Bill Hillman Presents
Forces: Land ~ Air ~ Sea ~ Home
June 2000 Edition
Compiled by Bill Hillman
Wherein we share an eclectic assortment of items gleaned from the
Internet, media and contributing readers.
Please send your ideas and contributions to the
FLASH. . . Editor and Webmaster: Bill Hillman:
1. CATPM Restoration Progress Photos with Captions by John McNarry
2. Journal of the Royal Air Force ~ Carberry ~ 1942
3. Punch Goes To War
4. Wellington Aviation Museum
5. Target Tonight
6. Lawn Chair Man Takes to the Air
7. Mail Call
8. Information Request

1. Brandon's CATP Museum hangar restoration progress report
by John McNarry
Volunteers continue to move aircraft, parts and artifacts
out of the hangar and onto the tarmack and into semi-trailers

View looking NE from the workshop through the shop doors to the hanger. 

The Fleet Fort fuselage is being prepared for outside storage.

                       The shop looking West 
The parts storage area with a pallet rack in the forground.

The pallet racks when full were placed into storage semi-trailers. 

Reg Forbes is in the background surrounded by parts tires, etc. 

John McNarry and Reg Forbes discussing the next step in the move. 
John and Reg looking over a pallet rack of radio equipment.

"Hey Reg does this thing work?" 

John looking into the back of a nearly full semi-trailer. 

It contains most of the Cessna Crane, as well as some Hurricane and Norseman parts.

Looking towards the rear of the same trailer, 
John is standing beside the vertical stabilizer of the Crane. 

The partially restored fuselage is wrapped in blisterpack to protect it.

 Looking forward from the middle of the trailer. 

The Crane fuselage on the left, and shelves of boxed parts on the right. 

Norseman and Crane ailerons are stored above.

John and Katie, our summer student, visit during bag lunch hour with Lyle, 
"President of the Gopher Preservation Ass." 

Lyle does a lot of the photographic and diorama displays at the CATPM

Left pic: The failure of the original truss is evident in the photograph. A construction error at the time of the original construction placed the second rafter truss at the same elevation as the south outside wall. This made a flat spot in the original 1% slope of the roof. Over the years this caused the rafter to sag due to the weight of accumulated ice and snow in our harsh winters and spring thaws. The sag caused the roof membrane to leak and the resultant damage further weakened the trusses.

When the contractor has the trusses jacked up close to the original elevation, steel tension and compression members will worked into the original trusses to carry the load. Failed wood tension and compression members of the trusses will be replaced as needed. The result will be a very strong truss that will look very similar to the original. The temporary structural steel "knees" evident in the RH picture will be removed. The roof will then be raised to a continuous slope of approximately the original designs 1% with rigid insulation and a new "membrane" installed.

The rest of trusses in the hanger from the "failed" trusses towards the north will only receive "spot repairs. This will necessitate the remaining part of the collection on display to be moved around the hanger to make room for the contractors work. It is going to be a busy summer!  The light coloured wood in the ceiling above the trusses is not new wood but the original fire retardant paint put on sixty years ago!

The wall in the right hand picture is the divider that separates the hanger into the CATPM and Maple Leaf Aviation. Maple Leaf Aviation will be moving into their own new hanger in the fall of 2001. The CATPM will then be able to expand into the whole hanger.

Keep watching for progress reports!
-- John McNarry

Submitted by Dr. T. F. Beveridge

Journal of the Royal Air Force, Carberry - June 1942Journal of the Royal Air Force, Carberry - June 1942

From A Cartoon History of the Royal Air Force
Copyright Punch Magazine

Late again, Parkinson.
"Late again, Parkinson."
WE went down to a few INCHES.
"WE went down to a few INCHES"

Submitted by Dr. T. F. Beveridge

 Websites of Interest to our Readers:
Pay them a visit and
check out the photos and stories.

4. Wellington Aviation Museum
Some years ago Gerry Tyack opened his small museum dedicated to all those who served or who passed through RAF Moreton-in-Marsh, on one of the many training courses for RAF bomber command. Though the airfield is now a fire training station Gerry keeps the memory of the base alive in the museum with his vast range of artifacts from the war years and beyond.

RAF Moreton-in-Marsh was one of many flight training stations and large numbers of crews passed through, Gerry has an interest in contacting anyone who recalls times at the station and has numerous books and paintings signed by past personnel, many of the items are donated to the museum from families of, or people stationed there.

Wellington Aviation Museum,
British School House,
Broadway Road,
GL56 0BG

 Pilot ~ Navigator ~ Bomb Aimer ~ Wireless AirGunner ~ AirGunner ~ Flight Engineer

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
                                                                                             Laurence Binyon

In January 2000, the Metro Toronto Branch of The Aircrew Association had 283 members. Their wartime experiences are of lasting historical value; well-suited to recording and distribution by means of the World Wide Web.  In every theatre of war - Europe and the Atlantic, North Africa and the Mediterranean, South - East  Asia and the Pacific - these airmen were engaged in operations that played a major part in the Allies' eventual victory. They flew in skies thick with anti-aircraft fire and patrolled by enemy fighters.The stories tell what airmen did, individually and together during six years of the past century, in a struggle for freedom from the tyranny of Japanese and Nazi dictatorships. It is to celebrate the record of these men and of their many friends  who failed to return from operations, that we wear a poppy on Rememberance Day, November 11th.

