NEWSLETTER OF THE CANADIAN NAVAL AVIATORS AND ASSOCIATES
Toronto Ontario Canada
We have been at our current address for about a year, but we are repeating our new address for those of you who may not have noted the change last year. This address should be permanent, whatever that means once you become a senior citizen. Although neither our e-mail address nor telephone number has changed, we have included both. With respect to email, we are not sophisticated users of email, but we can do the simple stuff. We welcome emails, so please feel free to contact us that way; however, our spam filter will eliminate many emails from first-time mailers, especially if there is no clear subject line. As well, we prefer not to open attachments that are unexpected, on the advice of the PC experts. Finally, within the newsletter, we cannot reproduce photographs or any other material that might be copyright, because this letter is usually placed on the Shearwater website. Any website is subject to scrutiny for copyright violations. All that said, our various addresses are:
E. Cruddas and D.L. Davis
Apt 1804 - 10 Kenneth Avenue
Toronto, ON, M2N 6K6, CANADA
Email – email@example.com .
Again this past year, Deborah and I have done lots of travelling. We made our third trip to New Zealand, where we were able to contact three former naval aviators, two of whom served with the RCN. They are Peter Baldwin, Alan Lane, and Russ Spiller; there will be more about them later. While in NZ we hoped to visit Dennis Foley’s grave site in Hamilton, but we were unable to locate his relatives there.
I have said in other newsletters that I have no plans to stop writing this newsletter. That is still true, but ongoing problems with arthritis in my hands may affect the date when I must stop. It could be earlier than I had anticipated. In a case of unfortunate timing, some of the best pain killers, Vioxx and Celebrex for example, are contra-indicated for me. As an estimate, my keyboarding ability may last another five years, maybe even ten. The rest of my mental abilities could disappear even earlier; some would say that they already have. Naturally I shall keep you all informed. Recipes or suggestions for home remedies would be welcome.
In our move to this new address, our telephone provider moved Deb’s name without problem, but forgot about me. If you have tried to find my new address on any 411 service, you may not have been successful. Should you lose this address, perhaps you can find me under Deborah’s name, if you can remember it: D.L. Davis. The April 2005 Toronto telephone directory still has me at the old address; however, the telephone number is correct. I hope that the problem is already solved.
Speaking about arthritis remedies, I was in a British island in the Caribbean this winter, needed some liniment, and was unwilling to pay the high prices on my cruise ship. I found a small store that sold me some Bell’s Nerve and Bone Liniment. It was very close in appearance and scent to Minard’s Liniment, which many of you would remember from Nova Scotia years ago. I have heard that Minard’s is back in production after a few years off the market, doing well in the Atlantic provinces. My Bell’s worked very well. I also noted both there and in other British islands that Frank Buckley’s products, especially the Jack and Jill children’s cold remedies, were readily available. In these days of huge advertising budgets and preferential placement in stores, it is nice to know that relatively small, reliable firms with good quality products can still get a share of the market that is dominated by giants with big bucks..
Frank was the subject of an article in the Toronto Star last November. It was entitled ‘An old formula that still works’, written by Sharda Prashad. The author points out that Frank’s father sent him on the road selling Buckley’s mixture after he, Frank, came home from the war. The father insisted that Frank learn the business from the ground up, including such unpopular work as filing daily sales reports. Frank spent three years on the road before he entered the management field.
Even in those days before TV came to Canada, Frank was interested in the use of electronic media, in this case radio, for advertising. Frank chose to advertise just before the morning news, starting his commercials at 7:59 a.m. Later he moved to television, where he appeared many, many times. Now the younger generation of the family is taking his place.
Frank took over the company in 1978 on his father’s death. He retained his father’s values, which included ensuring that his employees were well treated. When times were hard, especially between 1950 and 1972, the managers rarely took raises, but ensured that their employees did have them. Said Frank, ‘It was important to treat employees fairly, even when [sales] volumes were lower.’
For many years Frank and his wife returned to the UK for FAA reunions, but no longer do so. According to The Star, Frank’s wife has been ill for many years, and Frank is dedicated to ensuring that she is well cared for.
News From the Readers
Did any of you fly exotic or unusual aircraft in your careers? Did any aircraft please you or terrify you? Dudley Allan claimed that he had flown aircraft that had more engine power than Bonaventure. Are there any stories of strange flying incidents that you would like to share with other readers? My hundreds of hours of Red-Rocket time don’t count, but I’d love to hear your stories. Remember, the statute of limitations for flight safety incidents has passed for most of us. Please take a look in your log books, and tell us about those gems. Tell us about your Sea Hawk time, or any other events of note.
Peter Baldwin left the Canadian Forces in 1972 for a successful career in the Royal New Zealand Navy. Some years later after retirement from the RNZN and private industry, Pete and his wife, Tineke, settled in Turangi, NZ, on the shores of the country’s largest lake, Lake Taupo. They still have relatives and many friends in Canada, and visited some of them while they were here in 2004 for the Venture Reunion. Peter’s flying time was mainly in helicopters, so he and John Lehmann had lots to talk about at the reunion. Peter was one of only a handful of naval pilots when he joined the RNZN. Their air ‘fleet’ was only a detachment from an RNZAF Squadron. When some of the other pilots were away on leave or training, Pete was often the only pilot available for operational duties.
Peter enjoys the more relaxed life style in NZ, especially in Turangi, where he can ski, boat and fish. He is also only minutes away from the major resort city in the area, Taupo. Turangi itself claims to have the best trout fishing in the world. Completely retired from the navy, Pete visits a few business interests within New Zealand, mainly on the north island. One is in New Plymouth, where Alan Lane, a World War 2 and Korean War naval aviator, lives. The Baldwins also have a small ‘homestay’, aka bed and breakfast business, and would welcome visitors to the area. See details in the Annex.
Dick Bartlett has published an autobiography of his wartime experiences. It is called, ‘One Man’s War’, and is ‘the harrowing true story of a young Canadian prairie boy who joins the FAA prior to WW2, is shot down in June 1940 over Norway in a suicidal attack on German Naval units, and suffers the horrors of a POW for the next five years.’ Ordering details are shown in the Annex.
Rod Bays mentioned that his grandchildren were now graduating from university. He is back riding the snowbird trail to Florida to escape the Canadian winters, which he loathes.
Stu Beakley was in VU 32 under Knobby Westwood in the early 60's and would be remembered as an excellent scuba diver and instructor. When encountered in Halifax last winter, he looked fit and energetic. He remembers vividly ditching in a Tracker off Bermuda, and the unwelcome arrival of curious sharks, one of which was discouraged by being hit on the snout with a hard hat.
Dick Bone had at least two of his letters to the editors printed in Halifax newspapers. One discussed Armed Forces Day, and the other was a reminder that Canada’s navy did have its own air branch once. A columnist had stated that the original Sea Kings were delivered to the air force rather than to the navy.
Irv Bowman is one of the subjects of Carl Mills’s upcoming book on Canadian Aviators in Korea. Irv was born in Canada, but served in the Fleet Air Arm. The Calgary Herald reported on one incident in Korea.
‘Forced to abandon his plane during an air strike in the vicinity of Wongan, Korea, Lieutenant Irvin L Bowman, Royal Navy of Calgary was picked up by helicopter from the cruiser USS Manchester, was transferred to the Canadian destroyer [HMCS] Huron and later in the same day back to his own ship, the aircraft carrier HMS Theseus, by jackstay.’
Thanks to Carl and to Leo Petitpas for the information. I look forward to seeing the book or more excerpts from it in the near future.
David Bright continues to work as a lawyer in Nova Scotia. Although normally a defence lawyer, Dave was hired to prosecute a case involving police officers charged with crimes. Dave now has 32 years in his field. Could a seat on the bench be likely?
In an interview on the CBC in May 2005, a BC judge noted that, despite accusations that Canada was ‘soft on crime’, Canadian judges gave more jail time than any western country except the USA; and on a per capita basis, more people were incarcerated here than in any country other than the USA.
Ken Brown is a frequent contributor to the newsletter. He wrote from Halifax about mutual friends and the JAOBTC 6 reunion, which he called, ‘.. An enjoyable gathering. I live in the same condo complex as Denny Shaw, and we frequently rehash the “good old days.”’ Denny has suffered a couple of bouts of shingles, but is otherwise in good health, still actively pursuing the ladies, though more slowly these days. He co-hosted a reception for a local political candidate, which was remarkable in that he had voted for the other party for about forty years.
Ken stepped down as Director for the Federal Superannuates National Association’s [FSNA] Nova Scotian post in August 2004, and was replaced by another RCN veteran, Paul Nadeau, an Engineer with time in Bonaventure. Rex Guy, the former national President of FSNA is now the Past President of the organization. Two terms were enough, considering all the travel back and forth between Ottawa and his home in Nova Scotia. Ken answered my question about small-ship wardrooms with several aviators, as Terra Nova’s was in the early 1960s, saying that in 1961-63 when he was in HMCS Victoriaville, the officers were mainly aviators, with Ken, Jim Stegen, Bennie Oxholm as XO, and Bill Rikely as CO.
Tom Byrne was awarded the Robert S Day Trophy in recognition of his outstanding contribution and leadership in the promotion and development of aviation in BC, according to Ted Gibbon, writing from Comox in ‘the Signal’ of December 2004. Tom was deeply involved in the Cadet Gliding programme, and had an enviable flight safety record. According to Ted, Jack McGee was instrumental in the nomination process. Tom also took the time to organize the ‘61 portion of the 2004 Venture Reunion.
Seventy-five years ago on 12 March 1930, WW1 flying ace Billy Barker died in a plane crash near Ottawa. He had 53 ‘kills’, and a Victoria Cross for engaging 60 German aircraft all alone.
Bob Darlington of Victoria visited the Shearwater Museum last year and was ‘thoroughly impressed by every aspect of it.’ Bob’s experience in Shearwater was restricted to ‘one year as Sec to Tom Pullen’, but he had many years supporting naval aviation as a supply officer on exchange in the USA, and in the supply depot in Montreal during the procurement of the Trackers and Sea Kings. Last year’s comments on ‘goofers and ‘goofing’ by Pete Holmes reminded him of,
‘a moment during deck landings in August 1948. While goofing in the after starboard sponson, my favoured seat was an ammunition locker above the saluting gun. Dick Bartlett did a torque stall and went over the side bouncing off the saluting gun as he went. I had noticed the bad angle of approach and was already easing off the locker. I managed to get clear of the sponson just as the gun barrel spun 360 degrees narrowly missing my departing rear end.’
