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Member Profiles


A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T V W Y Z


James Tocher Bain

Nickname: Jim
Birthdate: February 26, 1906
Birth Place: Edinburgh, Scotland
Death Date: December 5, 1988
Year Inducted: 2000

"Through innovative foresight and an adherence to exacting standards, he exerted a major influence in establishing TCA/Air Canada's remarkable record of excellence in engineering, maintenance and overhaul" - Induction citation, 2000

James Tocher (Jim) Bain was born on February 26, 1906 in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1921 he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) Engineering College at Cranwell, England. While in RAF service he earned Air Engineer Licences A, B, C and D.

After leaving the RAF in 1931, Bain worked for the Scottish Motor Traction Company, aviation division, then Hillman Airways. In 1933 he joined Spartan Air Lines as Chief Ground Engineer. When Spartan was re-formed as British Airways Ltd., he continued as Deputy Chief Ground Engineer to oversee the manufacture of British Airways' Lockheed 10A's. He wrote the Operating Manual for the 10A, a document which was purchased and published by Lockheed.

In 1937 Bain met Lindsay Rood, a Canadian pilot for British Airways who was returning to Canada to join the newly formed Trans-Canada Airlines. Through Rood's introduction, Bain was offered the chance to come to Canada and join TCA in an unspecified position in maintenance and overhaul.

When Bain arrived in Winnipeg in April of 1938, he found the total TCA facility was one single-bay hangar and an office annex. His first task was to write an organization chart, job descriptions and policy manual for the Maintenance and Overhaul department. As a result, he was appointed Superintendent of Maintenance and Overhaul, the first permanent assignment in the TCA management team. Under his direction, shop training programs began, and gradually the maintenance and overhaul operations began to function. He remembered with pride the first engine successfully overhauled and tested. The war years brought a heavy demand for TCA service, and Bain was responsible for coordinating the rapid expansion of TCA's service and hangar facilities. Engineering became an added responsibility, and in 1941 he was appointed Superintendent of Engineering and Maintenance.

In addition to his TCA duties, Bain served as Member of the Executive Committee, Aircraft Production, for the Ministry of Munitions and Supplies from 1941 to 1945. During this commission, he wrote the preliminary draft for the establishment, organization and distribution of maintenance and repair facilities for a large-scale pilot training program, which was later to become the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

In 1942 Bain seized the opportunity to vault TCA into trans-Atlantic operations. British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) had requested assistance with service and maintenance of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator for the Trans-Atlantic Ferry Command, through which planes and pilots were ferried to Great Britain. Bain somewhat exceeded his terms of reference and committed TCA to the task. He was first fired, then rehired, as the Minister of Transport, C. D. Howe recognized the advantages to be gained from this commitment. Bain now carried a third role, as Director of Engineering and Maintenance for the BOAC/ Canadian Government Trans-Atlantic Air Service (CGTAS).

The CGTAS was the first service to operate year round and provided valuable training for TCA to start its own trans-Atlantic service with converted Lancasters. But the Lancaster's Merlin engines, such superb performers in wartime, were not suited to the long, low rpm trans-Atlantic flights, resulting in carbon-fouled spark plugs. Bain worked closely with Rolls Royce to engineer and implement a solution with a temperature change control. A significant relationship was forged between James T. Bain and Rolls Royce.

In 1943 TCA began the search for a replacement for the Lockheed Lodestar and Douglas DC-3 fleet. Bain initiated a thorough investigation of available aircraft and engines. This study dovetailed with C.D. Howe's decision to buy Canadian-built aircraft. When TCA staff began writing specifications, Bain insisted that they include a high degree of automation including engine controls, auto flight, auto approach and landing, pressurized airframe, simplicity of operation and easily dismountable engines. The aircraft that would emerge was a TCA engineered combination of the Rolls Royce Merlin RM-14-SM engine and the Douglas DC-4 airframe, to be known as the North Star.

From 1945 to 1947 Bain was seconded to Canadair as Executive Assistant to the President for the duration of the manufacture of this aircraft. The North Star was christened on July 22, 1946 and went on to provide stellar service to TCA, the Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Pacific Airlines and BOAC.

Bain's last major project was the Air Canada jet fleet base at Dorval, Quebec. As Director of Engineering and Maintenance, he was mandated to oversee the design, construction and installation phases, as well as the training phases of the base development. He recognized the potential of computer technology, and a data processing centre became the heart of the base operations. Here he initiated computer tracking of aircraft components, resulting in greatly enhanced preventive maintenance. At completion, this base was state-of-the-art and its comprehensive design was copied in facilities worldwide.

In 1963 Bain initiated the search for, and the installation of, flight data recorders, which were intended to provide on-board trend analysis, a vital component of preventive maintenance. It was quickly realized that the data recorders also offered significant opportunities for incident and accident investigations.

During his twenty-eight year tenure, the breadth and complexity of his role was considerable. Twenty-two aircraft types were introduced, each requiring the same organizational approach: research, specifications, procedure development, manufacture liaison, training and facilities preparation. Through each of these stages, Bain would personally insist on the highest degree of standards. TCA/Air Canada benefited from some sixty "first in the world" engineering and maintenance procedures.

Although Bain retired in 1965, he continued to serve the air industry as consultant to the Government of Canada, Rolls Royce, the United Nations and the International Executive Service Corporation, advising on airport facilities in such places as Turkey, Korea, Indonesia, Honduras and Brazil. He died on December 5, 1988 at Morrisburg, Ontario.

James Tocher (Jim) Bain was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 2000 at a ceremony held in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

Jim Bain was an excellent administrator. He was known for challenging ideas, allowing for investigation and rewarding innovation. He was able to visualize the direction of changes in airline technical operation, to choose the right person for the research and development he foresaw, and with his Scottish stubborn tenacity, to clear the administration hurdles. He developed a loyal, powerful and innovative team, many of whom would themselves become leaders in the air industry.



Albert William Baker

Nickname: Bill
Birthdate: May 4, 1918
Birth Place: Montreal, Quebec
Death Date: March 6, 2008
Year Inducted: 2000

"His consummate organizational and marketing skills, backed by his wealth of engineering knowledge and his patriotism over forty five years in Canadian aviation, have been of great benefit to this nation." - Induction citation, 2000

Albert William (Bill) Baker was born on May 4, 1918 in Montreal, Quebec. He was raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and learned to fly at the local flying club, obtaining his Private Pilot's Licence in July of 1936 and a Commercial Licence in March, 1938. He was employed by the Moose Jaw Flying Club as their first apprentice engineer in late 1936. He obtained his A & C Air Engineer's Licence in August of 1939.

When Prairie Airways Ltd. of Moose Jaw obtained the rights for airmail and passenger service between the major cities of Saskatchewan in 1937, the repair and overhaul shop operated by the flying club was transferred to this airline. The activity in the shop was expanded to include engine and airframe overhauls for outside customers and in 1938 Baker was made foreman for some thirty men. With the advent of WW II, the shop's activities expanded rapidly to perform RCAF contracts such as the modification of British-built Anson aircraft for Canadian service and the overhaul of the Cessna Crane T50. Baker was made Chief Inspector of the rapidly expanding facility.

In spite of the increased responsibilities, he was anxious to pursue a more active role in the war effort and was given permission to apply to the Bomber Ferry Group developing in Montreal. In September, 1941 he was turned down as Captain due to a lack of instrument flying experience but was hired as an inspector before assuming the role of flight engineer in December, 1941.

In January of 1942 Baker was selected to a key role on a projected high Arctic expedition and survey flight requested by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and to be carried out by Ferry Command personnel. He was named engineer responsible for modifying and equipping two Norseman aircraft to perform surveys in northern Labrador and Baffin Island with the stipulation that, other than for fuel and oil, the two aircraft had to be self-sufficient. He accompanied the expedition as co-pilot and was responsible for aircraft maintenance.

In spite of extreme weather conditions, navigation difficulties, structural failure in one aircraft and impossible communication problems, the assignment was completed. The east coast of Baffin Island was viewed as far as 69°N and two sites were recommended for airstrips. Baker's knowledge, initiative, skill and hard work were vital elements in the over-all effort.

In April, 1942 he was headed north again as Flight Engineer on a Canso aircraft, one of a group of three aircraft to attempt the first aircraft delivery flight to Scotland through Goose Bay, Labrador, Greenland and Iceland, and return via the same route. He received special commendations from the Air Council of Great Britain, the Air Ministry and Royal Air Force Ferry Command for his valuable work on these northern trips.

During the following year Baker carried out many delivery flights to Africa and Great Britain over many routes and varying flying conditions, gaining great experience and valuable skills. On March 15, 1943 he was appointed Senior Fight Engineer and transferred to the newly formed No. 231 Squadron which would provide aircraft and skilled crews for world-wide transport of V.I.P.'s, return of ferry crews and special flights. In September he was appointed co-pilot/engineer of a Hudson aircraft tasked to carry out a series of flights using newly created airstrips across northern Canada and Greenland, known as the Crimson Route, to Great Britain. In a period of thirty-four days, two return trips were completed between Edmonton and Scotland, utilizing six bases in Canada, four in Greenland, and two in Iceland.

In November of 1943, in addition to his normal flight crew duties, he was appointed in charge of a Test and Technical Group responsible for developing operational and maintenance procedures for all aircraft in the squadron. He flew many thousands of hours with Ferry Command and was one of the last civilian airmen to be terminated at Dorval, Quebec in December, 1945.

In mid-December, 1945 Baker was hired to help develop and establish an international airline for the Argentine government. He acted as Chief Technical Advisor to the Operations, Engineering and Maintenance Department of what was to become Aerolineas Argentina.

On returning to Canada, he joined Avro Aircraft in Malton, Ontario in January of 1949 to aid in the development of the C-102 Jetliner. He was Flight Engineer on the first flight of this aircraft on which Donald H. Rogers was co-pilot. He remained in this capacity for over 300 hours of test flying the C-102, but left Avro when government funding for the Jetliner was canceled.

In January, 1952 Baker joined a newly established company, Aero Sales Engineering, which was developing products for Canadian aerospace companies. As Sales Manager and Deputy General Manager, he was involved in marketing specialized equipment for most of the Canadian aircraft and engines produced during the 1950's. The company later became Garrett Manufacturing Company and grew from the original two men to over five hundred personnel.              

In 1960 he took over the management of Fleet Manufacturing Company in Fort Erie, Ontario. At the time, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and lacked direction. Within a year he had it growing and profitable, developing new products and a large export trade. At the end of five years under his direction, Fleet employed over seven hundred people and had an order backlog for many years to come.

In December, 1965 Baker became Vice President of Operations and a Director of Douglas Aircraft of Canada. This company grew rapidly under his direction, manufacturing parts for all DC-9's. He became Vice President, Deputy General Manager in 1966 and initiated studies and planning in order to be competitive in supplying the wing for all new DC-10 aircraft. Through his imaginative efforts, a contract was acquired for this work, creating thousands of jobs for Canadians and contributing billions of dollars to the export market.

In 1970 he moved to Ottawa, Ontario to become Senior Vice President and Director of McDonnell Douglas Canada, Vice President McDonnell Douglas International Sales and Vice President Ottawa, McDonnell Douglas Corporation. He was team leader in the successful marketing of DC-10 aircraft in Canada and for the sale of the CF-18 to the Canadian Forces. He held these responsibilities until he retired in 1983. He resided in Tilsonburg, Ontario and died on March 6, 2008 in Cambridge, Ontario.

Albert William (Bill) Baker was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 2000 at a ceremony held in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

Albert William (Bill) Baker became one of the earliest members of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) in 1955 and was elected an Associate Fellow in 1968. He was active in both the Air Industries and Air Transport Association of Canada throughout his period in Ottawa, chairing a variety of committees.



Ronald John Baker

Nickname: Ron
Birthdate: March 28, 1912
Birth Place: Yellowgrass, Saskatchewan
Death Date: March 24, 1990
Year Inducted: 1994
Awards: The U.S. Air medal

"His dedication to the engineering, testing, and safe operation of commercial aircraft has been of major benefit to Canadian aviation." - induction citation, 1994

Ronald John Baker, B.Sc., was born in Yellowgrass, Saskatchewan, on March 28, 1912. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science-Engineering degree in 1934 from the University of Saskatchewan. While attending university he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with the Canadian Officers Training Corps.

A strong interest in radios from his early teens led to summer employment with the Province of Saskatchewan, installing radios at sites in the northern bush areas. When he became engineer in charge, it was required that he be flown from one location to another, so he left school for one year to take flight instruction at the Regina Flying School. He received his Private Pilot's Licence in November 1932, and Commercial Air Pilot Certificate one month later.

In 1936 Baker earned his Air Engineer Certificate. For two years he flew from site to site with Saskatchewan Air Service but eventually the flying was contracted to the Mason & Campbell Aviation Company (M&C). M&C's desire to set up a radio station made Baker the perfect candidate to join M&C as a pilot and air engineer. Most of the flights out of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, were forestry surveys south of the Churchill River. In the winter the company transported fish from the northern lakes to the larger centres.

Early in 1939 Baker flew a Fox Moth to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and applied for a position with Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA). He began working for them as a First Officer on June 15, 1939. A number of his early flights were from Winnipeg to Vancouver with Herb Seagrim.

Baker was promoted to Captain with TCA in 1941. While flying with TCA he realized that the engines could be operated more efficiently, and that the time between overhauls could be extended. His new cruise control procedures were adopted immediately. In 1943, when TCA undertook the operation of the Canadian Government Trans Atlantic Service (CGTAS) using converted Lancaster bombers, the full fuel tank range was the only technical information available, until he and two young engineers were assigned the task of working out all of the data for fuel flow, rate of climb, cruise control, etc. Unfortunately, not even a change of engines, from American Packard-built Rolls Royce Merlins to British-built Rolls Royce engines, could make the Lancastrian venture successful.

Following the CGTAS exercise, Baker was sent to Canadair in Montreal to assist with the design of the cockpit and the conversion of the military C-47's to DC-3's. The small group who worked under his direction in Winnipeg wrote all the descriptive materials for the aircraft, and developed all normal and emergency operating procedures. The preparation of these manuals was approved by the Department of Transport (DOT) and signed by the Engineering and Flight Operations Department.

In 1945 Canadair was preparing to modify the Douglas-built transport C-54/DC-4. This model would be called C-54/DC-4M or 'North Star', and would have the more powerful Rolls Royce Merlin engines. It would also be pressurized in order to overfly the weather. Baker was one of the group of pilots who set up the instrument panel on a wooden mock-up of a North Star and was on the flight test program in 1946 with Canadair Chief Test Pilot Al Lilly. For pioneering technical changes and testing aircraft in California, U.S.A., prior to acceptance by the Canadian government, Baker was awarded the U.S. Air Medal.

Baker, along with several pilots from DOT'S Flight Operations Headquarters, attended the ground course for the Lockheed Super Constellation, and later made trips to California to test and accept several of these aircraft for TCA. As new aircraft were added to the TCA fleet, he would test and accept each plane and ferry it to Montreal. These included Vickers Viscounts and Vanguards, DC-8's and DC-9's.

During his career, he was required to fly regularly scheduled flights while he was involved in testing and returning aircraft that had been damaged in operations. Before his retirement, Baker was very involved with the development of the auto approach-and-land features of the Boeing 747 and Lockheed 1011 aircraft.

Throughout his career, Baker maintained his interest in radios, and flew his own Cessna on floats for pleasure. In 1941 he was elected to serve as secretary to the fledgling Canadian Air Line Pilots Association (CALPA). He was an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers 7 Committee, Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, and Professional Engineers Association of Quebec.

After his retirement from Air Canada in March of 1972, Baker acquired an analog simulator for small aircraft and taught instrument flying procedures. He was a member and later advisor to the Accident Review Board. He passed away at Pointe-Claire, Quebec, on March 24, 1990.

Ronald John Baker was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1994 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

TCA test pilot, Captain Ron Baker, recalled a demonstration flight of the North Star to California: “As we checked in with various stations along the route, there were numerous remarks about our speed, as the North Star was so much faster than most transports”.



Russell Francis Baker

Nickname: Russ
Birthdate: January 31, 1910
Birth Place: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Death Date: November 15, 1958
Year Inducted: 1975
Awards: U.S. Air Medal

"His unflagging efforts to provide safe, reliable, all-weather air service to the residents of Canada's western reaches and northern frontier, have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1975

Russell Francis Baker was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on January 31, 1910, where he was educated, and learned to fly at age 16. After completing two years of study at the University of Manitoba, he earned his Commercial Pilot's Licence and became a barnstorming pilot throughout the province. He moved to British Columbia in 1929 where he farmed until he joined Western Canada Airways as a pilot in 1937.

During his early years as a bush pilot, he completed numerous mercy flights resulting in the saving of human life. For several years prior to the outbreak of World War II, Baker worked with geophysical parties in the aerial prospecting of the northern British Columbia mountains, pioneering flights into areas never before entered by aircraft.

The United States military recognized his expertise and northern flying experience, and employed him for aerial survey work on the Alaska Highway. When several US bomber aircraft were forced to land in the northern mountains of the Yukon, he located them. Then, despite the difficulties of the terrain and the rigours of the winter weather, Baker flew out all of the survivors. He was awarded the United States Air Medal for this heroic and daring rescue in January 1942.

