PLEASE TAKE TIME TO VISIT OUR
REMEBRANCE DAY TRIBUTES
FROM PREVIOUS YEARS:
NOVEMBER 1999: www.AirMuseum.ca/ammq9911.html
NOVEMBER 2000: www.AirMuseum.ca/ammq0011.html
The bronze statue, sculpted in 1984 by Helen Granger Young, is one of only four, the others are located in Great Britain, and Winnipeg. ‘Airman in Training’ is a fitting tribute to the many aircrew that lost their lives in training and service in WWII.
The one hour slide presentation entitled ‘Freedom is not Free’ is very moving; showing the tragedy of war and the cemeteries of the Armed Forces throughout Europe. These pictures were collected after many years of traveling by Stuart and Donna Johnson and the slides pay tribute to those Canadians who gave us the freedom we enjoy today.
"He was 23, a "happy-go-lucky guy," when the Ontario flight instructor died in a mid-air collision south of Brandon in 1944.
Archie Londry remembered his former roommate yesterday, one of more than 800 airmen who lost their lives while training in Canada during the Second World War.
"Then you go back and gather up his belongings and send them to his parents, which was a tough job," said Londry, 80, who lives south of Minnedosa.
A bronze statue in honour of men like his friend was unveiled at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum during its Remembrance Day open house as dozens looked on.
Winnipeg sculptor Helen Granger Young donated the statue, entitled Airman in Training, which is valued at $30,000. It shows a pilot holding his logbook and looking into the sky.
"It's just a wonderful tribute to the 18,039 men and women who perished serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War," said Stephen Hayter, executive director of the museum.
He said the sculpture is one of three copies, while the original two-metre statue sits near the cenotaph at the Manitoba Legislature.
In another ceremony, the museum presented Gladstone resident Peggy Galloway with a lifetime membership. She led a project to compile a book of stories called Women of the War Years.
"We all hear things about the guys in their Spitfires and Hurricanes," said Reg Forbes, museum president. "But we forget that there was a great group of people, the women . . . It's a great read."
The book, which took three years to compile, includes stories of women in every aspect of the life who helped sustain the war effort, including those in the armed forces, factories and farms.
Galloway said many others also worked on the book, adding it was the most fulfilling project of her life.
Bert Delmage, a volunteer at the museum, was pleased to find his sister-in-law Ruth, a war bride who lives in Minnedosa, among those profiled.
A member of what he called the women's land army in England, she worked on farms when there were few or no men to do so.
Another feature at the museum yesterday was a slide show called Freedom is Not Free, presented by Stuart Johnson.
"We must remember to give thanks to those young men and women who gave their lives that we might live in freedom and peace, liberty that people in other parts of the world are now trying to destroy," Johnson said.
Jack Stacy, a past president of the museum, built the plywood base of the sculpture, which also received help from Westman Granite.
The former air gunner saw sights that still make him sad.
"I saw 37 airmen -- that's five seven-man crews -- blow right up in front of us," he said, recalling bombing raids in which planes were shot down.
"It was terrible."
The museum commemorates The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which earned high praise from Winston Churchill as a major contributor to victory. It graduated 131,533 aircrew who played pivotal roles for the allies in the fight for freedom.
Earlier in the day, a Remembrance Day service was held in a packed Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, while many others were held in communities across Westman.
Bruce Bumstead / Brandon Sun
Veterans Marvin Searle, far left, and Harry Smith, left, join Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum's Stephen Hayter and sculptor Helen Granger Young, right, in unveiling a replica of her bronze statue entitled Airmen in Training yesterday.
We are in Remembrance week (it used to be Armistice Day!) The 11th is next Sunday. In accordance with the need to include some mention of the day in our Rotary meeting, I first approached Ken Brown, a local resident, who was a World War II veteran and one of the few living survivors of the historic "Dam Buster raid" on the dams on the Mohne River, (Mohne, Aider, Sorpe) that were breached in a daring innovative night attack by Lancaster bombers on the night of 16/17 May 1943. The objective was to reduce German Steel making capability as huge quantities of water were used in the process. Ken was a pilot on that mission and it is he and other loyal Canadians we need to remember at this time.
Ken recently recovered from an attack of pneumonia and is not up to being with us today (he complicated his recovery by falling out of an apple tree two weeks ago). My next prospective speaker was a little younger, and served as a Navigator and a Pilot, flew in Search and Rescue, tactical helicopters, Chinook (heavy transport)helicopters and participated in several overseas UN assignments. He is representative of the later (too young for WWII) group of people like Hardy Staub, many others and myself. This fellow Gary Flath is/was flying commercially in the Sudan. His helicopter was shot up by their local terrorists/rebels and he was going to be sent home. The company reconsidered their situation, and Gary is over there for another 30 days and is unavailable.
