THE WICKENBY NEWSLETTER ~ AUGUST

THE WICKENBY NEWSLETTER ~ AUGUST

This is another of our series: the Wickenby Register Newsletter.  The newsletters were printed twice yearly; they include information about 12 Squadron RAF, memories of service men and women, the occasional recipe, stories of times past… But perhaps the thing that spoke to both Mel and me when we saw them was the inclusion of a poem on the back of each issue.  We hope that you’ll enjoy these two:                                ...
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...
OUR FAST BIRDS GET A BATH

OUR FAST BIRDS GET A BATH

The annual washing of our fighter aircraft took place recently.  As you can imagine, keeping the planes clean and maintained when they are exposed to the elements is a constant battle.  Luckily for the Museum, a crew from 888 Wing takes on the responsibility of power washing and scrubbing the four fighter aircraft in the park (the CF-100 Canuck, the CF-101 Voodoo, the CF-104 Starfighter and the T-33 T-Bird).  I am happy to report, no major water fights broke out during the project and a light lunch was enjoyed by all back at 888 Wing.  A big thanks to Duke and his team for their continued support of the Museum and the Air Park.    ...
FROM OUR ARCHIVES ~ THE BREADNER HELMET

FROM OUR ARCHIVES ~ THE BREADNER HELMET

Our Museum has a dedicated group of volunteers who sit as members of our Collections Management Committee.  When an artifact is donated, it is evaluated on its relevance to the museum, its condition, and its rarity. This story began when Don Magor of Campbell River inquired if our museum would be interested in the donation of a WWI German pilot’s helmet.  The helmet was a battlefield souvenir from his grandfather, the former Chief of the Air Staff RCAF Overseas 1944-45, Lloyd S. Breadner. In this case, the artifact was part of the story of the birth of the Royal Canadian Air Force and coincided with the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.  Therefore, this artifact was extremely relevant to our museum. Don, one of the volunteers on the committee, noted that there was an inscription in the helmet that was barely legible. “Hun brought down near (Mnt…?) April 23 17. The fact that the owner of the helmet was an important personage in the RCAF and having this inscription was more information than the museum usually receives with a donation, but we wanted to see if we could find more of the story. Our research showed that L.S. Breadner was a pilot serving with Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) No. 3 Squadron at Marieux (Montplaisir), France and we were able to find first person accounts of his actions in aerial combat 17 April, 1917. (These are related in Jon Guttman’s “Naval Aces World War I” and “Canadian Airmen and the First World War” by S.F. Wise.)   In his own account of the battle, he...
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...

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