Baker became senior Captain and subsequently divisional superintendent with Canadian Pacific Airlines (CPA) at Whitehorse, working for his old friend, Grant McConachie. While with CPA he saw the potential for an air charter operation in north-central British Columbia. In 1946 he left CPA and organized his own company, Central B.C. Airways, at Fort St. James. Baker had a Beechcraft seaplane, and two employees. His first major contract was with the British Columbia Forest Service. In 1947 four more planes were added to meet the forest service's growing demands.

In 1948 the company purchased the first Beaver aircraft to roll off the assembly line at de Havilland Canada's plant at Downsview Airport, Ontario. Expansion of the Company continued at a rapid pace.

In 1951 Central B.C. Airways was the air service chosen by the Aluminum Company of Canada (Alcan) to provide the necessary air services for the prime contractor handling the construction of its multi-million dollar aluminum smelter complex at Kitimat and Kemano. Baker's company handled 95% of their air transport requirements for the next several years.

From 1949 on, Central B.C. Airways began to absorb smaller airlines. Most of these found success to be elusive as they struggled with the vagaries of weather, inhospitable terrain, and marginal profits. Baker aimed to better serve the out-of-the-way points no other airline would handle. The firm subsequently acquired Kamloops Air Services, Skeena Air Transport, Associated Air Taxi, Whitehorse Flying Services, Queen Charlotte Airlines, Associated Airways, Aero Engineering Limited, and Airmotive Accessories Limited. This made his company Canada's third largest airline, after Trans-Canada Airlines and Canadian Pacific Airlines. In 1953 he changed the name of his company to Pacific Western Airlines (PWA) and began operating a scheduled service from Vancouver to Kitimat.

In 1955, after taking over Queen Charlotte Airlines, Baker inaugurated air service to the Queen Charlotte Islands. Another event in 1955 which was important to PWA was the sub-contract signed with Associated Airways of Edmonton, owned by Tommy Fox (Hall of Fame 1983), to haul freight to Western Arctic sites on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line. In December of that year, PWA took over Associated Airways in order to obtain the licences necessary to service the Central Canada Section of the Line. The success of the venture was, in great measure, due to the schedules maintained by PWA despite the extended hours of darkness, inclement weather, and lack of navigational facilities.

In 1957 PWA took over the prairie service of CPA in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Baker died in Vancouver on November 15, 1958, with his dreams unfulfilled of servicing on a scheduled basis every western community which other carriers would not serve. However, before his death, he laid the groundwork for the many-times-daily airbus service between Calgary and Edmonton, and for the daily service from these centres to the rim of the Polar Sea and to the Arctic islands beyond.

Russell Francis Baker was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1975 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Another myth to check out in the North: during 1947 Baker flew two newspapermen into the remote Nahanni region of the Northwest Territories to debunk mysterious myths that had sprung up about an area known as the “Headless Valley”.



Bernt Balchen

Birthdate: October 23, 1899
Birth Place: Tveit, Norway
Death Date: October 17, 1973
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: D.S.M., D.F.C., D.S.M. (USA), Legion of Merit (USA), DF.C.(USA), Soldier's Medal (USA), Air Medal ( USA), D.Sc.(Hon), The Harmon International Trophy

"His extraordinary aeronautical abilities, directed towards the exploration of unmapped regions, the Fort Churchill air lift and the linking of this nation by air to Scandinavia, despite adversity, have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

Bernt Balchen, D.S.M. (U.S.A.), D.F.C. (U.S.A.), D.Sc.(Hon), was born at Tveit, Norway, on October 23, 1899. He was educated at the Norwegian Army Officer Training School, the Forestry Engineering School of Norway, and the Advanced Forestry Engineering School of Sweden. In 1918 he volunteered for ski patrols and the cavalry with the White Army in Finland. He graduated from the Royal Norwegian Naval Air Force Military School, and received his Pilot's Licence in 1921.

In 1926 Balchen was seconded by the Government of Norway as pilot/engineer to accompany explorer Roald Amundsen's flight over the North Pole, using a dirigible based at Spitsbergen. At the same time, American explorer Richard E. Byrd was planning to fly from Spitsbergen to the North Pole. Balchen was directed by Amundsen to repair the damaged skis on Byrd's Fokker Tri-motor, thus enabling Byrd to be the first to fly across the North Pole.

In 1927 Balchen was hired by Fokker Aircraft Corporation in the United States as chief test pilot. He was assigned to Western Canada Airways at Hudson, Ontario, to teach Canadian pilots how to handle ski-equipped planes.

At this time, the Hudson Bay Railway Co. wanted to complete its railway line from its northern end at Cache Lake, Manitoba, to an outlet on the Hudson Bay, but the best site for the terminus had not been determined. Engineers were needed to carry out critical geological tests to decide whether the railway should end at Churchill, or at an alternate site at Port Nelson. These tests had to be accomplished within a prescribed period of time so that rail crews at Cache Lake could start work on the railway in the spring.

In 1928 Western Canadian Airways, under the management of Harold 'Doc' Oaks, was awarded a specific government contract to transport men, drilling equipment, explosives, and supplies from Cache Lake to Fort Churchill, a distance of about 200 miles (320 km). As one of two pilots selected for the project, Balchen flew an open cockpit Fokker aircraft during six weeks of savage winter weather across inhospitable terrain. He and his crew faced aircraft breakdowns, forced landings, frostbite, and exhaustion to successfully complete the undertaking. The experiences at Hudson and Churchill prepared them for future flights in the sub-arctic and beyond.

Investigations made by the engineers proved that a railroad could be built to Churchill. It was subsequently chosen as the ocean terminus for the Hudson Bay Railway. In paying tribute to the importance of the operation, the Government of Canada stated: "... there has been no more brilliant operation in the history of commercial aviation."

Balchen's experience and skill as pilot, engineer, and explorer was in great demand. Admiral Richard Byrd, of the United States Navy, hired him as co-pilot on a flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris. In 1928 he piloted one of three relief planes to the crash site of the German aircraft Bremen, on Greenly Island, off the southern coast of Labrador. The following year he piloted Admiral Byrd across the South Pole/the first such flight ever made. Balchen had previously carried out cold-weather testing of Byrd's Ford Tri-Motor aircraft in Manitoba, where he had designed its skis.

In 1930 the Congress of the United States created him a citizen by special act, and awarded him a distinct medal. The following year he redesigned the aircraft Amelia Earhart used in her successful flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He was named Chief Pilot of the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic Expedition in 1933, and for the second time Balchen flew across the South Pole. In 1940 Balchen established Little Norway at Toronto, Ontario, as the training base for Norwegian pilots in exile.

Balchen was named Commander of Task Force Eight, and his job was to construct the world's most northern air base, on the west coast of Greenland, north of the Arctic Circle. By 1943 he had completed, and made operational, Sondre Strom Air Base, another link in the Allied Staging Route across the North Atlantic Ocean. When an American bomber crash-landed on a remote Greenland glacier, Balchen personally led what has been called by the United States Air Force (USAF) "one of the greatest of Arctic sagas." Before it was over, six months later, five rescuers had perished, he had made three flying boat landings on the sloping ice-mass, and once had to walk fifteen days across the ice-cap to the safety of a satellite base.

As one of the chief architects of the tri-national Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) in the early 1940's, Balchen envisioned a commercial air route linking Scandinavia with Canada, using a direct route across the North Pole, thus shortening the flying distance between the countries. As President of SAS in 1946, he helped design the navigational requirements to make such flights possible, then flew the route fifteen times to ensure its feasibility and safety. Balchen thus became the first pilot to fly across both North and South Poles.

During his career with USAF he worked on all phases of Arctic operations and commanded the first non-stop flight from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Oslo, Norway, in 1949. In 1952 Balchen was awarded the Harmon International Trophy for his significant contributions to polar flight.

Balchen logged 20,000 command hours as pilot of numerous aircraft types and was awarded the United States' Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier's Medal, and the Air Medal. He also received decorations from Norway, Sweden and Denmark for his extraordinary achievements. He was honoured with honorary Doctorate Degrees from Tufts University in Massachusetts and the University of Alaska. He died in New York City on October 17, 1973. He is buried at the Arlington National Ceremony in Virginia next to the grave of Richard E. Byrd.

Bernt Balchen was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Churchill airlift operation was the first of its size in Canada’s sub-arctic and marked the beginning of large scale bush flying in Canada. The flights established once and for all the importance of the airplane to the development of these regions. In recognition of this significant contribution, Balchen became the only non-Canadian to become a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.



Frederick Walker Baldwin

Nickname: Casey
Birthdate: January 2, 1882
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario
Death Date: August 7, 1948
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: D.Eng.(Hon)

"The dedication of his engineering talents to the development of manned flight was a prime factor in the birth of the North American aviation industry and has proven to be of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

Frederick Walker (Casey) Baldwin, B.E.(B.Eng.), D.Eng.(Hon), was born in Toronto, Ontario, on January 2, 1882. He was educated at Ridley College, St. Catharines, Ontario, and at the University of Toronto, where he completed the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering course in 1906. At the age of sixteen, prior to entering university, he shipped as a deck-hand on a sailing vessel across the Atlantic Ocean.

As a university undergraduate he served in the original Second Field Company of Canadian Engineers, and during his university days met John Alexander Douglas McCurdy. After graduation, he completed a summer session at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, then visited Alexander Graham Bell at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, where he became interested in the study of aeronautics.

In 1907 Baldwin became a founding member of the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) with Bell, McCurdy, and two Americans, Glenn H. Curtiss, a well-known engine builder and pioneer airman from Hammondsport, New York, and Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, of the U.S. Army. They continued Bell's experiments with kites, then progressed to powered flight. For these experiments, they moved their operations to Curtiss' workshop at Hammondsport.

As chief engineer of the enterprise, Baldwin worked on the design and construction of their first aircraft, the Bell-conceived Red Wing, a biplane powered by a 40-hp Curtiss engine. He became the first British subject to pilot a heavier-than-air machine when he flew it at Hammondsport on March 12, 1908. The second flight ended in a crash which destroyed the aircraft. Several more aircraft were built there, each incorporating new improvements in aeronautics which had been carefully thought out and tested.

Baldwin and Bell pioneered the use of ailerons which they invented in 1908. They also used a three-wheel or tricycle undercarriage on their later experimental models. These features enabled a greater maneouverability of the airplane both in the air and on the ground. Rapid advances in flight technology were now possible.

In May 1908, Baldwin made the first flight in a new AEA machine, the White Wing, the first to use wing-tip ailerons and wheeled landing gear. The third airplane built by this group was the June Bug. Curtiss was the lead designer and first to fly it. They produced their fourth plane at this time, the Silver Dart, primarily designed by McCurdy. On December 6, 1908, McCurdy test flew the Silver Dart at Hammondsport.

Bell wanted one of the planes to fly in Canada so he shipped the Silver Dart to Nova Scotia in January 1909. The group's flying activities moved back to Baddeck, on Cape Breton Island, where Bell had an estate. There McCurdy flew the Silver Dart on February 23, 1909. This was Canada's (as well as the British Empire's) first powered airplane flight.

McCurdy also piloted the Silver Dart at Camp Petawawa, Ontario, on August 2, 1909, on demonstration flights for the Canadian Army. Baldwin joined McCurdy for rides, becoming the first Canadian passenger in an airplane.

In 1909 Baldwin and McCurdy formed the Canadian Aerodrome Company at Baddeck, and constructed two more aircraft, Baddeck I and Baddeck II, both of which flew successfully. On August 12, 1909, Baldwin and McCurdy demonstrated their own machine, Baddeck I, at Camp Petawawa, the first flight of a Canadian-built, powered airplane. In 1909, the year the AEA was disbanded, Baldwin became manager of the Graham Bell Laboratories and remained in that position until 1932, after discontinuing flying in 1911.

During his term as manager of the laboratories, Baldwin concentrated on the study of hydrofoils, and became internationally recognized for his development of devices used in aerial and naval warfare. In 1920 he became a partner in Bell-Baldwin Hydrofoils Limited at Baddeck and during this period developed methods of transmitting sound through water for navigational purposes. In 1954 a naval craft employing the hydrofoil principle, perfected by him after its conception by Bell, was christened the KC-B (Casey B).

Baldwin became interested in politics, and in 1933 was elected to the Nova Scotia Legislature for the riding of Victoria. In 1937 he became president of the Nova Scotia Conservative Association. He died at Neareagh, Nova Scotia, on August 7, 1948.

Frederick Walker (Casey) Baldwin was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Baldwin’s inventive genius also foresaw high altitude air travel and the subsequent requirement for pressurized cabins, as well as the design and use of the variable pitch aircraft propellor.



Russell Bannock

Nickname: Russ
Birthdate: November 1, 1919
Birth Place: Edmonton, Alberta
Year Inducted: 1983
Awards: DSO, DFC

"His inspiring leadership as an instructor and fighter pilot in World War II, his unusual skills as a test pilot, and his corporate business leadership have all been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1983

Russell Bannock, DSO, DFC*, was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on November 1, 1919. He completed his elementary and high school education there, and attended the University of Alberta night school where he studied geology. His interest in aviation began at an early age and he commenced flight training in 1937 at the Edmonton Flying Club, obtaining his Private Pilot's Licence in 1938 and his Commercial Licence the following year.

At the outbreak of World War II he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and was  commissioned as a Pilot Officer. On completion of his advanced training at Camp Borden, Ontario, Bannock was posted to No. 112 Army Co-operation Squadron in Ottawa. He was assigned to Central Flying School at Trenton, Ontario, in 1940 as a flying instructor, and was appointed Flight Commander. In September 1942, he assumed the responsibilities of chief instructor of No. 3 Flying School at Arnprior, Ontario.

Bannock's request for an overseas posting was granted in 1944, and he proceeded to 60 Operational Training Unit at High Ercall, Shropshire, England. He joined No. 418 Squadron, RCAF, in June of that year, and was engaged in flying the de Havilland Mosquito on intruder missions over Europe. He soon scored the first of many victories as an intruder pilot, and was appointed Flight Commander. Bannock was soon promoted to Wing Commander and given command of No. 418 Squadron in October 1944. During this period, along with his Navigator F/0 Robert Bruce, he was involved in the battle against Germany's weapon of terror, the V-l 'flying bombs' that were then attacking southern England and London. On one of their missions they destroyed four 'flying bombs' within a one-hour period. For his intruder work against enemy airfields, Bannock was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), and to this was added a Bar for his successes against the V-ls.

In November 1944, at the age of 24, Bannock was posted to No. 406 Squadron as Commanding Officer and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for outstanding leadership in that command. By April 1945, he had accounted for the destruction of 11 enemy aircraft and 19 V-1. 'flying bombs', had earned himself the title 'The Saviour of London', and the distinction of becoming the RCAF's leading night fighter of World War II. In May 1945, he became Director of Operations, RCAF Overseas Headquarters, London, remaining in that post until September of 1945, at which time he attended Royal Air Force (RAF) Staff College.

On retirement from the service in 1946, Bannock returned to Canada to join de Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada Ltd. (DHC) as Chief Test Pilot and Operations Manager. In 1947 he flew the de Havilland Beaver prototype, the first in a series of successful short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft that the company was to design and manufacture. Following two fly-off competitions among major North American aircraft manufacturers, a United States Congressional decision to "promote domestic sources of supply for aircraft" was put aside. Bannock's ability to demonstrate the Beaver's superior capabilities resulted in the sale of 978 of these aircraft to the United States Army and Air Force.

In 1950 he was appointed to the position of Director of Military Sales, followed by a promotion to Vice-President of Sales. He enjoyed continued success in the sales of the company's additional STOL entries into the market in the 1950's and 1960's, which included the Otter, Twin Otter, Caribou and Buffalo. He was a member of DHC's Board of Directors from 1956 to 1968, and then left the company to establish Bannock Aerospace Ltd., formed to carry on aerospace sales, leasing, and consulting services.

In 1975 he returned to DHC and was promoted the following year to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. He left the company in 1978 and returned to Bannock Aerospace Ltd.

Bannock was appointed an Associate Fellow of the Canadian Aeronautical Institute in 1956. He served as chairman of the Export Committee for the Canadian Aerospace Industries Association from 1964 to 1968, and as a director of that association in 1976-1977. He has held the position of President of the Canadian Fighter Pilots Association, and has served as director for the Canadian Industrial Preparedness Association and the Canadian Exporters Association.

Russell Bannock was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta. Bannock is well and lives in Toronto. He regularly attends CAHF’s annual induction dinners.

Suggested reading:
“Terror in the Starboard Seat” (a True Story of 418 Squadron) - Dave McIntosh (1998)
“The Chosen Ones - Canadian Test Pilots in Action” - Sean Rossiter (2002)

Russ Bannock has had the pleasure of serving as Chairman of the Board of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame for the years 1988 to 1995. During this time, he oversaw the relocation of the Hall to its present, permanent site in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, 65 km south of Edmonton. It stands near the excellent facilities of the Reynolds Alberta Museum.