While at the museum Bob noticed a picture that he thought might have been ‘Dickie’s unfortunate crash.’ He sent a copy to me, and with a little research in Stu Soward’s ‘Hands to Flying Stations, Vol 1', I identified the picture as one of Joe McBrien in a Sea Fury in Maggie in 1949. Bob’s email address is in the Annex.
Stu Soward has released an updated version of ‘Hands to Flying Stations.’ See the annex for details of how to get yours. If you didn’t purchase it when it first came out, or just want a new copy, this would be the ideal time. I left an original copy in the CFB Cold Lake library when I was there, along with other books on naval aviation, which wasn’t well represented in the that library.
Sheila Davis sent an email with her new email address and telephone number. She said,
‘I saw a news clip yesterday of the Tiger Moth that was re-built at Downsview and being flown to a Museum somewhere. I solo-ed in 4 hours in one of those [and ground looped one as well] so that shot brought back memories. I recall that Commander Air had one at Shearwater. Russ [Spiller] and his family were very kind to my daughter who looked them up when she was doing her 2-year backpacking trip through S.E. Asia [and Australia for the Olympics]. She had taught in Japan for several years and, after her trip, returned to Victoria thinking she could teach here. NO WAY - couldn’t get a job and took one in Shanghai.”
Ted Davis writes from his home in Oakville, Ontario:
‘My lifestyle has changed very little in the past two decades and most of the time is taken up with driving for the local Red Cross, although occasionally the opportunity arrives to renew old acquaintances.
‘In July last year I paid a short visit to the West Coast to see a few old cronies and to attend the 31st Shearwater Bash. For those who may not be in the loop [most of us living east of the Rockies] this is an annual gathering of naval aviators and associates which was originally organized by, and held at the home of Tony and Joy Storrs in Victoria. When ‘the admiral died in 2002 the organization and arrangements were taken over by Stu Soward and Dick Bartlett, and for the past two years the party has been held at the country home of Mike and Sheila Page usually about the middle of July.
‘This was the first time I had been to one of these affairs and was surprised to recognize so many of the almost 50 people in attendance, the majority of whom I hadn’t seen in half a century or more. Maybe it’s something to do with the climate, but nobody looks any older! If anyone would like to show up at some future Shearwater bash, and I heartily recommend it, let Stu [250.386.7896] or Dick [250.658.5031] know in advance as catering and other planning is limited to those who have indicated their intentions to attend and have paid the pittance required.
‘Any other contact with naval aviation has been limited to the monthly [FAA] meetings held at the Rose and Crown. However, there were those occasions, particularly during the winter months, when they were cancelled because so few people were available.’
Ted was planning to be in Europe in June, and would miss the monthly FAA gathering.
Harry Dubinsky noted that the Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal from Fall 2004, had an article on ‘Big Nick’ Nicholson. ‘It is titled “Carrier Pilot”. There are some great pictures of the aircraft operations on Maggie and Bonnie and a classic picture of Big Nick with his flying helmet on and a cigar in his mouth.’
From ‘Church Ladies With Typewriters’. ‘The sermon this morning: “Jesus walks on the water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”’ Ancient SAR perhaps?
Marsh Dempster travelled from PEI to Europe last summer to view some battleground sites from WW 1, in which both his grandfathers fought. He will be returning there this summer for further studies of the area, plus more general tourism. This last winter in PEI seemed to be a long one for him, involving two minor surgeries that slowed him down physically, if only temporarily. One relatively-minor day-surgery turned into an overnight stay in hospital: He was snowed in. Marsh keeps in touch with Bob Bissell, who is still sailing in the Caribbean in the winter and spring. Bob might soon be looking for a retirement spot somewhere with warm weather. When I heard from Bob late in May, he was heading south to avoid any possibility of being in the same time and space as a hurricane. Bob and Joyce had spent three months in South Africa [her home] and a month in the UK during the non-sailing season. Also in May 2005 Marsh drove from PEI to Ottawa to attend the annual get together arranged by Gord Edwards, with a stop over here in TO.
Ken Eliason travelled from the South Carolina to Nova Scotia this spring on a sad occasion, the death of his close friend Al ‘Little Nick’ Nichols. Ken had been asked by Al to hold a wake in his honour. Ken and other friends of Al gathered together on 18 May 2005 in Al’s home in the Fall River/Sackville area to celebrate his life, and to take a drink of wine from Al’s wine cellar.
Gord Edwards has taken over the organizational duties for the annual Naval Air meetings in the Crowsnest of the Lisgar Mess in Ottawa . The 2005 meeting was held on 11 May, which would have been the 82nd birthday of Laurie Farrington, the previous organizer. About 45 supporters of naval aviation showed up. Gord provided a good panoramic photo of the group, and I recognized several faces, including Dudley Allan, Peter Berry, Marsh Dempster, Si Green, Robbie and Diana Hughes, Bud MacLean, Jack Moss, Gord Moyer, Bill Munro, Bob Murray, and Dave Tate. Others that I didn’t recognize included Jack Arnott, Jim Cantlie, Glenn Cook, Johnny Frank, Eddy Myers, Tim Porter, and Gene Weber.
By chance, Gord and I ran into each other in March in the Ottawa Little Theatre where Gord has season’s tickets, and we were in town for Easter. In an earlier email, Gord related that Joanne Delamere and he had both lost their spouses a few years ago. Now he and she are doing some traveling together, including 32 days in Europe just over a year ago. They travelled to Madrid, where they enjoyed the Prado Art Gallery. They went from there to Barcelona for some of the unusual Gaudi architecture and the marvelous spires on the cathedral. On their way to France they were delayed by a rail-workers strike, but carried on to Nice and Monaco, where the inside-the-mountain train station was ‘the most exquisite one could find anywhere.’ Next was Venice, very crowded and expensive, but not to be missed. Budapest by sleeper car, with frequent wake-up calls going through Slovenia. Budapest itself, especially the Buda side of the river with its magnificent palace was lovely. To Vienna next, with ‘SO much to see” including the Lipizzaner stallions going through their paces. Heading north they visited Prague, Berlin, Warsaw, Vilnius, Riga, Tallin, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oslo. They were very impressed with the train, ‘could not remember being on one so quiet.’ Oslo was a nice city on the fjord , and the site of the attaches’ reunion that Gord was attending. They were there for four days, enjoying ‘scenery unsurpassed and impossible to describe, waterfalls everywhere, and charming farms hanging on the side of mountains.’ After the reunion they returned to London via Bergen. In London they enjoyed theatre and a ride on the Millennium wheel as well as the ‘usual stuff’ there.
They arrived after ‘32 days, 15 countries, and 17 cities, and SO many great things to see and do.’
Sid Fairbairn is becoming increasingly handicapped, but only on the links. ‘My handicap keeps creeping up - a correlation with age?’ Otherwise all is well for him in Victoria. Hope to see you at CNAG this October, Sid.
There were two reasons that I didn’t take up golf as a sport. One was physical: a bad back. The other was a feeling that golf was work. I worked for four years as a caddy starting at age 12 on, and every time I see a golf course I associate it with poorly-paid employment.
The late Laurie Farrington was cited in the Venture Association’s ‘the Signal’ for his long service in training and education, especially for officers. ‘He will be remembered for his meticulous demeanour, his mellifluous English, and his warm humour; and he remained a friend and mentor to a great many Ventures, both as cadets and in later years.’ I served with Laurie for two years while on the CF Staff School staff, and knew him to be a fine gentleman. Larry Zbitnew and Jim Williams were there about the same time. We all will miss him, as will his many friends in the Ottawa area, where he was deeply involved in the naval community.
Trafalgar Day 1955. Bob Willson, in a letter in Starshell, remembered celebrating the 150th anniversary of the battle. He was in Greenwich as a young officer at the time. He noted that there were over 75 officers of flag and general rank present. The guest of honour was Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. This year is the 200th anniversary of the battle.
Roger Fink wrote from Red Deer where ‘Mary and I are on good “nick” and still living in the big old house. It seems sort of empty at times, but when the children and grandchildren get here we have to camp a few in the back yard.’ The Finks are neighbours of Deb’s relatives in Red Deer, so we might get to see them in October when we’ll be visiting Alberta and enjoying the Rocky Mountaineer tourist train between Vancouver and Calgary, with an overnight stop at Kamloops.
Our relative that Roger and Mary know in Red Deer has a son named Trevor who is involved in many aspects of theatre and entertainment in Edmonton. When one of Trevor’s cousins phoned to speak to him, his mother had to say that he was at a movie with an English lady sword swallower.
As this newsletter goes to bed, the late Commodore A B Fraser-Harris is being inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in Wetaskiwin, thanks to the efforts of several of his friends, especially Rolfe Monteith and John Eden. It is hoped that at least one of his family members will be attending the ceremony in Alberta.
Kit and Bob Geale wrote at Xmas from Australia, where the bush fires were then raging. They are both well, and still volunteering with the RAN FAA museum in North Nowra; however, they are reducing their work load to allow younger people to take over from them. In a September 2004 email that was forwarded to me, Bob wrote,
‘Sixty-three years ago, Leading Telegraphist Air Gunner [TAG] Robert ‘Bob’ Hogg, RN SFX 413, a Canadian in the RN was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal [DSM] for service at the Battle of Matapan flying in a Fairey Albacore of 829 Squadron from the Fleet Carrier HMS Formidable on 28 March 1941. What makes his award so remarkable is that a TAG hardly ever got a mention let alone a medal even though their crew were awarded. To my recollection, although Bob served in Shearwater and in the carriers, most of the people did not know of his award. ... By the way, being a TAG had its dangers. Our losses were one in three.’
Speaking for my Observers course, we were all aware that Bob had won his medal at Matapan, though we knew few details. Like many of his compatriots, Bob spoke little about his wartime experiences: at least to us youngsters.
Gord Gray moved this year, but stayed near Halifax in Hammonds Plains, NS. He wrote that;
‘It has been a busy year for me with visits to Hong Kong to visit daughter and family [two granddaughters] over Christmas and New Years with side trips to Cambodia and Thailand ‘right after the tsunami. Lots of activity in and around the resort areas as people scheduled for the area that was hit had to make changes to alternate areas. This we had to do.
