“COMOX AIR FORCE MUSEUM ~ OUR STORY”

You might remember that our Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jon Ambler wrote a book chronicling the first 30 years of our Museum’s history.  We quickly sold out and after a number of people requested a copy, we reordered another series.  Of those, we have just ten left! If you’d like a copy, they are available in our Gift Shop for a $30 donation.  We hope you’ll consider purchasing...
COMOX AIR FORCE MUSEUM CELEBRATED 30 YEARS!

COMOX AIR FORCE MUSEUM CELEBRATED 30 YEARS!

On September 12th, our Museum celebrated our 30th Anniversary!  Approximately 100 guests, including retired and serving 19 Wing members, community officials, long standing members of the Museum Association, along with former curators and board members, first gathered in the theatre for speeches and presentations.         Two teams of volunteers were honoured for their work.  First was the group who helped Museum Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jon Ambler with the publishing of his book Comox Air Force Museum, Our First 30 Years.  Jon Ambler, Carol Popkin, Allison Hetman, and Val Wilson were recipients of the Wing Commander’s commendations and coins.         The second group to be honoured with the Wing Commander’s commendations and coins included the team responsible for bringing a new display space to life.  It includes David Wilson, Mike Forbes, and Irv Fraser.  Irv’s wife, Karen, accepted his award.     Prior to this new display area, the space was a storage hallway; now with the creation of this new hallway display, the Museum is able to rotate displays in order to share some special items from our archives. As part of the celebration, a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiled this hallway display.     The cake cutting ceremony was done by Nancy Greene and Ted Gibbons.  At the time the Museum opened in 1987, Ted Gibbons was the Base Commander and Nancy was the Museum Curator.  We were happy they could do the honours once again!     Following the festivities, there was plenty of time for the guests to mingle as well as to spend time in the new hallway...
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE SCHNEIDER TROPHY RACES

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE SCHNEIDER TROPHY RACES

  The Schneider Trophy, the common name for the Coupe d’Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider, was awarded annually to the winner of a race for seaplanes and flying boats.  The trophy itself is now found in the Science Museum in London. In 1912, Jacques Schneider, a French financier, balloonist, and aircraft enthusiast, offered a prize of about 1000 pounds for the competition.  The race was meant to encourage technical advances in civil aviation, but ultimately became a contest for pure speed, with laps over a normally triangular course of between 280 and 350 kilometres.  These contests were actually time trials, with aircraft setting out individually and at pre-agreed times, most often 15 minutes apart.  The contests were very popular and drew huge crowds.  The race was held twelve times between 1913 and 1931. If an aero club won three races in five years, they would retain the trophy and the winning pilot would receive 75,000 francs for each of the first three wins.  Each race was hosted by the previous winning country and was supervised by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, as well as the aero club in the hosting country.  Each club could enter up to three competitors with an equal number of alternatives. The races were important in terms of advancing aeroplane design, especially in the fields of aerodynamics and engine design; these would then show results in the best fighters of WWII.  The streamlined shape and the low drag, liquid-cooled engine pioneered by the Schneider Trophy designs were easy to see in the British Supermarine Spitfire, the American P-51 Mustang, as well as the Italian Macchi C.201 Folgore....
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ FEATURING LARRY MILBERRY’S BOOKS

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ FEATURING LARRY MILBERRY’S BOOKS

Larry Milberry is a lifelong aviation enthusiast who has authored, co-authored, or edited approximately 41 books on Canadian aviation history, including many of the best-known reference books on the subject. In 2004, Milberry was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.  As well, he’s an honorary Snowbird, a long-time member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, and last spring our Museum Association presented him with an Honourary Lifetime Membership.   It’s interesting to note that while Larry Milberry has come to our Museum to conduct his research for upcoming projects ~ many volunteers and visitors who come into the Library to get help with their personal research are often pointed in the direction of Milberry’s publications!  Let’s have a look at just a few of the titles on our shelves:   Aircom - Canada’s Air Force - Published in 1991, this is ” … a detailed look at the air force seen through the photographic viewfinder.  It shows all the aircraft operated by Air Command.  It also focuses upon the people who make the air force work, and on their many bases.  A special section deals with Canada’s Hornets in the Persian Gulf war.”           The Canadair Sabre - This book is considered “… the most detailed book ever about the famous F-86 Sabre… the book tells the story of the 1815 Sabres built under licence by Canadair in Montreal… The RCAF’s first Sabre squadrons were formed at St. Hubert, Uplands, North Bay and Bagotville, then moved to the U.K. at North Luffenham and finally to the Continent.  Their story is enlivened with details from the...
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ MODEL BUILDING RESOURCES

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ MODEL BUILDING RESOURCES

I was helping in our Gift Shop the other day, and is my habit, invited our guests to have a look in our Museum Library.  People who venture in are amazed with the size and quality of our collection, as well as the variety of topics we have covered.  People are also intrigued by the number of model aircraft we have on display above our bookshelves; they also enjoy checking out other model aircraft in the Main Gallery and in the hallway showcase. I recently discovered an extensive collection of books published by Squadron/Signal Publications and by Sabre Model Supplies.  These books would be a great source of information for model-builders, historically and structurally:   Bristol Blenheim in action by Ron Mackay has a close look at the development of this aircraft and chronicles its use in combat.  You’ll appreciate the black and white as well as the coloured photos; you’ll also find the detailed line drawings most helpful.       Sopwith Fighters in action is written by Peter Cooksley and illustrated by Joe Sewell.  Cooksley introduces his book, “It could be argued that the aircraft built at Thomas Sopwith’s factory at Kingston-on-Thames contributed more to the Allied cause during the First World War than those of any other aircraft company.  Of these, the Sopwith Camel is the best remembered… they made a great contribution to the development of the aircraft as a fighting machine at a time when the very science of flying was in its early stages…”   I freely admit that I was taken by the SR-71 Blackbird in action cover.  Lou Drendel wrote and illustrated this...
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE KOREAN WAR

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE KOREAN WAR

With the recent focus on North Korea, perhaps this is a good time to have a look at the collection of books we have available in our Museum’s Library: First, let’s have a look at the area at the time:     From the publishers of Legion Magazine, Canada’s Ultimate Story - Korea, the Forgotten War looks at the Canadian involvement in this war.  The magazine includes photos, relevant texts, and quotes from interviews with Korean War Veterans, “The people were starving.  When you are supplying rations to a large number of men surpluses build up.  We would give the surplus to the refugees - and felt very good about it.” (Marcel Richard)         The Directorate of History and Heritage, DND, published Canada and the Korean War. The book not only shares the history of the times, but also includes maps, photographs, art work, and individual stories of those involved.         Deadlock in Korea was written by Ted Barris.  “Between 1950 and 1953, nearly 30,000 Canadian volunteers joined the effort to contain communist incursions into South Korea and support the fledgling United Nations.  All of the services were there and served with distinction… The book is considered a fascinating, sometimes heart stopping look at Canada’s forces in a war that history forgot.”         Graham Thomas is the author of Furies and Fireflies Over Korea - the Story of the Men of the Fleet Air Arm, RAF and Commonwealth who Defended South Korea 1950 - 1953.  “On 25 June, 1950, five years after the free world had finished a dreadful and terrible war against...

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