William George Barker

Nickname: Bill
Birthdate: November 3, 1894
Birth Place: Dauphin, Manitoba
Death Date: March 12, 1930
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: V.C., D.S.O.*, M.C.**, Valore Militare Medal (Italy), Croix de Guerre (France)

"His winning of the Victoria Cross in aerial combat must be regarded as one of the most outstanding contributions possible to the military aspect of Canadian aviation." - induction citation, 1974

William George (Bill) Barker, V.C., D.S.O.*, M.C.**, was born November 3, 1894, in Dauphin, Manitoba, where he was educated. He moved to Winnipeg before the First World War, and enlisted in the First Canadian Mounted Rifles in December 1914. He arrived in England the following summer, and was given an immediate posting to France as a machine gunner. He was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as a Lieutenant Observer, where he was awarded the Military Cross (M.C.) for completing a hazardous assignment under enemy fire.

Back in England, Barker earned his pilot's wings, and returned to France flying observation aircraft. He was promoted to Captain and won a Bar to his M.C. for troop-spotting accomplishments. That summer he was wounded and returned to England, where he became an instructor. Within weeks he was back in France as a fighter pilot with No. 28 Squadron, scoring two victories before being shipped to Italy, where he downed two enemy aircraft on his first offensive patrol.

During the following year, he raised his score to 33 enemy aircraft destroyed and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) and Bar, and a second Bar to his M.C. He was honoured with Italy's Valore Militare medal, and France's Croix de Guerre. He was promoted to Major, and in September 1918, was posted to England to command a flying training school.

Barker soon had a roving commission to operate at will from any squadron on the Western Front, flying a new Sopwith Snipe. On October 26, 1918, his score of victories had been confirmed at 46 enemy aircraft destroyed. On the following day, he is credited with winning one of the most astounding air battles in aviation history, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross (V.C.).

Only rarely does an official citation describe in detail the action involved. The official War Office citation read:

"On the morning of October 27, 1918, this officer observed an enemy two-seater over the Foret de Mormal. He attacked this machine, and after a short burst it broke up in the air. At the same time a Fokker biplane attacked him and he was wounded in the right thigh, but managed, despite this, to shoot down the enemy aeroplane in flames. He then found himself in the middle of a large formation of Fokkers, which attacked him from all directions, and was again severely wounded in the left thigh, but succeeded in driving down two of the enemy in a spin. He lost consciousness after this, and his machine fell out of control. On recovery he found himself being attacked again by a large formation, and singling out one machine, he deliberately charged and drove it down in flames. During this flight his left elbow was shattered and again he fainted, and on regaining consciousness he found himself still being attacked; but, notwithstanding that he was now severely wounded in both legs and his left arm rendered useless, he dived on the nearest machine and shot it down in flames. Being gravely exhausted, he dived out of the fight to regain our lines, but was met by another formation which attacked and endeavored to cut him off, but after a hard fight, he succeeded in breaking up this formation and reached our lines, where he crashed on landing. This combat, in which Major Barker destroyed four enemy machines (three of them in flames) brought his total of successes up to 50 machines destroyed, and is a notable example of the exceptional bravery and disregard of danger which this very gallant officer has always displayed throughout his distinguished career."

Barker was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel during his extended hospitalization, and returned to civilian life in Canada in 1919. He had no formal skills other than those the military had provided, and he had no entitlements under Canadian law, being a member of the Imperial Forces. The Canadian Government was not obliged to provide a ticket home, a civilian suit, a discharge bonus, or medical care. He was not even entitled to the annual tax-free annuity of £10 given to enlisted men who had been awarded the V.C.

However, Barker was not discouraged about his prospects in civilian life. He had promised his family he would make a fortune in civil aviation after the war, and while he was in hospital convalescing, Lt. Col. Billy Bishop, who had similar ideas, came to visit him. Together they started one of Canada's first commercial air services, Bishop/Barker Flying Company, using war-surplus airplanes.

After the war, Barker was commissioned as a Wing Commander in the Canadian Air Force (CAF), where he served from 1920 to 1924. In 1924 he helped found the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). In January 1930, he became Vice-President of the Fairchild Aviation Corporation of Canada, but he crashed to his death near Rockcliffe Airport, Ottawa, on March 12, 1930, while test flying one of their new aircraft.

William George (Bill) Barker was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Recommended reading:
“William Barker, VC: The Life, Death and Legend of Canada's Most Decorated War Hero” - Wayne Ralph (2007)

At the age of 24, Lieutenant Colonel Barker returned to Canada in 1919. He is Canada’s most decorated soldier - not just of the First World War, but all the Wars. In fact, not only is he this country’s most decorated soldier, but he ties for first place with a British Officer, Major James McCudden, as the British Empire’s most decorated soldier, with nine medals for gallantry, plus three Mention-in-Despatches.



Ian Willoughby Bazalgette

Nickname: Baz
Birthdate: October 19, 1918
Birth Place: Calgary, Alberta
Death Date: August 4, 1944
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: VC, DFC

"His winning of the Victoria Cross in aerial combat must be regarded as one of the most outstanding contributions possible to the military aspect of Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

lan Willoughby Bazalgette, VC, DFC, was born in Calgary, Alberta, on October 19, 1918. His family moved to Toronto, Ontario, in 1923, where he attended school until they moved to England four years later. He was educated at The Downs, Wimbledon, and at the outbreak of World War II was living at New Maiden, Surrey. He joined the Army in 1940, and earned a commission in the Royal Artillery. The following year he transferred to the Royal Air Force where he completed training as a bomber pilot and was posted to No. 115 Squadron.

Promoted to Flight Lieutenant, by mid-1943 Bazalgette had completed a tour of thirty operations in Avro Lancasters and had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), with the following citation: "This officer has at all times displayed the greatest keenness for operational flying. He has taken part in many sorties and attacked such heavily defended targets as Duisberg, Berlin, Essen and Turin. His  gallantry and his record commands the respect of all in his squadron."

He was then promoted to Squadron Leader and assigned to instructional duties at an Operational Training Unit until April of 1944, when he was sent to 635 Squadron. It was with this unit that he made his final mark by performing the most outstanding deeds under the most terrible of conditions. The following citation, printed in the Sixth Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, 14th August 1945, accompanied his posthumous award of the Victoria Cross (V.Q): The King has been graciously pleased to confer the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned officer in recognition of most conspicuous bravery:

ACTING SQUADRON LEADER IAN WILLOUGHBY BAZALGETTE, D.F.C.,
ROYAL AIRFORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE, No. 635 SQUADRON
(DECEASED)

"On August 4, 1944, S/L Bazalgette was 'master bomber' of a Pathfinder Squadron detailed to mark an important target at Trossy St. Maximin (near Paris) for the main bomber force. When nearing the target his Lancaster bomber came under heavy anti-aircraft fire. Both starboard engines were out of action and serious fires broke out in the fuselage and the starboard mainplane. The bomb aimer was badly wounded. As the deputy 'master bomber' had already been shot down, the success of the attack depended upon S/L Bazalgette, and this he knew. Despite the appalling conditions in his burning aircraft he pressed on gallantly to the target, marking and bombing it accurately. That the attack was successful was due to his magnificent effort. After the bombs had been dropped the Lancaster dived, practically out of control. By expert airmanship and great exertion S/L Bazalgette regained control. But the port inner engine then failed and the whole of the starboard main plane became a mass of flames. S/L Bazalgette fought bravely to bring his aircraft and crew to safety. The mid upper gunner was overcome by fumes. S/L Bazalgette then ordered those of his crew who were able to leave by parachute to do so. He remained at the controls and attempted the almost hopeless task of landing the crippled and blazing aircraft in a last effort to save the wounded bomb aimer and helpless air gunner.  With superb skill and taking great care to avoid a small French village nearby, he brought the aircraft down safely. Unfortunately it then exploded and this gallant officer and his two comrades perished. His heroic sacrifice marked the climax of a long career of operations against the enemy. He always chose the more dangerous and exacting roles. His courage and devotion to duty were beyond praise".

Details of his last flight were as follows: "Lancaster ND 811 of No. 635 Squadron, piloted by Squadron Leader Bazalgette, took off at 11.15 hours on 4 August 1944 from Royal Air Force Downham Market, Norfolk, for a raid over Trossy-St Maximin. Nothing more was heard of aircraft or crew until a telegram from the International Red Cross was received stating that the aircraft had crashed at 13.45 hours on the same day at Senantes, 20 km NW of Beauvais. S/L Bazalgette was buried in the Senantes Communal Cemetery, Department of Oise."

S/L Bazalgette was 26 years old. The four surviving crew members evaded capture and returned to England where the story of Bazalgette's last flight was recorded. In 1949 a mountain in Willmore Wilderness Park, near Jasper National Park, Alberta, was named in his honour.

lan Willoughby Bazalgette was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Suggested reading:
"Baz" The biography of S/L Ian Bazalgette V.C. - Dave Birrell (1996)
“Victoria Cross Battles of the Second World War” - Lucas Phillips (1973)

A Canadian-built Lancaster, FM159 has been restored by the Nanton Lancaster Society, Nanton, Alberta and at a ceremony held on August 27, 1990, it was dedicated to the memory of S/L Ian Bazalgette, V.C. The ceremony was attended by his navigator on the V.C.-winning flight, Chuck Godfrey, D.F.C., and his flight engineer, George Turner. Lancaster FM159 is brought out of the Bomber Command Museum several times a year and all four of it’s engines ran for the first time in 2014. This is the second Lancaster that has been dedicated to the memory of a Canadian V.C. winner. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster (one of two still flying) is dedicated to the memory of P.O. Andrew Mynarski, VC and regularly flies out of the Mount Hope Airport south of Hamilton, Ontario.



Laurent Beaudoin

Birthdate: May 13, 1938
Birth Place: Laurier Station, Quebec
Year Inducted: 1999
Awards: C.C., O.Q., C.D. Howe Award

"Under his distinguished leadership, Bombardier Aerospace has become one of the world's largest civil aircraft, manufacturers through acquisition, innovation, new products, strategic partnerships, geographic diversification and careful targeting of regional and business aircraft markets, with significant economic and lasting impact for Canada." - Induction citation, 1999

Laurent Beaudoin, C.C., O.Q., M.Com., was born in Laurier Station, Quebec, on May 13, 1938. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree at Ste-Anne College in Nova Scotia, he went on to complete a Master of Commerce degree at the Universite de Sherbrooke. He is a Chartered Accountant, as well as a Fellow Chartered Accountant.

Beaudoin began his career in Quebec City in 1961 with Beaudoin, Dufresne and Associates, Chartered Accountants. In 1963, after two years of private practice, he joined Bombardier Limited as Comptroller. He was appointed General Manager in 1964 and in 1966 became President. In 1979 he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Inc.

In his 35-year career, Beaudoin has emerged as one of Canada's most respected and influential corporate leaders and stands as a visionary figure in this country's aerospace industry. With exceptional leadership qualities, sound business acumen, strong entrepreneurial spirit and strategic foresight, he has taken Bombardier from rather modest beginnings in Quebec to a global manufacturer of aerospace, mass transit equipment and recreational products.

Beaudoin recognized that product and geographic diversification were key to success in the world of business competition and globalization. Expanding first into the manufacture of mass transit systems, he led Bombardier into aerospace in 1986 through the acquisition of Canadair which had been manufacturing Challenger business jets and amphibious aircraft. By 1992, he controlled Short Brothers in Northern Ireland (1989), Learjet (1990) and de Havilland (1992).

He reorganized and upgraded these companies' production facilities to world-class standards, emphasizing advanced engineering and excellence in new materials and manufacturing techniques. Bombardier Inc. invested heavily in new product development and maximized sales, marketing and product support synergies among group companies. In civil aircraft manufacturing, Bombardier aerospace now ranks behind only Boeing-McDonnell Douglas in the U.S. and Airbus Industrie of Europe. During the past decade, Beaudoin has achieved his goal of doubling Bombardier's sales every five years, to more than $11.5 billion in 1998, with some 90% of revenues currently generated outside of Canada. Aerospace is the largest segment of Bombardier, generating over 50% of the sales.

Since 1992 Bombardier has brought a significant number of new aircraft types to market, including the Canadair Regional Jet and de Havilland Dash 8-200 regional turboprop, Challenger 604 and Learjet 60 business jets, and Canadair CL-415 amphibious aircraft, well-known as Canadair's water bomber. In 1998 two new business jets were introduced into service, the Learjet 45 and the ultra long-range Global Express. In 1999 the Dash 8Q series regional turboprop will be introduced, and in the year 2000, the 70-seat Canadair Regional Jet 700 series will debut.

Over the years, Beaudoin has been honoured by several academic institutions. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates, in various disciplines, from the University of Montreal, York University, Universite de Sherbrooke, University of St-Anne, Bishop's University, Queen's University-Belfast, and the University of Toronto.

In 1973 Beaudoin was made a Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.). He is an Officer of l'Ordre du Quebec. In 1991 the University of Alberta, Faculty of Administration, gave him the Canadian Business Leader Award. In April of 1992, the International Chamber of Commerce named him Canada's International Executive of the Year. In 1994 Flight International in the United Kingdom named him Aerospace Personality of the Year. The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute bestowed the C.D. Howe Award on him in 1995. He has received numerous other awards and recognition in Canada and other countries. He retired as Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Aerospace in 1999, and remains as Chairman of the Board and of the Executive Committee.
 
Laurent Beaudoin was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1999 at a ceremony held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He retired as Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Aerospace in 1999. He remained as Chairman of the Board until 2003 when his son, Pierre Beaudoin was named CEO of Bombardier. Since that time, he has served as Chairman of the Board of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Under his leadership, the company grew from a snowmobile manufacturer to the world’s largest manufacturer of rail transportation equipment and to the world’s third largest civil aircraft manufacturer.



Clive John Beddoe

Birthdate: May 26, 1945
Birth Place: Surrey, England
Year Inducted: 2014
Awards: LL.D. *(Hon)

"Coming to Canada from England to pursue opportunities as an entrepreneur, Clive Beddoe enjoyed early success in business, and began to fly as a private pilot. Seeing an opportunity in the aviation industry, he became a co-founder of WestJet Airlines, establishing an innovative new company that became a national airline." - Induction citation, 2014

Clive Beddoe was born some 25 miles southwest of London in Surrey, England, to his parents Kathleen and Kenneth. His father flew with the Royal Air Force as a navigator/bomb aimer on Beaufort torpedo-bombers during the Second World War, flying for coastal command on submarine patrols over the Atlantic Ocean.

While attending Epsom College in Surrey, Clive joined the air force cadet corps at the college, which provided the opportunity to fly a glider. A member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors after graduation, he emigrated to Canada in 1970 to pursue new challenges.

Clive continued his interest in soaring with a Calgary-based gliding club. This was followed by earning a Private Pilot Licence, then a multi-engine endorsement, then a helicopter endorsement. Aircraft he owned included Cessna 172 and 340 types as well as a part interest in a stunt plane, a Decathlon.

In 1978 Clive started his commercial real estate business, Hanover Management, in Calgary. Later, the company included property development, manufacturing and recycling. With purchase of a plastics company in 1994 having operations in Edmonton and Vancouver, Clive and his associates were making frequent trips to those cities, buying full-fare commercial air flights, so Clive bought a twin-engined eight-seater aircraft, a Cessna 421 Golden Eagle, to cut down on travel costs. When the aircraft wasn't full, he sold flights for the empty seats, and from that experience, an idea was born. Ownership of that aircraft made apparent the economics of larger aircraft that led to the creation of WestJet.

Incorporated in 1994, Westjet was launched in 1996 under Clive Beddoe and co-founders Donald Bell, Mark Hill and Tim Morgan. By 2013, WestJet had a fleet of more than one hundred Boeing 737 jet aircraft serving 35 Canadian cities. WestJet Airlines Ltd. first offered service across western Canada, expanded to eastern Canada in 2000, then added flights to the United States and Mexico, followed by flights to vacation destinations beyond.

WestJet’s employee share-ownership program was developed to involve employees’ responsibility for customer satisfaction and cost control, and to give employees a sense of ownership. “I always felt for the working man and have been pleased to be able to find a way to let the people of WestJet participate in the business through profit sharing and a very generous stock purchase plan,” says Beddoe. The airline’s gift of flight has been provided for many charities, and Clive Beddoe is personally involved in numerous organizations, most notably the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. In 2007 he was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Youth Business Federation.

In 2000, only four years after WestJet’s first flight, the four co-founders were honoured with the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award at ceremonies in Monte Carlo. In 2004, Clive received the Canadian Business Leader Award from the University of Alberta Faculty of Business. In 2008 he received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Calgary. In the same year, the University of Victoria named Clive Beddoe as the UVic Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year, honouring someone “who has had a significant and positive impact on the community through his or her business leadership.”

In 2009 he was named as one of 10 Entrepreneurs of the Decade by PROFIT Magazine. Also in 2009 Clive received an honorary doctorate of laws from Wilfrid Laurier University. In his convocation address he said, “I would like to point out that the success of WestJet came about as the result of the incredible dedication and commitment of a whole team of people who shared our vision for the company and that I am but one member of that team.” In 2012 he was inducted as a member of The Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Clive Beddoe was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in the WestJet Hangar in Calgary, Alberta on May 30, 2014.



Clive and his wife, Ruth, live in Calgary and are parents to a daughter, Kailey, and a son, Sean. After serving as a founding shareholder, President and Chief Executive Officer for WestJet, in 2007 Clive Beddoe relinquished his duties as CEO, and remains with the airline as Chairman of the Board of Directors.



