Bill Hillman Presents
Forces: Land ~ Air ~ Sea ~ Home
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:

July 2000 Edition

1. Rare Aviation Photos ~ Diaries ~ Documents by Konnie Johannesson
2. Veterans Take Centre Stage At August Event by Fred McGuinness
3. Mystery Air Show ~ circa 1959
4. Royal Air Force Journal ~ Carberry 1942 (more excerpts)
5. Punch Goes To War (Part 2)
6. In the News: 2 WWII planes found in Indonesia
7. Dear Agnes: Letters from the Home Front

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

1. Rare Aviation Photos ~ Diaries ~ Military Documents

Konrad (Konnie) Johannesson
of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Konnie enlisted in the 223rd ( XI Reserve ) Battalion of the 2nd Brigade of the Canadian Army on March 8th, 1916 in Winnipeg. From then until April 1917 he trained at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. In April 1917 he went overseas to England, eventually ending up in the Royal Flying Corps as a Flying Instructor at the RFC airfield at El Khanka, Egypt. Finally returning from Egypt in April 1919, he played hockey with the Winnipeg  Falcons until 1921.

During WW II he operated Johannesson Flying Service in Winnipeg, Manitoba, teaching Icelandic-speaking students to fly so that they could join the Royal Canadian Air Force.  At the end of the war he founded and operated Rivercrest Airstrip and Seaplane base on the Red River in West St. Paul,  just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The diary pages contain selected days of Konnie's diaries of his life in the Canadian Army in England and the Royal Flying Corps in Egypt. There are almost-daily entries for most of 1917 and 1918. Some of his flying logbook records are also included in the diary pages at the appropriate dates.

A Sampling of the Photo Collections Featured at this Site

Aircraft on flight line ~ Copyright 1999 by Brian Johannesson
Scenes from Royal Flying Corps Flying School
in Ismailia, Egypt, 1917-1918 
View throught the hangar doors ~ Copyright 1999 by Brian Johannesson
Stinson Factory scenes from 1935/1938
Fleetwings Stainless Steel Seabird Amphibian ~ Copyright 1999 by Brian Johannesson
Chicago Airshow Scenes
On floats somewhere in Northern Manitoba circa 1938 ~ Copyright 1999  Brian Johannesson
Junkers W34 Photos
Falcons team members view wrecked tanks on old battlefield ~ Copyright 1999 Brian Johannesson
Winnipeg Falcons Hockey Team: 
Photos in Canada & Post-War Belgium
Tiger Moth ~ Copyright 1999 by Brian Johannesson
Other Aviation Pictures
Graduation Certificate ~ Copyright 1999 by Brian Johannesson
Diaries and Military Documents
Website owned by Brian Johannesson
Photos Copyright 1999 by Brian Johannesson

Anyone who knows more about the
miscellaneous pictures could contact me at:

2. Veterans take centre stage at August event
The Fred McGuinness Diary
Brandon Sun ~ May 25, 2000

2000: If you have a yearning to respond just once more to those old parade-square commands: "FALL IN ... FORM FOURS ... BY THE RIGHT DRESS..." do I have a deal for you.

Get out your red pencil. Draw a circle around Thursday, August 10.

This is "Vet's Day," just one of the items on the program of the Brandon Millennium Homecoming.

What are known officially as the 'anciens combatants' from all parts of Manitoba are invited to a two-part ceremony that will evoke a million memories of life in khaki, light blue or dark blue.

Check-in time on the Big Day is at 1:30 near the Capitol Theatre at the south end of the parking lot at the Brandon Shopper's Mall.

A regimental sergeant major (the committee is borrowing a live one for this occasion) will issue those memorable commands with such vigour that everyone present will respond with chests out and bums in.

The parade crosses Eighteenth Street to the cenotaph in the cemetery where there will be a reviewing stand.

The salute will be taken by His Honour, Lieutenant-Governor Peter Liba, with a brief ceremony following. The honour guard will include  the local army, navy and air force cadets. Bugler Les Allison will play the Last Post. A piper from t he 26th Field Regiment will play the Piper's Lament. Rev. David Wilson will conduct a brief service, and aircraft from  the air museum will participate in a fly past.

When the parade moves back to the parking lot, those who wish to do so may be guests of the Capitol Theatre for a screening of "For The Moment," the air force movie that was made here a few years ago.

Those who want to see some of the artifacts of war may visit the museum of the 26th Field Regiment, in the Brandon Armoury, or the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at the airport.

