas Over - past the point of no return; drunk.
Holystone - a block of sandstone for scouring decks. The origin may be from
the RN’s people who were said to use blocks made of headstones, specifically
those borrowed from a
churchyard in Great Yarmouth, England.
‘The Hole’ - the underground air defence command and control complex at
North Bay, Ontario.
‘Horse’ - nickname for the HO4S helicopter.
‘Hulk’ - both in aviation and marine terminology, a craft stripped of
most of its gear and means of propulsion. Some such aircraft are used for
firefighting practice. Some such ships were used as prisons.
Questions for 2004.
In what Star Trek: The Next Generation was a Toronto landmark featured?
Thanks also to Tom Copeland, Deborah Davis, Marsh Dempster, and the late
Bill Johnson for their help with the newsletter. To all of you I send my
best wishes and thanks for your support.
May the next year be a happy, healthy,
and prosperous one, and may you all live long.
For the most up-to-date and accurate information, especially dates and times,
you should check with the persons or organizations noted.
Nova Scotia International Air Show [NSIAS] At Shearwater,
Mike Murphy is the Executive Director. The organizers can be reached
PO Box 218,
Shearwater NS B0J 3A0,
Tel. 902.465.2725, Fax 902.484.3222, or through their web site:
e-mail - email@example.com
web site - nsias.ns.sympatico.ca
The SAMF Charity Golf tournament will also be held during that weekend.
Canadian Naval Air Group Reunion Trenton Ontario.
T he dates of the reunion are 17-19 September, 2004, NOT over the
Thanksgiving LWE. The change was made to accommodate those folks who prefer
to spend Thanksgiving weekend with their families.
The cost of the reunion is $80 per person for members, $95 per person for non
members, but those attending single functions may pay a smaller amount. For
further information, contact
Sea King Chapter Reunion
c/o John Eden
#303 -- 56 Tripp St
Trenton ON K8V 5V1
John Eden - 613.395.0316 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Findlay - 613.392.8459 - email@example.com
REGISTRATION CLOSES 1 September 2004
Motor Neuron Diseases - ALS Campaign Contributions. June is
ALS campaign month. There have been some breakthroughs in the last year or so
that could mean a cure for ALS and the other Motor Neuron diseases,
and MS, soon; so it is important to support the campaign in its research and
care programmes. Contributions can be sent to your provincial societies, or to:
The ALS Society of Canada,
#1 - 1665 Russell Rd.,
Ottawa, ON, K1G 0N1, Canada.
Some of you living in the USA might wish to donate to the Canadian Parkinson=s
Disease society because it conducts research that at present is NOT permitted in
the USA. The society=s address is:
The Parkinson=s Society
4211 Younge St.
Toronto, ON., M5P 2B1
Annual West Coast Naval Aviators Dining-in - The dinner is normally
held in December in Esquimalt, with George Plawski coordinating.
According to George, since the move to Victoria, the attendance
has increased by
about one third, from 58 to 77 on average. [They averaged 55 in the two years it
was held in CFB Comox.] In addition, ‘The Venture grads enjoy a view of their
barracks from the
spectactularly-located wardroom so handsomely decorated with
Tony Law’s seascapes.’
Financial Assistance. Generous financial assistance was
received from Anonymous, Dick Bartlett, James Bond, Ken Brown, Frank Buckley,
Don Cash, Jacques Cote, Bill Davey, Sheila Marie Davis,
Ted Davis, Fred Fowlow,
Ivor Hamilton, Mike Langman, Phyl Lowe, Jack Moss, Eddy Myers, Eric Nielsen,
George Plawski and Gene Weber.. If I have forgotten to include your
please accept my apology. The error was not intentional.
NB Please make any cheques or money orders payable to E. Cruddas: It is not
practical to keep a separate bank account for the newsletter.
Book Recommendations. For those who live in the UK, the following book
store might be a good source, and it is near Leister Square in London.
36 Martins Court
St Martins Lane
London, WC2N 4AN
Tel: 030 7836 5376, Fax 020 7497 2539
email - motorbooks.co.uk
Peter Holmes makes the following recommendations.
‘A Tradition of Excellence, Canada’s Airshow Team Heritage’ by
Daniel V Dempsey, ISBN 0-9687817-0-5. Peter describes it as a ‘labour of love
... full of photographs and interesting ... narrative. ..A really great book.’
‘Testaments of Honour, Personal Histories of Canada’s War Veterans by
Blake Heathcote, ISBN 0-385-65847-X. ‘One chapter is devoted to Dick Bartlett.’
