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Member Profiles


Dennis Kestell Yorath

Birthdate: April 30, 1905
Birth Place: Brentford, Middlesex, England
Death Date: May 8, 1981
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: M.B.E., LL.D.(Hon), The McKee Trophy

"His business management abilities, coupled with a far-sighted appreciation of the country's civil flying requirements, were a prime factor in establishing a national pilot training scheme that has substantially benefited Canadian aviation" - Induction citation, 1974

Dennis Kestell Yorath, M.B.E., LL.D.(Hon), was born in London, England, on April 30, 1905. His family immigrated to Canada in 1913 and settled in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He continued his schooling there and in Victoria, British Columbia.

He spent two years with the Imperial Bank of Canada at Edmonton, Alberta, and in 1924 joined the Edmonton staff of Northwestern Utilities Ltd., then a subsidiary of the International Utilities Corporation. He moved to Calgary, Alberta, in 1925 and was employed by another subsidiary, the Canadian Western Natural Gas Company. He served in various management positions and became president of the two subsidiaries in 1956. In 1962 Yorath was named chairman of the two companies, a position he held until 1969. From 1961 to 1972 he served as Vice-President and Director of International Utilities Corporation, and Vice-Chairman from 1973-76. The corporation's name was changed to IU International Corporation in 1973.

Yorath began his involvement in aviation in 1928 when he became a charter member of the Calgary Flying Club. He earned his Private Pilot's Licence in 1929. He served as Director for several years and Vice-President of this flying club from 1929 to 1933, an office he held again from 1939 to 1944. He became President of the club in 1944.

When the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was instituted after the outbreak of World War II, Yorath was named Managing Director of No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School at Lethbridge, Alberta. In 1941 the school moved to High River, Alberta, where he remained in command until the BCATP concluded its operations in May 1945.

It was largely due to Yorath's exceptional management abilities that the High River Flying Training School was named by the government as one of the most outstanding elementary flying training establishments in Canada. For his work in directing pilot training, he was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) in 1946.

The Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association (RCFCA) elected him Alberta Zone Director in 1944, and in that capacity, Yorath closely observed and analyzed private flying trends in Canada, including costs and revenue. He noted a declining interest in training, as well as in sport and recreational flying. He decided that the situation had to change if a pool of young pilots were to be maintained for future requirements of defence and commercial aviation.

During his term in office as national president of RCFCA from 1947 to 1949, the association carried out several successful projects designed to enhance the development of aviation in Canada. Outstanding examples were the revival of the Webster Trophy competition in 1947 and the National Flying Club Week, which was an annual publicity project; organization of the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada in 1948; and reinstatement of the Safe Flying Campaign of the RCFCA member clubs in 1948, which had contributed to a lowering of accident rates. Yorath was also instrumental in gaining federal government aid for student pilots in 1949. For these contributions he was awarded the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy for 1949.

He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta in 1974. Dennis Yorath died on May 8, 1981.

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


While still president of RCFCA, Yorath donated a trophy, the Yorath Trophy, to stimulate active competition among the flying clubs in Canada at the management level. The award went to the instructor-manager of a club which had used its facilities to be best advantage. M.D. Fallow of the Edmonton Flying Club, was awarded this trophy eight times in the period from 1950 to 1958.

Franklin Inglee Young

Nickname: Frank
Birthdate: August 7, 1909
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario
Death Date: October 11, 1973
Year Inducted: 1974
Awards: The McKee Trophy, The Canadian Centennial medal

"His aviation knowledge, applied to pilots of Canada's national airline during its formative years, and as an instrument flight instructor of RCAF pilots, provided an increased safety factor for both civilian passengers and military air crew alike and substantially benefited Canadian aviation." - Induction citation, 1974

Franklin Inglee (Frank) Young was born on August 7, 1909, in Toronto, Ontario. He received his education there, and began his flying instruction with Elliot Air Service at Hamilton, Ontario at the age of 17. He received his Private Pilot Licence in 1927, and two years later, his Commercial Pilot's Licence.