So I will fill the void with a story from WWII that is typical for many Canadians of my vintage.
There was a family in small town Saskatchewan that moved from the Muskoka area of Ontario during the “dirty thirties.” The father was a blacksmith originally and during the depression could only find work as the janitor of the local school. They had a large family of six boys and two girls. During these extremely difficult economic times the Mother and Father sacrificed everything to get the children educated: three teachers and one accountant. Then the war came along. One son joined the RCN prior to September 1939, one son joined the RCAF as a pilot, one son joined the RCAF as a navigator, two sons joined the army and the oldest daughter’s husband joined the army. Five of these men served overseas. Two did not return.
The book-keeper became a pilot and after training in Canada was attached to the RAF and instructed on multiengine bombers in the UK. He then proceeded to a RAF Squadron flying Halifax bombers (148 Sqn). This unit was a special multi-mission squadron and was eventually located in Italy and flew different special missions including the dropping of supplies to partisans in German occupied Yugoslavia. On the night of 31 May 1944 on his 32nd operational mission, his final mission was a supply drop to partisans operating behind enemy lines. While approaching the target, the aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed in the mountains, in the rear of Santa Maria del Taro, in the Borga area of Northern Italy. The crew (8), three Canadians and four British and one Yugoslav, were buried with full military honours by the partisans. This mission was one of several that month and included mostly flights over Yugoslavia. He is buried in a graveyard in Stagliano Cemetary in Genoa Italy.
The teacher became a navigator and was a member of 408 Sqn RCAF and was a crewmember on a 4 engine Lancaster bomber. On the night of 24 Feb 1944 on his 19th operational mission the crew were on a bombing mission to Schweinfurt Germany and the a/c was destroyed by enemy AA. No survivors. Missing in action. Over a year passed before the family was informed that he was presumed dead. There were never any bodies recovered. The previous month the crew flew a number of missions -- lengthy, at night, cold under enemy attack from AA and fighters. They would return to their base in England and have a breakfast/dinner and rest up for the next mission, in many cases the following night. Recent missions had been Stuttgart, Berlin (12 missions) No crew rest, no leave, no overtime, all serving with a sense of duty and supported by the comradeship of their fellow airmen.
The family in Saskatchewan received two visits from the telegraph office in the period of three months. A terrible blow to the family, but one that happened to many families in the dark days of 1939-45.
My eldest son is named after the accountant pilot, Donald Hillman, and my second son is named after the teacher navigator Gordon Hillman, two of their mother’s brothers.
After the war, the different provincial governments had many unnamed geographical features and as a token of respect to their fallen countrymen elected to naming specific areas after selected individuals. Families who lost more than one member were chosen first and in that regard Hillman Bay in Northern Saskatchewan, North of La Ronge on Pinehouse Lake, is named in honor of Donald Hillman. Hillman Island is named after his brother Gordon. Remember them and others when you attend Remembrance Day services this year.
(this occurred at the same time as we had gun registration, citizen registration, no EI or unemployment insurance, prayers in school, singing of the national anthem, no bilingualism, little income tax, and a tremendous National pride.)
We had the fourth largest Navy in the Allies, 48 Squadrons of airplanes and 5 Divisions of troops in action. There were more Canadians in the RAF than UK members.
We can truly be proud of the men and women who formed part of the war effort and were significant Nation builders. Those who gave their lives were a cross section of young people from all walks of life and forfeited a future we all share today. To them we bow our heads and thank them for their sacrifice.
Newspaper photo: Brother Gordon 4th from the left
THESE "GOOSE" SQUADRON FLYERS HELPED TO BASH BERLIN
Cigarettes, coffee and "bags of line-shoots" abounded when airmen of the RCAF Bomber Group returned from a heavy attack on Berlin. F/O Gordon Hillman, Elrose, Sask., a navigator of the "Goose" Squadron (seated, wearing heavy jacket and wedge cap) passes the cigarettes to Sgt. Armour "Bud" Emerson, Smithers, B.C.
Brothers Lorne (RCA) and Donald (RCAF)
Chief Petty Officer Jerry Hillman (RCN)
H.M.C.S. Prince Robert
Strathclair, Manitoba (Elrose, SK)
Mark and Susanne Brower
Danton Burroughs, ERB, Inc. Tarzan, California
This 40-page training manual was illustrated by John Coleman Burroughs
with extraordinary images of anti-Axis propoganda.