Peter also suggests that many more of us should be writing our memoirs. The
Ottawa NOAC has done a fine job of collecting material and producing it in book
and video format.
The Nautical Mind, self-proclaimed as ‘Canada’s largest specialty
nautical bookstore’ is located at 249 Queen’s Quay West, Toronto M5J 2N5,
tel. 800.473.9951, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
It is in the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Harbourfront. Its local telephone is
Elderhostel. The Canadian organization is now called >Routes
to Learning Canada= [formerly
Elderhostel Canada], and has a fine selection of educational vacations, such as
the whale-watch trip mentioned earlier.
They can be reached at:
Routes to Learning Canada
4 Cataraqui St
Kingston ON K7L 1Z7
Toll free 866.745.1690
Web site >www.routestolearning.ca=
Answers to 2004 Questions
1. According to the A-25 song, ‘a seat in the goofers was worth fifty quid’,
at least sometimes.
2. Dr Donald Willoughby, and Richard Warren Winter [Canada’s Naval
Aviators, pp 336 and 337.]
3. Bill Keindel [ibid, p 171] and [ ibid p 76] I worked together briefly in
1981. Bill was in External as a management consultant [Organization and Methods
classification] for several years, whereas I moved on after
less than a year to
become an Operational Auditor with Supply and Services Canada and later Health
and Welfare Canada.
4. Lieutenant [O] Brian James Mackay, [ibid p. 197.]
5. Redford Henry Mulock, CBE, DSO and bar, MID, Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur
[France], joining 1 Wing on 19 January 1915 [ibid p. 232.] He made the second
recorded air attack on a submarine, and
was the first pilot to do night spotting
for artillery and to test aircraft flares. He was considered to be the
highest-ranking Canadian Airman of WW1.
Answer to Trek question.
According to the Bayview Post in Toronto, December 2003 edition, p.5, in the
episode entitled ‘Contagion’ in series ‘The Next Generation’, ‘various
locales appear, including the ... unmistakable fountains
of Nathan Phillips
Returned Letters. Many were returned last year. If any reader knows others
whose letters did not arrive last year, please advise them that I still have a
few available. Change of addresses
would also be appreciated. I assume that some
are getting it elsewhere, e.g. the SAM web site.
Gone But Not Forgotten. Peter Bowen, Buck Buchanan, Larry Dunlap [the
Last Air Marshall of the RCAF, and also the last Chief of Air Staff prior to
unification], Fred Goodfellow, Mary Fotheringham,
Blyth A Mitchell [26-4-02, in
Florida], John Riley, Chaplain Gerry Schaus, Wally Sloan, Peter Stavery Tanton
[CO of 880 Squadron in P.E.I. from 1986-88], and Robin Watt.
Death of Commodore Alexander Beaufort Fraser Fraser-Harris 23 October 2003.
Last year’s newsletter contained a write-up of Commodores Fraser-Harris’s
in life and career in conjunction with his becoming an honourary member of the
Canadian Naval Air Group, and induction into the
Fleet Air Arm Hall of Fame.
Rather than repeat that information, I’ll include a story that Marsh
Dempster sent me from the NAVAIRGEN net, attributed to Dave Shirlaw,
the editor of SeaWaves Magazine.
It has been edited for length.
The rescue of Lt [A] ABF Fraser-Harris and crewman LS George Russel, shot
down in the attack of 803 Sqn on Trondheim Harbour, Norway, 1940. [At]
0500 ... an aircraft
was flying low against the Soerfjorden [Southfiord]. It
was one of the 11 aircraft that had taken part in attacking enemy shipping
and enemy forces in the Trodheim area. The pilot had major
problems with the
engine and was ditching ... near Trondeim. ["The water was bloody
cold" as the pilot said fifty years later.] Their mission ended up 50
metres from shore and they had to
swim. Three of the local people had seen
the aircraft and stood off shore and [were] throwing stones at them. [Russel]
shouted in cockney to them and they finally understood that they were
German airmen. They did not understand English and therefore they had to use
their fingers to be understood. Finally, ... Andreas Aune arrived and he
could talk to them since he earlier
had been 16 years in the USA. He had
seen the aircraft from his small farm and understood that they needed help.
He had a small rowing boat and sat down in this and had to row 2 kilometres
before he saw them; they were standing with water coming out of their
clothes..In the nearest house, two old ladies wanted to make hot coffee for
them, but Andreas spoke to them and they
agreed that he could take ‘them
to his farm.