Alexander Graham Bell

Birthdate: March 3, 1847
Birth Place: Edinburgh, Scotland
Death Date: August 2, 1922
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: Ph.D.(Hon), LL.D.(Hon)

"The brilliance of his intellect, applied without reserve to the mystery of manned flight, was a prime factor in the birth of North America's aviation industry and has proven to be of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

Alexander Graham Bell, D.Sc., M.D., Ph.D. (Hon), LL.D. (Hon), was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 3, 1847, and educated there and in London, England. In 1870 he moved with his parents to Brantford, Ontario, where he taught speech therapy to deaf persons and began his initial experiments with voice transmission. A few years later he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and opened a school for the training of teachers who would instruct the deaf.

Bell invented the forerunner of the modern telephone in his first successful experiment with what he called a 'speaking wire', when he transmitted his spoken message on March 10, 1876, to Thomas Watson in the next room of his apartment in Boston. He also invented a device for transmitting photographs through a beam of light, and shortly thereafter, a workable gramophone. He interested himself in the principles of mechanical flight, a subject on which he gave numerous lectures and published a number of scientific papers. He was named President of the National Geographic Society in January of 1898.

Bell established a summer residence at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, on Bras d'Or Lake, Cape Breton Island. He began experimenting in 1891 with rocket-powered propellers, which can now be identified with modern day helicopter rotors, and graduated to designing and flying huge man-carrying tetrahedral kites. For many years he had been conducting experiments with other kite designs in an attempt to learn which lifting surfaces were the most effective. He also introduced to aviation the hinged wing-tip aileron control.

In 1905 he saw his kite, Frost King, successfully flown, lifting into the air a total of 227 pounds (103 kg). Two years later he produced the even larger Cygnet, designed to lift the weight of a man and an engine. On December 6, 1907, it was towed to a height of 168 feet (50 m), carrying Lieutenant T.E. Selfridge of the United States army as passenger/pilot. Earlier that year, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bell and his wife, Mabel, had formed the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) with two young engineers, J.A.D. McCurdy and F.W. Baldwin. This group was joined by Glenn Curtiss of Hammondsport, New York, and Lt. T.E. Selfridge. It was Curtiss' engine that powered the AEA's experimental airplanes.

The AEA group continued to experiment with Bell's kite ideas, but soon moved their activities to Curtiss' shop at Hammondsport. It was there that they built a series of four heavier-than-air machines, and in March of 1908, F.W. Baldwin became the first Canadian to fly the first of these, the Red Wing. It was a design conceived by Bell and so-named because it used red silk fabric left over from his kite-building. This airplane took off under its own power and used skis on the ice surface. A second flight ended in a crash and destruction of the aircraft.

There followed flights of other Bell aircraft: the White Wing, the June Bug, which was flown mainly by Curtiss around the Hammondsport area, and the Silver Dart, which first flew at Hammondsport on December 6, 1908. Its bamboo frame was covered in silver-gray rubber-impregnated silk. It featured a three-wheeled undercarriage, tapered wings, and small wing-tip ailerons for balance control. It also had a steerable front landing wheel which facilitated ground positioning.

Bell wanted the Silver Dart to fly in Canada and had it shipped to Baddeck in January 1909. There, McCurdy made the first flight in the British Empire, on February 23, 1909. That same year the AEA was dissolved after having reached its goal of achieving powered, manned flight.

While experimenting with airplanes, Bell applied the dynamic principles of the air foil to power boats and invented the first hydrofoil craft. In 1914 he predicted, "I have no doubt that in the future, heavier-than-air machines of great size, and of a different  construction from anything yet conceived of, will be driven over the earth's surface at enormous velocity ... hundreds of miles an hour, by new methods of propulsion."

The United States Army sought his advice in 1919, when he was 72 years of age, to outline their policy of military aeronautics. He died on August 2, 1922, at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, after receiving numerous academic honours and awards.

Alexander Graham Bell was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Although there are many books about Alexander Graham Bell we suggest this new biography:
“Reluctant Genius: Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention” - Charlotte Gray (2006)
 

In 1876 Bell’s voice was first heard being transmitted over a thin wire into the room next to where he was standing. Over the next 30 years his creative genius gave the world many new ideas and inventions which would have a great impact on the way people live. One of these was his theory of flight, and experiments testing the lifting power of plane surfaces at slow speed. Bell is unquestionably one of the world’s earliest pioneers of manned flight.



Victor Robert Bennett

Birthdate: December 13, 1928
Birth Place: St. John's, Newfoundland
Death Date: August 9, 2017
Year Inducted: 2013
Awards: The C.D. Howe Award

"Earning a Private Pilot's Licence and a Commercial Pilot's Licence, and graduating in commerce and law, Victor Bennett flew as an RCAF pilot before entering the aviation industry. He was president of Timmins Aviation, founded Innotech Aviation, and earned a reputation in the industry for his leadership, service and professionalism." - Induction citation, 2013

Victor Bennett was born December 13, 1928 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 1950 he enlisted as a Royal Canadian Air Force trainee Flight Cadet in the University Air Training Plan at McGill University in Montréal. He earned his Private Pilot's Licence in 1951 and his Commercial Licence in 1953. Vic graduated from RCAF Flying Training School at Centralia, Ontario, receiving his wings and commission as a Pilot Officer in September 1950, and joined 438 City of Montreal Reserve Squadron as a pilot.

After receiving a Bachelor of Commerce degree at McGill in 1951 he realized that a degree in law would complement a position in industry. Vic enrolled in law at the University of British Columbia in 1952 and paid his way through university by flying Douglas DC-3s in Québec for Hollinger Ungava Transport in the summer of 1953. He graduated with his law degree from UBC in 1955 and left the air force in 1956 as a Flight Lieutenant, but signed up again with the RCAF in 1958. He continued with the air force Auxiliary in Personnel and Legal fields, taking his release from the RCAF in 1964.

On June 4 1955, Vic married Constance Cyr of Edmundston, New Brunswick. In 1956 he was hired by Timmins Aviation Ltd. in Montréal, the beginning of a 35-year career in the civil aviation industry. Until 1967 he served Timmins as secretary, general manager and vice-president. The company repaired, overhauled, and modified aircraft, including design and interior completion, as well as manufacturing airline galleys.

In 1967, Timmins Aviation was bought out by Atlantic Aviation of Wilmington, Delaware. Over the next seven years with Bennett as president, the company expanded its operations in providing fuel, hangar storage, technical and management services and aircraft sales. In addition to its Montréal headquarters, it established facilities at Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and later at St. John’s and Burlington, Vermont. The company represented major aerospace manufacturers, and with financial investment assistance from Innocan Investments, in 1974 Vic bought the company and renamed it Innotech Aviation Limited.

Innotech built a reputation as Canada’s largest private aircraft full-service company, servicing domestic and international clients with maintenance, engineering, avionics upgrades and refurbishing for civil and military aircraft. After serving as president or chairman with Innotech for 17 years and seeing it grow to some 650 employees, Vic saw the company sold to IMP Aerospace.

Vic Bennett earned the respect and admiration of friends and colleagues in the aviation industry for his integrity, professionalism and personality which all contributed to his status as an ambassador for the aviation industry. He has served as Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, as a Member of the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council of British Columbia, Vice-Chairman of the International Aviation Management Training Institute, Chairman of Airshow Canada, and as a Member of the Advisory Board for the Business Faculty of Memorial University in St. John’s.

In 2005 Vic Bennett was the recipient of the C.D. Howe Award, presented by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute. Introduced in 1966 and named for the long-time Member of Parliament and Minister of Transport, the Award is presented for achievements in planning and policy making, and overall leadership in Canadian aeronautics and space activities.

Vic’s background in flying, commerce, law and business has served him well in the aviation field. From 2005 to 2007, Vic served as chairman of the board for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. His accomplishments have been recognized by being awarded an Honourary Lifetime Membership by the Canadian Business Aviation Association in 2009.

Following retirement in 1990, Vic and Connie settled in Kingston, Ontario. From 1992-2007 Vic served as member of the Board of Directors of Conair Aviation and Cascade Aerospace Inc. He remained active in retirement after a distinguished career as a manager, builder and spokesman in Canadian aviation.

Victor Bennett was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame on May 30, 2013 at a ceremony held in Ottawa, Ontario. Vic Bennett passed away August 9, 2017.



In 2012, Vic Bennett was recognized for his service to Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame by being declared an Honourary Director of the Hall.



Arthur Massey Berry

Nickname: Matt
Birthdate: June 19, 1888
Birth Place: March, Ontario
Death Date: May 12, 1970
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: The McKee Trophy

"Few pilots have contributed more to the development of northern Canada, and the application of his professional abilities to the welfare of his fellow aviators was most noteworthy. His numerous aerial contributions have been of outstanding- benefit to Canadian aviation." - induction citation, 1974

Arthur Massey (Matt) Berry was born on June 19, 1888, on a farm at March, Ontario, near Ottawa, where he was educated. At the outbreak of World War I he was commissioned in the 30th Wellington Rifles and proceeded overseas with the 153rd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a Captain. In England he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, graduated as a pilot and returned to Canada as a flying instructor with the 189th Training Squadron at Deseronto, Ontario.

In 1919, after leaving the service, Berry received his Canadian Pilot's Certificate. He worked for the Soldier's Settlement Board in Ottawa for two years, and then turned to ranching near Rimbey, Alberta. In 1924 he returned to Ottawa to work in the brokerage business. After completing a pilot refresher course with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) at Camp Borden, Ontario, in 1928, he earned his Commercial Pilot's Licence and was hired by Northern Aerial Mineral Exploration Ltd. at Hudson, Ontario, under the supervision of H. 'Doc' Oaks. For the next five years he flew from company bases in northern Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta, into the Hudson Bay area, and throughout the Northwest Territories. He became the first pilot to land at Baker Lake, Northwest Territories. In 1929 he completed a Flying Instructor's course at Camp Borden, Ontario, and used these skills to upgrade the company's junior pilots.

In 1931, before joining Canadian Airways Ltd., he completed the first same-day return flight between Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, and Edmonton, Alberta.

Berry's first assignment with Canadian Airways was to ferry two Junkers aircraft from Montreal, Quebec, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, after which he flew charter work from the company base at Tashota, Ontario. In 1932 he joined Mackenzie Air Service at Edmonton until crash injuries caused a short retirement. After convalescence, he graduated with honours from a course at the RCAF school at Camp Borden in instrument flying and radio beam work. He then returned to flying with Canadian Airways at Edmonton.

Most pioneer pilots were forced down at one time or another due to bad weather or mechanical problems, or were called upon to rescue others. Berry well depicted the courage, determination and resourcefulnes: needed to save lives in the harsh northern areas. During 1935 and 1936, Berry was involved in several dramatic and difficult rescues.

In 1935, after an exhausting eleven-day aerial search of the Barren Lands for Canadian Airways pilot Con Farrell and engineer Frank Hartley, whose aircraft had been forced down in a blizzard, he located the missing men and flew them to safety.

In September 1936, he rescued two members of the RCAF, Flight Lieutenant S. Coleman and Leading Aircraftsman J. Fortey who were overdue on a photographic mission. The two men were lost for thirty days in the Barren Lands north of Great Slave Lake before Berry, experienced in Arctic flying, was called in. This was one of the largest and most publicized searches in Canadian history. Matt Berry was awarded the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy for that year “in recognition of northern transportation flights which he made in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, which included several hazardous flights to the Arctic Coast and some outstanding mercy flights.

In December of 1936 Berry captained one of the most difficult of all recorded northern rescue flights when he and engineer Rex Terpening flew to Hornaday River on the Arctic Ocean during a period of near total darkness. They battled gale force winds and blizzard conditions to locate the isolated Roman Catholic mission and rescue Bishop Falaize and his party. After completing another short but difficult flight to bring them food, he attempted the 350 mile (560 km) return to Aklavik, Northwest Territories, but encountered blizzard conditions which necessitated a ten-day wait before he could fly them to safety. This flight established a new record as the farthest north an aircraft had been flown during the winter.

In 1937 Berry retired from professional flying to become the Edmonton-based manager of Northern Transportation Ltd., operators of freighting vessels on the Mackenzie River. He held that position until World War II, when the Canadian Government requested that he serve as second-in-command of No. 7 Air Observer's School at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

Berry's outstanding grasp of northern flying led the United States Government to seek his services in 1942 to oversee construction of airfields in the Northwest Territories and the building of the Canol Pipeline. This pipeline was built to bring crude oil from Norman Wells to the refinery at Whitehorse to supply petroleum products for the Alaska Highway and North West Staging Route.

At war's end, Berry founded Territories Air Services Ltd. at Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and purchased Yellowknife Airways Ltd. He disposed of his interests in both companies to Associated Airways Ltd. in 1951, and concentrated his efforts on various mining ventures in northern Canada until his retirement in 1969 due to ill health. He died in Edmonton on May 12,1970.

Matt Berry’s name is associated with a large residential area in northwest Edmonton. Pilot Sound has six separate neighborhoods named for well-known local pilots who made history flying in the North our of Edmonton. These are” Brintnell (for Wilfred Leigh brintnell), Hollick-Kenyon (for Herbert Hollick-Kenyon), Matt Berry, and McConachie (for Grant McConachie). These four pilots have been inducted as Members of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. Two other neighbourhoods in Pilot Sound are named Cy Becker and Gorman (for George Gorman).

Arthur Massey (Matt) Berry was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Although Berry was forced down many times, mostly due to weather conditions, he said he was never lost, and always did find his way back. Once when he was down in the northern wilderness with a broken ski on his aircraft, he improvised a radio from a battery, a starter coil, and other odds and ends so that he could attract attention.



George Frederick Beurling

Nickname: Buzz
Birthdate: December 6, 1921
Birth Place: Verdun, Quebec
Death Date: May 20, 1948
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: D.S.O, D.F.C., D.F.M.*

"The brilliance of his air-fighting tactics, performed in a self-imposed arena of loneliness within a structured, military command, recall earlier wartime standards of heroic personal determination and have been of outstanding benefit to the military aspect of Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

George Frederick (Buzz) Beurling, D.S.O., D.F.C., D.F.M.*, was born on December 6, 1921, in Verdun, Quebec, where he was educated. As a youngster he built and sold model aircraft to earn money for flying lessons, and hunted game birds to improve his shooting skills. By 1939 he was a licenced private pilot and had won an aerobatics contest in Edmonton, Alberta, against civilian and military pilots.

Refused enlistment in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) at the outbreak of World War II, he sought, and was refused, enlistment in the Chinese Air Force and the Air Force of Finland. Beurling again attempted to join the RCAF as a pilot and again was rejected. This refusal caused him to join the crew of a merchant ship and cross the submarine-infested Atlantic in order to enlist in the Royal Air Force (RAF) in England. Again he was refused, this time for lack of proper documents. He promptly returned to Canada, secured the required papers, and within a week sailed back to England, where he was finally accepted for pilot training by the RAF.

After completing advanced training and graduating with his wings as a Sergeant Pilot in September 1941, Beurling was assigned to No. 403 RCAF Squadron flying a Hurricane fighter. Within weeks he was transferred to the all-Canadian, RAF Spitfire Squadron 242, where he shot down one enemy aircraft. In June 1942, he was posted to No. 249 Squadron on the Island of Malta, in the Mediterranean, and by mid-July had destroyed eight enemy aircraft and won the Distinguished Flying Medal (D.F.M.). In September 1942, his score rose by 17 enemy aircraft destroyed and he was given a Bar to the D.F.M. Within four months of his posting to Malta, he had destroyed 28 enemy aircraft.

Beurling was then commissioned as a Pilot Officer and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C.) for downing more hostile aircraft. On October 13 and 14, 1942, he fought his last battles from Malta and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) with the following citation: "Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Pilot Officer Beurling has destroyed a further six enemy aircraft, bringing his total victories to 28. During one sortie on October 13, 1942, he shot down a Junkers 88 and two Messerschmidt 109s. The following day, in a head-on attack on enemy bombers, he destroyed one of them before he observed his leader being attacked by an enemy fighter. Although wounded, Pilot Officer Beurling destroyed the fighter, then, although his aircraft was hit by enemy fire, he shot down another fighter before his own aircraft was so damaged that he was forced to abandon it. He descended safely into the sea and was rescued. This officer's skill and daring are unexcelled."

After recovering from his wounds in England, Beurling returned to Canada to assist in selling war bonds as Canada's leading ace of World War II. His exceptional ability as an airborne marksman was then directed to the training of new fighter pilots in Britain but he wanted to be back in the air. He was then transferred to the RCAF in September of 1943. That same month, serving with No. 403 Squadron, he destroyed another enemy fighter. He was transferred to No. 412 Squadron and promoted to Flight Lieutenant. In December of 1943 he destroyed two more enemy aircraft. He found service discipline difficult, and was released from service in October 1944 and returned to Canada, after 31 confirmed aerial victories.

Until 1948 he barnstormed across Canada and accepted occasional bush flying assignments. But, lost in a world without air combat - "It's the only thing I can do well; it's the only thing I ever did I really liked"—he looked for an air force to join.½

He was refused enlistment in the Nationalist Air Force in China, but was accepted by the Israeli Air Force as a fighter pilot in the war between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine. He was killed at Rome Airport on May 20, 1948, when the aircraft he was ferrying to Palestine crashed.