It was produced by the Douglas Aircraft Company of Santa Monica, CA in 1943.
There are obvious science fiction influences in the renderings and
if you study the faces in the illustrations you will probably see the likenesses of
JCB, wife Jane Ralston, brother Hulbert Burroughs, and maybe even his father
Edgar Rice Burroughs.
(click to see full-screen image)
More of these appear at:
Visit the Museum Website at:
Note to Reg Forbes:
Just a note to thank you for your hospitality during my visit of August 16th. I wish I could have spent more time at the Museum, but will do so on another trip. My wife and I spent five weeks driving to Vancouver Island and returning by way of the USA. I visited air museums in Sault Ste. Marie, Brandon (of course), Edmonton, Nanton, Comox and Victoria in Canada, the Boeing plant in Everett, Wash. and an aerial fire fighting museum in Greybull, Wy. To say my wife was getting a little testy, is an understatement. I thought I would let you know, that "They Shall Grow Not Old" was proudly displayed in all Canadian museums, in fact one had two copies.
Hope to meet you in Hamilton again in late October
Clare Short, Volunteer
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum ~ Hamilton, Ont.
I would appreciate it if you listed our project.
Title: Aviation History
Flight-History is dedicated to capturing aviation history. The archives feature a growing collection of photographs, stories and aircraft specifications. The site includes the aviation artwork of several artists.
Regards, Cathy Berglund
I appreciate this information is very scant but Iam trying to get some info on a ED RUDGE a rear gunner K.I.A about october 1943 based at or near YEOVILTON SOMERSET
REGARDS MICK MARTIN
I wonder if you can help me? I am currently tracing my Grandfather who I was told was American. However someone who saw him said he wore a blue "denim" like uniform with a gold star on the breast pocket and a hat tucked under a flap on his shoulder .I have worked out that he would have been in Britain late 1943,at Bottesford/Langer Leicestershire England. So far my research has suggested that he would have been in the 9th USAAF, however this woman is adament about the colour of his uniform do you think he was Canadian instead or she's simply got her wires crossed over the years?
If you could let me know I would be most grateful, and if you know anywhere were I can find info on Canadian Units there at the time, that would be a bonus.
Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon,
Yours Isobel Burton
I am interested in finding out what celebrations within the next 12 months for Empire Air Training Scheme aircrew.
My query is not just relative to Canada, I include Europe. This is relative to the Odd Bods documentary that I am researching.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Producer, CANOAST Productions
CAUGHT IN OUR SITE:
October 17, 2001 6:22 PM
A new website on my Grandfather ~ RCAF ~ WAG
Jeff & Susan Dumble
Please have a look at my new web site for Lancaster KB882. This site was just created a few days ago. I am on my way to Edmundston in the morning to take more photos for my archives. If you think it's a good site please create a link from your site and I will do the same for yours. Also take a few minutes to leave feedback or comments, much appreciated!
My name is Catherine Purkott, and I was very pleased visit your museum on line, and am hoping I can see the real thing one day. I found an old black and white photo of my father and was hoping to have it hand coloured with one of my mother. Hence my visit to your site. I was trying to determine the colour of his uniform. My dad, Flying Officer "Buck" Sayeau was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force attached to the Royal Air Force. He flew a complete tour of ops as a Lancaster pilot with 106 Squadron during the middle months of 1944.
Although I have just began this adventure, I have visited a number of sites which show the planes, medals, etc. I have even found info on my uncle who was killed overseas - but next to nothing on uniforms. I was delighted with all the other things your site showed me. Thank you so much for that.
Can you tell me, or redirect me... what is the blue colour of the RAF uniforms called? Were all of the uniforms of the Air Force blue?
My family members of that generation are all gone. My brothers and sisters don't have any information.I would be grateful for any help you could give me. This is a legacy I want to pass on to my son. I think it is important. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanking you in advance, I remain
Yours truly, Catherine Purkott
Thanks to the generosity of Past President Archie Londry we are getting an H Hut! Archie loaned us the money to cover the cost of the move. The building is currently being dismembered and moved to the CATPM site from CFB Shilo. The H Hut is in fairly decent condition but has undergone changes from its original WWII configuration. I thought you might find room to post
the pictures on the site and ask if anyone out there has pictures of the center section of H Huts from the WWII era. May I also ask for $ help towards this project? It will become a valuable addition to our Museum.