It's right there, at the air museum, where phase two of this show takes place. There will be a bar, and they'll take the beef out of the pit for the buffet. Scotty McIntosh and his band will entertain the crowd with music from the Second World War as they dine, and at 8:30 there's a brief program. Emcee Alex Matheson will direct proceedings as Lieutenant-Governor Liba brings greetings from the Province of Manitoba. Brandon's own Col. Jim Selby salutes the audience on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces and Senator Gildas Molgat, honourary colonel of the "Little Black Devils," speaks on behalf of a grateful nation.

For me, there will be a little extra nostalgia in the air. In the early '40s, when I was attending St. Paul's College, a serious 15-year-old from Ste. Rose du Lac became my next-door neighbour in the residence. His name, you surely can guess, is Gildas Molgat.

Even at that young age he had been introduced to war; he is a survivor of the Athenia, the first vessel torpedoed in the Second World War. It was sunk off the coast of Ireland on Day One of hostilities. Gil was on his way home from visiting his grandmother in Brittany.

Let's get back to "Vet's Day." Ex-service personnel are requested to register before Aug. 1 because of catering requirements. A cheque for $30 covers everything: parade, movie, dance and the music. Mail it to:

Vets' Day,
 Commonwealth Air Museum,
Box 3, Group 520, R.R.5,
Brandon, R7A 5Y5.

If you need more details, you can get them at 727-2444. Be there! That's an order!

Fred McGuinness is a Brandon-based freelance writer.

3. MYSTERY AIR SHOW circa 1959:
Who ~ What ~ When ~ Where ~ Why?

I was visiting the Air Museum site through a link from a Brandon site while searching for family history and information. I thought perhaps you might be able to help identify some old photographs.  I have many old photographs from Brandon, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Clear Lake, Ninette, most have nothing to identify them.

I am sending an attachment of 5 photos [see above] from about September 1959. ( I have more photos) My husband (not quite 3 years old at the time) along with his Dad, Uncle and cousin went to an air show which I assumed was in or around Brandon since that's where he lived.  My husband thinks it may have been somewhere in Saskatchewan. The only thing I do know is that another family member by the name of Edward Rozdeba flew with the Golden Hawks.

I sure would appreciate any help with this.

Gail Peltz

4. More excerpts from:
Submitted by Dr. T. F. Beveridge
Journal of the Royal Air Force, Carberry - June 1942

From A Cartoon History of the Royal Air Force
Note: Position your mouse cursor on the cartoon to display the caption
Dummy pops off and attacks the Docks at Brest -- OK?That's five bob you owe me.
Copyright Punch Magazine
Submitted by Dr. T. F. Beveridge

6. IN THE NEWS: (2000.06.30)
2 WWII planes found in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Villagers in eastern Indonesia have found the remains of two U.S. fighter planes that crashed during World War II, the official Antara news agency reported Thursday. It said the two aircraft, Believed to be Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, were discovered near the villages of Mos and Makmakerbon about 2,000 miles east of the capital of Jakarta. Villagers could not inspect the wreckage because the surrounding area is littered with unexploded ammunition, resident Yusuf Rumaropen told Antara. Irian Jaya, which comprises the western half of New Guinea island, was a major battleground between Japanese and Allied forces during World War II. The P-47s were heavy, long-range fighters that escorted allied bombers on raids against Japanese bases along the northern coast of New Guinea. The planes were armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns
and could carry rockets and bombs slung under their wings.

dear agnes | letters from the home front

This tribute site by Rick McGinnis
features a collection of wartime letters
which he has crafted into a loving memorial to his father.

"SGT. BILL MCGINNIS wrote many more than just 15 letters home to his wife during the five years he spent in the RCAF, but these are all that have survived. There is nothing remarkable about these letters, from a personal or historical perspective. Bill McGinnis was a good man and a decent soldier who served his country in that most glory-free of places -- military bases on the home front. In the letters, he is preoccupied with getting leave and finding space in overcrowded trains, getting his job done on the various air bases to which he is assigned, often at a moment's notice, and finally with obtaining his discharge papers so he can return to his new wife and his interrupted life."
Rick McGinnis

As You Were . . .
Tribute Webzines
Navigation Chart to the
Hillman WWII Tributes
Short Bursts
Ex-Air Gunners Association

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum: RCAFHMCS Prince Robert: Hillman WWII Scrapbook - RCNXII Dragoons - 26 RCA Museum
Webmaster: William G. Hillman
Editor and Webmaster Bill Hillman ~ Copyright 1996-2021