‘Cambodia was a very interesting four-day junket to see the ruins in the Siam Reap area. Some are very well preserved and others are almost total ruins. Tourists are now discovering the area and since the demise of the Khmer slaughter time it will be a very good location for tourists. Hotels are springing up and old ones are being refurbished to accommodate the travellers. The prime currency is the US dollar. It will get you almost anything you want. Credit cards are not widely accepted nor are ATMs in abundance. So travellers be prepared. So different from Thailand where everything is wide open and very easy to get around as well as get money. ...
‘The Venture reunion last September was a great gathering and it certainly was fun to see all the attendees. Surprisingly, no one has changed ....much!!! I do believe that our numbers will be somewhat fewer by the time the next one is held in Halifax in 09. ...I see some of the aviation community here from time to time but seem mainly to hang out with the fish-head crowd as we are all on the Halifax side ... and frequent RA Park as our watering hole.’
Gerry Hill sent along a beautiful British card entitled ‘Concorde Over Bristol’, showing Concorde 216 passing over Bristol’s historic Clifton suspension bridge on the aircraft’s final flight to Filton airfield. The aircraft had been built in Filton, and will eventually form part of the Aviation Museum there. It also cites a website that might be of interest to some of you. It is self-explanatory –“www.concordefinalflight.com” .
Robbie and Diana Hughes have a new email address as shown in the Annex. At Christmas, they wrote,
‘The highlights of this past year include a visit from Liz, our number one and only daughter. She times this to coincide with Di’s birthday and the thunder storm season! Most wenches are nervous about sky noise, but she revels in it. Another highlight included a visit from brother Bill and his blushing bride of fifty years.’
Homeland Security touches most of us, and is affecting the Hughes’s snowbird winters. Diana and others have travelled between Canada and the USA for years on British passports, but she now finds that she needs a visitor’s permit to enter the USA. The permit lasts for only three months, after which it must be renewed by her crossing the border and re-entering the US. Diana has now applied for Canadian citizenship.
Trix Geary sent along some naval aviation poetry that she had found while clearing out a desk. It was too long for this letter, but will be saved for a later newsletter.
Jim Johnson is still in Owen Sound, but is in the process of moving within the area. With ‘the accumulation of books, LPs, and videos that I’ve collected over the years - it’s not easy.’ Last year he got together with Colin and June Macaulay and with Pete and Shirley Van Fleet in Belleville. The had a good time swapping yarns, many of which Pete recorded. And of course a few libations were had. Jim can be reached by phone at 519.376.0177.
Ted Kelly has come forward to organize the 2009 Venture Reunion in Halifax. Ted is also involved in fund raising for the naval memorial, HMCS Sackville. Ted and I were on JOLTC Sierra along with airmen Dave Abrahams, Bob Geale, Fred Hawrysh, and Dave Young.
Alan Lane from New Zealand asked about a classmate he had had on an OTU refresher in Culdrose. The classmate was Robert C. O’Neil, and Alan thought that O’Neil was the unluckiest person he had ever met. In an email, he wrote,
‘His bad luck started with a taxiing accident, not his fault. A short time later he was practising dive bombing when panels started flying off his Sea Fury. He put it down on the disused runway, and flipped over on its back. It took over an hour to get lifting equipment from Culdrose, during which time [Bob] was inhaling petrol fumes from a leaking tank. We embarked in Triumph for deck landings etc which included RATOG take offs. [He] was climbing into his aircraft which was armed with RATOG, when there was an electrical malfunction, and the RATOG fired. [He] fell off the step, down the wing into the blast of the rockets, getting badly burnt and bruised.’
Later O’Neil died in a mid-air collision over Bedford Basin along with Fred Rice in April 1953. Robby Hughes was flying in formation with Rice, both in Avengers. The accident occurred at night in an overcast. I remember being recalled to my ship, HMCS Portage, where I was a signalman; but the ship did not sail.
John [J J] Lehmann is still at the Staff College, in his 51st year with DND. He thinks that he is the last of his Venture class to be still working. He and his partner, Isabelle Keeley, are searching for a good place to retire, and have already tried our both our east and west coasts, southwestern Ontario, and Bermuda. They were in Victoria for the Venture Reunion, as well as an Alaskan cruise. On that cruise Isabelle administered CPR to one of the passengers who had fallen nearby, apparently stricken by a stroke. Despite her efforts, he did not survive, and had probably died before he hit the ground. Isabelle is a very highly qualified nurse, and holds the position of senior clinical research associate within her company.
JJ is moving slowly into volunteering. He was recently elected as a Director of the Last Post Fund, part of Veterans Affairs Canada. He attended Mike McCall’s wedding in Toronto. Mike has organized various successful dinners and lunches, with help from other naval aviators no doubt, for several years in the Annapolis Valley, including the Kentville area and as far east as Windsor, NS Mike married Jo Currie here at the Toronto Cricket [and Curling] Club, near the Command and Staff College, in December 2004.
The new editor of Venture Association’s newsletter, ‘the Signal’ is Gordon Longmuir of North Vancouver. You can reach him at:
168 Chadwick Crt,
North Vancouver BC V7M 3L4,
Tel. 604.980.1718; fax 604.988.1765
The Signal email – ‘firstname.lastname@example.org” –.
Gord’s personal email - ‘email@example.com’
The excellent Venture website is -- www.hmcsventure.com –
Phyl Lowe continues her studies of naval and west coast history. In an article entitled, ‘The jewel of history from the sea’ James Delgado from the Vancouver Sun recounts a search for two WW2 Japanese submarines lost near Panama in an attempt to attack and seal the Canal. During the search, another wreck was found that may be the Confederate ‘Sub Marine Explorer’, an archeological find, even a ‘treasure’ according to the author, from the US Civil War. Delgado notes that the both the USN and the Confederate navy ‘embraced new technology’, and that the first ship to be sunk by a mine was the USS Cairo, sunk in the Yazoo River by the Confederate Navy. The submarine H.L. Hunley, another recent archeological find, had sunk the USS Housatonic with a spar-mounted torpedo, and is considered to be the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel in combat.
After the Civil War ended, the Explorer was used as a pearl-diving tender, and the bottom of the boat was modified so that it could be opened and closed to allow divers to enter the water.
Mister Delgado was director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and the host of ‘The Sea Hunters’, a National Geographic International TV program on famous shipwrecks.
In a second Vancouver Sun article entitled ‘When BC lost its innocence’, by Stephen Hume, the story of the WW1 naval crisis in BC tells about the fear in Vancouver that German warships would attack the city. Most of us know the story of HMCS Rainbow and the BC submarine navy, but until I read the article I was unaware that the Japanese cruiser Idzumo had been sent to protect Vancouver and Victoria from von Spee’s cruisers. At the Battle of the Falklands, the German navy was eliminated as a threat.
Clearly Phyll is a devotee of Life Long Learning.
Last year Bob McNish sent along the following guide to a stroke. Since then, I have been able to have it confirmed by an MD a few weeks ago. I think that the information is important enough to repeat. Bob wrote.
‘Sometimes symptoms of stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The strike victim could suffer brain damage when people fail to ‘recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say that any bystander can recognize a stroke by 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 these tasks, call 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.’
The ER doctor that I spoke to confirmed that this information was accurate. He also said that, if in doubt, take the patient to an ER immediately. He also recommended that we all carry two ‘baby’ ASA [aspirins], sometimes called ‘blue 81's’ with us. If chewed and swallowed, they could be very useful in slowing the early effects of a heart attack. You should chew them because the ASA will be activated more quickly. You should consult your own GP to see whether that advice is right for you.
Deborah and I also took CPR courses last winter, as recommended by our family doctor.
Bob is involved with George Plawski in the annual West Coast Naval Air dinner in December in Esquimalt. George can be reached at:
401-2025 West 2nd Ave,
Vancouver BC, V6J 1J6
Last September at the CNAG Reunion in Trenton we were able to spend some time with Val MacIntosh, Jim’s widow. She was keeping very busy in her new home near Carrying Place, though she is often on the road locally, supervising construction work being done on her company’s behalf. She now consults from the siting of the building to the final interior finishes. We toured some of the new wineries in Prince Edward county, which is beginning to rival the wine counties in the Niagara and Essex areas. A big fan of Prince Edward wines is actress Sonja Smits, who many of you would know from the TV series ‘Street Legal’ and ‘Traders’, as well as her stage and film work. Val is slowly recovering from her loss; Jim died the previous winter. Last Christmas she decided to take several of her family members to Cuba for a winter vacation. She is an occasional visitor to Toronto, where her son lives.
Another reader with a son living in Toronto is former naval aviator Rodger McEachern of Sudbury. We hope to see Rodger en route to a family reunion this summer.
Don MacNeil wrote some time ago about the progress of his son, Ian, the grandson of two former naval aviators, Peter Savage, an FAA pilot with service in Canada, and John Angus ‘MacBagpipes’ MacNeil, an RCN pilot who retired from the navy in 1957. Ian graduated first in his class from flying training, being awarded his wings in December 2004. He also received the City of Portage La Prairie Award for leadership and flying excellence. Since graduation, he was promoted to Captain and posted to 442 SAR Squadron in CFB Comox. Don wrote, “I hope your readers remember who remember my family will enjoy hearing that the flying genes that were no doubt the results of my Dad’s naval aviation career live on in another generation.’ Thanks for keeping us up to date with a new member of the clan.
Weldy and Marg Paton were in Australia and New Zealand in the fall of 2003. They visited Fred Goodfellow in Australia, and were sad to hear that he passed away not long after the visit. They also had a tour of Canberra’s War Memorial, which ‘is one of the finest I have seen anywhere. The Aussies know how to honour their armed forces.’ Later they visited Sydney and spent three days on Heron Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef. On the way home they stopped in Hawaii to see the Arizona War Memorial in Pearl Harbour. They were surprised that the visitors there seemed to include thousands from Japan. On a different note, they were also surprised when they entered Australia that the authorities took their golf shoes and cleaned them very thoroughly before allowing them into the country. In their three weeks in New Zealand, they exposed themselves to Maori culture, as well as visiting the RNZN Museum in the Auckland area.