John McNarry V.P. CATPM
ED NOTE: See more info and photos on this, and all the exciting new plans for the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at:
Re: Women of the War Years
I have some information re the fiancee of my uncle. She was an army Nursing Sister. We think the picture we have is in Quebec City... If anyone knows her or what became of her...we would certainly like to know.
Hello, While taking a virtual tour of your museum I noticed that you say the Manitoba government named areas etc. in memory of those that died in the war. My father-in-law died at Dieppe in 1942, he was in the Camerons of Canada . His name was Allan Charles Hancock, he is mentioned in the 6 books of rememberance ( in Ottawa) and I wondered if you might be able to tell me if there is a special place named for him?
Thank you, Judy Leech
Our company wants to introduce to you about our items.
Those names are; insignia, cuff title, all flags, badges and patches, ALL Shoulder boards ,all shoulder ranks, Eppaulettes, sword knots, brass items,Brass plates, brass Biggle, brass button,BRASS Eppaulettes Buckles, Spur, COPPER ITEMS, tin ware,ENGRAVING AND WOOD civil war items all sorts of cutlery and cutlery products, bayonets, kepi, leather items cap pouches, cartridge boxes and leather holsters,uniforms Accessories, etc.
We hope that you would like our above-mentioned items, and also hope that our company will find good response from you. In the meanwhile, we remain,
NEW S.B. ENTERPRISES ~ HAYAT PURA ZAFAR WALL ~ ROAD SIALKOT 51310, PAKISTAN
I am interested in obtaining information about the 12th Manitoba Dragoons. My father was a member during WW1. How can I research both him and the Dragoons? I am not even sure where to start.
An interesting occurrence that may be of interest...I am enrolled at Simon Fraser University (Returning to school after many years), and one of my classmates and I were chatting, and he mentioned his grandfather was also in
the 12th Mb Dragoons during WW1 (his grandfathers last name was Underwood). Talk about co-incidence! I told him about the plaque at the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg, and that discussion led me to the internet, and
ultimately to you. Any assistance or direction you can offer is appreciated.
My fathers name was George Thomas Morton.
Thank-you, Tom Morton
Re: Brandon Armoury Museum
Using the ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. I found lots of links directed to non-ERB pages. I was amazed that I found a Dutch page about the liberation of Hardenberg.
Your connections with The Netherlands are special I can see.
How do you manage it to do this all by yourself?
Amazing, superb are the words I can find.
Ron de Laat
Thank you for the great web site.
My grandfather was a member of the Manitoba Dragoons during the Second World War and it's great to learn more about its history and accomplishments.
I do have one question though, what does the latin motto on the insignia mean (quo fas et gloria ducunt). I would really appreciate it if you could tell me, as it's driving me crazy!
I have tried for years to obtain a framable print of H.M.C.S. Prince Robert with little success, until now. Obviously I am over joyed and have nothing but praise for the Bill Hillman web site. It seems that every time I pull up the site something new is revealed. This is probably the most extensive and detailed history of any Canadian ship including the Haida. I wish to thank you, Mr. Hillman and all the other people who put to-gether such a fine presentation. What a living memory of your dad!
Just to clarify, the print requested is listed on the Bill Hillman site - "As You Were, Feb 2001 Edition." The print is a copy of a painting by Mr. Sloan, size 11X17 on 28lb glossy paper. This print is offered for $10.00 plus an honour donation to the Comfort Fund.
Harold A. Hopf
A number of people were interested in the W/T Station Reunion - and some of you were involved in posting notices to web sites etc. Attached for info is a summary of the event. Please use it as you see fit - edit it for another posting or do whatever is appropriate to your situation to wind it up.
Many thanks for all your help.
Gordon Head Special W/T Station Reunion
From August 11th - 14th, 2001, telegraphists who were WWII Special Operators at Gordon Head Special W/T Station met near the wartime site of the Station at the University of Victoria. Of the wartime complement of approximately 65 RCNVR Reservists and about 65 WRCNS Wrens who replaced them in 1944, 9 men and 13 women attended the Reunion. They were joined by 8 relatives and several other interested parties for a program of information, entertainment, reminiscing and socializing.
Gordon Head Special W/T Station was the only “Y” and D/F element that had any continually significant role in the RCN’s radio intelligence operation against the Japanese. As part of the Naval Service Headquarters’ Operational Intelligence Centre network of stations that monitored enemy wireless transmissions, the Station was opened in 1940 and, at first, continued to provide to the Royal Navy the kind of radio intelligence data that had been furnished from 1925 by a similar facility in Esquimalt. Following Pearl Harbour and the rationalization of radio intelligence operations among the UK, the US and Canada, the Station became part of the US Navy’s West Coast network. Information collected at the Station was passed to Bainbridge Island, near Seattle for onward transmission to Washington and elsewhere as appropriate.