George Beurling was named as a member of the ‘Quebec Air and Space Hall of Fame’ in 2001.

George Frederick (Buzz) Beurling was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Beurling was originally buried in Rome. However, the Jewish people, as a gesture of respect to him, had his body exhumed and re-buried with honours in Israel.



Leonard Joseph Birchall

Birthdate: July 6, 1915
Birth Place: St. Catherines, Ontario
Death Date: September 10, 2004
Year Inducted: 2001
Awards: C.M., O.B.E., D.F.C., C.D.*****, Order of Ontario, O.C.

"His complete dedication, in unbroken military service of over six decades, has inspired untold thousands of Canadian youth. His tireless and unselfish contributions to his community, his country and his fellow man, in war and in peace, have been of outstanding benefit to Canada and Canadians." - Induction citation, 2001

Leonard Joseph Birchall, CM, OBE, DFC, 0.Ont, CD*****, was born July 6, 1915 and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario. He attended Royal Military College and upon graduation in June 1937, he was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Air Force. At the outbreak of World War II, he was flying defensive patrols in Stranraer flying boats out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. In December 1941 he was attached to the Trans-Atlantic Ferry Command and then joined No. 413 RCAF Squadron which was based in the Shetland Islands and equipped with Catalina flying boats. The squadron carried out patrols off the coast of Norway, Allied Commando raids on the outlying islands, provided coverage for convoys to Murmansk, as well as anti-submarine and shipping patrols.

The squadron was transferred to Ceylon in early 1942 with Birchall, who was a Squadron Leader and Deputy Commander, flying one of the lead aircraft. Arriving at Lake Koggala, south of Galle, Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, on April 2, 1942, he and his crew were given a 24-hour rest. The crew of nine then took off in the pre-dawn hours of April 4 to carry out an all-day patrol southeast of Ceylon in search of submarines and ships. Near the end of their patrol, they sighted the Japanese Navy fleet steaming toward Ceylon preparatory to launching a surprise attack on Colombo, Ceylon, similar to the attack this fleet had carried out on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.

They immediately sent off a signal giving speed, course and composition of the fleet before their Catalina was shot down by fighter aircraft launched from the Japanese aircraft carriers. Their signal gave the Allies time to make preparations to protect Ceylon against the impending air attacks which took place during the following days. The result was that the British Far East naval fleet was able to avoid destruction. The Allies were also able to defend the island of Ceylon, inflicting severe losses on the Japanese naval aircraft. For this particular action, Birchall was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the title of "Saviour of Ceylon".

Picked out of the water by the Japanese Navy, he and the other five surviving members of the crew were taken to Japan and placed in prisoner-of-war camps. Birchall's conduct during his three and a half years as a POW resulted in his being awarded the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry. The citation for this award reads in part: "As senior Allied Officer in the camps in which he was located he continually displayed the utmost concern for the welfare of his fellow prisoners. On many occasions, with complete disregard for his own safety, he prevented, as far as possible, Japanese officials from sadistically beating his men and denying prisoners the medical attention which they so urgently needed."

Following the war, Birchall was stationed in the Directorate of Personnel at RCAF Headquarters. He was then sent back to Japan on secondment for three months to be an integral member of the Prosecution Team at the Japanese War Crimes Trials. Upon his return he held many noteworthy appointments. Significant among them was Air Attache for Canada in Washington, USA. There he was highly involved with Canada's participation in the formation of NATO (North American Treaty Organization) and NORAD (North American Air Defence Agreement). As a result of his work with the USAF he was awarded the United States Legion of Merit and made an Honorary Life Member of the USAF Association.

Further appointments of high responsibility followed such as Commanding Officer Goose Bay, Labrador, where he specialized in carrying out mercy missions to the Arctic; Senior Personnel Staff Officer Air Materiel Command, Ottawa; Military Advisor to the Canadian Ambassador at NATO Headquarters, Paris, France; attending National Defence College, Kingston, Ontario; Commanding Officer RCAF Station North Bay, Ontario, where he became combat ready on the CF-100 All-Weather Fighter aircraft. Because of his active participation in flying, he was brought back to DND HQ Ottawa as an Air Commodore and given the position of Chief of Air Operations, RCAF.

He was posted in 1963 back to Kingston as Commandant, Royal Military College, for four years. At the end of this posting he was retired from the RCAF Permanent Force. A few years after leaving the college, in recognition of his outstanding work as Commandant, RMC conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Military Science, Honoris Causa.

Upon leaving the RCAF Permanent Force in 1968, Birchall joined York University, Toronto, as Chief Executive Officer for the Faculty of Administrative Studies. He held this position for fourteen years and a year after his retirement, because of his outstanding contribution to the University, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa.

Immediately after his arrival in Toronto in 1967, he returned to the RCAF, this time as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of  No.400 "City of Toronto" Air Reserve Squadron. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to Honorary Colonel. During his twenty-two years of service with No. 400 Squadron, he was very active in the Council of Air Honoraries. He was instrumental in drawing up the Terms of Reference for the Air Honoraries and the creation of the Association of Air Honoraries, where he served as President for eight years.

During his tour of duty with No. 400 Squadron, Birchall completed fifty-two years of service with the Canadian Forces and was the fourth Officer in the Canadian Forces and the first in the Air Force to receive the fourth bar to the Canadian Forces Decoration.

He retired from York University in 1981 and moved to Kingston, Ontario. He continued his work with the military and also became  involved in local volunteer work. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, not only in the military but also in Ontario and Canada as a whole, in April of 1989 Birchall was awarded The Order of Ontario.

That same year he was retired as Honorary Colonel of No. 400 Squadron and immediately appointed Honorary Colonel of the Permanent Force No. 413 (Transport and Rescue) Squadron in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. This is the squadron in which he served in the Shetland Islands and Ceylon during the War. His first objective was to arrange for and erect a memorial at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base, Koggala, Sri Lanka, in honour and memory of all the men serving with the squadron at that base and who were killed there during the war.

On February 9, 2000 the Canadian Government paid tribute to Birchall by conferring upon him The Order of Canada. Leonard Birchall died September 11, 2004 at Kingston, Ontario.

Leonard Joseph Birchall was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 2001 at a ceremony held in Ottawa, Ontario.

 

On April 21, 1996, Air Commodore Birchall completed sixty-two years service with the Canadian Armed Forces and was the only member of the Canadian Forces ever to receive the fifth bar to the Canadian Forces Decoration. This bar was presented to him at an investiture at Rideau Hall in Ottawa by Governor General Romeo LeBlanc on February 5, 1997. At the same ceremony, the Chief of Defence Staff awarded him the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service.



William Avery Bishop

Nickname: Billy
Birthdate: February 8, 1894
Birth Place: Owen Sound, Ontario
Death Date: September 11, 1956
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: V.C., C.B., D.S.O.*, M.C., D.F.C., E.D., Croix de Guerre with Palm (France), Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (France).

"His winning of the Victoria Cross in aerial combat must be regarded as one of the most outstanding contributions possible to the military aspect of Canadian aviation. - Induction citation, 1974

William Avery (Billy) Bishop, V.C., C.B., D.S.O.*, M.C., D.F.C., E.D. was born on February 8, 1894, in Owen Sound, Ontario. He was educated there and at the Royal Military College at Kingston, Ontario, from where he enlisted in the 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1914. The following year in England he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and was posted to France as an air observer. In March of 1917 Lieutenant Bishop was commissioned as a pilot with No. 60 Squadron RFC and he immediately shot down his first enemy aircraft.

On April 7, 1917, he was awarded the Military Cross (M.C.) for downing an enemy observation balloon and a German fighter, and the following day he engaged eight enemy aircraft, destroying two of them as well as a second balloon. On April 30, 1917, he battled nine times in two hours, engaging eleven  different enemy aircraft in the first hour, shooting down two and dispersing the remainder. Two days later he engaged 23 enemy aircraft in three sorties and shot down three of them. The citation  accompanying the award of the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) read: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While in a single-seater he attacked three hostile machines, two of which he brought down, although in the meantime he was himself attacked by four other hostile machines. His courage and determination have set a fine example to others."

It was before dawn on June 2, 1917, that Captain Bishop, flying a Nieuport, in a spectacular lone fight earned the Victoria Cross (V.C.) "for conspicuous bravery, determination and skill."

The words of the War Office citation read: "Captain Bishop flew to an aerodrome 12 miles the other side of the German lines. Seven machines, some with their engines running, were on the ground. He attacked these from about 50 feet, and a mechanic who was starting one of the engines was seen to fall. One of the machines got off the ground, but at a height of 60 feet Captain Bishop fired 60 rounds into it at very close range and it crashed. A second machine got off the ground, into which he fired 30 rounds at 150 yards range and it fell into a tree. Two more machines then rose. One he engaged at 1,000 feet, emptying the rest of his drum of ammunition. The machine crashed 300 yards from the aerodrome, after which Captain Bishop emptied a whole drum into the fourth hostile machine and then flew back to his station. Four hostile scouts were about 1,000 feet above him for about a mile of his return journey, but they would not attack. His machine was very badly shot up by machine gun fire from the ground."

In addition to this honour, he received a Bar to his D.S.O. for "gallantry and distinguished service in the field, for consistent dash and fearlessness and for having destroyed at least 45 enemy planes within five months."

Bishop was promoted to Major and returned to Canada to aid in recruiting, but in 1918 returned to France, taking command of No. 85 Squadron and setting out on what authority has labelled 'a carnival of destruction'. In twelve days alone he brought down 25 enemy aircraft, bringing his total to 72. He was decorated again, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C.). The French Government honoured him with the Croix de Guerre with Palm and named him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

In August 1918, Bishop was relieved from operational flying, and in London was tasked as Commander of the first Canadian Air Force. It was during this period that the Maple Leaf came into use as an identification device on Canadian military aircraft. The Armistice put a temporary end to Canada's plans for an air force.

Along with William G. Barker, V.C., Bishop formed an airline serving Muskoka and Toronto, Ontario, but it was not successful. He returned to England to engage in several business operations before becoming Vice-President and Director of McColl-Frontenac Oil Company in Montreal.

Early in World War II he became Director of Recruiting for the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving with the rank of Honorary Air Marshal until 1944, when he returned to McColl-Frontenac. Bishop was named a Companion of the Order of the Bath (C.B). He died in Palm Beach, Florida, on September 11, 1956.

William Avery (Billy) Bishop was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

There are many books about Billy Bishop, however we suggest reading:
“Winged Warfare” - William A. Bishop (1967)
 

Bishop became the first Canadian airman to win the coveted Victoria Cross. He had an amazing total of 72 confirmed enemy aircraft destroyed, making him the highest-scoring “ace” of the British Empire in World War 1.



Rosella Marie Bjornson

Birthdate: July 13, 1947
Birth Place: Lethbridge, Alberta
Year Inducted: 1997

"As a young child she had a dream to be an airline pilot and by working steadfastly toward that goal, became the first female in Canada to achieve that level. Along the way she encouraged young people, especially females, to set and work toward their goals and continues to be an outstanding role model." - Induction citation, 1997

Rosella Marie Bjornson was born on July 13, 1947, in Lethbridge, Alberta. She was raised on her parents' farm near Champion and attended high school in nearby Vulcan. She showed enthusiasm for flying at an early age because of her father's interest. Ken Bjornson learned to fly in 1946 and took his daughter flying in his Aeronca Champ from the time she was a very young child.

Bjornson had her first flying lesson on her seventeenth birthday at the Lethbridge Flying Club and completed her Private Pilot's Licence in two months. She attended the University of Calgary where she majored in geography and geology. During this time she accumulated flying hours and studied for her Commercial Licence which she obtained in 1967. In the same year, she experienced competitive flying by entering the Alberta Centennial Air Race. She and her female co-pilot secured a first place finish by completing the race with the exact estimate of their flight time and within one tenth of a gallon of their fuel consumption estimate.

While on campus, Bjornson was instrumental in organizing the University of Calgary Flying Club. She also devoted time to the first group of Girl Guide Air Rangers in Calgary and started the ground work which led to the formation of an Alberta Flying Farmer Teen Chapter.

In 1969 Bjornson received her Instructor's Rating and began instructing at the Flying Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Within a year she had earned her Class II Instructor's Rating. On May 25, 1972, she was awarded the 89th Gold Seal of Proficiency from the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association. While in Winnipeg, she was involved in organizing the Manitoba Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots. During her final year of instructing, she devoted her spare time to training a Squadron of Air Cadets.

By 1973 Bjornson had 3,500 hours flying time, an Air Transport Rating and a Class I Multi-Engine Instrument Rating, and applied to fly with the airlines. She was hired as First Officer by Transair, the fourth largest airline in Canada. This gave her the distinction of being the first female to be hired as First Officer in North America on scheduled jet equipment, and the first female to be hired by a commercial airline in Canada. She was the first female member of the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association.

In June 1977, Bjornson married Bill Pratt, a corporate pilot flying out of Winnipeg. The onset of her pregnancy in 1979 created another first in that there had been no precedent set for a pregnant pilot. She took a personal leave of absence - sick leave was not appropriate in her case - and returned to work in 1980 as First Officer on the Boeing 737 with Pacific Western Airlines (PWA) which had purchased Transair. The family moved to Edmonton and both Bjornson and her husband flew for PWA. After a second pregnancy in 1984 she was involved in discussions with Transport Canada regarding regulations dealing with pregnant pilots. Subsequently, the regulations were changed to allow a pilot who is pregnant to fly while under her doctor's supervision. Bjornson again returned to work as First Officer on the Boeing 737 at a new airline, Canadian Airlines International, which had been formed by merging PWA, CP Air, Eastern Provincial Airlines and Nordair.

Bjornson received a number of prestigious awards in 1988. In June she was inducted into the International Forest of Friendship in Atchison, Kansas, U.S.A. A Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of her leadership in the activities of the organization was presented to her by the International Organization of Ninety-Nines in Oklahoma City, U.S.A. In October of that year, she received a Pioneering Award from the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg.

In the winter of 1990 Bjornson became the first female Captain with Canadian Airlines International and the first woman to be promoted to Captain with a major Canadian air carrier.

Throughout her career Bjornson has made a valuable and ongoing contribution to the youth of the nation by participating, in school career days. In 1990 she was featured in a poster campaign by the Alberta Government, 'Dream/Dare/Do', encouraging young people to set goals and strive towards them.

Rosella served on the Board of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame and for several years served as Executive Director of the Hall. Rosella and her husband live at Twin Island Lake Air Park east of Edmonton where she keeps her Cessna 170. In 2014 Rosella was featured on a Postage Stamp issued by Canada Post for the 99's.

Rosella Marie Bjornson was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1997 at a ceremony held at Calgary, Alberta.

Suggested reading:
“No Place for a Lady - The story of Canadian Women Pilots” - Shirley Render (1992)
 

Bjornson’s husband, Bill Pratt, was also a First Officer on the Boeing 737 with Canadian Airlines and later with First Air. About once every six months the scheduling computer paired them together on a flight. Because of their close relationship, they enjoyed working together and looked forward to the times when they were booked to work the same flights. They were often asked if problems ever occurred in flight deck management. It was because they were so well trained as professional pilots, and each carried out his/her specific duties, that conflicts did not arise.



Thurston Blakey

Nickname: Rusty
Birthdate: December 12, 1911
Birth Place: Ravenna, Ontario
Death Date: October 11, 1986
Year Inducted: 1992
Awards: C.M.

"His reliability and life-long commitment to flying and the service of people made him a 'pilot's pilot' and was of benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1992

Thurston (Rusty) Blakey, C.M., was born on December 12, 1911, in Ravenna, Ontario. After the death of both his parents, he lived in Bruce Mines, Ontario, with an aunt and uncle. He attended Worthington Public School and then graduated from Sudbury High School in 1930. He spent considerable time with pilots, mechanics, and airplanes on the shore of Ramsey Lake while working for the near-by Sudbury Boat and Canoe Company.

In 1932 Austin Airways, a charter service and flying school, was opened at Ramsey Lake. The owners of this charter service were Jack Austin, and his brother Charles Austin, with Leigh Capreol joining them for a short while. They hired Blakey as dock and office boy in 1935. In 1937 he earned his Air Engineer's Licence, which enabled him to check out and service his own aircraft throughout his long flying career. Matt Berry gave him his first airplane ride there in 1937. Blakey became a Commercially Licenced Pilot in March of 1938.

In March 1939, Blakey opened the Biscotasing, Ontario, base for Austin Airways to serve mining ventures, and in September, Charles Austin left the company to serve with the Royal Canadian Air Force. This left Blakey with the added responsibility of meticulously photographing vast areas from the air for the Ontario provincial government. The contract was for forestry and future road building purposes. In addition, Blakey flew many rescue missions and medical evacuation flights from Hudson Bay and northern areas to the nearest hospitals. For this, he was well known in northern Ontario.

In 1940 Austin Airways purchased a Noorduyn Norseman, registered CF-BSC, which Blakey flew for twenty years. His flying experiences were wide ranging, and included freighting supplies and mail to the Inuit along the coast of James Bay. He delivered men and equipment to mines in northern Ontario. In 1948 he was the first to drop dry ice pellets from an aircraft in an attempt to cause rain, a technique that revolutionized forest fire suppression.