In 1928 Young joined a barnstorming group on a trans-Canada tour giving public exhibitions. He flew for several years as a bush pilot delivering prospectors, settlers and supplies to remote northern outposts of Ontario and Quebec. Early in 1930, he began flying for Century Airways and National Air Transport at Barker Field in Toronto as a flying instructor, but he made his living mostly from barnstorming.

He was selected by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1932 to join the first group to attend a course at Camp Borden, Ontario, specializing in instrument and night flying, and navigation. He then helped revive the Brant-Norfolk Aero Club at Brantford, Ontario, as Chief Instructor.

In 1933 he joined Dominion Skyways at  Rouyn, Quebec as a bush pilot, operating in Ontario, Quebec and Labrador. In 1935-36 he flew the company's first scheduled air service linking the Quebec centres of Montreal, Val d'Or and Rouyn, using a Norseman aircraft. During this period he flew many charter flights for the Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS), assisting during serious forest fire outbreaks.

In January 1938, Young joined Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA) as a pilot, later flying some of the first official flights of this new airline. These flights included the leg from Winnipeg to Vancouver on the trans-continental run in 1940, and the first Toronto-New York run in 1941. In 1941 he was named Chief Pilot.

During World War II, TCA provided assistance in operating the Trans-Atlantic Ferry Command, through which planes and pilots were ferried to Great Britain. In addition to his responsibilities as Chief Pilot for TCA, Young played a key role in this war effort, serving as a check-pilot for American airmen applying to fly with the Trans-Atlantic Ferry Command, and instructing military pilots in instrument flying procedures.

Promotions followed for Young: in 1943 he became Superintendent of Operations for TCA's eastern region, at Moncton, New Brunswick. Two years later he was appointed Operations Manager for the central region at Toronto.

In the early 1940's, TCA was flying DC-3 aircraft, and both the airline and government authorities recognized the need to reduce trans-continental flight times. A more direct airway would eliminate the circuitous course around the Great Lakes to the north and would allow aircraft to fly directly over the lakes. The preferred route would pass through Sault Ste. Marie, cross the U.S. border into the State of Michigan, and follow the south shore of Lake Superior to the Keweenaw Peninsula. From there the route would cross Lake Superior to the Lakehead and go on to Winnipeg.

In 1946 Young was assigned the task of negotiating with the Michigan authorities to allow TCA to fly across their state. To fly this shorter route would require the construction of additional airports and installation of lighting and navigation aids. As his technical assistant, Young chose B.A. 'Barney' Rawson, who made the first aerial survey of the alternative route in May 1946. Negotiations were successful, surveys and airports were completed, and TCA made its inaugural flight over the new Great Lakes Airway on July 1, 1947. This project was of major benefit to TCA: it greatly reduced the flight time between Toronto and Winnipeg, and the weather along the new route was much better.

In 1951 Young became closely associated with the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association and served as president of the Toronto Flying Club from 1951 to 1953. At this time he conceived the idea of organizing a national air show in conjunction with the Canadian National Exhibition at Toronto. In 1953 he successfully produced the first National Air Show for Canada. The flying display, held over the water front of Lake Ontario, included the Governor-General's Cup Race, and a program of precision flight performed by the RCAF.

The air show concept served to raise awareness about aviation in Canada, and earned Young the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy for the year 1953. He was awarded Canada's Centennial Medal in 1967 "in recognition of valuable service to the Nation".

In 1967 Young was named General Manager of Air Canada, formerly TCA, a position he held until his retirement in 1970. He was then appointed a commissioner of the Toronto Transport Commission. In 1972 he was named Chairman of that authority, completing his term the following year. He died in Toronto on October 11, 1973.

Franklin Inglee (Frank) Young was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 at a ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta.


Through an event such as the National Air Show, Frank Young hoped to bring the minds of Canadians, and others from around the world, the fact that “Canada is second to none when it comes to designing, developing and constructing aircraft, and flying them."