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Member Profiles


John Ender Palmer

Nickname: Jock
Birthdate: December 28, 1896
Birth Place: Cambridge, England
Death Date: November 19, 1964
Year Inducted: 1988
Awards: A.F.C., D.C.M.

"His pioneering work in the use of air to ground wireless, his piloting the first international mail run and his continued dedication to instructing others to fly have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1988

John Ender (Jock) Palmer, A.F.C., D.C.M., was born in Cambridge, England, on December 28, 1896. The family moved to Canada and settled in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1901. He joined the 10th Battalion as a Private on September 1, 1914, and embarked for England with the first contingent on October 3, 1914. He was posted to France on February 15, 1915, promoted to Lance Corporal in March and to Corporal in June. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.) in July of 1915 and in November was promoted to Sergeant. He was transferred to the 2nd Brigade, Machine Gun Company on February 3, 1916, commissioned as a Lieutenant in May and transferred back to the 10th Battalion where he was wounded in June and invalided back to England.

Palmer was eventually transferred to the Royal Flying Corps where he learned to fly. He was promoted to Captain on April 1, 1918, and at the end of the war was credited with nine victories. He was seconded to the Canadian Air Force in July of 1919, and attended ground school for radiophone communications. While with Technical Services Squadron in Kent, he assisted in the design of air to ground wireless communication. He returned to Canada in November of 1919.

On return to civilian life in Lethbridge in 1920, he flew with flight examiner Basil Hobbs and received Commercial Pilot's Licence #64. That same year, Palmer formed the Lethbridge Aircraft Company, where he served as pilot.

Throughout Alberta, he was involved in barnstorming, stunt flying, and wing walking adventures. He flew passengers, did aerial advertising and aerial photography. His attempt to fly the first international mail between Lethbridge and Ottawa via the United States in June 1922, ended in a crash in Minot, North Dakota, when he sacrificed his plane to avoid hitting a carload of people on the landing field.

In 1923 Palmer built radio station CJOC in Lethbridge, choosing call letters C for Canada, and JOC for 'Jock'. He operated this broadcasting station until it was sold in 1928.

He maintained his interest in flying during these years, and in 1927 he obtained his Air Engineer's Licence and Night Flying Endorsement. He formed Lethbridge Commercial Airways with financial aid from C.B. Elliott and E. (Emil) Sick, owner of the Lethbridge Brewing Company. At one time, the wings of Palmer's aircraft carried an advertisement for the Brewing Company. It is believed that the biplane on today's Lethbridge Pilsner Beer is Palmer's Curtiss Jenny. In 1927 Palmer owned and flew the only civilian-owned aircraft in Alberta.

Palmer moved to Calgary in 1928 when Sick purchased a Stinson Detroiter, which was flown from Detroit to Calgary in April by Palmer and Fred McCall. It became known as 'Purple Label', the aircraft which was used for transporting Brewery executives and charter flying. The business was so successful that Palmer and McCall formed Great Western Airways in June of 1928. Palmer was Chief Pilot and instructor, while McCall was appointed Managing Director of the company. The business included flying explosives to oilfields in Alberta, air exhibitions, and flight instruction. They took delivery of two new DH-60 Moths for instruction purposes.

The depression period of the early 1930's created hardship for the company, and it was forced to close, as were other air services in Calgary. From 1932 to 1936 Palmer operated his own flying school and aircraft repair service in Calgary. In 1937 he moved this operation to the Windermere Valley, south of Radium, British Columbia, and also flew Forest Service patrols.

In 1940 Palmer returned to Calgary and became an instructor for the Aero Club which operated No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School in Lethbridge and later in High River, Alberta, for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). He became Chief Flying Instructor, Radio Communications Officer and finally, Officer Commanding. For his contribution to the BCATP, he was awarded the Air Force Cross (A.F.C.). Palmer retired from flying in 1955 with over 18,000 hours. He died in Calgary on November 19, 1964.

John Ender (Jock) Palmer was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988 at a ceremony held at Toronto, Ontario.

“Jock” Palmer described the many hazards of flying the delicate airplanes of the 1920’s. Two incidents involved inadequate landing fields: the first was landing in a field with gopher and badger holes which caught the undercarriage of his aircraft, damaging it beyond repair. Another incident involved an automobile which drove in front of his aircraft just as he was coming in for a landing. He had to swerve to avoid the car, resulting in a ground-loop which tore off the undercarriage and damaged the wing - the airmail he was carrying was forwarded on by rail. He was not injured in either incident.

William Philip Paris

Birthdate: July 23, 1919
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario
Death Date: June 17, 2010
Year Inducted: 2019
Awards: C.M.

As a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, attached to the Royal Air Force, William Paris distinguished himself flying Spitfires in the North African Campaign. Post-war, for several decades he was a leading figure in civilian pilot training and in management of the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, on July 23, 1919, to parents William and Caroline, William Philip “Bill” Paris attended Weston High and Vocational School. After graduation, he worked as a bank teller and in 1940, following the outbreak of the Second World War, Bill signed up with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in the military reserve and attained the rank of sergeant. In 1941 he transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force and took pilot training at No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School at Hamilton, Ontario, where he took his first flight on August 21, 1941, in a Fleet Finch biplane. This was followed by further training at No. 1 Service Flying Training School at Camp Borden, Ontario, where trainees flew Harvard and Yale aircraft. Bill earned his wings and graduated as a sergeant pilot in January, 1942.

    Bill’s next assignment was a posting to a Flight Training School in England. After arriving at Bournemouth, he joined No. 17 Advanced Flying Unit at Watton in Norfolk. On May 23, 1942, he reported to No. 53 Operational Training Unit in Llandow, Wales, where he made his first flight in a Spitfire. Upon completion of Spitfire training on July 18 that year, his assessment recognized him as an “above average pilot.”

    In July 1942, Bill reported to 122 Squadron of the Royal Air Force at Hornchurch, Kent, and on July 26, he flew his first operational flight as a fighter pilot. Transferred on September 5 to 242 RAF Squadron in Digby, Bill flew the Spitfire type VC, which had a huge air filter built to withstand large concentrations of sand in the air, mounted beneath the belly of the aircraft. On September 25, he was transferred to 152 Hyderabad Squadron A in South Wales, and on October 23, 1942, he was one of 30 squadron pilots who set sail for a destination not known to them, in a convoy of 20 merchant ships with armed escorts of sloops, destroyers, cruisers and an aircraft carrier.

    In November, the ship landed in Gibraltar as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, and Bill began flying Spitfires equipped with long range fuel tanks, which added 600 pounds to the aircraft and changed its flight characteristics. Combat action followed for 152 Squadron on November 25 over Tunis in North Africa at 15,000 feet against enemy bombers and fighters. Two of the squadron’s Spitfires were destroyed and Bill scored his first success in damaging a Messerschmitt Me109. Heavy aerial fighting followed in the ensuing days. On one occasion Bill scored his first victory, shooting down an enemy Stuka dive bomber. The next day one of his guns jammed while attacking an Me109 and he successfully outflew a pursuing Me109 in a chase that reached close to 400 miles per hour just above ground level.