Earlier they had been in New England, Quebec and Montreal, visiting Bryan Hayter and Jake McLaughlin. They drove back to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia where they saw Ted Kieser and Dick Bone, whom they had not seen since their navy days. ‘Marg’s home town is Weymouth, [NS] so we took the CAT ferry from Yarmouth to Bar Harbour.’ They ended up in New York City, but had ‘No desire to go down to the Trade Center, as I preferred to remember is as it was when I was living there.’ They also attended the ‘Shearwater Bash’ [mentioned earlier by Ted Davis] in Victoria, where it was ‘good to see Greg and Liz MacIntosh, Jim and Corky Burns, Shell Rowell, Peggy Buchanan, Admiral Welland, Stu and Sheila Soward, Jake Kennedy, Joe Sosnkowski, Ken Gibb’s widow, and numerous others.’
Weldy ended by saying, ‘That’s enough travel to last me for a while.” Indeed!
Ross Riddell of JAOBTC 7 is on the move again in the USA, heading from upstate New York to Westbury, Alabama, not far from the capital, Montgomery. After leaving the RCN, Ross spent time as a banker in the Windsor area before moving to similar work in Detroit, then the US plains states. There’s no doubt that Ross will still be spending time in Canada, since two of his three adopted sons live in Ontario close to the border. See his new address in the annex.
Sherry Richardson didn’t move this year, but she, too, has a corrected postal code. See the annex. Her note paper bears the Latin inscription ‘E Tenebris lux’. The first reader to tell me what it means [I’m an RMC graduate, so I can only guess] gets a free subscription to the newsletter. Maybe, ‘he holds the laundry soap.’
Gus & Joan Saunders participate in the annual Terry Fox Run in their area in memory of their son who died of cancer in 1985. Should you wish to sponsor them, you can find their address in the annex.
“Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.
If you’ve given a dollar, you are part of the Marathon of Hope.”
Terry Fox, 1979
My elder daughter, Jill, also died of cancer in 1985. She was 24. As she wished, we sponsor four foster children, all girls, through foster-parents’ plans. Girls in the parts of the world that participate in foster-parents’ plans are almost always further disadvantaged in relation to boys in the same areas.
Ken and Merle Sheedy have moved to a condo in St Albert, Alberta, just north of Edmonton. They wanted to be closer to their ‘four middle-age kids and to specialist medics.’ They said that they ran into Peter and Millie Barr, who are long-time residents of St Albert. See their new address in the Annex. As I recall, the city grouped its streets alphabetically, rather then numerically, with sections of several streets all starting with the same letter. Ken and Merle are in the ‘M’ section.
Russ Spiller served in the RNZN during WW2 and the RN [FAA] during Korea. He, like Alan Lane, had been called on by the RN to serve in Korea, but Russ’s specialty, ASW, was found not to be needed. However, the RCN was in need of Avenger pilots, so Russ came to Canada in 1954, serving until 1956. He flew in VS 881 and VU 32, then returned to the UK and eventually to his home in Napier, NZ, on Hawkes Bay on the east coast of the North Island. As a boy in 1931, he had experienced one of New Zealand’s worst earthquakes. Napier was very badly damaged, with many casualties, and much fire damage since the water mains were destroyed by the quake. In the downtown area, however, land previously under water was raised to the surface by the quake, and became available for use after several months of drying out. The downtown area gained about 30% more usable land. The first few months were difficult, with many people camping out, and the constant odour of dead fish coming from the newly-dried area. When the city started to rebuild, it used the architecture that was popular at the time: Art deco. Napier now has the most extensive collection of art deco in the southern hemisphere.
Russ and his wife Corinne live in the Spiller family home built about a century ago. For some time it was also the family photography studio. When Russ returned to Napier after Korea, he eventually took over the business. Although retired from photography professionally, he still is an active photographer, and one of the photos he took of Deb and of me on the scenic lookout outside Napier was the best that we’ve ever had.
Russ and Corinne have an attached ‘granny flat’ at their home, and would be glad to welcome any of his old friends, or even friends of friends. They were great hosts to Deb and myself. As a bonus, at Hawkes Bay we were able to sample the fine wines in some of the best wineries in the country. New Zealand wines are now ‘world class’. They even make ice wine. While we were in the area, Deb took the opportunity to shear a sheep at a local Agricultural and Pastoral Fair. It will look good on her resume. See the Spiller’s address in the Annex.
Geoffrey D. ‘Steve’ Stephenson wrote from England asking about members of #3 Observers Course, [possibly course #2: The members disagree among themselves] who trained in Shearwater in 1953-54. He was looking for the whereabouts of Cav Cavanagh, Jerry Maloney, Jack Walter, Colin Boxall, Jeff Cowie, Mike Bolger, and Fred Sherwood. Cavanagh, I am told, lost his life in a civilian flying accident, and Bolger is also deceased. Two of the RN members, Peter Swayne and Paddy Lynch were also killed in aviation accidents, in 1957 and 1960 respectively. See the annex for Steve’s addresses.
Ted Trerise has moved, but has remained in Vancouver. His new address is in the Annex.
From Chilliwack, B.C., Phyl Turner did a great deal of travelling last year, including the western Mediterranean, and central Canada from North Bay to Alberta. In Canada, she took part in fishing, hiking, rafting, and other ‘good things.’ At Heather Lyon’s memorial she ‘saw Jim and Corinne Burns and several other Shearwater people.’ She also keeps in touch by phone with friends in the east.
I made contact with Georges Van Dijcke, a Belgian naval officer who did some of his training in Venture, and some more in HMCS Chignecto with me. Unfortunately his time in Canada was cut short when the government paid off all the minesweepers in 1964. George commanded the Belgian Forces in the first Gulf War, and wrote,
‘..after the Gulf I was assigned to SACLANT, Norfolk, where I met another guy from my Venture promotion, Keith Nesbit, who just like us has retired and kept hanging in Virginia Beach. Keith now plays the piano in upscale joints and private parties. I started a translation business that keeps me awake 7 days a week.
‘I met my wife after our return to Belgium in 1964. We had three children, one of whom sadly recently died and a bunch of grandkids who come visiting us just about every summer.
‘Please give my regards to ... Pierre Yans and Judy. I met him for the first time on board Chignecto, where he played me a surprise visit while I was on duty one night. Then we saw each other a few times during our careers, but I just missed him in 1994 in Quebec, where ‘he had just handed over his command a few days before Marianne and I came there for a NATO meeting. The meeting didn’t impress Marianne, probably because of the long working hours, but the Chateau Frontenac certainly did.’
See the Annex for details of Keith Nesbit’s piano CD entitled ‘Venture - the album’ and for Georges’s email address.
Three with one blow. Man: ‘I just killed three flies, two males and a female.
Friend: ‘How could you know their sex?’
Man: ‘Easy. Two were on a beer can, while one was on the phone.’
Bruce Vibert wrote from England with an update on some goings on in the UK, where the BBC [the ‘beeb’] has decided to interview some ‘interesting’ veterans concerning their time in the Battle of the Atlantic. Readers may remember that the beeb’s documentary on the Atlantic battle had few if any references to the FAA’s participation. It also said little about the USN’s carrier operations. Bruce wrote,
‘Most of the “interesting” veterans are gone but, of those remaining several have RCN connections. For example Mike Langman, is now a resident of the UK. He may hold the Swordfish record for endurance when the wind changed off N. Africa. ...
‘Thanks to people like Rolfe [Monteith] there at last seems to be positive movement, albeit late in the day.’
Jerry Watson returned from their condo in Arizona to Langley, BC, in mid April to weather and price shock. His son, Brian, is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Joint Task Force in Kingston Ontario, so he hoped to be visiting his family there. He says that he stays in touch with Buck Rogers, Jim Burns, Stretch Arnold, and occasionally Mike McCall. Thanks for the kind words, Jerry.
Rollie West wrote from Halifax, where he had attended the funeral of Spike Morris, who died earlier this year.
‘He was truly a pioneer in Canada’s fourth arm of the service, and always liked to remind us that he was our first pilot. Also, there weren’t too many Naval Officers in the RCN who were [E], [AE], and [P], to which Spike laid claim. Also in attendance among the many at Spike’s farewell were Frank Willis, Sherri Richardson, and Padre Black, who conducted the service.
‘I’m still putting in volunteer time in our Museum Archives, maintaining the photograph files, and generally assisting our Librarian. As you are aware, we are always on the lookout for photos, books and any Naval-Air-related items.
‘My travels this year will include a fifth visit to Cuba for R & R in the sun. For anyone interested, we go to the same resort ... Breezes Superclub Jibacoa. ...
‘The “Old Farts” group that meet monthly at the Shearwater Wardroom is getting pretty thin in numbers. Wally Sloan was our most consistent attendee, but of course he has passed on. It seems only Whitey Williamson, Carl Snelgrove, Eric Edgar, Bill Gillespie, yours truly, and once in a while, Chuck Coffen and Frank Willis are the ones holding down the Naval get-together. ‘
The Bus Tour. [reprinted from Bumph, NOAC Toronto, November 2004 edition.] A group traveling by tour bus through Holland stopped at a farm where a young guide led them through the process of cheese making, explaining that goats’ milk was used. She showed the group a lovely hillside where many goats were grazing. These, she explained were the older animals put out to pasture when they no longer produced. She then asked, ‘What do you do in Canada with your older goats?’ A spry gentleman answered, ‘They send us on bus tours.’
Cards, emails, notes, telephone calls and brief letters were received from Colin Boxall, Peter Chance, David Cobley, Jeff Cowie, Vern Cunningham, Frank Dennis, Mike Langman, Gerry Maloney, Duncan Matheson, Barry Montgomery, Jeff Newman, Fred Sherry Richardson, Fred Sherwood, Dave Tate, Frank Willis and several other faithful readers including double oh six and a half himself, Commander James [Jim] Bond. Did you know that there was a St James Bond in Toronto? In truth, two congregations, one from St James Church and the other from Bond Street United Church, came together to form the St James Bond United Church on Avenue Road near the old Staff School. It preceded double oh seven by many years.
MARITIME AVIATION, SHEARWATER & OTHER NAVAL OR AVIATION NEWS
The future of Shearwater. It is still under review. The civilian Shearwater Flight School closed its flight operations last year, but still runs a ground school there. Insurance costs were cited as the reason for stopping commercial flying. The Moncton Flight College, which claims to be the only remaining flight college in the area, is now taking some students from Nova Scotia.
2010: The Centennial of the navy, and the Sixtieth Anniversary of naval aviation. A Centennial Working Group has been established. Information I have is sketchy, but Captain [N] John Pickford is the chair, and several naval historians are involved. Details may be available on the DND website. John Pickford is married to a former naval officer, Heather Armstrong.