With the recent gradual lifting of security restrictions on information about Allied radio intelligence activities, we were able to access materials from the DND Directorate of History and Heritage and from recent publications in the public domain. Information from these sources was supplemented by research, funded by the Reunion, into files at the National Archives of Canada. All of this formed the basis for papers presented at the Reunion by former staff and by a retired UVic faculty member interested in our rather unusual event. These papers were about the history of the Station, about the vast Commonwealth and US Pacific signal interception operations of which the Station was a part, and about the role of code-breaking and traffic analysis in the 25 or so years leading up to the Battle of Midway.
When sold by the Department of National Defence in 1959, the 25 hectare property that the station occupied became a substantial part of the University of Victoria campus. Although the relationship between the nearby Army Camp and the University had been well known for some time, it was only when plans for the Reunion were initiated that a connection with the Naval Station became of some specific interest. This connection was very pleasantly recognized for those attending the Reunion at a reception sponsored by the University of Victoria Alumni Association.
Among the pleasant features of the Reunion, was the invitation for those attending the Reunion to have “Tea at the Empress” as guests of the hotel - for the same charge (ridiculously low by present day comparison) that prevailed during the wartime! Also, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt made arrangements for an excellent tour of the Dockyard with access to the impressive Chiefs’ and P.O.s’ Mess for lunch, followed by an interesting visit to the Naval Museum at “Naden”.One of the highlights of the program was the address at the Reunion Dinner by a former RCN/Armed Forces Commodore on the topic “The Navy Then - the Navy Now”.
A particularly interesting aspect of the Reunion was the fact that the former WRCNS and the former RCNVR types had never met each other, having “passed in the night”. The program provided opportunities for these groups to meet and for everyone to renew acquaintances, some of which had lapsed for over fifty years. As well as the casual story-telling that was facilitated by being together on campus, there was semi-structured time for people to spin yarns about what did (or didn’t!) happen during their time at the Station and elsewhere during their “Y” experiences.
The Station building still stands in a remote corner of the University - having been moved from its original location to serve as a Day Care Centre and currently as a furniture warehouse. There are tentative plans for the funds left over from the Reunion program to be donated to the University as seed money towards the placing of both a commemorative plaque on the Station building and a framed statement in the University building that now occupies the original site. Additionally, photographs, other memorabilia items, the research materials from National Archives together with the Reunion Proceedings will be used to enhance the Special Collections that the University of Victoria Archives Department maintains on campus history.
Given that surviving Station staff, members are now well to the right in the age spectrum, it is highly unlikely that this very successful event will ever be repeated. Those attending, however, consider themselves fortunate to have been able to be present the one time that it happened.
My Granddad was the Chief Petty Officer on the HMCS Prince Robert, his name was Angus Galbraith. I was wondering if maybe in all you travels for infromation, if you might have heard of him and or have anything you can tell me about him if you have heard anything?
Anything you could tell me would be greatly appreciated... even if you have nothing to tell me I thank you in advance...
A LETTER FROM A U.S. NAVY MANDear Dad,
We are still at sea. The remainder of our port visits have all been cancelled. We have spent every day since the attacks going back and forth within imaginary boxes drawn in the ocean, standing high-security watches, and trying to make the best of it. We have seen the articles and the photographs, and they are sickening. Being isolated, I don't think we appreciate the full scope of what is happening back home, but we are definitely feeling the effects.
About two hours ago, we were hailed by a German Navy destroyer, Lutjens, requesting permission to pass close by our port side. Strange, since we're in the middle of an empty ocean, but the captain acquiesced and we prepared to render them honors from our bridgewing. As they were making their approach, our conning officer used binoculars and announced that Lutjens was flying not the German, but the American flag. As she came alongside us, we saw the American flag flying half-mast and her entire crew topside standing at silent, rigid attention in their dress uniforms. They had made a sign that was displayed on her side that read "We Stand By You."
There was not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed alongside us for a few minutes and saluted. It was the most powerful thing I have seen in my life. The German Navy did an incredible thing for this crew, and it has truly been the highest point in the days since the attacks.
It's amazing to think that only half-century ago things were quite different. After Lutjens pulled away, the Officer of the Deck, who had been planning to get out later this year, turned to me and said, "I'm staying Navy." I'll write you when I know more about when I'll be home, but this is it for now.
Love you guys.
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