‘They walked through a forest to get to the farm, where they got dry
warm clothes and a small breakfast and then to bed. The two airmen slept for
many hours while his wife was preparing a
huge dinner meal for the
"refugees." When they were sleeping, plans were made on getting
them to a safe area. Andreas found the phone lines in the area and cut them,
so the news about
the airmen would not get around. It was only 20 kilometres
to the nearest German fortress. Since there was some snow in the area. They
had to learn to ski.
‘When they had finished their dinner, skiing practice started with help
from a son on the farm, Anders, 16. There was a lot of laughing when they
fell again and again. ... Poor George almost
ended his escape to freedom
when he got his feet on each side of a tree. ... Andreas had found two men
... who could help them over the mountain and through the Namos area. The
was [whether] they should get to Sweden or to the Allied Forces.
[The two men] had just arrived back from a journey to Sweden with other
refugees, but this time they would try to get them
to the British and French
forces, since the airmen wanted to get back so they could continue to fight
against the German Forces. Their uniforms had been [exchanged] for ordinary
and they paid one pound as a "thank you" for the meal and
shelter as they left the farm.
‘After midnight their journey started and the first kilometres were
with horses and sled ... the area they were travelling in was not safe at
this time, and .. the sled was very uncomfortable..
built for hauling
wood.... In Finnes in Verran the police sergeant was waiting for them. He
had obtained a small open fishing boat for them. Then they sailed for
Follafoss., [passing] some
German destroyers [that] took no notice of them.
At Follafoss they got into a ‘modern’ taxi, [as Fraser-Harris recalls.]
Between Malm and Namos, they finally found British forces, who were
at them! In the beginning, the soldiers did not believe that they were
allied airmen, but when the soldiers found their uniform caps in their back
packs, they were convinced.
‘On 2 May  the allied forces left the Namos area and
Fraser-Harris and Russel were with them. When they got back [to England], a
message was sent [by radio] to the
men who had helped. Some of the local
people had heard this message and mentioned it to the men. But Fraser-Harris
was worried lest the local people would have major problems
after they had
helped the ‘enemy’. In France [the Germans] had shot local people for
doing the same thing. ... The Germans did not know about the incident before
it was too late.
It was not until 1944 that the Andreas was arrested and was
confronted about the incident. After the war, the [Norwegian] family tried
to get in touch with Fraser-Harris, but he could
not be found. They did not
remember that he was from Canada. In 1986, another pilot ... was in the Trondheim area. ... He mentioned to Fraser-Harris that some of his rescue
still alive. In June 1990, Fraser-Harris visited the area and
could talk to some of the men who had helped him. They young boy on the
farm, Anders, got a nice silver cup from him. He still
had the one-pound
note they had got in 1940. Now this rests in the silver cup. Only Anders is
alive in 2004. He will never forget Fraser-Harris and the incident.’
Address Changes Or Corrections, Including E-mail*, and New Readers**
Bob Arthurs, Canada Post has changed his address to HERRING COVE vice
Other parts of the address are unchanged.
Mel Babcooke, 105 Mayfair Dr, Florence AL, 35630 USA Tel. 256.760.7030, email
*Peter Bruner - email email@example.com
Fred D’Amico - 11 -- 275 Woodridge Dr SW, Calgary AB, T2W 4S4, tel.
403.281.8877, email firstname.lastname@example.org
E. Cruddas and D L Davis, 10 Kenneth Ave #1804, Toronto ON M2N 6K6. Tel:
email - email@example.com
Bill Davey, 412–429 Parkland Dr, Halifax, NS, B3S 1L3
Si Green, 118 Locheland Cr, Nepean ON, K2G 6H7, 613.823.7855 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Marlene Hamilton - email - email@example.com
*Peter Holmes - correct email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
W A Martin 56 Cameron Ct, Fredricton NB, E3B 2R9 - tel.
Jack McGee - 1170 20th Street, West Vancouver BC, V7V 3Z5 - el.
604.921.2482, email email@example.com
Eric Nielsen, 2090 McNeil Ave, Victoria BC, V8S 2X8, tel.
250.661.6477 email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sherry Richardson - 201 Mason’s Point Rd., Head of St Margaret’s Bay NS B3Z
1Y9 [change of place name only]
Gus Saunders - 61 Waterthrush Cr, Kanata ON, - tel. 613.271.4336
**Fiona Smith Hale, c/o Canada Aviation Museum, PO Box 9724, Station T, Ottawa
K1G 5A3 Tel. 613.993.2303. FAX 613.990.3655
Hugh Washington, 312–2662 Bloor Ave West, M8X 2Z7 - tel. 416.233.9393
N.B. E-mail addresses on this list may be unreliable since some users change
them frequently for better
rates or better service.
MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO DID SEND IN YOUR CHANGES OF ADDRESS.