    A few days later, Bill’s Spitfire was seriously damaged by enemy fire, causing control problems; the aircraft would maintain level flight only by flying at 160 miles per hour, at which speed Bill successfully managed to land. Regular combat flights continued for 152 Squadron and in mid-January 1943 it was re-equipped with new aircraft. Air-to-air and air-to-ground operations continued along with escorting bomber runs in Algeria and Tunisia in the North African Campaign. Bill was flying up to four operational flights per day. In March 1943, he was promoted to pilot officer and 152 Squadron was converted to a Spitfire bomber squadron, with the aircraft modified to carry two 250-pound bombs.

    Bill flew operational missions with the converted Spitfire and on May 3 reported to 144 Maintenance Unit Headquarters at Maison Blanche airport to test fly rebuilt fighter aircraft for return to service in North Africa. In October he was promoted to flying officer and posted to Sicily. In April 1944, Flying Officer Paris returned to Canada as a seasoned combat pilot and was posted to No. 13 Elementary Flying Training School at St. Eugene, Ontario, to train navy pilots.  Of the 30 pilots from 152 Squadron who had sailed from England, only Bill and two others successfully survived the war. The other 27 had been shot down, killed in action or taken prisoner. On April 1945, Bill was discharged from the air force with the rank of flight lieutenant.

    A second phase in Bill’s aviation career began in 1946. From then until 1952, while working with his father in the contracting business, Bill was a part-time instructor with the Toronto Flying Club, training civil and military reserve pilots. From 1952-1955 he served as general manager for the London Flying Club in London, Ontario.

    Prior to the Second World War, clubs of the Canadian Flying Clubs Association (CFCA) were instrumental in training pilots. During the war, the clubs of the CFCA were involved in pilot training for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, and in 1945 the CFCA became the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association (RCFCA) and civilian pilot training resumed after not being permitted during the war years.

    From 1955-1984 Bill Paris gave 30 years of service to the RCFCA, starting as secretary general manager, then executive director and ultimately as president. His responsibilities included promotion of all aspects of flight training, including upgrading of Canadian training standards and pilot licensing policies. A special undertaking with which he was involved for several months was as Head Technical Advisor for the Great London to Victoria Air Race in 1971. The race saw 78 single and twin-engine aircraft fly across the Atlantic, 5,851 miles from London, England, to Victoria, British Columbia, in the centennial celebrations of British Columbia’s entry into Confederation.

    Bill Paris became a founding director of the National Air Museum Society (NAMS) when it was established in 1978, joining the society while he was with the RCFCA. Bill served as president of NAMS for five years and remained on the board until his 90th birthday, when he was made an Honorary Director for Life. NAMS ultimately led to the establishment of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

    Robert Bradford, former curator of the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa (now known as the Canada Aviation and Space Museum), who was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1996, remembers Bill Paris well and has stated, “I quickly learned of the aviation achievements of this humble and quiet man, who spoke with authority on all matters of aviation in Canada”.

    In 1996 Bill Paris wrote and published a memoir, Of Sun-Split Clouds and a Hundred Things!, for family members. In the last paragraph of the memoir, he stated, “If I were to be asked to identify a single factor that, by itself, shaped my adult life, I would have to answer, ‘the onset of World War 2.’ It is my conviction that the knowledge and experience gained by accepting an active role in that dreadful upheaval qualified me for my successful post-war civil aviation career that occupied many contented years.”

    In 1989 William Paris was installed as a Member of the Order of Canada. His contribution to aviation was stated in his citation: “His life has been dedicated to supporting the cause of aviation in Canada, particularly as President of the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association and he influenced countless airline, bush, military, general aviation and recreational pilots who have helped to identify Canada as one of the foremost providers of skilled, professional aircrew in the world.”

    In June 1944, Bill married Jacqueline Cole in Toronto and the couple had one child, Barbara, born in 1951. After Jacqueline died of cancer in 1970, Bill married Joan Weedon-Reed in 1971, who died in 2012 and was predeceased by Bill, who died in Ottawa on June 17, 2010. For 70 years, William Philip Paris served aviation as a wartime fighter pilot, flying instructor, flying club builder, organization manager, director and museum builder, leaving a lasting imprint in Canadian aviation heritage.

Hubert Martyn Pasmore

Birthdate: June 17, 1898
Birth Place: Devonshire, England
Death Date: April 21, 1998
Year Inducted: 2008

"Under his outstanding leadership, Fairchild Aircraft Ltd. (Canada) became one of Canada's leading military and commercial aircraft manufacturers during the inter-war period, producing many unique aircraft types that would contribute to the development of Canada." - Induction citation, 2008

Hubert Martyn Pasmore was born June 17, 1898 in Devonshire, England, and grew up in Hamilton. Ontario. As a young man, Pasmore developed two strong interests: mechanical engineering and aviation. He studied engineering in Boston with the goal of attending MIT, but World War I intervened. He enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and graduated in 1917 as a pilot. In 1918 he was posted to No. 231 RAF Squadron, but the end of the war terminated his early flying experience.

Jobs in aviation were scarce after the war. In 1922 Jack Elliott, of Hamilton, offered Pasmore the opportunity to fly. His job as pilot included barnstorming and stunt flying; he was also responsible for the assembly and servicing of Elliott's newly acquired World War I surplus aircraft.

In July 1922 Sherman Mills Fairchild established Fairchild Aerial Surveys (of Canada) Ltd. at Lac-a-la-Tortue (Grand-Mere), Quebec. The wealthy American had invented a high-speed between-the-lens-shutter for an aerial camera. He was looking for a second pilot in 1924, and Pasmore was recommended. Mr. Fairchild personally interviewed Pasmore in Hamilton and hired him immediately.

At Lac-a-la-Tortue, Pasmore gained experience as a pilot and took an active role in the maintenance of the aircraft. Year round aerial photography and survey, mapping, transport, forest patrol, and rescue of persons and salvaging of aircraft were all part of his job.

Pasmore was well acquainted with the Fairchild FC-2 'Razorback'. It was an ideal general utility aircraft, the first in Canada with an enclosed heated cabin. It could be quickly converted from wheels to floats or skis, and it soon became the most popular all-purpose aircraft in Canada in the late 1920's. The Canadian company became the sales agent for Fairchild aircraft in Canada.

Sherman Fairchild had a high regard for Pasmore's abilities, so it was no surprise when he supported his suggestion early in 1927 to establish a Fairchild aircraft manufacturing company in Canada. In 1928, with Fairchild's financial backing, Pasmore chose Longueuil, near Montreal, as the site for the new facility and purchased a 265 acre property beside the St. Lawrence River. He supervised construction as Plant Manager, and flew as test pilot. His career quickly progressed to Managing Director.

Upon plant completion in 1930, the name Fairchild Aerial Surveys was changed to Fairchild Aircraft Limited. Under Pasmore's direction, the new facilities included an aircraft servicing, repair and manufacturing plant, with seaplane dock and airfield. This created Canada's finest all-round aircraft complex between World War I and World War II. Pasmore was named President of the company in 1933, and Director in 1934.

The company became one of the most active aircraft enterprises during this period. One of its many contracts was the assembly of Junkers 52 aircraft from parts shipped from the German manufacturer. As well, during this time, Pasmore supervised the design and manufacture of the first all metal fuselage aircraft, the Super 71. The metal stress analysis was done by a brilliant engineer, Elsie MacGill. In 1935 an improved model, the F-82.