Venture Reunion 2004. The reunion went well, and was heavily attended. The next reunion will be in Halifax in 2009, with Ted Kelly as the organizer.
CNAG Reunion 2004, Trenton Ontario. The reunion was attended by about 217 former naval airmen. Many of the old stalwarts were in evidence, but a few who normally make the reunions were not there, including Hal Fearon from Edmonton, who had health problems. Among the volunteers at the reunion were, Dorothy Casement, Gerri Findlay, Lillian Eden, and Gerry Melnyk. Among the attendees were Vic Brand, Bob Campbell, Marsh Dempster, Roy Chatters, Dr Jim Ferguson, and Ross [Tex] McNab, attending for the first time. He and Bud MacLean spent much of the banquet discussing old times. The reunion was once again held in the Knights of Columbus Hall, which was decorated with many photos of former and current members.
At the banquet, it was announced that Wilf Weaver from Firefly Chapter in Calgary was the CNAGer of the year for 2004. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Dennis Shaw, who was well received as always. The next reunion will be in Victoria in October, 2005. See below.
[The above was taken from the SAMF Newsletter - Fall 2004, which has a much more comprehensive account of the reunion in its new ‘Across the Flight Deck’ section, the replacement for the previous CNAG Newsletter of the same name.]
CNAG 35th Reunion Victoria BC 7-9 October 2005.
Banshee chapter is hosting the reunion in the Empress Hotel, where all the reunion functions will take place in the Palm Court or Crystal Ballroom. The hotel management has extended the special room rates to include three days prior to and three days following the reunion dates of 7 and 8 October. You should contact the hotel direct at 250.384.8111 or toll free at 800.441.1414 as soon as possible, quoting the CNAG daily rate, which is $100 to $195 plus $22 for parking. Alternatively, you can call the Crystal Court Motel, 7021 Belleville St at 250.384.0551 [FAX 250.384.5125], where rates vary from $62 a night to $298 per week.
Pre-registration is required for the reunion itself. The rate for the reunion weekend is $105 per person for members and $115 for non members. You can register by mail by sending a cheque to:
c/o Red Atkins and Eileen Smith
416 Sixteenth Street
Brandon MB R7A 4X9
They can be reached by telephone at 204.571.9151, and by email at:
The first event in the reunion will be the ‘Meet and Greet’ on Friday afternoon. Saturday afternoon is open. Saturday evening includes dinner and dancing. The reunion will end with the Church service on Sunday.
Other members of the Reunion Committee are Paul Peacey, Chapter President, at 250.652.2738 and John ‘Stretch’ Arnold at 250.721.3204. They will be glad to answer any questions.
News From The Shearwater Aviation Museum [SAM]
And Its Foundation [SAMF].
[From your editor, just a reminder that the museum and the foundation are two separate entities. The museum belongs to DND, and is run by the curator. The museum refurbishes, repairs, designs and displays artifacts, whereas the Foundation raises funds, and acquires artifacts for the Museum. Your membership fees or donations should be sent to the Foundation, which will use them on behalf of the Museum. In essence, any money that you give to the Foundation will eventually end up in direct support of the Museum. To direct a donation to the Foundation rather than the Museum, annotate the contribution to ‘membership’ or to the Foundation. The two organizations work hand in glove.]
Christine Hines, Curator of the Museum [SAM] writes,
‘After our first season with the new Atrium in place, I am pleased to report 2004 was a successful year. Our visitorship is up to approximately 22,000 per year, with artifact and archival donations to the collection coming in at a steady pace. In the fall of 2004 SAM was the recipient of sponsorship from Imperial Oil and SAMF who enabled us to acquire a flagpole with yardarm to adorn the front of the new Atrium.
‘The most satisfying accomplishment of the past year by far has been the arrival of the Firefly restoration project and the TBM Avenger into the new hangar in March 2005! Logistic difficulties of having the restoration project housed elsewhere in 12 Wing [C Hangar] rather than at SAM, finally became insurmountable. It was decided that to revive the project and resource it properly, the project had to be on site at SAM. The move to SAM has already met some of our objectives, including such things as volunteer recruitment, visitor interest and donations, as well as the pleasure of working with our Volunteer Restoration Team on a more frequent basis. Thanks to Bud Ayer, John Webber, Ernie Smith, Mike Stephenson, Wayne Pettipas, and 12 Wing Recovery Team for managing the move brilliantly. The Firefly propeller was delivered from MT-Propeller, the Munich-based company who rebuilt the prop for us, in late February at long last. Heartfelt thanks go out to SAMF for shipping the prop back home, as well as for sponsoring the rebuild.
‘We have had some changes of note to pass on; after 8 years as Curator and two as SAM’s manager, Chuck Coffen has retired. Also retired from staff is Alma Coffen, who for many years has been SAM’s Volunteer Coordinator. We would like to offer both Chuck and Alma a hearty Bravo Zulu for their dedication and success in bringing SAM to the forefront of Canadian aviation museums. Thankfully we won’t be losing them altogether: both Chuck and Alma will still be part of our Volunteer team. SAM’s Curator is Christine Hines, a museologist who’s been on staff since 2002; our new Assistant Curator is Roger Chiasson, an AERE officer recently retired from service as Deputy Commanding Officer of 12 Wing Air Maintenance Squadron, Shearwater.
‘As the 2005 season approaches, we are concentrating on improving the exhibits at SAM, which include starting to refinish the Avenger and perhaps our Piasecki HUP-3, in addition to several technical projects around such equipment as our “Beartrap”, a project we hope to have completed in the winter of 2005-2006, sonobuoys, as well as our new-to-us Link Trainer, which we inherited from the Canadian War Museum. A veritable hot-bed of activity, SAM continues to tell the story of Shearwater and its aviation technology. In closing, SAM has had a change of telephone number recently; we can now be reached at  720-1083, or by fax at  720-2037. As always, email can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.’
The museum has web sites at:
News from the Secretary of the Foundation, [SAMF] Kay Collacutt.
The new Chair of the Foundation is Serge Valade, a Captain with Air Canada. He works very hard to ensure that SAMF fund raisers do their thing. At last, the Avenger is in the Museum hangar that was funded by SAMF. The aircraft made the trip down to the Museum from its earlier outdoor site between A and B hangars. We were told that it was in such bad shape that it had to cradled and lifted over the main gate, but eventually it was towed around the gate and down the hill. Despite the poor condition of the Avenger, it may not take too much to fix it up for a static display. Visitors to the Museum have been thrilled to see it there, and most have a story or two about it. The Firefly also came down to the Museum within days of the Avenger’s arrival. The idea of working on both aircraft in the new hangar was a great one. Visitors are most enthused when they see them together.
Photos of the aircraft can be seen on the museum’s website –
The website above is for the museum, but the foundation is working on its own site, which is available in its preliminary form. In the planning stage is an address list that will contain only those folk who wish to be included. If you wish your name to be EXCLUDED, please let SAMF know. The new website is -- www.samfoundation.ca .
In addition to aircraft photos, you will see a Rogues Gallery - hopefully this will bring back many memories for everyone. [By ed. - You will find this newsletter and possibly copies of earlier newsletters for three or four years back, which are on the museum website now.]
Our [SAMF] newsletter editor, Bill Farrell, would like to hear from some of his friends who may not have contacted him earlier. His email address is -- email@example.com. Bill stepped down from his position of President of SAMF because of health problems, and because he wanted to concentrate on other things. He is still the Newsletter Editor. Eugene [Buck] Rogers is our new president, and Owen Walton is our new Vice President.
There have been no changes in the address or telephone numbers of the Foundation.
Toronto Aerospace Museum [TAM]. The museum has been up and running for a few years. It is open from Monday to Saturday and welcomes visitors to see its restored Tracker, and the Lancaster that was on a pedestal on the waterfront for many years. It is on the site of the former air base, and can be accessed from Sheppard Avenue east of Keele Street. The site is now Canada’s only urban national park, and has been the venue for the papal visit and the post-SARS concert. Although the long-term fate of the museum is still in the hands of Canada Lands, the federal organization formed to look after surplus real estate, it continues to function as an aerospace museum near the building where the Canadian version of the Tracker was built by DeHavilland. Its street address is 55 Carl Hall Drive. CNAG Tracker Chapter supports the museum, as do individual members. The chapter holds most of its meetings in the museum, usually on Sundays.
University of Toronto, Hart House, Soldiers’ Tower. Hart House on the U of T downtown campus, has installed several new stained-glass windows. They now have mementos to the Navy and the Merchant Navy, and to the women who served in World War 2, including the Wrens.
L B Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, Cornwallis Park, NS. The federal government has promised $20 million over five years for core funding for the Centre. The Minister of National Defence called the Centre ‘a real jewel in our military establishment.’
HMCS/CFB Cornwallis Reunion. Now that Cornwallis Park is promoting itself as a Conference Centre site, some people have contacted the Conference Centre asking about a reunion of those who served there when it was open. It is estimated that 500,000 served there between 1943 and 1994. Unfortunately, attempts to generate interest have been largely unsuccessful, with only a handful of people attending meetings to discuss what would be sufficient to bring people out. A reunion in Summerside PEI a few years ago was deemed successful, with 800 people attending. Anyone interested in a reunion might contact the park, which is called the Annapolis Valley Conference Centre.
NATO Flying in Canada [NFTC Programme.] [From ‘Transforming YOUNG Guns into TOP Guns - NATO Flying Training in Canada’, by Stefan Degraef and Edwin Borremans, in Airforce, Spring 2004, pp 30-35.]
The authors lay out the background of force reduction and a retreat to ‘core business’ that has made it impossible for most national air forces to conduct their own flying training, especially where mission-capable units are badly needed elsewhere. In the 1990s, DND in Canada found it necessary to replace the Tutor aircraft, as they had been in service since 1963. They also found that they could not do so without international help, so the NATO Flying Training in Canada [NFTC] initiative was formed. Denmark was the first to join, followed by the UK, followed by Singapore and Hungary. With this core, the programme was able to go ahead.