Throughout a career of nearly 50 years of accident free flying, Blakey flew in excess of 30,000 hours. Over 10,000 of those hours were flown in Austin Airway's Norseman, CF-BSC.

In 1978 he received an Honorary Life Membership from the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. In 1985 he was named a Member of the Order of Canada (C.M.).

Blakey's last flight was October 10, 1986. The following day he died on his way to work.

The Rusty Blakey Heritage Aviation Group erected a monument in 1988 to honour Blakey. The sculpture was unveiled on August 27 at Science North on the shore of Ramsey Lake, Ontario, and each year the Rusty Blakey Air Show takes place at this site.

Thurston (Rusty) Blakey was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1992 at a ceremony held in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

Throughout his long flying career, Blakey flew by his own rules, which he said always worked for him “Fly in good weather”, “There’s always tomorrow”, and “Don’t overload”.



Ernest Joseph Boffa

Nickname: Ernie
Birthdate: April 16, 1904
Birth Place: Piedmont, Italy
Death Date: March 8, 2004
Year Inducted: 1993

"His superb navigational and engineering skills and competent command of his aircraft during the development of Canada's north have become legendary and have been of lasting benefit to Canadian Aviation." - Induction citation - 1993

Ernest Joseph Boffa was born on April 16, 1904, in Piedmont, Italy and came to Canada with his family in 1907. They lived in Calgary until they moved to Fort William, Ontario, in 1915.

Boffa secured employment at a bicycle shop in 1915, and later, apprenticed with Canadian Car and Foundry in Fort William. During this time, he took correspondence courses in mechanical engineering and two years of drafting at night school. When the company closed, he worked as an auto mechanic and raced cars at local fairs. He built his own car, the Dreadnought, which was quite successful. He won the July 1st car race on the 60th Anniversary of Confederation in 1927 in a car with a Laurel 16 valve engine. The owner could not keep the engine running and offered the car to Boffa for the race. His winning of the race was proof of his mechanical skill.

In 1927 Boffa moved to Great Falls, Montana, U.S.A., where he decided to pursue his dream by taking flying lessons at Vance Air Services. The company had a shortage of instructors so National Parks Airlines pilots would instruct when needed. Consequently, Boffa had six different instructors in the nine hours that he needed to solo. While learning to fly, he worked at an autobody shop where he learned acetylene welding. He also worked in the hangar and was taught to do the wood and fabric work on aircraft by the same man who prepared the wings and control surfaces on the Spirit of St. Louis for Charles Lindbergh.

In 1928 he obtained his American Aircraft and Engine Licence as well as his Private Pilot's Licence, and in 1929 he bought his first airplane. It was a badly damaged Waco 10 which he rebuilt and had licenced for export prior to moving to Lethbridge, Alberta, where he went to work for Southern Alberta Airways. When the company's Gipsy Moth was badly damaged, Boffa's Waco was used as a substitute at their flying school while he rebuilt the Moth. The employees produced the Flying Frolics, demonstrating wing-walking and parachute jumping, and barnstormed at local fairs.

After receiving his Commercial Pilot's Licence and Canadian Engineer's Licence in 1931, Boffa was kept busy flying fish from Great Bear Lake, tourists to Banff, servicing an oil well near Coutts, Alberta, and anything else that would earn income. In 1935 southern Alberta had a grasshopper plague, and he worked with an experimental farm to develop a way of spreading the grasshopper bait, a mixture of sawdust, molasses and arsenic, from a aircraft.

In 1936 he went to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, to fly for Mason & Campbell Aviation (M&C), forerunners of the Saskatchewan Government Airways. In 1937 he was offered a job with Canadian Airways Ltd. He worked for them until freeze up and then joined McNeal Air Services as a partner until the company was sold to M&C.

At the outbreak of World War II, Boffa completed the flight instructor's course at Trenton, Ontario, then served as Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at 6 Elementary Flying Training School at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. In 1943, when there was a surplus of instructors, Grant McConachie asked him to fly for Canadian Pacific Airways on the Yellowknife/Port Radium run.

Boffa later flew for Yellowknife Airways and owned 20% of the company while Matt Berry, held the remaining 80%. During this time he serviced mining camps, Hudson's Bay posts, and government offices throughout the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

In 1954 he served as technical advisor to the project manager of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, and for the next two years he assisted in establishing radar stations throughout the far north.

From 1956 to 1963, Boffa flew contract work out of Yellowknife, servicing mining camps, prospecting parties, geological survey parties. From 1963 until he retired in 1970, he flew for a fishing lodge on Great Bear Lake, servicing the camp and flying guests to the high arctic. He died in Los Angeles, California on March 8, 2004 just a month short of his 100th birthday.

Ernest Joseph Boffa was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1993 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Recommended reading:
“Canadian Bush Pilot Ernie Boffa” - Florence Whyard (1984)

One of Boffa’s interesting tasks in the early 1960’s was the mapping of migration routes of ducks, geese, and caribou. This use of aircraft continues today.



William Brenton Boggs

Nickname: Bill
Birthdate: December 18, 1918
Birth Place: Douglas, Arizona
Death Date: January 7, 2011
Year Inducted: 2003
Awards: O.C., O.B.E.

"His 55 years of inspired civic duty and his outstanding leadership in military and commercial aviation have made a deep and lasting contribution to Canada and to its aviation industries in particular." - Induction citation, 2003

William Brenton (Bill) Boggs, O.C., O.B.E., B.Eng. (Mech.), was born in Douglas, Arizona, USA, on December 18, 1918. He came to Canada with his parents in 1927, and settled in Noranda, Quebec, where he was educated. He attended McGill University, where he studied mechanical engineering, graduating near the top of his class.

His involvement with aviation began when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as an Engineering Officer in 1940. In 1943, while serving in England, he was specially selected to be the Senior Engineering Officer of  No. 331 Wing, comprised of three squadrons of Wellington bombers, which were dispatched to Tunisia, North Africa, to support the Allied landings in Sicily and Italy. In 1944 he was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in the rank of Officer for his outstanding contributions to this vital operation.  Returning to England, Squadron Leader Boggs went on to participate in the support of the final months of the air campaign over occupied Europe and ended the war by serving on the continent until the cease fire had been declared.

After returning to Canada and to civilian life in 1945, Boggs worked for 5 years with Trans-Canada Airlines, as Superintendent of Maintenance and Engineering, following which he joined Canadair in 1950. At Canadair he was the Manager of Industrial Engineering and Production Control for 7 years, after which he joined Can-Car, a subsidiary of Hawker Siddeley Canada, and was appointed Vice President of Hawker Siddeley in 1957. In 1965 he was appointed by that company to the position of President of de Havilland Aircraft Canada (DHC).

At DHC he came in contact with the advancing STOL (short take-off and landing) technology that was an outgrowth of the Beaver, Otter and Twin Otter aircraft programs. Under his leadership, DHC expanded the marketing of its new aircraft types world-wide. He initiated the development of the 30-seat Dash-7 commuter aircraft, a response to the opportunities for STOL commuter aircraft that were envisaged for the Northeast Corridor linking the cities of Washington, New York, Pittsburgh, Boston, Montreal and Toronto. This concept was strongly supported by the Canadian Government and DHC, but it presented a direct conflict of interest for its parent company, Hawker Siddeley, since that company was also marketing its own 44-seat HS 748, a potential competitor to the role visualized for the Dash-7.

While these changes were being made at DHC, Boggs had been selected to be the President, and later Chairman, of Canada Systems Group (CSG), a position he held for 12 years, during which time he built CSG into the largest computer services company in Canada. In 1983 he was appointed President and CEO of The Canadian Data and Professional Service Organization. But he was not through working for the aviation industry yet.

In 1984 a change in the Federal Government resulted in a decision to privatize both DHC and Canadair if willing buyers could be found. At DHC a change in management was implemented to prepare the company for sale while continuing with the development of the Dash-8 series of commuter aircraft. Once again the call went out for Boggs, who returned to DHC in December of 1984 as Chairman, President and CEO.

Through his firm leadership, he was able to maintain development and production while preparing the company for sale, thus ensuring that one of the most critical assets in Canada's aerospace industry was preserved and repositioned for future growth. DHC was sold to the Boeing Company in 1986, at which time Boggs was appointed Vice Chairman of Boeing Canada. In 1987 he accepted the Chairmanship of Field Aviation Holdings Inc., a position he held until his retirement in 1995.

Boggs was recognized for his tireless dedication and distinguished efforts on behalf of the aviation industry of Canada. He was invested as an Officer into the Order of Canada in 1988. The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) named him Fellow in 1967. He served twice as Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), in 1967-68 and again in 1987-88. In 1983 he was named Fellow of the Canadian School of Management.

Boggs retired in 1995 after 55 years of distinguished service to the aviation industry and to Canada. He resided in Toronto, Ontario where he died on January 7, 2011.

William Brenton Boggs was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003 at a ceremony held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
 

Boggs dedicated himself to his community serving on several boards, including President of the Toronto Symphony, the Canadian National Exhibition and the National Ballet of Canada, as well as many corporate Boards of Directors.



J. Errol Boyd

Birthdate: November 22, 1891
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario
Death Date: November 27, 1960
Year Inducted: 2017

After flying with the Royal Naval Air Service in the First World War, Erroll Boyd established record-setting flights and in 1930, he was the first Canadian to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout his life in Canada and the United States, Erroll promoted wide interest in aviation and its possibilities.

Born in Toronto on November 22, 1891, Erroll Boyd, the son of James and Minnie Arabella Boyd, was the youngest of their three children, with a brother, Norman, and a sister, Dorothy. Erroll had his first flight in 1912 – an experience that had life-changing consequences for him. In 1913 he enlisted to serve in the First World War and was granted a commission with the rank of Lieutenant on August 31, 1914 in the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada (2nd Battalion). Later, he was given leave to go to England and join the Royal Naval Service (RNAS) in Great Britain.

After receiving a commission as a probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant, Erroll learned to fly in a primitive Wright biplane at the Eastchurch naval station in England in 1915.

In September 1915 he was posted to Dunkirk where his duties included stalking Zeppelins and attacking submarines with crude bombs. On October 3, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire at 12,000 feet. With severe damage to the engine, propeller and wings, he was still able to make a forced landing just over the Dutch border, where he was taken by Dutch soldiers and interned as a prisoner in neutral Holland.

Paroled in December 1915 with other officers on the promise they would not escape, Boyd spent time in The Hague. Until the end of the war Lieutenant Boyd was twice granted permission to return to Canada and the United States for visiting. With the amalgamation of the RNAS and the Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force on April 1, 1918, Boyd was promoted to the rank of Captain.

While in the U.S. on leave from his internment, in July 1917 Erroll married Evelyn Carbery, whom he had first met in 1914 when she was playing in a musical comedy in Toronto. The couple eventually became the parents of five daughters – Bey, Kathleen, Jean, Honor and Virginia. Some daughters were born in the U.S. and some in Canada, but all were baptized in Toronto.

Following the war, Boyd operated a garage and rental car business in Toronto. A talented pianist and song writer, he penned the lyrics for Dreams, which became a hit Broadway song in the 1920s, prompting a return to New York. Erroll got a job in hotel management, taking flying jobs when he could. In 1926 he took a position in Detroit as manager of the Michigan office for Cross and Blackwell of marmalade fame. Erroll tried unsuccessfully to get his employer to sponsor an aircraft for a transatlantic flight.

In 1928 he accepted a position with Pan-American World Airways to fly in Mexico. Experience gained there with Pan-American and later with Mexicana would serve him well in the future. In February 1929, when the Boyds returned to New York, Erroll was hired as a pilot and operations manager by Coastal Airways, which offered passenger service with float equipped aircraft, mainly on the northeast coast of the United States. A year later, early in the Depression, the company folded, once again leaving Captain Boyd looking for work.

Continuing his quest to fly across the Atlantic, Erroll made arrangements to make the flight using an aircraft named Columbia, a Wright-Bellanca WB-2, built by the Wright Aeronautical Corp. in 1925. Having first gained employment with Charles Levine, owner of Columbia, in May 1930, Erroll Boyd teamed up with two experienced aviators. Roger Williams had flown the first flight from the U.S. to Rome. Harry Connor was a navigator with the U.S. Navy. On June 29, 1930, with Boyd at the controls, they flew Columbia from Roosevelt Field, New York, circled Bermuda and returned, a flight of 17 hours. Boyd’s next challenge was to fly Columbia across the Atlantic, starting in Canada.

The aircraft had been flown to Montréal by Roger Williams, where Boyd took possession of it, to be returned later to its owner. After securing some financial backing for a transatlantic flight, he rechristened the aircraft as Maple Leaf. Harry Connor approached Boyd, wanting to be navigator on a flight across the Atlantic, and the two men eventually flew Maple Leaf to Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, the starting point for the flight, arriving on September 23, 1930. On October 9, fully loaded with 460 gallons of fuel and carrying some 300 letters for the first air mail from Canada, Maple Leaf lifted off from the Harbour Grace grass airstrip. It carried no radio, as eliminating weight allowed for more fuel on board.

Intending to touch down at Land’s End in the western tip of England, it was discovered that the 100-gallon reserve tank was unusable due to a clogged fuel line. Jettisoning the 100 gallons in the reserve tank to reduce fire hazard in an emergency landing, after nearly 20 hours in the air, Boyd and Connor landed short of mainland England on the narrow beach of Tresco, second largest of the Isles of Scilly, stopping at water’s edge with empty tanks. It was the first transatlantic flight by a Canadian, and proved that air mail service across the ocean was possible.


The Royal Air Force flew in 50 gallons of fuel for Boyd’s three-hour flight the next day to Croydon, the original intended destination. There to meet them as the celebrations began was Charles Levine, owner of the aircraft. The next morning both pilot and navigator met for breakfast with Canadian Prime Minister R.B. Bennett and Ontario Premier G.T. Ferguson.

On October 30, Boyd and Connor flew Maple Leaf to Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, and were celebrated in all three cities. Returning to Canada by ship in November, the aviators were welcomed as heroes. A huge crowd in Toronto welcomed the aviators and celebrations included a civic reception and a banquet. The aircraft had been dismantled, shipped to Canada and taken to St. Hubert for reassembly.

In 1932-33 Erroll Boyd established President Airlines Inc. with himself as president and was successful in getting financial backing for another record-setting flight. In June 1933, he flew from New York in the eight-year old Maple Leaf with co-pilot Robert Lyon and a journalist on a pioneering travel promotion non-stop flight for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, returning to Washington. Difficulties caused by rough weather caused Boyd to say it was the toughest flight he had ever flown.

In 1938, as the aviation editor of the Toronto Star, Boyd’s popularity as a newspaper writer in his regular ‘Wings Over Toronto’ column placed him in a position of influence to raise awareness of the importance of aviation in Canada. He formed the Aviation Scouts of Canada, another effort to popularize aviation, this time to inspire young people. It was a non-profit venture for which he published and edited a magazine by that name. The organization became the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

In 1939, prior to the start of the Second World War, Erroll Boyd moved to the United States and applied for American citizenship, hoping the move would lead to better employment opportunities. With the outbreak of the Second World War, in New York he was taken on as executive officer of the Clayton Knight Committee, named for its organizer, which worked towards generating interest among American pilots to assist Great Britain and Canada in their war effort. Erroll was involved in extensive travel to encourage men to enlist as pilots in the RAF or the RCAF.

Boyd then landed a job with aircraft builder Higgins Aviation in New Orleans, a short-lived position. Following the war, Erroll Boyd returned to hotel management, operating a hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. He continued his association with aviation, flying until 1957, by which time he had logged over 9,000 hours as a pilot.

In 1930 following his transatlantic flight, Erroll was presented with a gold medal from the International League of Fliers for France and a huge flagon by Canada’s Governor General, The Viscount Willingdon. The City of Toronto presented Boyd with a cabinet of sterling silver. A station on the Hudson Bay Railway was named for him. In 1933 after the non-stop flight to Haiti, he was presented with the country’s Medal of Honour and Merit.

Retiring in Florida with his wife, Evelyn, the Boyds purchased a home in Pompano Beach. Erroll continued to suffer health problems. While working on a book about his life in aviation, Erroll Boyd died at the family vacation home in Connecticut at the age of 69 on November 27, 1960. James Erroll Dunsford Boyd was buried near his home at Pompano Beach, Florida.



Recommended reading: "The Lindbergh of Canada: The Errol Boyd Story" by Ross Smyth, 1997



Robert William Bradford

Nickname: Bob
Birthdate: December 17, 1923
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario
Year Inducted: 1996
Awards: C.M.

"With enthusiasm, leadership and consummate dedication and outstanding knowledge of aviation history, he realized a vision for a national consciousness of Canada's aviation heritage, so that all Canadians may enjoy and benefit from this well-preserved heritage for generations to come." - Induction citation, 1996

Robert William Bradford, C.M., was born December 17, 1923, in Toronto, Ontario. As a youth, he developed an early interest in aviation and its art. At 18, he and his twin brother Jim, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and trained on the Tiger Moth and Anson. Posted overseas in March 1944, Bradford was attached to the Royal Air Force as a staff pilot. He was seriously injured in a bad-weather crash, and spent several months in hospital before returning to flying. The war ended before he was posted to operational duties.