In 1936 Pasmore obtained the sales and manufacturing rights for Lockheed aircraft in Canada. Fairchild marketed all of the early Lockheeds including the 10A Electra, Trans-Canada Airline's first modern airliner.

Pasmore had exceptional leadership qualities. He was creative and imaginative; he hired workers with the highest potential and he had the ability to motivate and inspire those who worked with him. This led to immense individual pride in workmanship and when the Canadian aircraft industry expanded in the late 1930's due to the threat of World War II, skilled Fairchild personnel contributed considerably to its rapid growth.

In 1938 Fairchild joined with five other companies to create Canadian Associated Aircraft Ltd. which began manufacturing the Handley Page Hampden bomber and the Bristol Bolingbroke IVT light bomber for the RCAF and RAF. Towards the end of the war Fairchild was also manufacturing the Curtiss SB-2C Helldivers. In 1945 components for the Vought Corsair and the Grumman Tigercat aircraft were produced for the U.S. military.

Throughout the war, Pasmore supervised the plant and its expansion from the original 36,400 square foot factory employing approximately 100 employees, to a 600,000+ square foot facility employing close to 10,000 by 1944. By the end of the war, he had one of the most capable aeronautical engineering teams in Canada. In fact, Fairchild Aircraft won a federal contract to design and manufacture a multi-purpose training aircraft for the RCAF. The contract was subsequently cancelled by the government as WW II ended.

Fairchild then developed a new utility aeroplane, the F-ll 'Husky' Freighter, which was test-flown in 1946. This aircraft featured a unique rear loading door and could accommodate a 16 foot canoe, inside the fuselage, eliminating the need to tie it onto the floats. The company worked with the Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS) on its order for 25 new aircraft which were manufactured to meet their requirements. Each aircraft was to carry four bush fire fighters with their fire fighting equipment plus two small canoes or one freight canoe. In spite of the successful Husky development, OPAS policy for contract awards changed. The Fairchild company was no longer eligible for OPAS aircraft production.

Meanwhile Pasmore noted the post-war housing crisis. To meet this demand for new homes, he created a parallel independent company called 'Faircraft Homes' within the Fairchild facility to produce pre-fabricated homes, which were built on a production line system. Unfortunately, there was a post-war shortage of components such as sinks, stoves, refrigerators, and bathroom fixtures. Soon the houses began to stack up on the runways; the demand for these houses was high, but lack of components slowed delivery and subsequently, cash flow suffered.

By 1948, the continued lack of components for completion of the homes, and the federal government's decision to award aircraft manufacturing contracts solely to two other aircraft manufacturers, were taking their toll on the company. Twelve Husky aircraft had been manufactured when the OPAS cancelled its order. These events led Pasmore to make the difficult decision to cease Fairchild and Faircraft operations. In 1948 'Mr. Fairchild Canada' retired from the Canadian aviation world.

Hubert Pasmore died in Victoria on April 21, 1998, just short of his 100th birthday.

Hubert Martyn Pasmore was inducted into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame at ceremonies held in Toronto in 2008.

Pasmore remained very active throughout his long retirement. In 1946 he acquired the surplus hull of a patrol boat, completely refurbished it and spent many enjoyable years sailing it.

Julie Payette

Birthdate: October 20, 1963
Birth Place: Montreal, Quebec
Year Inducted: 2010
Awards: OC, CQ

"She served the Canadian Space Agency as an astronaut in two space missions from NASA in 1999 and 2009 as a mission specialist and flight engineer. Her work has included docking with the International Space Station, supervising space walks and operating robotic arms on space shuttles. From 2000-2007 she was Chief Astronaut for the CSA, and continues her work at Mission Control Center in Houston." - Induction citation, 2010

Julie Payette, OC, CQ was born in Montreal, Quebec, on October 20, 1963 and as a youngster, Ms. Payette was fascinated by space travel. She says, "I have always wanted to fly. When I was at primary school I watched the Apollo missions on television and wanted to be an astronaut. I saw the astronauts preparing for flight, watched the rocket launching and saw the astronauts walking on the moon and driving the lunar vehicle, thinking I would like to do that!"

At age 19, she contacted a Canadian Air Force recruitment office about a career as a pilot and was told that pilot positions were not open to women. Undeterred, Julie entered McGill University, graduating cum laude with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1986.

She then conducted research in computer systems, language processing and automatic speech recognition. She worked as a system engineer with IBM Canada in 1986-1988, as a research assistant at the University of Toronto, and earned a Master of Applied Science degree in computer engineering from the U of T in 1990. Work followed as visiting scientist at an IBM Research Laboratory in Switzerland in 1991 and as research engineer with BNR/Northern in Montreal in 1992.

In June 1992, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) selected Ms. Payette from 5,330 applicants to become one of four astronauts. Established in 1989, the mandate of the Canadian Space Agency is: To promote the peaceful use and development of space, to advance the knowledge of space through science and to ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians.

After basic training in Canada, Ms. Payette worked as a technical advisor for the Mobile Servicing System Canadarm2, the advanced robotics system contributed by Canada to the International Space Station.

Starting with pilot training and earning a private pilot's license at the Ottawa Flying Club in 1993, she added aerobatic, multi-engine and IFR ratings as well as a commercial license to her qualifications. Julie Payette gained operational experience as a jet pilot by earning her wings at 15 Wing, CFB Moose Jaw, flying the Tutor CT-114 jet.

In 1996 she was deployed by the Canadian Space Agency to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, NASA'S human space flight training center. Julie flew her first space flight on Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999 as a crew member on STS-96. The crew performed the first manual docking of the shuttle to the International Space Station and delivered four tons of supplies. On this flight, Payette served as a mission specialist, was responsible for the Station systems, supervised the space walk and operated the Canadarm robotic arm. The mission was accomplished in 153 orbits of Earth in almost 10 days. In that mission, Ms. Payette was the first Canadian to board the Space Station when construction had just begun on it. Today, it is a fully functional space laboratory where astronauts live and work.

From September 1999 to December 2002, Ms. Payette was assigned to represent the Astronaut corps at the European and Russian space agencies where she supervised procedure development, equipment verification and space hardware processing for the International Space Station Program. She then spent several years at Mission Control Center Houston as a Capcom, the person responsible for communications between the ground and astronauts on orbit. From 2000 to 2007 she was Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.

Astronauts spend many hours in simulators to ready themselves for space flights. In July 2009, Julie was back in space, flying as the Flight Engineer aboard the space shuttle Endeavor on Mission STS-127 to deliver spare parts and install laboratory elements on the International Space Station. Doing the job required five space walks. She helped to fly the spacecraft and operated three robotic arms, including Canadarm, the shuttle robotic arm; Canadarm.2, the station robotic arm; and a special-purpose Japanese arm.

While the Shuttle -was docked to the Station, the mission included a record 13 astronauts from five different nationalities, working together on a single joint spacecraft. The mission was accomplished in l6 days, travelling 10.5 million kilometres in 234 orbits of Earth. It was also the first instance when two Canadians were in space at the same time, the other being Robert Thirsk, who was launched from Russia to spend six months aboard the International Space Station, returning to our planet in November 2009.