Students take their basic flying training in their own countries to start the three-phase process. All future jet, multi-engine, or helo pilots then come to Moose Jaw for phase IIA in the CT-156 Harvard II turbo-prop trainer. From there they follow phase IIB, and are streamed to multi-engine or helo training in Portage, except for those remaining in Moose Jaw for further training to be fighter pilots. These future fighter pilots then enter the ‘jet arena’, phase III, and remain in Moose Jaw to fly another training aircraft, the CT-155 Hawk jet trainer. When they complete this phase of fighter training, they move to Cold Lake Alberta for phase IV operational training in 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, newly re-formed. Non-Canadian students who complete their training in 419 can immediately enter an operational conversion unit in their home countries. The squadron has both CF and ‘guest’ instructors from NATO countries. To make training less stressful for the students, phases III and IV co-ordinate training methods.
The RAF does its own training to the phase III level, and starts their students in Canada in phase IV, an exception within the training system. The RAF pilots have already flown the RAF version of the Hawk trainer.
The article focuses on fighter training, so what happens to other pilots after phase II is unclear. Probably they follow a similar pattern of moving from training aircraft to operational aircraft in multi-engine and helo environments. The article was too long to publish in its entirety, so I suggest that anyone wishing more details find a copy of the Airforce magazine.
Israeli Air Force in Canada. According to the press, the Israeli Air force will participate in Exercise Maple Flag in Cold Lake, Alberta, in 2005, sending 150 air crew, 10 F-16s and an unstated number of maintenance and administrative personnel. About 5,000 people from 11 countries will participate in the exercise.
Sea King Replacement. According to two articles by Tom Peters in the Halifax Herald of 24 April 2005, ‘Centre takes flights” and ‘Nova Scotia will get some chopper cash’, the CH 148 Sikorsky Cyclone helicopter Sea King replacement project is well under way. The aircraft will be supported by an entirely new Maritime Helicopter Training Centre building in Shearwater. Construction was to start in May this year, and the building was due to be operational by April 2008. The building will house flight and mission simulators, plus 406 Squadron, which will be responsible for training of operational and maintenance personnel. A contract has now been let to Sikorsky to provide 28 Sikorsky H-92 maritime helicopters, which will carry a CF designation CH-148; and another contract has been given to L-3 Communications, and to General Dynamics of Canada for ‘service and support for the helicopters over 20 years.’ These two companies will form a separate group called the Maritime Helicopter Team, which will ‘develop, certify, and field the Cyclone fleet.’ The Cyclone project ‘will generate $4.5 billion in industrial activity across the country.’ When the final Sea King leaves service, it will be more than fifty years old. John Cody is the Atlantic Canada representative for General Dynamics, and Colin Curleigh is still involved with the programme.
Nova Scotia International Air Show. The show now runs from the Halifax International Airport, and not Shearwater. I have no information on when or where. For details, contact their website at:
Anecdote. A tough-looking character was refused entry to a bar because he was not wearing a neck tie. He took the jumper cables from his car, tied them around his neck in a neat bow, and tried again.
The bouncer looked at him closely and said, ‘Okay, now you can go it, but don’t try to start anything!’
Joint Support Ship. Captain [N] [retired] Norman R A Smyth wrote a lengthy article entitled ‘Can Canada Build the Joint Support Ship [JSS]?’ in NOAC’s Starshell, winter 2004/2005. The JSS programme envisions three ships approximately 200 metres long, 32 wide, and 8.5 draft, with 28,000 tonnes displacement. They would have four roles: Naval Task Group support [fuel, ammunition, spares], Joint Force Transport [trucks, trailers, and containers, plus troop accommodation], Command and Control, and Joint Force Support [medical, water, R & R.] Smyth questions Canada’s shipbuilding capacity to build such a large and sophisticated ship, but feels that there are already several adequate designs from other nations such as Holland, France, the USA and the UK that we could adapt and build. It might be a challenge. He writes that,
‘There are likely enough naval architects and drafts-persons in Canada to work with the offshore ship designer to develop the design of the of the JSS, and to create the working drawings required ed to build the ship. Any shortages of designers and drafts-persons can be addressed by obtaining temporary help from outside Canada. ... It is important that Canada take advantage of this program to put in place a long-term shipbuilding program to ensure Canada’s shipbuilding capability is not allowed to atrophy again.’
CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES TO - Mike McCall on his marriage to Jo Currie, to Captain Ian MacNeil for being awarded his wings and the City of Portage la Prairie trophy, and to Rear Admiral Desmond Piers on being inducted into the Legion of Honour of France for ‘bravery in military service’.
News of interest to FLEET AIR ARM readers in Canada
[From the FAA Officers’ Association ‘News Sheet’ edited by John Shears, March 2005 edition. NB. The following is NOT a complete list of events etc., and does not contain complete obituaries.]
Upcoming FAA events.
5-6 August, Isle of Man Manx Festival of Aviation, contact Peter Lovegrove, 01202 847271;
9-11 September, Guernsey International Air Rally, contact Colin Ferbrache 01481 701011 or firstname.lastname@example.org;
16-18 September, HMS Formidable, contact HMS Formidable Reservations, Amanda Morris, Thistle Hotel East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Derby, England, DE 74 2SH [from Legion Magazine, (Royal Canadian Legion), May/June, 2005];
22-29 September, Malta Veterans Reunion, contact Colin Pomeroy 01305 848895;
24 September, 828/841 Squadrons Reunion, Dorchester on Thames, contact Bim Wells, 0116 2415774;
30 September, 90-100 Course Reunion, contact Chris Hodgkinson, 020 7602 7426 or ‘email@example.com’ ;
Richard Jones of Tonnypandy Wales is looking for any remaining members of 823 Squadron, ‘A’ Flight, in HMS Glorious just prior to her being sunk. His grandson Grant Bolwell can be contacted at -- ‘G.Bowell@Improvision.com’.
Sikorsky S 55 - WV 198 project. This helicopter was used in 1952 by 848 Squadron in HMS Perseus during the Communist uprising in the Federation of Malaya. It is the last of about a dozen aircraft that were used in the campaign, and is now in private hands. The FAA Museum in Yeovilton is hoping to be able to buy it and restore it, but needs financial help. Donations would be most welcome. Cheques can be made payable to 848 Malaya Association WV 198 Fund, and mailed to:
The Secretary, 848 Malaya Association,
‘Oakdale’, Church Lane,
Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 4BX, UK
Tony Cutting. Colin Vickers in New Zealand would appreciate any information on the whereabouts of Tony Cutting ex 826 Squadron, 1953-56. Colin can be reached at:
89 Takahe Rd, Titirangi
Auckland 1007, NZ
Tel. 09 8175148
Email – ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
Launch Against Bismark. Mrs M R Greenman is looking for any remaining members of the Swordfish crews that attacked Bismark. She has a new painting of the attack, and hopes to have prints made and signed by those who were involved. She can be contacted at:
Glanmore, 47 Valley Way,
Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 8BW, UK
Historical Research [From an email to Ted Cruddas]. An historical researcher from Nova Scotia is working on a project involving the DeHavilland Hornet, especially the part it played in the Fleet Air Arm in North America. He is seeking information on the aerobatic team formed from FAA’s 806 Squadron. According to the researcher, the squadron consisted of at least six aircraft: three Sea Hornets [VR 845, VR 851, and TT 209], a Sea Vampire [VF 3315], and two Sea Furies, serial numbers unknown. The pilots were LCdr D W Law [CO], and Lieutenants H F Martin, N D Fisher, A B B Clark, and R H Reynolds. The flight flew in Canada in 1948.
Lt Fisher crashed into Halifax Harbour in June 1948 flying Sea Hornet VR 845. The team flew aerobatic flights in Ottawa, Toronto, and at Floyd Bennet Field in the USA.
If any of you have more information on the aerobatic team, especially photographs, he would appreciate your contacting him ASAP, since he expects to be lecturing on the Sea Hornet in the very near future. His address is:
34 Kirkland Court
Dartmouth NS, B2W 4P6, Canada
Email -- “email@example.com”
The Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award - Crew of ‘Rescue 193.’ A Sea King from Culdrose rescued a yachtsman with head and spinal injuries in October 2003, overcoming sea state 8 conditions, with squalls, about 80 nm south west of their base. Crew Commander Lieutenant Claire Donegan had to hover downwind at 60 feet in strong winds and squalls, and to avoid the mast of the 32 ft yacht, which was broadside to forty feet seas, rolling heavily. For much of the time she had no visual reference with the yacht, and had a very small area aboard the yacht to work with. The heavy swells caused Petty Officer Rigg, the crewman being lowered, to swing, and occasionally even to be submerged in large waves; but he was able to get aboard after several tries, and then place the injured man into a spinal board with the help of the other crewman, Leading Seaman Hatch. Because of the spinal board, the crewmen could not bring the injured man on the upper deck, so had stay aboard and await the arrival of the lifeboat that had been alerted previously. Once the lifeboat arrived, along with the Motor Vessel Okeanis, they were able to transfer the injured yachtsman in the lee made by the Okeanis. Donegan flew home, refuelled, and met the lifeboat on arrival in port.
The rescue took seven and a half hours, and the aircrew demonstrated exemplary flying skills. The Observer, Lieutenant Paul Dingley, showed supreme professional skill in ensuring that both aircrewmen were successfully transferred without injury, and while maintaining the aircraft’s position over a wildy-pitching deck.
For their collective outstanding act of courage and devotion to duty, they were awarded the Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award.
Offshore Patrol Vessel for the Royal Navy. [From Starshell, Spring 2005.] The RN is building a new class of patrol vessel called the Offshore Patrol Vessel [OPV]. The first ship will enter service in 2007, and is designed for service near the Falkland Islands. Smaller than the Castle Class ships that are currently patrolling in the Falklands area, the new ship displaces 1,850 tonnes and has a crew of only 34. It has one 30 mm gun, and can carry a helicopter. It is designed for a significantly longer times on station, with much longer times between major maintenance because of greater technical reliability. The RN expects to save two million pounds in support costs over seven years of using the OPV.