On returning to Canada, Bradford joined A.V. Roe Canada Ltd. as a technical illustrator. Four years later, in 1953, he moved to de Havilland Aircraft of Canada as project illustrator. His excellent work earned a promotion in 1956 to Chief Illustrator in the Publications Department, a position he held for ten more years.

In 1961 Bradford created four aviation paintings for the 1962 calendar of publisher Rolphe-Clarke-Stone Ltd., including one of the Curtiss JN-4 'Canuck' which caught the attention of Ken Molson. Molson was the first Curator of the National Aviation Museum which was formed in 1960 at the Uplands Airbase in Ottawa. Molson commissioned eighteen pieces, a series of historical aviation images in which Bradford depicts aircraft and aviation events of significance to Canada. From 1964, until the construction of a new museum building, the small collection of World War I aircraft was housed in old wooden hangars at Rockcliffe airport in Ottawa.

In 1966 Molson encouraged Bradford to join the National Aviation Museum as Assistant Curator. Thus began a twenty-three year career of dedication, perseverance and accomplishment in the preservation of our country's aviation heritage.

In Canada's Centennial year, 1967, Bradford succeeded Molson as curator. In 1970 he promoted the flying of the Museum's World War One aircraft at airshows across Canada, bringing to thousands of people the chance to see what their museum was doing.

In 1978 the National Aviation Museum Society (Friends of the National Aviation Museum) was established to bring attention to the need for adequately fireproofed housing for Canada's outstanding collection of historic aircraft. The collection was at considerable risk in the old hangars because of a significant fire hazard. As a result of Bradford's support, the Society eventually won a commitment from the Federal Government to provide a new and safer facility.                  

In 1982, as acting Director of the National Museum of Science and Technology, the parent museum of the aviation collection, Bradford's priority was the urgent need for improved facilities. Returning to the National Aviation Museum in 1984 as Associate Director, Bradford's persistent efforts were directly responsible for persuading the government to design and build a new building. Bradford oversaw the acquisition of a number of artifacts of historical significance to Canadian and international civil and military aviation. Top quality restoration work has earned international renown. The collection, widely regarded as among the best in the world, is now housed in the new National Aviation Museum facility which opened to the public in 1988 at Ottawa's Rockcliffe Airport.

As soon as the commitment for a new facility was made, Bradford began to create the 'walkway of time' to represent the various eras of aviation. In this ingenious way, the visiting public is introduced to the evolution of aviation in Canada.

Throughout the years, Bradford continued to paint airplanes. Other commissioned works painted by Bradford include those to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Alcock and Brown's trans-Atlantic flight, Billy Bishop's Victoria Cross-winning aerial action, 'Doc' Oaks, the first recipient of the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy, and Air Canada's 50th anniversary.

In recognition of his accomplishments as an artist, Bradford was awarded the American Aviation Historical Society's Aviation Artist Award in 1974. He was the first Canadian so honoured. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale recognized his curatorial and artistic accomplishments in the field of aviation by awarding him the prestigious Paul Tissandier Award in 1982.

Bradford was named Patron of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society in 1988, a position he continues to fill. He retired as Director of the National Aviation Museum in 1989, and continues to devote his time to painting and his life-long avocation of preserving Canada's aviation history. In 1989 he was named a Member of the Order of Canada (C.M.) for his outstanding achievements. He resides in Toronto, and is still active.

Robert William Bradford was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1996 at a ceremony held in Toronto, Ontario.

Recommended reading:
“Canadian Wings” - Edited by Stephen Payne (2010) featuring the artwork of Robert Bradford and Dan Patterson.
 

In 1987 Bradford was commissioned by Canada Post to design a series of sixteen stamps depicting important aircraft in Canadian history. The popular series was issued in groups of four and included by year of issue: 1979 - Curtiss HS-2L “H Boat”, Canadair CL-215 “Scooper”, Consolidated “Canso” A, Canadian Vickers “Vedette”; 1980 - Avro “Lancaster”, Avro-Canada CF-100 “Canuck”, Curtiss JN-4 “Canuck”, Hawker “Hurricane”; 1981 - de Havilland DH-82C “Tiger Moth”, Canadair CL-41 “Tutor”, Avro Canada C-102 “Jetliner”, de Havilland Canada DHC-7 “Dash 7”; 1982 - Fairchild FC-2WI, Fokker “Super Universal”, Noorduyn “Norseman”, de Havilland Canada DHC-2 “Beaver”.



Wilfred Leigh Brintnell

Birthdate: August 27, 1895
Birth Place: Belleville, Ontario
Death Date: January 22, 1971
Year Inducted: 1976
Awards: O.B.E.

"The dedication of his exceptional skills as both airman and operations manager during the inception of this nation's commercial flight operations and airmail services, his pioneer flights across unmapped territories and his self-set standards for perfection have fostered the highest operational standards within those under his command and have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1976

Wilfred Leigh Brintnell, O.B.E., was born in Belleville, Ontario, on August 27, 1895. He was educated at Belleville and Kingston, Ontario, and at the Ontario Business College. In 1917 he joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in Canada and received his Private Pilot's Licence at Deseronto, Ontario, where he became qualified as an instructor. He was assigned to instructional duties with the RFC at Fort Worth, Texas, and the Royal Air Force (RAF) at Camp Borden, Ontario. He was posted to the RAF's Central Flying School, Upavon, England, in 1918 to train on Sopwith Camel fighter aircraft. The war ended before he flew in combat, and he returned to Canada in 1919 to be discharged from service.

Brintnell spent the early post war years in the United States flying Curtiss JN-4's. In 1924 he joined the Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS, Belt of Orion 1991) as a pilot.

Western Canada Airways hired him in 1927, and the following year he was named superintendent of the company's base at Hudson, Ontario. This appointment was followed almost immediately by a promotion to manager of the line. During 1928 he piloted the first return flight from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Vancouver, British Columbia, in a multi-engine aircraft.

In 1929 Brintnell completed an historic 9,000 mile (45,000 km) return flight in a Fokker Tri-Motor aircraft inspecting Western Canada Airway's bases. His route took him from Winnipeg north through the Northwest Territories, to Great Slave Lake, then following the Mackenzie River to Fort Norman. From there he flew north to Aklavik, on the Arctic coast, then completed the first over-the-Rockies flight from Aklavik to Dawson City in the Yukon. Brintnell continued to Prince Rupert, on the British Columbia coast, then flew back to Winnipeg via Edmonton, Alberta.

While on this trip, he became the first person to circle Great Bear Lake by air. He took aerial photographs of ground formations in the Great Bear Lake region and as a result of these pictures, uranium prospecting and mining began. During this trip he dropped off Gilbert LaBine, a prospector with Eldorado Mining and Exploration, at Great Bear Lake. It was LaBine's preliminary exploration which later led to his discovery of a rich deposit of silver mixed with pitchblende. LaBine returned to open the mining site called the Eldorado Mine at Port Radium on Great Bear Lake. Also, while on this trip, Brintnell decided he would some day form his own commercial northern airline.

In 1931 Brintnell was appointed assistant general manager of Canadian Airways Limited, which had acquired Western Canada Airways. He resigned from this position to form Mackenzie Air Service Limited at Edmonton, Alberta, which began flying passengers into the Northwest Territories and the Arctic in 1932. On March 19, 1935, Brintnell and fellow pilot, Stan McMillan (Hall of Fame 1974) took off from the Eldorado Mine site in a Bellanca Aircruiser carrying the first shipment of radium concentrates. They brought the ore to the rail link at Waterways, near Fort McMurray.

Brintnell’s company continued to expand, with more aircraft and pilots added to meet the increasing demand for services. An advancement of the 1930's was airborne communications. An aerial wireless telegraphy system, along with a network of stations from the Edmonton base to the Beaufort Sea, was pioneered by a Mackenzie Air Service engineer.

Mackenzie Air Service operated from 1932 to 1940 when the company was purchased by Canadian Pacific Railways (CPR). Brintnell stayed on with the company, assisting CPR to purchase other small companies. These were formed into Canadian Pacific Airlines (CPA) in 1942.

Brintnell left CPA to manage Aircraft Repair Limited in Edmonton, a company which had been given the task of repairing and maintaining Canada's military aircraft. He expanded Aircraft Repair and eventually formed it into Northwest Industries Limited, which he managed from 1945 until 1948. He then operated Arctic Air Lines, an aerial photographic company, until 1952.

Brintnell’s outstanding services were recognized by the government, when he was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E., Civil) in 1946. He died in Edmonton on January 22, 1971.

Wilfred Leigh Brintnell was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1976 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

 

Brintnell established his company in Edmonton because he saw the commercial potential of the north and realized Edmonton’s strategic location. He is at least partly responsible for focusing the attention of oil companies, the mining world, and government on the north.



Helen Marcelle Harrison Bristol

Birthdate: December 7, 1909
Birth Place: Vancouver, British Columbia
Death Date: April 27, 1995
Year Inducted: 1974

"The career dedication of her flying skills to instruct an almost exclusively male population of students, despite adversity, has been of substantial benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

Helen Marcelle Harrison Bristol was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 7, 1909, and educated in England and Belgium. She began flying studies at Eastbourne, England, in 1933, earned her Private Pilot's Licence the following year, then completed a seaplane flying course n Singapore. She acquired additional instruction at Johannesburg, South Africa, before returning to England in 1935 to qualify for a Commercial Pilot's Licence. She made a total commitment to aviation in 1936 when she became one of the first women pilots to receive an instructor's rating in England. She promptly returned to South Africa.

As the first woman to hold a Commercial Pilot's Licence and Instructor's Rating in that country, Harrison Bristol taught at the Capetown Flying Club. She demonstrated such ability that the Royal South African Air Force (RSAAF) offered her an instructor's course on military aircraft at Pretoria. Because of her outstanding abilities, she was retained by the RSAAF to train reserve air force pilots. During this period she also qualified for the South African Commercial Pilot's Certificate as well as instructor and instrument ratings. She was employed by Central Airways at Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth until 1938.

She returned to England. In 1939 she was appointed Chief Flying Instructor at the Sheffield Aero Club. Shortly afterwards, she went to the United States to qualify for that country's Commercial Pilot's Certificate. Still upgrading her qualifications, she travelled to Hamilton, Ontario, and earned her Canadian Commercial Pilot's Licence and Class 2 Instructor's Rating. The Cub Aircraft Company at Hamilton hired her as an instructor, and within a year she was named test pilot and Chief Flying Instructor.

Harrison Bristol was involved in pilot training at Toronto, London, and Kitchener, Ontario, until February 1942, when she was accepted as the first Canadian woman ferry pilot to serve in the United Kingdom with the Air Transport Auxiliary, a civilian group under the direction of the Royal Air Force (RAF). She was part of Jacqueline Cochrane's American Group, and her job was to deliver aircraft for the RAF.

Some of the aircraft to be ferried were new, coming off the assembly lines, others were being returned to service after repair.

Harrison Bristol became qualified to ferry all types of single and twin engine aircraft. In 1943 she co-piloted a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber across the North Atlantic Ocean from Montreal, Quebec, to Scotland, and until 1944 she delivered military aircraft within the United Kingdom.

She flew a single-engined airplane across Canada in 1946 as demonstration pilot for Percival Aircraft Company. During the next 23 years she held Chief Flying Instructor positions with a number of British Columbia flying services. In 1961 she earned a United States Seaplane Instructor's Certificate, and returned to Canada to continue teaching float plane flying. In 1968 she was awarded the British Columbia Aviation Council's Air Safety Trophy, after logging 14,000 hours as pilot-in-command of 75 different aircraft types, without injury to passenger or crew.

She retired in 1969 after 34 years as a pilot, and married Donald M. Bristol. Harrison Bristol died at Blain, Washington, on April 27, 1995.

Helen Marcelle Harrison Bristol was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

Suggested reading:
“No Place for a Lady - The story of Canadian Women Pilots” - Shirley Render (1992)

Harrison Bristol and the other women ferry pilots were given a minimum amount of training on procedures, plus a small but important binder. This held the Ferry Pilot’s notes with descriptions of all the planes they would be ferrying, instructions for take-off , cruising speed and power setting, amount of flap, and landing procedures. With this book they were expected to fly any type of aircraft though they not have seen of its type before.



Francis Roy Brown

Birthdate: September 13, 1986
Birth Place: Stockton, Manitoba
Death Date: November 30, 1960
Year Inducted: 1976

"His contributions as a bush pilot, airmail pilot and World War II test pilot, coupled with his total commitment to encourage a younger generation of airmen to make substantial contributions to the development of northern flying, have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1976

Francis Roy Brown was born in Stockton, Manitoba, on September 13, 1896. He attended school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, until his enlistment in the Canadian Cycle Corps at the outbreak of World War I. He served with that unit in France at Ypres, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele, until he joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. After graduating from flying training as a pilot he joined No. 204 Squadron in France and shortly before the November 11, 1918, Armistice, he was shot down over Belgium. He returned to Canada in 1923.

Brown was hired as a pilot by Western Canada Airways Limited in 1927, based at The Pas and Cranberry Portage in Manitoba. Typical work included hauling mining equipment, food and supplies north to Rankin Inlet, and equipment, supplies and passengers for the Churchill River Power Company.

The fall of 1929 saw one of the most spectacular aerial searches ever organized in Canada's north. On August 24 two aircraft left Winnipeg with Colonel MacAlpine, Dominion Explorer's president, leading a mineral survey project. The pilots of the two planes were Stan McMillan, flying a Fairchild, and Tommy Thompson, flying a Fokker Super Universal. MacAlpine's plan was to cover over 32,000 square kilometres of land never before seen from the air. Their plan was to fly from Winnipeg into the Northwest Territories. Their route would be via Chesterfield Inlet, Baker Lake, Pelly Lake, Bathurst Inlet, Coppermine, Great Bear Lake, Fort Norman, Aklavik, then south to Fort Simpson, and return to Winnipeg via The Pas. They were to rendezvous with two other Dominion Explorer's aircraft on September 20. The rendezvous on the Arctic coast failed to happen. When the search was organized in late September, Brown was one of nine pilots from Western Canada Airways who spent ten weeks searching in the Baker Lake and Bathurst Inlet areas of the Northwest Territories. Members of the search parties were often in as desperate straits as the lost party themselves. Forced down on a remote Barren Lands lake, Brown spent one period of three weeks in his aircraft, with the temperature at forty and fifty below zero. The original exploration party was found, safe, at Cambridge Bay in the Arctic, although they suffered from hunger, frostbite and scurvy. It was a joyous day at The Pas on December 3rd when Brown touched down on Halcrow Lake with all the party in fair shape. All involved were brought back to Winnipeg on December 6th, but five of the rescue aircraft were damaged and had to be left in the North. They were repaired and brought out the following year.

From 1930 to 1932 Brown was superintendent and chief pilot of Western Canada Airways' prairie airmail operations with headquarters at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Their routes covered the cities of Winnipeg, Regina, Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Calgary, Saskatoon, Edmonton and North Battleford. However, flying the mail was considered too costly during the early thirties and the service was cancelled by the government in 1932. Brown then became Chief Pilot of the Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, region for Canadian Airways Limited, established by James A. Richardson in 1930.

In 1934, in company with Milt Ashton, Ted Stull and Jack Moar, Brown organized Wings Limited, and became President and Operations Manager. Canadian Pacific Railway bought Wings Limited in 1941, and in 1942 formed Canadian Pacific Airlines (CPA). Brown joined CPA and later took a leave of absence to become a test pilot of all new and rebuilt aircraft for Macdonald Brothers Aircraft at Winnipeg. Brown served in that capacity until 1945, during which time he test-flew some 2,500 aircraft. He then returned to CPA as Chief Pilot of the central district.

In 1947 he and Milt Ashton bought back their bush flying operation from CPA and organized Central Northern Airways, a predecessor of Trans-Air Limited of which Brown became a director.

From 1953 to 1958 Brown represented the constituency of Rupertsland in north-central Manitoba as the Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly. He died in Winnipeg on November 30, 1960.

Francis Roy Brown was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1976 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

 

There were many times in his life when F. Roy Brown tried to convince people that he was not the same Roy Brown known as “the Ace who brought down the famous Red Baron”. However, they did have something in common besides the name Roy Brown and contemporary life times: both were well known in Canada for their involvement in the development of aviation in central Canada. A Roy Brown founded and operated General Airways from 1927 to 1939.



A. Roy Brown

Birthdate: December 23, 1893
Birth Place: Carleton Place, Ontario
Death Date: March 9, 1944
Year Inducted: 2015
Awards: DSC*
Website: http://www.captroybrown.ca/

A Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force pilot and combat leader in the First World War, Roy Brown is inextricably linked to the demise of Manfred von Richthofen, Germany’s highest scoring fighter pilot. Afterwards, Brown established General Airways Limited, operating through the 1930s in Ontario, Québec and Manitoba. Induction citation, 2015

Born in Carleton Place, Ontario on December 23, 1893, Arthur Roy Brown was known by his middle name, Roy. After attending school in Carleton Place, he studied accounting at the Willis School of Business in Ottawa from 1910-12. An  invitation from an uncle, William Brown and his wife, Blanche, took Roy to Edmonton, Alberta, where he enrolled in Victoria High School from 1913-15. There he became friends with Wilfrid “Wop” May; the names of the two young men would soon be inseparably linked.