Lawn Chair Man (True Story)
Larry Walters went to the local Army-Navy surplus store and purchased 45 weather balloons and several tanks of helium. He securely strapped the balloons to his sturdy lawn chair and anchored the chair to the bumper of his jeep and inflated the balloons with the helium. Larry packed several sandwiches and a six-pack of Miller Lite and loaded his pellet gun figuring he could pop a few balloons when it was time to descend. Larry's plan was to lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard and come back down in a few hours. Things didn't quite workout for Larry. When he cut the cord anchoring the lawn chair to his jeep he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon. He didn't level off at 30 feet but 16,000 feet. At that height he couldn't risk shooting any of the balloons. So he stayed there, drifting cold and frightened for more than 14 hours when he found himself in the primary approach corridor of LAX. A Pan Am pilot first spotted Larry. He radioed the tower and described passing a guy in a lawn chair... with a gun! Radar confirmed the existence of an object floating 16,000 above the airport. LAX emergency procedures swung into full alert and a helicopter was dispatched to investigate. The offshore breeze began to flow and carried Larry out to sea. Right on Larry's heels was the rescue helicopter. The helicopter ascended to a position several hundred feet above Larry and lowered a rescue line. Larry snagged the line, with which he was hauled back to shore. As soon as Larry was hauled to earth, he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD for violating LAX airspace.


           My name is Beth Parsons and my husband, Ernie and myself recently ordered the Book of Remembrance and I just thought I'd lend myself a little of your time to give you a little history of myself (not that you've asked for it) but I believe you should hear this.
           Both my husband and myself are in our early fifties and unfortunately we have gone very different directions in the past 19 or so years. He is Canadian, as am I, however, he was raised with a Father that was a telegraphist with the Merchant Navy (had flat feet) and survived as I have my honey, also his mother with a WREN during the later part of the war, she also of course survived. The point is he was raised with a pride in the forces and respect for the history of such. His father went on to be a telegraphist with the CNR.
           Myself, my father was in the Army as an electrical engineer, I think, as in my family, the war was never spoken of nor was Dad's war effort ever spoken of, only when my mother whined about being alone in a small town in B.C. with a small son, alone, with DAD in the war. STOP.... that's it.
           The last 18 or so years I have been researching the Americian Civil War, since becoming interested in it in High School, and later after meeting Ernie was allowed to research and hence over 300 regimental files, cemeteries, hospitals, prisons, etc. all that goes with the Civil War. My husband finally said "Hay, Sweetie what about CANADA."  RIGHT, WHAT ABOUT MY HERITAGE?
           So I started looking on the internet for the Royal Canadian Air Force (which my husband has a particuliar fondness for) and lo and behold, YES OUR BOYS WERE YOUNG AND HOPEFUL TOO.
           Now after 5 weeks of researching, going to our local cemeteries and internet, WITH THE HELP OF YOUR BOOK, today I FOUND BOYS IN MY COUNTRY'S LOCAL CEMETERY, who had also died young and for MY FUTURE.

Yours Gratefully,
Beth Parsons

I have received details of your website from the daughter of a fellow member of the RAF who was like my father stationed in Moncton during W.W.II.  I wonder if you can help me in any way from your archives or contacts.  He too later went to India but as a pilot left Moncton much sooner than my father.  My father is 80 this September and was stationed in Moncton during WW II when a Sgt. in the RAF.  During the day he was dealing with administrative needs of moving airforce and other enlisted personnel onwards to various postings. By night he was the pianist and sometimes the leader of the Base Band, whose personnel continuously changed as men came and left the base.  I believe the Band was known as PD 31 and broadcast regularly on the local radio station as well as providing the music for dances in the area.

He landed in Moncton by chance because he was actually en route for Africa but his ship was chased by a U-boat and needed to find a safe harbour.  Consequently. he and his mates arrived with tropical kit and were very ill-equipped for the Canadian winter!  I believe this was 1942.

I would be most grateful for any contact or information and especially for any newspaper cuttings or if possible a website I could search myself, for relevant information.  We plan a surprise family party for my father in September.  He is Alf "Sam" Isaacs.  He still plays piano and accordion and last year made a CD as member of a Jazz Trio.

If you can give me FAX numbers, URLS or E-mail addresses for contact I would be most grateful

many thanks
Shirley Kearns [nee Isaacs]
134, Kingsway
West Yorkshire
Home Tel: 01924 275833
Work Fax: 0113 236 3747

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