[Material provided by Allan Lane, FAA New Zealand]. New Zealand FAAOA Convention. The New Zealand Fleet Air Arm Officers’ Association held its three-yearly convention under the guidance of Alan Lane in New Plymouth, North Island, Alan’s home. Alan had started his aviation career as a member of the RNZAF, and had done his initial flying training in Gimli, Manitoba, in 1943. After his training, he found that the Air Force had a surplus of pilots, but he could transfer to the Fleet Air Arm for further training and duties. He transferred to the RNZN for FAA duties, and trained on Avengers with the USN. One of his fellow students was a tall young USN officer named George Bush, later the President of the USA. Alan served in the UK until the end of WW2, then began a career in commercial flying, including sorties in the Berlin Airlift. His commercial aviation career was interrupted by the Korean War, at which time he, like Russ Spiller, was recruited into the RN for the FAA. Alan and Russ are old friends, and alternate on a three-year cycle to organize the convention. The next one will be in Napier, across the island. This year’s convention was a success, with over 100 attendees from NZ, Australia, UK, and Bermuda. According to Alan,
‘[Saturday] at 9:30 the busses were waiting, and before setting out, the mayor of New Plymouth said a few words of welcome. First port of call was Puke Ariki Museum ... the next stop was the visitors’centre on the mountain [‘Taranki’ or ‘Egmont’.] The mountain was shrouded in fog, but the view of Taranaki was magnificent. Lunch was had at the Tawa Glen café between Inglewood and Waitara. It’s a beautiful setting and the lunch was excellent. On to New Plymouth Airport to look at Brett Emeny’s Vampires and Yaks. He gave a great aerobatic display in one of his Vampires ... The dinner in the evening was very good, and I gave a talk on my life in aviation.
‘Sunday’s wreath-laying ceremony was short but very moving. As the ‘last post’ was being sounded, a formation of four Yaks, led by Brett Emeny, flew over. The timing and formation were excellent. Wreathes were layed by the Returned Servicemen’s’s Association, the Ex-Navalmen’s Association, Brevet Club, Air Force Association, and of course the Fleet Air Arm Association. The ceremony ended with the singing of the Fleet Air Arm hymn.’
At the dinner, greetings were read from the Canadian Naval Air Group. After paying all the bills, Alan and Nora travelled to the South Island with the Ex-Navalmen’s Association.
Alan sent along an untitled poem that he likes, though he could not identify the source. If any of you recognize it, please let me know. I have taken the liberty of giving it a title from the text.
Born To Fly
Flight is freedom in its purest form
To dance with the clouds which follow a storm
To roll and glide, to wheel and spin
To feel the joy that swells within
To leave the earth with its troubles and fly
And know the warmth of a clear blue sky
Then back to earth at the end of day
Released from tensions which melted away.
Should my end come while I am in flight
Whether brightest day or darkest night
Spare me pity and shrug off the pain
Secure in the knowledge that I would do it again
For each of us is created to die
And within me I know, I was born to fly.
Holiday Spot. Doug Sealey has three holiday cottages in Central Brittany, France. They are available all year, and are within 90 minutes of ferry ports and airports. His website is -- ‘www.poulancre.com’ . You can also telephone him at 0033 296 24 0857, or email him at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ .
The last page of this News Sheet has a group picture of 854 Squadron in Katukurunda in November 1944, with Lieutenant Commander Jess RCNVR in the front row.
Recently deceased FAA members or associates. Patricia [Nicholls] Allison-Bailey [WRNS], Alexander Baillie, George Barnwell, Major Charles Herrick Scholey Barter [ground liaison in HMCS Magnificent], Douglas Arthur Borrowman, Harry Ellis Calland, Fredrick Earlane Philip Clear, Arthur Michael Delacour, Graham Louden ‘Red’ Drummond, Bernard Edwards, Derek George Foster, Stanley George Green, Leonard Grugeon, Bernard Hardy, Geoffrey George Harrington, Jack Harris, H N C Hearn, Wilfred Russell Heaton, John Frankland Hollingworth, Gareth Jenkins, Pat Jackson, Robert Claude Killin, Gerald Patrick Kinch, RAdm David Walter Kirke, William Lewis, Kenneth M E Mackay, Tony Alan McCrossan, Malcolm Alexander Mitchell, Charles Edward Onions, Dr Guy Nicholson Pleasant, Gerald Edwin Parker, James Pickering [RAFVR], Roger Baden Preston [RAF], Kenneth Rangeley, Arthur Joseph Record, Frederick George Sheppard, Kenneth Peter Thallond, Dr Arthur Trevor Thompson, Leonard Henry Townsend, Commodore Henricus Joannes Eliza Vanderkrop [RNIN], and James William Wickham.
See also the RCN/Canadian list of ‘Gone but not Forgotten’ on page 33.
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.
Idiot light - Aviation vernacular for an ‘annunciator light’ or ‘warning light.’ It may come from suggestion that the light is saying, ‘Hey, idiot, pay attention. I’m broken!”
I-Love-Me-Wall - A wall, often in a den or an office, devoted to celebrating the career and achievements of the wall’s owner. It usually contains certificates, squadron pictures, and portraits know as ‘hero shots.’
‘I’m from [headquarters] and I’m here to help you.’- A variation on the old saying that the two biggest lies in any organization occur when the internal auditor says, ‘I’m here to help you’ and the manager replies, ‘I’m glad that you’re here.’ [Been there. Done that.]
Irish hurricane - A flat calm.
Isogonic line - A line of equal magnetic variation.
Questions for 2005
1. What WW1 Canadian naval aviator is the only flyer in that war to have won THREE Distinguished Service Crosses?
2. Here’s one for crossword puzzle fans. “Bob Geale looking quickly, or a Victorian wine.  .”
3. What Canadian ‘aircraft carrier’ operated in the eastern end of Lake Ontario in 1941?
4. Who was the first woman to complete her flying training and qualify as a pilot in the Canadian Forces?
5. What recently-deceased naval officer had served in the Palestine/Israel conflict in 1937 and the Spanish Civil War [1937-39]?
6. What Canadian vehicle is known as the Red Rocket?
Trek Question. Fill in the blank. “The inside of a Klingon battle cruiser was as gloomy as a ........”
“The Hummingbird. [An environmental story.]” As the forest fire raged out of control, all the animals fled before it until they reached safety on an island in a lake. From there they all looked in wonder as the fire destroyed their habitat, and they marvelled at a tiny hummingbird who took up a single drop of lake water in her tiny beak, flew to the fire, dropped the water, and flew back to the island. She did this again and again as the fire raged on unchecked. When she came back so tired that she had barely enough strength to fill her beak again, some of the animals mocked her. ‘You’re wasting your time!’ they said. ‘You’re accomplishing nothing.’ The hummingbird started back to the fire, turning briefly as she flew. She looked at them sadly and said, ‘I’m doing all that I can do.’
Be a hummingbird.
As I re-read this newsletter prior to sending it to print, it seems to have become more of a travel digest than a compilation of hairy tales. Perhaps the latter have either all been told, or will never be told. On the other hand, my guess would be that when old friends meet, they tend to talk about their travels, their aches and pains, and their families [especially grandchildren or great grand children]; but also they ask about absent friends. The personal material in this letter reflects that trend. The other material, news about aviation and the navy, and a little of general interest to people our age, comes from a variety of sources, and reflects what I think you are interested in. If this is not what you want to see in the newsletter, or if there is something else you’d prefer, please let me know, and I’ll do what I can. Remember that you are the main contributors as well as the main readers.
Personal thanks. A long-belated thanks to Peter Berry of Milton, Ontario, for his patience with me when I was a subordinate officer under training, and later when the Observers ceased flying because of the introduction of the Tracker. In the first instance, I had many youthful personal problems that I didn’t handle well; in the second instance, he encouraged me to improve my formal education.
Thanks also to Tom Copeland and Deborah Davis for their help with the newsletter. Any errors that you find are mine. To all of you I send my best wishes, and my thanks for your support. May the next year be happy, healthy, and prosperous, and may your all live long.
For the most up to date and accurate information, especially prices, dates and times, you should check with the persons or organizations shown.
Joint RCN/RN Observers Course #7 get-together. [From Ted Cruddas.] The last Observers course to train in Canada on Avengers and in the UK in Fireflies and Gannets graduated on 13 January 1956. Bob McNish and I were the only Canadian graduates of the course, but there were five RN/RNVR members. I know the whereabout of all but two of the course members. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who knows the addresses for Observers Tony Shepherd or Dave Laker, both probably in the UK. Both were doing National Service, so they served only briefly in the FAA after returning from training in 1956. My addresses are on the front page.
Hampton Gray Alumni. Former students and staff are wanted for an unveiling. Contact:
3 Ralph Edward Ct
Dartmouth, NS, B2W 6A1
Email - ‘email@example.com’
Books of Interest. [Including books from the FAAOA’s News Sheet].
‘One Man’s War’ by R.E. Bartlett, previously mentioned, can be ordered for $19.95 S & H included, from:
Neptune Developments 
657 Beacon Street
Victoria BC V8V 1K1
Tel. 250.386.7828 OR 250.386.7896.
‘A Formidable Hero’ by Stu Soward, third edition, containing details of the Hampton Gray Memorial in Japan, and of the meeting of survivors from both sides of the Battle of Onagawa, can also be ordered at the address immediately above. It is $24.95 S & H included, 225 pages, laminated cover.
NB. Both books are offered as a set for $39.95 including S & H.
‘Naval Occurrences of the War of 1812. A full and correct account of the war between Great Britain and the United States of America, 1812-1815' by James Williams, updated from 1817, with a new introduction. Conway Maritime Press 2004. £25. The author was in the USA when the war broke out, and investigated the ‘well-spun’ claims of US successes. He claimed that ‘the American accounts were written to boost the public morale and create a national mythology’, and the UK press repeated it to ‘unsuspectingly len[d] its aid in degrading the character of its own navy, and in exalting that of the United States.’ [News Sheet.]
‘Furies and Fireflies over Korea’ by Thomas Graham, Grub street, London, 2004. [ISBN 1 904010 04 0], price £17.99. ‘... largely told from the point of view of half a dozen of the FAA’s elite pilots who flew in the war over Korea from the aircraft carriers Triumph, Theseus, Glory, and Ocean. ... merits a place in your naval bookshelf.’[News Sheet.]
‘Battle Honours of the Royal Navy’ compiled by Ben Warlow, Maritime Books, 2004. ISBN 1 9044 5905 6, price £19.95. Prior to this book, the only place the information existed in summary form was in an Admiralty Fleet Order, so it was no readily available to the public. It was authorized by record of the battle honours of HM Ships and Fleet Air Arm squadrons. Errors are few and small. ‘It would be difficult to imagine anyone with an interest in naval history not buying this reasonably-priced work and it is thoroughly recommended.’ [News Sheet.]