Julie Payette regards her work as Flight Engineer on the Space Shuttle as a professional highlight. In the three-person shuttle cockpit, the flight engineer is the most senior mission specialist assignment and the only position available to a non-American astronaut. The other two positions in the cockpit are the commander and the pilot. During the dynamic phases of flight (ascent, orbital manoeuvering and re-entry), Payette's duties included overseeing actions of the pilot and the commander, ensuring that proper procedures were followed in the correct order, monitoring the spacecraft systems, diagnosing issues and guiding the crew's corrective attempts. "Flying at 25 times the speed of sound, with 1.800 switches, breakers and dials in the front cockpit alone, there is a need to be very vigilant!" she says.

With completion of two space flights, her log book lists 1,350 hours of flight time on more than 40 different aircraft and 6ll hours in space. She has realized her childhood dream and is an inspiration to others who aspire to lofty goals. Her advice to young people is to "find your passion" and work towards accomplishment of what they want to be. In doing that herself, Ms. Payette has been honoured many times. Recognized with academic awards and scholarships as a student, she is the recipient of 15 honorary doctorates from Canadian universities, and has been inducted as a Chevalier of the National Order of Quebec. In June 2010 she was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Julie Payette was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame on June 10, 2010 at a ceremony held in Vancouver, B.C..


Julie Payette was sworn in as Canada's 29th Governor General on October 2nd 2017.

Ronald Peel

Nickname: Ron
Birthdate: March 10, 1922
Birth Place: Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Death Date: February 10, 2020
Year Inducted: 1991
Awards: D.F.C.

"His superb navigational and organizational! skills and ability to develop comprehensive training methods and operating procedures are an asset to Canadian and world aviation." - Induction citation, 1991

Ronald Peel, D.F.C., B.Sc., was born in Leeds, England, on March 10, 1922. His family immigrated to Canada two years later to settle in Toronto, Ontario. After graduating from high school he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as an Observer. He graduated in 1941 at the top of his class and was posted to England. While serving as a navigator/bomb aimer, he was burned in a near fatal crash on December 6, 1941. Following his recovery, he completed a tour of 30 operations and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C.). He was Mentioned in Despatches for distinguished service to the Royal Air Force (RAF) Transport Command.

In 1943 he was seconded to Trans-Canada Airlines to assist in the operation of the Canadian Government Trans Atlantic Air Service (CGTAS). Following his discharge from the RCAF he became TCA's first Chief Navigator,a position he held for eight years. During this time his aviation innovations included the use of Long Range Aerial Navigation (LORAN), periscopic sextants and the Lambert Conformal Plotting Charts. He developed techniques for the selection of optimum routes, flight altitudes and cruise control for long range flights. His contributions to the development of Pressure Pattern Navigation were published in 1953 in the Journal of the Institute of Navigation in England. He also assisted Canadian Pacific Airlines (CPA) in setting up its overseas department and was a founding officer and president of the Canadian Institute of Navigation.

In 1953 Peel became Supervisor of Flight Operations Ground Training for TCA. He also participated, until 1969, in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) activities related to improving flight crew training standards and overcoming problems in making the transition to the jet age. He presented a paper to the Airline Pilot's Association (APA) in Chicago to help the aviation industry meet this challenge. He also checked out as a First Officer with a Class I Instrument Rating and flew the Douglas DC-3 and later Viscount aircraft to ensure his ground training program met all requirements. In 1959 Peel set up a computer system for maintenance inventory, and introduced courses for the Vanguard, DC-8 and DC-9 aircraft.

While working full time at TCA, which became Air Canada in 1965, Peel attended Sir George Williams University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (with Distinction) after eight years of evening studies. He was appointed Manager of Flight Operations Training Administration and enrolled in an evening program at McGill University for courses in finance and business statistics. Peel contributed to the development of Canada's first community college pilot education program. He also participated in the study group that established the feasibility of a computerized flight planning system for Air Canada, and of a no-reservation service between Toronto and Montreal.

Between 1969 and 1971, Peel held a number of operational positions, culminating as Flight Operations Special Project Director, the latter post until 1978. He presented recommendations to the Air Canada board of directors which resulted in the use of Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) and redeployment of navigators. He developed and implemented policies during the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) energy crisis as well as assisting IATA to reduce airline costs over north Atlantic routes. In 1979 he was appointed Chairman of the IATA North Atlantic/North American Technical Panel where, for a 20 year period, he made recommendations concerning world wide navigation, communications, and Air Traffic Control systems,

Peel was seconded to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1981 to prepare its course (Ml) on the training of Flight Dispatchers and Operations Officers. As an aviation consultant, he prepared a "Manual of Guidance for Member States on the Preparation of Operations Manuals" for ICAO, and developed the IATA M10 course "Flight Operations and Management". He was also responsible for the script and development of visual aids when Air Canada obtained a contract for the de Havilland Dash-8 audio-visual training program. Using lATA's Program for Developing Nations, he assisted the management of airlines from twenty countries to improve the safety and efficiency of their flying operations. He retired in 1989.

Ronald Peel was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1991 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta and sadly passed away just before his 98th birthday on February 10, 2020.

Throughout his career, Ron Peel maintained his competency to navigation. Since his retirement from aviation Peel devoted considerable time and energy to improving the quality of Canadian Power and Sail Squadron courses as Navigator Course Director. He revised and updated that organization’s most advanced celestial navigation course, and used his aviation knowledge and experience in the preparation of a comprehensive electronic marine navigation course. He retired from those endeavours in 1997.

George Hector Reid Phillips

Birthdate: August 17, 1893
Birth Place: Orangeville, Ontario
Death Date: July 20, 1977
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: The McKee Trophy

"As a pioneer forestry pilot he applied himself without reserve to designing new techniques for increasing the safety factor of fire-fighting pilots, which have substantially benefited Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

George Hector Reid Phillips was born near Orangeville, Ontario, on August 17, 1893. As a youth he worked in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and Iroquois Falls, Ontario, until he enlisted in the Second Canadian Pioneer Battalion in 1915 at Timmins, Ontario. He served in France as a machine gunner until 1917, when he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant, was wounded and Mentioned in Despatches for heroism under fire. Shortly before war's end he transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an Observer and served again briefly in France with the Independent Air Force. In 1921 he joined the Canadian Air Force as an Observer, but resigned shortly after.

Phillips was hired in 1921 by the Forestry Service of the Province of Ontario as a tower observer. In 1924 the Ontario Provincial Air Service was formed. It urgently needed pilots, air engineers and suitable aircraft for its work. In 1927 the Department assigned him to a flight course with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) at Camp Borden, Ontario. He graduated in 1928 with his Commercial Pilot's Licence and became one of the first pilots hired by the Forestry Service, flying Curtiss HS-2L flying boats out of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Several de Havilland Moths and other float and seaplanes were added to the fleet at that time. In 1929 he also served as instructor for the OPAS, teaching pilots the kind of flying required for forestry work.

