INTRODUCING A SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP

INTRODUCING A SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP

The Comox Air Force Museum would like to introduce you to a special interest group that can be found on Facebook: CANADIAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT WRECKS, RELICS, SURVIVORS, WARBIRDS, AND CRASHES The administrator, Mike Kaehler, explains that the “group is dedicated to discussing and exchanging information and photos of Canadian Military Aircraft Wrecks, Relics, Survivors, Warbirds and Crashes. There are often very interesting, historically enlightening facts that come out in posts as subject matter experts and group members, that were present during the various events, contribute their information to this group… Please note that the objective of this group is not to discuss aircraft that were or are in active service unless they have been grounded due to an accident or administrative action. This group is also not designed to judge or humiliate anyone involved in an aircraft incident…” You can have a closer look at this group and the guidelines for participation by checking it out on Facebook.  Thank you, Mike, for being available to share information with our Museum as we do our research!...

SPITFIRE PILOT ~ HART FINLEY

This is the second in a new series ~ Spitfire Pilots.  This one highlights Hartland (Hart) Finley. SQUADRON LEADER HARTLAND (HART) FINLEY R.C.A.F SEPT. 14 1940 – MAY 25 1946   Hartland Ross Finley DFC was born in Montreal, Quebec.  He was the son of Major Eric B. Finley and Eugene Marjorie Finley. He graduated from McGill University, Montreal and on September 14,1940, he enlisted in the R.C.A.F.   Finley received air crew instruction at Toronto Ontario, Windsor Mills QC, Summerside PEI and graduated as a pilot from No2 Service Flying Training School in Ottawa on December 28, 1942. In February 1943, Finley arrived overseas and by September 1943 had carried out many missions with Fighter Command Squadrons No 1, No 416, and No 403 flying Spitfire aircraft.  On his very first operational sortie, August 12, 1943, his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire puncturing one of his fuel tanks. Returning from his mission, he ran out of fuel; he bailed out, parachuting into the English Channel and was rescued by the Royal Navy rescue launch and returned to his Squadron.   By December 1944, he had flown 153 combat missions destroying a number of enemy aircraft.  Earning some leave, he was able to come home for Christmas in 1944, returning to England in 1945; he was promoted to Squadron Leader and posted to 403 Squadron and later to 443 Squadron.  He was a wonderful leader and his men had a high respect for him. During his May 1945 mission, after destroying a JU88 bomber, he was once more hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and had to bail out, and landed in enemy occupied territory. Finley avoided capture for...
FROM OUR GALLERY~ NOSE ART ~ INSCRIPTIONS AND CAPTIONS

FROM OUR GALLERY~ NOSE ART ~ INSCRIPTIONS AND CAPTIONS

In this, the second chapter on the subject of nose art in WW2, I am going to write about phrases or names used on the aircraft. The pilots and crews used their imaginations, intelligence and humour to convey their thoughts and emotions. Some crews sent a message to the enemy, others used the opportunity to remind themselves of loved ones. Probably the most famous of these names was on the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb, the “Enola Gay”. This aircraft was named in honour of the mother of the pilot, Col. Paul Tibbets. A lot of the pilots used a phrase that they thought best described their aircraft and the work it did, or the results they wanted; the following picture highlights this. This also lets us know how many planes this pilot had gone through. Flying the Typhoon became one of the deadliest jobs in the Air Force and our Canadian boys became some of the top Typhoon pilots in the war. Another example of the task assigned to an aircraft is exemplified by this Spitfire mkIX of 412 Sqn. Pistol Packin’ Momma-Spitfire mkIX Many pilots remembered their wives or girlfriends by placing her name on their planes. The following two pictures are examples of this; the first of these is a Beaufighter of 252 Sqn. The second is a Boulton Paul Defiant of 410 Sqn.     One of my favourite pilots is Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to go through the sound barrier. From the moment he was assigned his first aircraft he named it and all subsequent aircraft after his wife “Glamorous Glennis”. Some pilots...
WHO WAS CHARLEY FOX?

WHO WAS CHARLEY FOX?

H. COLONEL CHARLEY FOX R.C.A.F. ~ ” THE FLYING FOX “ Born 16th February 1920 - Died 18th October 2008 WHO WAS CHARLEY FOX? Charley Fox was one of the foremost Canadian air aces of the Second World War, who in particular is credited with taking Germany’s most celebrated general, Erwin Rommel, out of the war.  It is highly likely that it was one of his attacks which badly injured the field marshal and ended his military career some weeks after D-Day.  But such was Fox’s reticence that he did not publicly disclose his involvement in the attack until many years later. Rommel was badly injured when his staff car crashed after Fox’s attack from his Spitfire.  Attacking vehicles on the ground was his specialty, and he and others did much damage to the Nazi war effort in a relatively short but intense combat career which earned him the DFC twice. Aircraft which he flew were themselves damaged 14 times from enemy ground fire during his 220 operational flights.  One of his citations gives us an idea of his effectiveness:  “This officer has led his section against a variety of targets, often in the face of intense anti aircraft fire.  He has personally destroyed a total of 153 vehicles including trains, troop carriers, oil and gasoline tankers, also many German aircraft on the ground.  From early on he showed a marked talent for inflicting accurate destruction with ground attack sorties.  He flew against the rocket sites which were launching V1 and V2 rockets at English cities, as well as carrying out photo-reconnaisance and escort duties.” He joined the RCAF...

NEWS ON THE SPITFIRE!

A few days ago, a couple of visitors came into to our Museum and asked about the Spitfire.  Where was it?  What is happening with it?  Talk about the Spitfire is pretty popular, not only with our visitors, but also with those who follow our website. Awhile ago, we gave you an update on the progress being made. Now we have more news to share with you. Vintage Wings of Canada has provided a detailed update on their website.  You’ll find a link on their homepage to “Canadian Spitfire Update”.  We hope you’ll enjoy...
SNOWED IN?  CHECK OUT THESE POPULAR POSTS ON OUR WEBSITE!

SNOWED IN? CHECK OUT THESE POPULAR POSTS ON OUR WEBSITE!

Are you snowed in like we are at the Museum?  Why not have a closer look at some of our most popular posts?  Click on the blue print to link up with the posts themselves.  When you discover one that is especially meaningful to you, comment on it, telling us why you like it!  And while you’re here? Like and share this!  And then ? Sign up to have our posts delivered right to your inbox on the day they’re posted! First up, the first in a new series for us, Introducing Al Wilson, Cartoonist.  He worked at the Totem Times for part of his career, and his cartoons are enjoyed by many of our readers!  We publish two of his cartoons each month.       Next, From Our Main Gallery - Japanese Paper Balloon Bombs.  This was written by one of our volunteers, Gary, who works in the Gift Shop on Tuesday mornings.  Gary loves to be at the Museum and is writing a series of “From Our Main Gallery” pieces for us.  Another popular one he wrote is about medals.  We received some good responses to this one as it helped folks identify some medals they had!  Thanks for all your work, Gary!     Our readers love to learn about what’s going on in the Heritage Air Park and the work our volunteers are doing in Hangar 268, located there.  The progress made on the Dakota Maintenance was a hit!  And Keith did an amazing job organizing the aircraft technical maintenance manuals, work appreciated by base personnel as well.           The...

Get our articles sent via
email