Two books recommended by an anonymous reader. ‘The Guns of August’ by Barbara W Tuchman. Bantam books, ISBN 0-553-13959-2. Price unknown. It deals with the major battles of August 1914 - the political blunders in that first month that shaped the course of the next four years in which millions died and the seeds of WW2 were borne.[anonymous.]
‘The Destruction of Lord Raglan’ by Christopher Hibberts. Pelican paperback book, 1963, price and ISBN not given. It too is about political and military blunders and describes the appalling conditions encountered in the Crimea, the shocking bungling at Sebastopol and Balaclava, and a clear detailing of the charge of the light brigade that so dominates the imagery of that sorry war. As the title implies, the book attempts to vindicate Lord Raglan’s actions and decisions, but overall it gives a reasonably-balanced picture from start to end. Only sixty years after the Crimean War, [1854-55], WW1 broke out without any of the Crimea lessons having been learned. [anonymous.]
Films. The book ‘Paris 1919' by Margaret MacMillan has won several awards, and was mentioned in an earlier newsletter. The author, a professional historian, describes the peace process after WW1, and shows how the peace process led to the next war. According to the National Film Board of Canada [NFB], the book will be turned into a documentary film soon.
‘The Peacekeepers’, another NFB documentary and a France-Canada production, shows the process by which the UN Peacekeeping organization was able to bring together the resources needed to bring the recent war in the Congo to an end - or nearly an end. The film toured NFB theatres in Canada in 2005, and was shown on CBC Newsworld in May, 2005. I attended the Toronto screening, and think it would be a good film for anyone in Canada to watch.
I would appreciate feedback about any of the books or films mentioned.
The Birches Homestay, [B & B] New Zealand. Tineke and Peter Baldwin welcome visitors to their ‘homestay’ in Turangi New Zealand. They lived extensively in Canada, and know many Canadian naval aviators. They can be reached at:
The Birches Homestay
13 Koura Street, Turangi NZ
Tel. (07) 386 5140, FAX (07) 386 5149
mail – firstname.lastname@example.org -- website –www.bnb.co.nz/hosts/thebirches.html
‘Venture - the Album’ CD. Performed by Venturite Keith Nesbit, the album is ‘a 70-minute; digitally synthesized, orchestral seascape ... [that] features music of the parade ground, the chapel, the sea, and the gunroom, as well as popular music of the Venture years, 1954-66.’
You can order by sending a cheque or money order for $12 Canadian or $10 USD payable to:
‘Keith Nesbit’, Foreman Ballast Studio,
5390 Weblin Farm Road,
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 USA.
Answers to 2005 questions
1. Joseph Stewart Temple Fall of Hillbank and Cobble Hill, BC. He was also a confirmed ‘ace’, and was awarded an Air Force Cross and a Mention in Dispatches. See Canada’s Naval Aviators p 103, and ‘the Signal’ April 2005 p 8.
2. “Windy Peak”, an Australian sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay from the state of Victoria, made by DeBortoli wines of Dixon Creek. [A good’un]
3. According to ‘John O’Shea’s Aircraft Carrier’, by David Adamson, [a retired Lieutenant General, CF] in the magazine ‘Airforce’, Winter 2002, pp56-57, the Wolfe Islander One was hired by the RCAF to carry back to Kingston some aircraft that had crashed on Wolfe Island during training. As an end note, the Wolfe Islander I is now on the bottom near Kingston, still in use as ‘a site for recreational divers.’
4. Major Wendy Clay, MD, qualified in 1974, six years before the classification was officially opened to women. She retired as a Major General, and the Surgeon General of the CF.
5. Rear Admiral Robert Waugh Murdoch, according to his obituary in the Victoria Times Colonist. He died in Victoria on 24 July 2004.
6. The Red Rocket is the symbol of the Toronto Transit Commission [TTC], whose surface vehicles [but not the subway cars] are red or partly red. Earlier the Red Rocket term was usually used for the street cars, though there were some red subway cars. Sometime in 2005, the TTC will carry its 25th billionth passenger.
Answer to the 2005 Trek Question . “A Canadian winter”. Unfortunately, I did not make note of the source.
Generous financial assistance or assistance in kind was received from:
Anonymous, Peter and Tineke Baldwin, Jim Bond, Peter Chance, Kay Collacutt, Jacques Cote, Vern Cunningham, Ted Davis, Wes Donison, Sid Fairbairn, Roger Fink, Trix Geary, Francois Guay, James Allan Johnson, Alan Lane, Phyl Lowe, Bud MacLean, Roger McEachern, Barry Montgomery, Jeff Newman, Weldy Paton, Sherry Richardson, Don Sheppard, Russ Spiller, Dave Tate, Ted Trerise, Phyl Turner, Bruce Vibert, Gerry Watson, Rollie West, and John Westlake.
Returned newsletters. Many are still being returned marked ‘moved’ or ‘address unknown’, but I shall make a greater effort to find more of the lost ones. Nevertheless, I would urge any reader who is moving to send a change of address.
Gone but not forgotten. R Aldhelm-White, Kell Antoft [a member of VANA], Charles Barter, Leonard Birchall, Cmdre [E] A G Bridgman [first Cdr (E) of Bonaventure], Al Bonner, Albert Harris ‘AB’ Brownwell, Donald ‘Red’ Chandler, Alex Cupples, G.C ‘Ted’ Edwards, Trudy Farrell [wife of Bill], Laurie Farrington, Samuel Leroy Johnston, [from a hockey accident at age 71], Latham B ‘Yogi’ Jensen OC [survived by his wife Alma Doupe Jensen, who served in Shearwater as a Wren Officer], David M Lamb, [naval artist], Mike and Norma Levett [killed together in an auto accident in Spain], Len Lewis, Don Loney [multiple hall-of-fame athlete and coach], Heather Lyons [wife of Rod], Barb McNab [former wife of Ross (Tex) McNab], Eleanor Georgina Leeper McNish [former wife of Bob McNish], Spike Morris, IBB Morrow, Robt W Murdoch, Al ‘Little Nick’ Nichols, Joe Paul, Madi Pawson, J F Perrault [1st LCDR in Bonnie 1964-67], Donald Rutherford [CommO in Maggie], Brian Seager [P&RT Officer in Shearwater], and JJ Vincent.
[See also the FAA list earlier in this letter, page 27.]
In the Globe and Mail of 12 April 2005, the ‘Lives Lived’ column was a tribute to Yogi Jensen’s life. It was written by James Goodwin, and might be available from the newspaper’s web site, –“www.globeandmail.ca” .
Address changes or Corrections, including emails* and new readers**
J G C [Jim] Atwood, 3556 Promenade Cr, Victoria BC V9C 4L1, email -- email@example.com.
*Rod Bays, new email --firstname.lastname@example.org .
CNAG Banshee Chapter, c/o P Peacy, East Saanichton Rd, Saanichton BC V8M 1Y6.
**Irv Bowman, tel. 250.658.5928, email -- ‘email@example.com’.
**Colin Boxall, Unit 1, 81 Queen St, Truro NS, B2N 2B2, tel 902.897.2885.
John Cody, 30 Saratoga Dr, Dartmouth NS B2X 3P8, tel. 902.489.6017, email -
*K Collacutt, tel. 902.462.0776, email - “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
*J. Cowie, email - ‘email@example.com’.
Craven, Geoff, 2886 Tudor Ave, Victoria BC, V8N 1M1, tel 250.477.0216.
*Robt Darlington, email - “firstname.lastname@example.org” .
*Sheila Davis, tel. 250.721.1541, email - email@example.com.
Fleet Air Arm Officers’ Association, 4 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4JU, UK; tel. 020 7930 7722; fax 020 7930 7728; email –‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, website www.fleetairarmoa.org.
Gord Gray, 86 Greenside Lane, Hammonds Plains NS B4B 1A1, tel.902.835.5050, email - ‘email@example.com’ .
*Si Green, email –“firstname.lastname@example.org” .
Francois Guay, 75 Chemin Maywood, Pointe-Claire QC H9R 3L2 [correction to postal code],
tel/fax 514.695.5614 , email “email@example.com” .
*Robbie and Diana Hughes, email “firstname.lastname@example.org” -- OR --
Jean-Paul Jobin, 3791 rue Gabrielle-Vallee, Sainte Foy QC, G1W 5B1.
J A [Jimmie] Johnson, 202–4th Ave W, Owen Sound, ON, N4K 4V2, tel. 519.376.0177. [may be moving soon, probably retaining telephone number.]
**D Gordon Longmuir, [Editor, the Signal] 903 -- 168 Chadwick Court, N Vancouver BC,
V7M 3L4, tel. 604.980.1718, fax 604.988.1765; email ‘email@example.com’ – personal email - ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ .
Y B Maynard, 14 Marsh Hawk Drive, Wolfville NS B4P 1B2 [Changed by Canada Post], email - “email@example.com” .
J .W. Paton, 415 Sudden Valley, Bellingham WA 98229, USA. [ZIP changed by USPS.]
Sherry Richardson, 201 Mason’s Point R, HD-ST-MARGARET-BAY, NS, B3Z 1Y9 [change of postal code].
Ross Riddell, PO Box 32, Westover, AL 35185 USA, tel. 205.678.6944.
Gus & Joan Saunders, 61 Waterthrush Cr, Kanata, ON, K2M 2T8, tel 271.4336, email - ‘firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Ken Sheedy, 307 -- 78A McKenney Ave, St Albert AB T8N 7E6.
E.S.[Ted] Smith, 169 Glenwood Dr, Hd of St Margaret’s Bay, NS, B0J 2E7 - “email@example.com”.
Russ Spiller, 5 Kennedy Rd, Napier 4001 NZ, tel. 06.835.5548.
**Geoff D. ‘Steve’ Stephenson, The Worthings, Scott’s Lane, Sheepscombe, New Stroud, Glos,
GL6 7RE, UK, email –“firstname.lastname@example.org”.
E.J. [Ted] Trerise, 628-2799 Yew St, Vancouver BC V6K 4W2, tel. 604.742.3193.
*George Van Dijcke, email -‘email@example.com’ .
Dave Walker, 1106 Regatta Court, Kingston, ON, K7M 8R2, tel. 613.634.0934.
*David Wall, [234 Otter Point Rd, East Chester] mailing address PO Box 966, Chester NS,
B0J 1J0, email –“firstname.lastname@example.org” .
NB. Email addresses on this list may be unreliable since some email users change plans frequently for better rates or better service.
MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO DID SEND IN YOUR CHANGES OF ADDRESS.