In 1931 Phillips was appointed Superintendent of the Eastern Flying Operations for the OPAS, with his headquarters at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, a position he held until 1940. During his early command of this wilderness area, he carried out a number of hazardous forestry and fire patrol flights. Mercy flights were also commonplace. One difficult flight involved bringing a doctor to a patient after dark, landing along the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior. The provincial police services also called upon him on a number of occasions for emergency flights.

During 1931 he flew 770 hours, largely in an area where fire hazard was high and the work particularly strenuous. In July of that year he logged 202 hours and did not miss one day of flying during the entire month. In recognition of his work for the Provincial Forestry Branch during that year, he was awarded the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy.

In these years of intense air activity he was involved in designing and perfecting new methods of forestry control and fire-fighting techniques. At Camp Borden he completed another specialized RCAF course of instruction from Elmer Fullerton. When the Ontario government offered air support for the rescue of the men trapped by a rock slide in the depths of Nova Scotia's Moose River mine in April 1936, his was the first aircraft to reach the scene, bringing emergency rescue equipment and supplies.

At the outbreak of World War II he volunteered for service with the RCAF, was accepted in 1940 and assigned to instructional duties at Camp Borden. His extensive flight knowledge was then directed towards ferrying aircraft across the South Atlantic Ocean. He was captured by the Vichy French at Dahomey, Africa, and held for ten weeks, until Allied forces took Casablanca in December 1942. On his return to Canada he was promoted to Squadron Leader and given command of the RCAF base at Edenvale, Ontario. Prior to his retirement from the RCAF in 1944 he was named Commander of a British unit at Natal, Brazil.

Early in 1945 Phillips returned to the Department of Lands and Forests, and became Superintendent of Ontario's Algonquin Park. New aircraft, especially designed for work in the northern bush regions were purchased by the OPAS, such as the Noorduyn Norseman, and the de Havilland Beaver and Otter. He remained in the position of Superintendent for 15 years before retiring to his farm near Orangeville in the fall of 1959. He had flown 14,000 hours in command of numerous aircraft types. He died on July 20, 1977.

George Hector Reid Phillips was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

To be successful in fighting forest fires, speed and the ability to fly fire-fighters and their equipment safely into and out of small lakes meant the difference between a small fire or one that would soon spread out of control, destroying valuable timber and endangering human settlements before it could be checked or put out by nature. George Phillips knew how to get into the small lakes for this kind of work.

Owen Bartley Philp

Nickname: O.B.
Birthdate: December 25, 1923
Birth Place: Vancouver, B.C.
Death Date: April 15, 1995
Year Inducted: 2015

“In 31 years with the RCAF, O.B. Philp flew during the Second World War, and later as a test pilot and squadron commander. He led the Golden Centennaires aerobatic team, an Operational Training Unit at Cold Lake and as Base Commander of CFB Moose Jaw established the Snowbirds aerobatic team.” - Induction citation, 2015

Born on December 25, 1923 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Owen Bartley Philp was the only child of his parents, Jessie and Bartley. Bart flew for Canada as a pilot with the Royal Air Force in the First World War and as a ferry pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. Owen enlisted in the RCAF during the Second World War on November 25, 1942 at Winnipeg. The moniker naming him “O.B.” stayed with him for life after joining the RCAF.

O.B. Philp earned pilot’s wings flying Tiger Moths at No. 15 Elementary Flying Training School in Regina, Saskatchewan. At No.12 Service Flying Training School in Brandon, Manitoba he flew twin-engine Anson and Cessna aircraft. In 1944 he was posted overseas, flying with 88 Squadron of the Royal Air Force.  With the rank of Flying Officer, Philp joined Transport Command on D-Day, June 6, 1944 and at age 20 flew paratroopers during the invasion of Normandy. During 1944-45 he flew Douglas DC-3 Dakota aircraft in India and Burma with 436 Squadron of the RCAF. For service during those operational tours he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Following the Second World War, O.B. Philp continued with the RCAF and served with 121 Search and Rescue Unit at Sea Island, British Columbia, and later flew with 112 Composite Flight at Rivers, Manitoba. There in 1948 he organized the Canadian Army’s first glider pilot school. He married Maeve Armour of Vancouver in May, 1949 and they had two sons and a daughter – Brent, Kimberly and Blair.

In 1951, O.B. attended the Empire Test Pilots’ School at Farnborough, England and subsequently became a senior test pilot with the RCAF Central Experimental and Proving Establishment in Ottawa from 1952-1956. Upon graduation from the RCAF Staff College in 1957 he became a member of the Accident Investigation Bureau, Directorate of Flight Safety, at Air Force Headquarters in Ottawa until 1961. After training on the CF-104 Starfighter jet aircraft at Cold Lake, Alberta, he took command of RCAF 434 (Bluenose) Squadron at No. 3 Wing in Zweibrücken, West Germany, part of Canada’s Air Division in NATO.

Returning to Canada, O.B. was chosen to organize and administer Canada’s Centennial Aerobatic Team, The Golden Centennaires. The team featured eight Tutor jet trainers, a CF-104 Starfighter, CF-101 Voodoo, two Avro 504K biplanes, the Red Knight T-33 trainer jet and two support T-33s. The team completed 100 displays in Canada and another 12 in the United States in commemoration of Canada’s Centennial in 1967.

In 1968 O.B. commanded the original CF-5 Operational Training Unit at Cold Lake, Alberta and also conducted pilot training training for the CF-104 program. In September 1969 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and posted to CFB Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan as Base Commander. He found that the Tutor aircraft used by the Golden Centennaires were stored on the base and might be used to form an aerobatic team. Philp then guided an unofficial group of pilots at the base in perfecting manoeuvres, eventually becoming what is today the world famous Snowbirds, 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, based at 15 Wing in Moose Jaw.

Colonel Philp was the instigator in bringing the “Chateau Room” to the Moose Jaw Officers’ Mess in 1970. This room was originally reproduced in 1959 at RCAF No.1 Wing at Marville, France by members of the Officers’ Mess, using materials and inspiration from a 16th century castle in France. When France withdrew from participation in NATO and No.1 Wing was to be closed, the room was dismantled, and  together with furnishings ultimately found its way to CFB Moose Jaw where it was reconstructed and dedicated in June 1970.

In 1971 the Saskatchewan Airshow at CFB Moose Jaw was organized in conjunction with “Homecoming” celebrations.  At that time, the event was considered the largest one-day air show in North America. As a result of this endeavour, O.B. received the Marketing Achievement Award from the Marketing Executive Association of Saskatchewan in recognition of “the successful completion of a masterpiece of promotion, logistics, sales and marketing”.

In August 1973, although he had been posted to Air Force Headquarters in Ottawa, O.B. retired from the air force on November 27, 1973, after 32 years of military service. His log books show that he had flown 8,246 hours in 79 different military aircraft. With his wife and family he settled down to country living on his twenty-acre property known as “Manor Farm,” situated within sight of the Victoria International Airport.  

O.B. soon became an aviation consultant for private and government sectors.  He was engaged by EXPO 86 in September 1983 to formalize an aviation concept for the exposition and later became aviation administrator for the corporation. In December 1984 he was awarded the “Sword of Excellence” by the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) in recognition of being “The Father of the Snowbirds”.

