“TWO BY MOONLIGHT”

You might recall a previous post in which I shared the unveiling of the K.O. Moore exhibit in our Main Gallery.   Wing Commander K.O. Moore DSO was certainly a hero of World War Two, earning an immediate Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the US Silver Star by destroying two U-Boats in a 22 minute span.  The combat took place at night as he and his No 224 Squadron RAF crew, in a Very Long Range Liberator, were tasked with keeping NAZI U-Boats away from the D Day invasion fleet.  The U-Boats put up a hail of machine gun and cannon fire that he had to fly right through to complete his attack; he did so without flinching or failing.  His crew sent the enemy contact message: ‘ saw two subs, sunk same’!  He survived the war and went on to become an important RCAF leader in the post-War period. Recently, Dave O’Malley wrote the amazing story for Vintage Wings of Canada.  I thought you might like to read it on the Vintage Wings of Canada website.  Special thanks to Dave for his permission to share!  We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did here at the...

DH-100 VAMPIRE “BAT FACE”

DH-100 Vampire ‘Bat Face’ 442 Squadron “City of Vancouver” will be holding their 75th anniversary this June.  To add a bit of flair and colour to their celebrations the Comox Air Force Museum decided to take our Vampire 031 and paint it in the colours used when 442 Sqn flew Vampires.  The motif used was a ‘Bat Face’ that was applied by the units technicians on 4 aircraft.  The artwork was not identical and in fact differed greatly from each other.  Very few high quality photographs of the aircraft exist so we were faced with a problem of finding what actually was painted on the aircraft.  The Heritage Team who is tasked with such things reached out to a recognized Canadian expert on military aircraft markings, David Winter of Canuck Model Products (http://www.canuckmodels.com or https://www.facebook.com/CanuckModels/).  If you are a model aircraft enthusiast then you likely know Canuck for the high quality and highly accurate decal kits they produce.  It was hoped that David could help us as his Vampire decals are of the aircraft we need.  In short order he provided us a copy of his Vampire software ,which he supplied in 1:1 scale no less, making our task possible.  Using his software we had decals cut on vinyl by Cpl William Trinnear at 19 Air Maintenance Squadron on the Gerber Graphics machine.  Not all the decals were able to conform to the curves of the aircraft, but where they didn’t they did make an excellent template for us to use making masks of our own to paint the mouth and fangs.  We would like to thank both David...
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE RCAF MARINE SECTION: A BRIEF HISTORY

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE RCAF MARINE SECTION: A BRIEF HISTORY

  Following WWI and prior to 1939, most of the RCAF aircraft were amphibious.  In order to service these aircraft, small boats of different sizes and shapes were used.  These were manned and maintained by personnel who became the RCAF Marine Section.         Between 1918 and 1935, some of the work done by the Air Force included air photography, reconnaissance, and forestry patrol.  Because this was accomplished mainly by sea planes, it was necessary to set up small marine sub-sections at various places across the country in order to service the aircraft.  Though there were small sections, the major marine establishments were located at Ottawa (Rockcliffe), Trenton, as well as Jericho Beach.   A school was formed in Trenton in 1935 to train marine crewmen.  In the same year, the RCAF acquired its first crash boats, 37 feet in length and built in England. They arrived at Halifax aboard a civilian freighter; one of the launches stayed at Halifax (assigned to No. 4 Flying Boat Squadron).  The other was transported by rail to Jericho Beach, Vancouver (assigned to No. 5 Flying Boat Squadron).   The design of the boats proved to be quite successful, and as a result, in 1937, a 38 foot boat of the same type was ordered, this time from a Canadian firm.  As well as the three crash boats, the Air Board also ordered three power dinghies from Canadian builders.  Eighteen feet long, powered with a 56 h.p. engine, and operating at a maximum speed of 18 knots, they were used for aircraft tending and bomb loading. The personnel strength of the...
THE WORLD CAME TO OUR MUSEUM’S DOOR IN 2016!

THE WORLD CAME TO OUR MUSEUM’S DOOR IN 2016!

  The world came to our door in 2016!  We’d like to share information about the many visits we had during 2016.  Bill, our Association’s Past President, compiled an interesting report for us. Our Guest Book is a great source of information as to who visits us and where they come from.  Last year we had 10,956 recorded visitors to the museum.  As before, they were happy to give us their comments. Some of them follow:       “Belle and Bonne.” “Excellent displays.” “Absolutely wonderful and fascinating.” “Very nice. I learnt a lot.” “Brought back many memories.” “Best Nuke Ever!!!” “Great for kids and adults.” “A great museum. So glad you have school kids learning about history.” “WOW! Very Cool.” “So much information. Even I learned a lot.” “Very commendable and Great Stuff.” “Kids loved looking and learning.” “Wonderful collection. Very informative. Nice counter fellows.” “Wow. Such history. Loved the flight simulator.” “Amazing museum. Well designed and executed.” “Bravo, Bel Accueil. Merci.” “Best part was seeing actual notes/diaries. Very moving.” “One of the best Air Museum we have seen.” “Great to see the spirit of the 407th alive and well. My grandfather would have been proud.” “Very commendable and Great Staff.” “Excellent. Thanks Canada.” (from Dutch visitors).   Our visitors came from all around Canada and 33 countries around the globe. Canada - B.C. - ALB –  SASK - MAN - ONT - QUE - NFL - N.S. - N.B. - YUKON U.S.A. - Alabama - Arizona - California - Colorado - Georgia - Illinois - Indiana - Idaho - New Mexico - Nth. Dakota - Ohio -...

FROM OUR MAIN GALLERY- NOSE ART – PART THREE

This is the third and final chapter covering the topic of aircraft nose art. It’s been a topic that is never ending with so many stories and tales to explain the reasons why it was used or the emotions and reasons for using it.   it wasn’t just Disney characters that were used, as you can see from the photo above, many aircraft painted looney tunes to send a message. This painting was on a Ventura, based on Argentia, NL. What’s  special about this painting was that it was done at the factory in Burbank, California by the studio artists themselves.               Another two popular characters are those seen above, Popeye and Olive Oyl. I used the olive Oyl picture because it shows the humour often seen in these paintings, as olive beats the behind of Hitler. This was painted on an RCAF lane piloted by P/O D.J. Sullivan.       Many of the planes were adorned with stylized pin up girls such as “Lonesome Lola” seen here. She was on a mk1 Lanc of no.9 Sqn. This a/c finished 97 ops!   Some of these girls were very much on the line of what could be accepted and what could not, even to today’s standards! The following two pictures highlight this well.   “I’m Easy” was lost on 31July 1944.  The unnamed nude was on a B24 belonging to 159sqn. Some of the paintings were very intricate, covering all of the nose or most of the aircraft. The following  picture shows an RACF B24 mkIV serial #3742. The inspiration came from a...

A SPECIAL VISITOR TO OUR MAIN GALLERY!

  On April 5th, one of our volunteers, Len, greeted a special guest.  Sgt. Ruth Masters came into the Museum for a visit. If you’ve been in our Main Gallery, you likely took time to enjoy the Women’s Division exhibit.  It’s there that you’ll find Ruth’s uniform and badges.  We hope you enjoyed your time with us, Ruth, and will come again soon! Our Museum appreciates the donation Ruth made and hope that our visitors do as...

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