Returning home, Roy applied for enlistment in the First World War with the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). He was told that if he could earn a flying certificate, his tuition fees would be refunded and he could enlist in the RNAS as a Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant. Roy enrolled at the Wright School of Aviation at Dayton, Ohio, qualifying for his Aero Club of America Certificate on November 13, 1915 on his only solo flight, with only five hours and twenty minutes of flying time. On December 2 he sailed for England, where he began training at RNAS Station Chingford, twelve miles north of central London. While there he flew more advanced aircraft and on October 1915, Roy suffered minor injuries when his airplane crashed.

 On April 6, 1916, the engine of his BE.2c aircraft at Chingford failed and he crashed again, breaking a vertebra. After recovery and resuming training, on September 6 he was given his RNAS Pilot Certificate and the rank of Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant and posted to Eastchurch Gunnery School. In January 1917 Roy was posted to Royal Navy Station Dover and on March 9 was assigned to active service.

On March 10 Brown was appointed to Number 9 Naval Squadron in France at the aerodrome near the village of Saint-Pol-Sur-Mer, near Dunkirk, flying patrols along the Belgian coast. After flying three missions in Nieuport aircraft he was given a Sopwith Pup, which he crashed when landing on March 16. He reinjured his back, as well as his left knee, and was sent to England for recovery. Returning to his station on May 10, he was given responsibility for maintenance of five aircraft and training of five pilots.

On June 13, Roy was transferred to RNAS 4 Squadron at Bray Dunes, also near Dunkirk. When pilots flew at high altitudes, oxygen was scarce, temperatures were sub-zero Fahrenheit, lubricants on aircraft components congealed, guns frequently jammed and engine failures were not uncommon. Flying almost daily at high altitudes plus the mental strain of the work, was taking its toll on Roy’s health.

Following two more months of flying in which Roy was formation flying, testing new aircraft, doing photographic reconnaissance, patrol and escort flights, he scored his first victory on July 17. He downed a superior German aircraft, an Albatross III, while leading a flight of Sopwith Pups and was promptly promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant. On August 24 he was recommended for further promotion and sent on leave, returning to 9 Naval on September 1. Two days later he scored his second victory, while flying a Sopwith Camel, an aircraft new to him. Assigned to command a flight, Roy shot down three more enemy aircraft in quick succession. Confidential Reports stated, “Performed his duties as Flight Leader with great skill and dash – most efficient officer with men, good control of men.” On September 6, Roy was recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), awarded for the performance of meritorious or distinguished services before the enemy.

By October 13, 1917 Roy had scored his sixth victory. From November 10 until January 29, 1918 he returned to Canada on home leave. Back at 9 Naval in France, he was promoted to Acting Flight Commander, now flying only the Sopwith Camel biplane single-seater fighter. Escalation of the war saw Brown flying at least two combat missions a day, as well as training new pilots.

On March 13 he was recommended for promotion to Squadron Leader and soon scored his seventh victory. On April 1, 1918, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service amalgamated to form the Royal Air Force (RAF). Roy Brown’s rank changed from Flight Commander with the RNAS to Captain in the RAF.  His squadron was renamed as 209 Squadron. On April 9, his high school friend, Wop May, was posted to the squadron and joined Brown’s A Flight. On April 11 and 12, Brown scored two more victories, bringing his total to nine.

On the morning of April 21, 1918, Brown’s squadron engaged with Baron Manfred von Richthofen’s “Flying Circus” German squadron of Fokker Triplanes. During the melée Wop May’s guns jammed, so he left the fight, heading for Allied lines, with the “Red Baron” giving chase.  Seeing that May was in trouble, Roy Brown dove on von Richthofen, firing a burst at the red triplane and saving Wop May’s life. Von Richthofen’s airplane went down and Brown was recognized for downing the dreaded German fighter pilot, but never credited with the victory.

Four days later, Brown was grounded and hospitalized with severe food poisoning and extreme exhaustion, then sent to England to recover. Soon afterwards, he was recommended to receive the DSC for the second time. Released from hospital on June 6, Brown reported for duty as an instructor with No. 2 School of Aerial Fighting and Gunnery in Yorkshire. On July 15 just after takeoff, his engine failed, the aircraft stalled and crashed. Seriously injured again, Roy spent eight months in hospital before being sent back to Canada on March 8, 1919 and was released from the RAF in April 1920 with the rank of Captain.

On February 19, he married Edythe Monypenny in Toronto, and by 1928 the couple had three children – Margaret, Barbara and Donald. Roy was employed with the Imperial Varnish and Color Company Limited of Toronto, partly-owned by his father-in-law, but maintained his interest in aviation. In March 1928 Roy incorporated General Airways Limited, with himself as president. In June the company began operation from Amos, Québec with two aircraft servicing remote mining companies in Québec and Ontario. By 1935 the company was operating four bases in Québec and one in Ontario. Seven aircraft were in service carrying freight and passengers to remote points as far as Flin Flon, Manitoba and providing scheduled service to Winnipeg.

With changing government policies, competition from other carriers and during the Depression, even though General Airways had enjoyed financial success, eventually it became unprofitable, and ceased operating in March 1940. Roy’s next venture was to purchase a run-down farm near Stouffville, Ontario, turning it into a profitable business. Still with an interest in aviation, he accepted an appointment as associate editor for Canadian Aviation magazine, a short-lived position because of his deteriorating health. On March 9, 1944, at the age of only 50, Arthur Roy Brown died at home.


Suggested reading:
“Captain A. Roy Brown” (Volume I) by Alan Bennett (2011) - ISBN - 13:978-1-883283-56-8
“Captain A. Roy Brown (Volume II) by Alan Bennett (2011) - ISBN - 13:978-1-883283-89-6

There is no doubt that Roy set in motion the events that resulted in the death of Germany’s “Ace of Aces” and in so doing saved the life of “Wop” May - Roy did not fire the fatal round and nobody was given official credit for shooting down Richthofen.



Frederick Howard Buller

Birthdate: May 24, 1914
Birth Place: Vancouver, British Columbia
Death Date: June 7, 1994
Year Inducted: 1999
Awards: The McCurdy Award (CASI)

"He has been described as the complete engineer, whose genius in solving difficult structural problems began with the development of the Chipmunk and carried through to the Dash 7 making his contribution to the family of de Havilland STOL aircraft of lasting value to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1999

Frederick Howard Buller was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, on May 25, 1914. Growing up in Vancouver, he spent his formative summers on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast. When scarcely a teenager, he revealed his special talents as a designer by creating and building his own boats. His studies at the University of British Columbia from 1932 to 1935 developed his theoretical knowledge of physics, mechanics, materials, and fluid dynamics that became the tools of his craft.

Motivated by his continuing interest in sailboat design, he left B.C. for Glasgow, Scotland, in 1935 to study naval architecture first hand. On returning from Scotland in 1937, however, he set a new course and pursued aeronautical engineering. "After all," as he was later to point out, "what is an aircraft wing, if not a sail turned on its side?" That same year he enrolled in the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, California.

In 1939, Buller joined Aircraft Repair (later Northwest Industries) in Edmonton, Alberta. The rigours of devising repairs and modifications for a wide variety of civil and military aircraft, despite the constraints on time and materials imposed by the second world war, honed his ingenuity. In 1943, the war effort took him to eastern Canada, first to Central Aircraft, a subsidiary of de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. (DHC), in London, Ontario, where he was involved in special projects. In September of 1944 he was hired by de Havilland Canada in Downsview, the beginning of his 35-year career with that company.

Buller's first design work on an entirely new aircraft was with the de Havilland Chipmunk, which became the primary trainer for an entire generation of Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots. Like many of the designs to which he contributed, this aircraft remains highly sought after to this day. The Chipmunk was followed by the prototypical de Havilland STOL aircraft, the Beaver, which first flew in 1947.

During his tenure as Chief Designer at DHC, no fewer than six new families of aircraft designs were developed, including the DHC-3 Otter (1951), DHC-4 Caribou (1958), DHC-5 Buffalo (1964), DHC-6 Twin Otter (1965), and DHC-7 Dash Seven (1975). These unique designs share a common functionality and ruggedness. Many hundreds of these types remain in active service.

In addition, during the late sixties, Buller was asked to consult on a feasibility study and conceptual design for a hydrofoil to be built by de Havilland for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). This was to be the H.M.C.S. Bras D'or.

Buller was one of the original members of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, founded in 1955, and was a Fellow of that Institute. In May of 1971, he received their McCurdy Award "... for his major contribution to the name and fame of the de Havilland family of STOL aircraft." He retired from de Havilland in 1979.

In 1987, the DHC-2 Beaver was named by the Engineering Centennial Board, as one of the ten best engineering accomplishments in Canada, a distinction due in large part to Buller's contributions to the design of the aircraft. In 1997 he was inducted into the de Havilland Hall of Fame. Frederick Buller died on June 7, 1994 at White Rock, British Columbia.

Frederick Howard Buller was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1999 at a ceremony held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

According to his colleagues, Buller's particular gift lay in his ability to resolve complex, competing engineering problems with simple but elegant design solutions. He was a frequent lecturer at the Institute of Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto. An engaging speaker, he enjoyed interacting and encouraging students interested in aeronautical engineering and design.



Maurice Burbidge

Nickname: Moss
Birthdate: April 15, 1896
Birth Place: Brough East, Yorkshire, England
Death Date: January 1, 1977
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: The McKee Trophy

"His outstanding abilities as a pilot and his instructional talent, directed towards numerous embryonic aviators during his half century of flight, has been of significant benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

Maurice (Moss) Burbidge was born in Brough East, Yorkshire, England, on April 15, 1896, and educated at Pocklington School. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery at the outbreak of World War I and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) a year later where he earned his pilot's wings.

Burbidge took the gunnery school training and served as a flying instructor until early in 1918. At that time he was sent to France with 115 Squadron, RFC, flying Handley-Page bombers. As an operational airman he flew night raids into Germany with the Independent Air Force under Lord Trenchard's command. After the war he remained with the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a Flight Lieutenant, serving in India with 63 Squadron until being transferred to No. 1 Flying Training School in England as an instructor. When the Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm was formed in 1925, it sent its student pilots to train under Burbidge's command.

He retired from the RAF in 1928, earned his British Civil Pilot's Licence and was offered three  positions. Two were in India and another was as Chief Flying Instructor at the Edmonton and Northern Alberta Aero Club. Burbidge accepted the latter offer and came to Canada in March 1929.

As Chief Flying Instructor, he replaced W.R. 'Wop' May who had left to form his own company, Commercial Airways Limited. During the following decade, while still employed by the club, Burbidge flew occasionally for Commercial Airways out of Edmonton. In December 1929, he became one of the pilots, with May and Cy Becker, on Commercial Airways' inaugural airmail flight to Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan, Fort Smith, Fort Resolution and Aklavik, following the Mackenzie River route northward through the Northwest Territories.

But it was as an instructor that Burbidge's talent was most appreciated. He was known as a born instructor with a special talent for gaining a student's confidence in the first few minutes. Hundreds of students had made their first solo flights under Burbidge's instruction by the end of 1932. One of his students was Grant McConachie, who learned to fly in 1929 and who would later become President of Canadian Pacific Airlines. Another was Alf Caywood, who learned to fly in 1937 and who later became President and General Manager of Eldorado Aviation.

Burbidge was awarded the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy for 1932 “In recognition of his work as Club Instructor”. Colonel D. M. Sutherland, Minister of National Defence, announced the award and commented on the impressive work of the Edmonton and Northern Alberta Aero Club. He believed that the success of the club was entirely due to Burbidge, whose leadership, initiative and discipline made the club a model in every respect.

In April 1938, Burbidge resigned as instructor at the Edmonton Aero Club after nine years, to become associated with Trans-Canada Air Lines in Winnipeg,

Manitoba. He retired from active flying in 1939, but was called back into service in 1940 as a civilian, in the post of Chief Flying Instructor with No. 16 RCAF Elementary Flying Training School at Edmonton. He left in 1942 to become the Manager of the airport at Lethbridge, Alberta.

In 1944, with H.W. Hayter, Burbidge joined the staff of Transportes Aereos Centro-Americanos, an air line operating throughout Central America out of its base in Miami, Florida. He became Operations Manager of the Panama-Nicaragua section and served in that capacity until his final retirement from aviation.

During half a century of flying, Burbidge trained more than 700 students to fly, without a fatality or injury. He flew in excess of 15,000 hours and captained 32 types of aircraft, from the flimsiest pioneer trainers to modern commercial carriers. He died January 1, 1977.

Maurice (Moss) Burbidge was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

In December 1939, Burbidge took a refresher course for flying club instructors at the RCAF Station at Camp Borden. The categorization of civil flying instructors at that time was still under the control of the Department of National Defence, which felt this policy was necessary in the interest of safety.



Carl Frederick Burke

Birthdate: February 10, 1913
Birth Place: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Death Date: September 7, 1976
Year Inducted: 1982
Awards: M.B.E., LL.D. (Hon)

"His skills as a pilot, his visionary leadership as a dedicated entrepreneur, his administrative ability which guided the establishment of regional air carriers in the eastern provinces, together with his substantial contributions to the development of northern flying, have been of outstanding benefit to the Nation." - Induction citation, 1982

Carl Frederick Burke, M.B.E., LL.D. (Hon), was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on February 10, 1913, where he received his education.

While working as a hardware clerk in 1936 his desire to fly resulted in frequent journeys to St. John, New Brunswick, to take flying lessons. He obtained his Private Pilot's Licence in July of 1937, and the following year he tied for first place in the Webster Trophy competition while earning his Commercial Pilot's Licence. He purchased a de Havilland 60 Cirrus Moth which was the only privately owned aircraft on Prince Edward Island at the time. In 1939 he qualified for his Air Engineer's Certificate.

He accepted a position in May 1939, as a pilot with Canadian Airways Ltd. at Moncton, New Brunswick. At this time, he nurtured ideas of creating a Maritime regional air service, a dream shared by his flying associate, Josiah Anderson.

When Canadian Pacific Air Services acquired Canadian Airways, Burke and Anderson joined the Royal Air Force Ferry Command delivering aircraft to the British Isles. They continued to plan for a Maritime air service and in 1941, a licence was received to operate a scheduled commercial air service which included Charlottetown, Moncton and St. John. Regrettably, Burke had to carry on alone after Anderson lost his life in an airplane crash.

With the purchase of a Barkley Grow and a Fairchild 24, as well as a leased Boeing 24 7D, Burke's new company, Maritime Central Airways (MCA), operated its first flight on December 7, 1941. While managing the company, Burke captained many of MCA's inaugural flights.

On January 28, 1943, he made five dangerous landings on an ice floe in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to rescue four RAF crewmen and equipment from a downed Avro Anson, incurring considerable risk as it was uncertain that the ice would hold his plane. For this rescue he was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E., Civil).

By the end of World War II, MCA's fleet and areas serviced had greatly expanded. With the inevitable post-war slump, Burke became involved in a variety of income-producing alternatives to keep the company viable, such as seal surveys, lobster charters, and ice patrols for the federal Department of Transport, as well as forestry patrols for the Government of New Brunswick. A subsidiary company, Maritime Central Aircraft Maintenance, was formed to undertake the maintenance of C-47 Dakota aircraft at the RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

In 1951 MCA won the contract to provide the airlift for the eastern portions of the Pinetree Project, a chain of military radar stations. During three years of involvement, Burke provided the leadership for a successful air lift of over 10,000 tons of equipment and supplies to the eastern Arctic. The project reported some six million air miles (9,650,000 km) flown and over 100,000 passengers transported to the sites.

When Canada and the United States entered into an agreement to construct the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line) in November of 1954, MCA was named the prime contractor for the eastern section of the chain of stations. Burke was actively involved in the overall administration of this operation which required the procurement of additional aircraft, spare parts and ground equipment. At its peak periods, the project needed up to 75 aircraft to meet the requirements of the contract.

In 1953 MCA acquired an interest in two small Quebec-based operations, Boreal Airways and Mont Laurier Aviation. By November 1956, the two companies became wholly owned subsidiaries of MCA and merged under the name of Nordair Ltd., which experienced a healthy growth. With the purchase of Wheeler Airlines Ltd. in 1960, MCA had an air route structure that stretched from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Windsor, Ontario, and north beyond the Arctic Circle.

During the 1960's MCA acquired trans-Atlantic range aircraft with which the airline entered the overseas passenger and cargo charter business. MCA was sold to Eastern Provincial Airlines in 1963, but Nordair was not included in the sale. In 1967, when 85% of Nordair's shares were sold to J. Tooley of Montreal, Burke continued as a Director and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board.

During his flying career, Burke was certified on 23 types of aircraft and flew a total of 10,922 hours. His community work was recognized in 1968 when Acadia University conferred upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (LL.D.). He died on September 1, 1976, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Carl Frederick Burke was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1982 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

While flying with Canadian Airways Ltd., Burke used a ski-equipped de Havilland Rapide to rescue the pilot of a crashed Lockheed Hudson near Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland. Killed in the crash were Sir Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin, navigator William Bird, and William Snailman.