In 1990 O.B. was contracted by the government-sponsored “Rendezvous 92” group to create a feasibility study and propose appropriate air events to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Northwest Staging Route. That corridor was extensively used during the Second World War to ferry American-made aircraft through the northern states, Alberta and Alaska, eventually arriving in Russia.

Encouraged by then Snowbird team leader Major Dan Dempsey, O.B. and Bill Johnson, who was the team’s photographer for ten years, wrote Snowbirds - From the Beginning, which was published in October 1990 to coincide with the Snowbirds’ 20th Anniversary. The limited edition book covered development of the team and many of the authors’ experiences in air shows.

Through his extensive network of former air force friends and acquaintances, O.B. Philp organized and directed the Victoria air shows of 1989 and 1991, featuring the Snowbirds as headliners. Two years later, in January 1993, he was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of “his outstanding contribution to the military aviation history of Canada.”

In January 1995 O.B. was diagnosed with leukemia. He died peacefully on April 15, 1995. The Snowbirds made a special trip to Victoria to salute their founder with a final flypast over Manor Farm. He was honoured again in 1999 when posthumously inducted into the ICAS Hall of Fame. In 2000 the NATO Pilot Flying Training Complex at CFB in Moose Jaw was dedicated in his name, and in 2011 he was named to the Saskatchewan Aviation Hall of Fame.

Suggested reading:
“Snowbirds - From the Beginning” - by O.B. Philp (1990). ISBN 10: 0919931146

The highlight of Colonel Owen Bartley Philp’s career was the creation of the Snowbirds, accomplished with the same determination that he displayed in all avenues of his career, both during his air force service and afterwards. Known and loved throughout Canada and beyond, since the formation of that aerobatic team, 431 Air Demonstration Squadron has epitomized skill, professionalism and teamwork in the Canadian Forces.

Welland Wilfred Phipps

Nickname: Weldy
Birthdate: July 23, 1922
Birth Place: Ottawa, Ontario
Death Date: October 29, 1996
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: C.M., The McKee Trophy

"The application of his aeronautical abilities in designing and perfecting the use of super-balloon aircraft tires and his numerous flights into the high Arctic, have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

Welland Wilfred (Weldy) Phipps, C.M., was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on July 23, 1922. He attended school there until 1940 when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as an aero-engine mechanic. The following year he was posted to No. 409 Squadron, RCAF, in England, and a short time later transferred to night-bombing duties as an aircrew Sergeant with No. 405 Squadron. On the night of April 1, 1943, while on his 28th operational flight, bombing a target in Germany, his aircraft was shot down. He was forced to parachute and landed safely, but was captured and held as prisoner-of-war for the next two years. In 1945 he returned to Canada for his discharge as a Warrant Officer First Class.

Phipps joined Atlas Aviation, a charter company in Ottawa, and was encouraged to earn both his pilot and engineer licences. He became a partner in the company, along with Angus Morrison, and remained there for two years. In 1947 he joined Rimouski Airlines of Quebec, where he flew as staff pilot for two years. He became associated with Spartan Air Services at Ottawa and during the next eight years he rose to Chief Pilot, Operations Manager, and finally Assistant General Manager. His main task with Spartan Air Services was to develop their high altitude photographic operations. He introduced the use of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning which he personally modified and flew as a two-place machine capable of 35,000-foot (10,668 m) altitude photo survey work. This was especially important for the preliminary work in establishing the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line which would be built in the early 1950's.

While on Arctic research operations he conceived the idea of using lightweight, super-size balloon tires, allowing his small aircraft to operate on tundra, snow, and rock-strewn ground. In 1958 he joined Bradley Air Services at Ottawa as Vice-President and Operations Manager. He worked to perfect the balloon tire type wheels: his design consisted of greatly oversized balloon tires—25 inches (64 cm) on a tour-inch (10 cm) hub—using seven pounds air pressure per square inch. The big wheels cushioned the aircraft and prevented jarring shocks from boulders, and prevented the plane from sinking into boggy ground. He soon enlarged the company's fleet to ten aircraft. During the summer of 1958, he took a PA-18 Piper Super Cub into the Arctic for the use of two geologists, who were able to cover 30,000 square miles (78,000 km2) in 300 hours of flying over a period of three months. Prior to this, geologists used dog teams and canoes and were restricted mainly to the coastal areas.

In 1959 Phipps returned to the Arctic with five Super Cubs, using improved gear: tires were increased to 35 inches (89 cm) and pressure reduced to four pounds per square inch. As a result of survey work showing the presence of oil and minerals, land was beginning to be staked in the Arctic. For the 1961 season, Phipps extended his development to two de Havilland Otters, using larger tires. These flew on Polar Shelf expeditions very effectively, and enabled geologists to work extensively on oil explorations in the Arctic.

For his development of the super-balloon tires and his research into their various arctic uses, he was awarded the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy for 1961. Being able to land where other aircraft could not, Phipps was called upon to use his aircraft to fly rescue missions. He once flew a doctor into Grise Fiord on Ellesmere Island, a community 3,100 miles (5,000 km) north of Ottawa, to deal with a deadly whooping cough outbreak.

In 1962 he formed his own company, Atlas Aviation, based at Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island in the Northwest Territories. He bought a Twin Otter in 1967 and persuaded the Department of Transport officials to allow his initials as a special registration for the aircraft. They assigned call-letters CF-WWP, and the airplane became known as 'Whiskey Whiskey Papa'. While his company's operations were confined mainly to transporting passengers, fuel and supplies through the Queen Elizabeth Islands and north Greenland, he did make several extended flights to the North Pole for scientific purposes and in support of expeditions.

He ended his flying career in 1971 with the sale of his company to Renting Aviation Limited at Toronto. He bought a sailboat he named 'Whiskey Papa', which became the Phipps' home for parts of each year.

Phipps was named a Member of the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 1976 for his contributions to Arctic aviation, particularly in developing techniques to allow landing on rough terrain. He died in Ottawa on October 29, 1996.

Welland Wilfred (Weldy) Phipps was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.

“Weldy” Phipps brought his family, Fran and most of their eight children, to live in Resolute year-round. Those of their children who had completed grade six had to continue their education ‘on the outside’. Fran became the first woman to land on the North Pole. On April 5, 1971 she accompanied “Weldy” and co-pilot Jack Austin (Hall of Fame 1974) when they flew there in a Twin Otter to prepare for an up-coming publicity flight with Commissioner Stu Hodgson of the Northwest Territories and a Vancouver reporter, Pat Carney. Ms. Carny was very disappointed when she learned that she would not be the first woman at the Pole!

John Lawrence Plant

Birthdate: August 20, 1910
Birth Place: Swansea, Wales
Death Date: May 7, 2000
Year Inducted: 1986
Awards: C.B.E., A.F.C., C.D.*, LL.D.(Hon)

"By the application of his unique leadership qualities in both war and peace, he changed aviation to the substantial benefit of Canada." - Induction citation, 1985

John Lawrence Plant, C.B.E., A.F.Q, C.D.*, B.A.Sc., LL.D. (Hon), was born in Swansea, Wales, U.K., on August 20, 1910. He immigrated with his family to British Columbia in 1919. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (with Honours) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1931. Plant began flying as a Provisional Pilot Officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1929, received his wings and was granted a permanent commission in 1931.

Plant enrolled in a flying instructors course at Camp Borden, Ontario, in 1936, and was posted to No. 20 Auxiliary Bomber Squadron at Regina. He organized and operated a squadron pilot training program with both ground and air instruction to convert the flying qualifications of young officers to squadron standards.

Early in 1941 Plant piloted a Catalina flying boat on a trans-Atlantic ferry trip from Bermuda to Greenock, Scotland in 20 hours, a speed record that stood for quite some time. On May 7, 1941, he was posted as Wing Commander to the RCAF Station at Patricia Bay, British Columbia. He placed the station on full alert after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

On March 3, 1942, Plant was posted to the command of No. 413 Squadron which proceeded to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He flew many patrols from Ceylon, one of which was a cover operation for the British landings on the island of Madagascar.

In January of 1943 he was posted to England as Commanding Officer of RCAF Station Dishforth, Yorkshire, home base for No. 425 and 426 Squadrons. He was later posted to RCAF station Leeming, Yorkshire, which housed 408, 427 and 429 Bomber Squadrons, remaining at this post until November 23, 1943. During this extremely difficult time for bombers, his squadrons operated against occupied Europe and Germany. He flew as crew on flights to such places as Wilhelmshaven, Mannheim and Kassel.

After returning to Canada in December of 1943, Plant attended Army and Navy College in the United States. In May 1944, he was posted to Air Force Headquarters in Ottawa as Deputy Air Member, Air Staff. He was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E., Military).

On May 1, 1945, with the rank of Air Commodore, Plant was appointed Air Officer Commanding, No. 9 (Transport) Group. He immediately became qualified on all types of the Group's aircraft, including the Consolidated B-24 Liberator and Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. He made flights to all units in the Group, both in Canada and overseas. In November 1945, he flew as Captain of a B-l 7 from Canada to Warsaw, Poland, carrying penicillin donated by the Canadian Red Cross to the people of that shattered country. The flight was very risky at the time because of the developing 'Cold War', and for his efforts he was awarded the Air Force Cross (A.F.C.).

On February 16, 1946, Plant was appointed Air Officer Commanding, Western Air Command, and again qualified on all of the types of aircraft used in the command. On December 1, 1947, he was posted to Air Force Headquarters as Air Member for Personnel. In 1950, when the European Air Division was being established, he obtained approval for dependents to accompany RCAF members on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) postings. This had a profound effect on overall morale of the Air Division and was one of the factors that helped make it the most efficient of the NATO air elements. In August 1951, he saw these effects first-hand while serving at the headquarters of Allied Air Forces, Central Europe. His overall contribution to the NATO alliance was recognized by his appointment in 1953 as Chief of Staff and his promotion to Air Marshal.

In 1954, on returning to Canada, he reverted to his permanent rank of Air Vice-Marshal on appointment to the post of Air Member, Mechanical Services. His major concern during this period was the technical supervision of the design and procurement teams for the Canadair Argus, a long-range patrol aircraft, and the CF-105 Avro Arrow. In 1956, while serving as Air Officer Commanding, Air Material Command, he resigned his commission in order to open up promotion to others, in keeping with the policies he had advocated as Air Member for Personnel.

Plant was appointed Executive Vice-President of Collins Radio of Canada until 1958, and then was appointed General Manager of Avro Aircraft Ltd. In 1958 he announced the dawn of Canada’s supersonic era when he described a flight of the CF-100 Arrow with its Pratt & Whitney J75 engines: “The aircraft exceeded the speed of sound - not in a dive not in level flight, but while climbing and at a height of more than 40,000 feet.” He resigned from Avro six months after the cancellation of the Arrow project and returned to Collins Radio still convinced that the government could have handled the Arrow differently, that it might have been possible to complete it for all the costs of the shutdown and the price of the older McDonell “Voodoo” aircraft that the government bought as replacements.. He retired in 1970.

Plant was honoured in 1945 with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his alma mater, the University of British Columbia. He died in Victoria, B.C. on May 7, 2000.

John Lawrence Plant was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1985 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta at a ceremony held at Edmonton, Alberta.


While serving as Air Member Personnel John Plant considered that pay scales were inadequate and that the restriction on flying pay for active aircrew had removed an important incentive for staff officers to maintain their flying proficiency. He was the only Air Vice-Marshall holding a valid instrument rating at that time. By example and amendments to the pay regulations, he brought about a great increase of active flying throughout the RCAF.

Peter Geoffrey Powell

Birthdate: April 19, 1917
Birth Place: Rosedale Abby, Yorkshire, England
Death Date: September 8, 2005
Year Inducted: 1990
Awards: D.S.O., D.F.C.

"As a navigator of great courage and ability and as teacher and administrator, Peter Powell has made a great contribution to aviation in both war and peace. His dedication and his lifetime of resolute effort have been of great benefit to Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1990

Peter Geoffrey Powell, D.S.O., D.F.C., was born in Rosedale Abby, Yorkshire, England, on April 19, 1917, but grew up in Sorrento, British Columbia. He returned to England to complete his education and for Merchant Marine Officer's Training. In his five years at sea he rose from an apprentice to a licenced ship's mate.

He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircrew in the summer of 1940 and because of his experience he was selected as a navigator. He received his commission and was sent overseas in 1941. His first operational trip was as bomb-aimer/navigator on the one-thousand bomber raid on Cologne in 1942. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C.).

His ability as a navigator resulted in a promotion to Flight Lieutenant. When he was sent to No. 405 (Pathfinder) Squadron, he was promoted to Squadron Leader. He served as navigator for the Squadron Commander, Group Captain J.E. Fauquier, and as navigational leader for the squadron.

After making seventeen passes over the target during the raid on Peenemunde in August of 1943, and following a similar mission over Berlin a few nights later, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.), with the citation stating: "In addition to his operational tasks Squadron Leader Powell has rendered yeoman service in the training of other navigators and his excellent work has been reflected in their numerous successes."

After sixty-three operational trips with Bomber Command, he was promoted to Wing Commander and attached to No. 6 Group Headquarters as Navigational Inspector for the Canadian bomber force in England. His duties were largely instructional and his efforts to improve the standard of navigation in all squadrons were so noteworthy that he was Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette on January 1,1945.

Shortly after Victory-in-Europe Day (V-E Day), Wing Commander Powell was sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to prepare for operations in the Pacific, but when the war ended in August of 1945 he took his discharge from the RCAP.

On January 3, 1946, Powell joined Trans-Canada Airlines as Assistant Chief Navigator. Although the work was mainly in administration, he still flew a few line flights across the North Atlantic. He took a leave of absence during the winter of 1950-51 to serve as navigator for California Eastern, transporting troops from Oakland to Tokyo for the Korean War. When he returned to TCA, which became Air Canada in 1965, he soon became Chief Navigator and later Superintendent of Navigation, a position he held until his retirement from Air Canada in 1977.

During his years with Air Canada, Powell had built a very strong department. When the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) examined the navigational performance of airlines flying the Atlantic, the Air Canada group was among the best. He became an Air Canada representative to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and was chosen to represent them at ICAO meetings. One year before his retirement, ICAO requested his services. Initially on loan to ICAO, he stayed with them another five years after retiring from Air Canada. During this time he was involved in the financial agreements between Denmark and Iceland and the countries whose airlines used their North Atlantic navigation services.

His greatest contributions to Air Canada were the navigation procedures he developed and the navigators he recruited, trained and supervised. The high degree of accuracy and competence these men displayed have contributed to the excellent operating reputation of TCA/Air Canada. Another important contribution was the development of pressure pattern flying from a haphazard procedure into one of considerable accuracy, in which the aircraft takes advantage of the winds. Similar procedures arc still used daily to establish tracks to be followed by all aircraft flying long oceanic routes.

Peter Powell died at Delta, B.C. on September 8, 2005.

Peter Geoffrey Powell was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1990 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.


The bomber raid on Peenemunde on the Baltic Coast on August 17, 1943, was meant to destroy the German V-2 rocket research centre, which was under the direction of Werner Von Braun, who later became director of the United States Aeronautics and Space Administration. Peter Powell’s skills in navigation were so accurate that wave after wave of bombers were led over the target. Destruction of the rocket development centre delayed the use of V-2 rockets by a full year.

Dwight Gregory Powell

Nickname: Greg
Birthdate: November 24, 1947
Birth Place: Welland, Ontario
Year Inducted: 2018
Awards: O.C., MD, FRCPC

As an outstanding physician in the field of emergency medicine and research, and as a University of Calgary professor, Greg Powell is best known as a co-founder of the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS). His contributions to STARS have earned him international recognition in the field of air rescue. -Induction citation. 2018

Born in Welland, Ontario on November 24, 1947 to his parents, Ruth and George, Dwight Gregory Powell, known as Greg, was the first of three children in the family, followed by his sisters, Louise and Kathryne. In 1942 Greg’s parents were the first Canadian couple to be permitted to marry overseas under amended military marriage rules of the Second World War.

When less than a year old, Greg moved with his parents to Devon, Alberta, growing up there and graduating from high school in Edmonton in 1965. In 1968 he graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver with a Bachelor of Science degree, followed later by a degree in Medicine. While travelling to Australia in 1969 during the Vietnam War, en route to a summer medical elective in Darwin, Australia, Greg stayed at Saigon for a few days as a medical student observer at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit.

This was an unforgettable experience which molded my thought for critical care and helicopter ambulance in my future and developing career,” he says. “I saw severely injured soldiers undergo rapid surgical intervention after being flown into the unit by helicopter – and amazing survival despite the extent of the injuries due to this rapid response.”

In Australia, Greg worked for two months as an orderly at the Royal Darwin Hospital. He was a medical student observer of the air ambulance program, often referred to at the time as the Flying Doctor Service. Greg continued his studies at UBC, graduating with his M.D. degree in 1972. An interest in flying led to a new challenge, and in 1975 he earned his Private Pilot Licence with the Calgary Flying Club at the Springbank Airport. In 2002, he qualified for multi-engine and IFR endorsements. For many years, he either owned or maintained fractional ownership in a single-engine aircraft.

Following specialization in Family Medicine at the University of Calgary (U of C) in 1974, he specialized in Emergency Medicine at McGill University. While working at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal, he met his wife, Linda, who was the lead physiotherapist at the Ross Pavilion Physiotherapy unit at the hospital. There Greg had recently assumed the role of Clinical Director, Emergency Department. Greg and Linda were married on October 1, 1977.

At McGill, Greg was a lecturer in emergency medicine in 1976-77. He and Linda moved to Alberta in 1977 where he accepted an appointment in 1978 as the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Foothills Hospital in Calgary, a position he held until 1990. During that time, and continuing until 2013, he also taught in the Faculty of Medicine at the U of C. From 1978-1985 he was involved with establishing the U of C Emergency Medicine Residency program.

Dr. Christopher Doig, Head of the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Calgary, has stated that, “It is well known that patients in rural areas, remote from acute care hospitals specialized in caring for critically ill and injured patients, are at a higher risk of death. It is one thing to know this, and another to act on it. In the mid-1980s, Greg saw patients from rural areas of Alberta die from survivable conditions simply because of the distance and time to transport them to acute care. Greg established local community philanthropic support to develop rapid rotor wing air transport to help Albertans – and STARS was born.”

As a founder of the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) in 1985, and later as a founding member of the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service Foundation, Greg Powell served as CEO of both entities from their formation until 2012. The STARS Foundation is the fund raising arm of the organization drawing financial support in donations from individuals, service groups, corporations and municipalities. Dr. Powell held those positions while still a professor of Family and Emergency Medicine at the University of Calgary.
Today, STARS operates from six bases. There are three in Alberta – Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie. Bases in Saskatchewan are at Saskatoon and Regina, while a base in Winnipeg serves areas in Manitoba. In 2016-17 a total of over 3,200 missions were flown from the six bases. A mixed fleet includes eight Airbus BK-117 helicopters, and three AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters.

Coordination with the provincial ground ambulance and fixed wing air ambulance system ensures the most appropriate mans of transporting patients and medical teams. In 1996, the STARS Emergency Link Centre was established, with support from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, to coordinate communications among the response and medical services involved in a mission. By early 2018, from all STARS bases, over 36,000 missions had been carried out.

In 1988, STARS was formally recognized as an essential service when integrated into emergency planning for the Calgary Winter Olympic Games. In 1991, the STARS Edmonton base was established and STARS was awarded rotary and fixed wing air medical ambulance contracts for both Edmonton and Calgary bases by the provincial government. In 2001, the International Association of Air Medical Services named STARS as the recipient of its Program of the Year award and STARS was the first international and first Canadian program to receive this honour.

In 2006, Alberta’s third base was opened in Grande Prairie. STARS serves northeastern and southeastern British Columbia from the Grande Prairie and Calgary bases, respectively. In 2011 and 2012, agreements were made for STARS service in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

As a charity and community-based organization, fundraising and volunteer activities are vital to support operations. Volunteers conduct tours and participate in a variety of fundraising activities that range from the very successful STARS Lottery, STARS calendars, gala dinners and auctions, horseback rides, and many other innovative community events. Planned giving, bequests, and donations from  individuals, community organizations and corporations are a significant part of the funding.  Agreements with each provincial government are in place with varying levels of funding and close working relationships.

Greg Powell is the recipient of many awards and honours. Among them is Distinguished Physician of the Year in 2004 by the Air Medical Physicians Association, for his contribution to the air medicine profession. In 2005, he was named one of the 100 Physicians of the Century by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and the Alberta Medical Association. In 2006 he was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Canada, for service in the area of emergency medicine and transport for the critically ill and injured, and for the establishment of STARS. In 2012 at the annual Air Medical Transport Conference of the Association of Air Medical Services, based in Washington DC, which he has served as Board Chair, Dr. Powell received the Marriott-Carlson Award for leadership and lifetime achievement. Appropriately, in 2015, the helipad at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, was named in his honour as the Dr. Greg Powell Helipad.

Greg and his wife, Linda, have lived in the Calgary area since 1977 working side by side for almost thirty years in the development of STARS. They continue to serve as passionate volunteer ambassadors for this critical mission. They are parents of two sons, Adam and Nate, and one daughter, Cailin.