OUR LIBRARY’S CENTREPIECE ~ THE TABLE!

OUR LIBRARY’S CENTREPIECE ~ THE TABLE!

The Library’s centrepiece is the table you see as you enter the room!  “The table is unique in that it was built for the Museum using beams salvaged from the deconstruction of Hangar #1. Larry Toovey kindly donated his time, tools and skill to construct this table to preserve a piece of 19 Wing’s Heritage. The story behind the beams makes the table even more unique. The beams were some of many hundreds used for the construction of hangars across Canada built in support of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The beams were cut in the early 1940s from old-growth Douglas Fir from British Columbia’s forests. The trees that provided the beams for Hangar #1 were at least 150 years old at the time. The Museum is proud to display such a beautiful and unique piece and is very grateful to Larry for building it for us.” (credit David Stinson and Allison Hetman).   Along the way, it gets some special loving care to keep it in good repair:             The table is a gathering place for Museum meetings, volunteer committee meetings, volunteer special events, school presentations, and tour groups. It is the gathering spot for our air cadet groups.  It is the work table for those of us who volunteer in the Library.  It is the work table for those who come to do some research.  It is indeed a special spot!     In my next post, I’ll introduce you to some of the volunteers who work in the...
WELCOME TO OUR MUSEUM LIBRARY!

WELCOME TO OUR MUSEUM LIBRARY!

Have you had the good fortune to spend time in our Museum Library?  It has quite the history: “The Air Force Indoctrination School (AFIS) opened at CFB Comox in 1982 to give CanadianForces (CF) officers and non-commissioned members serving their first tour on an air base a sound introduction to air force operations, history and heritage. Being a school, particularly in the time before the Internet, a library was a ne- cessity to provide students with appropriate reference material. When AFIS moved to Building 11 in 1986, the Library, still small, was located upstairs in the student lounge. The Comox Air Force Museum (CAFM), founded in 1982 as a small collection of artefacts in Building 22, also moved to Building 11 in 1986, developed greatly and was accredited as a CF Museum in September 1987. In October 1994, CAFM acquired a large collection of over 2500 books, thousands of photographs, hundreds of periodicals, dozens of aircraft models and many military artefacts from the estate of the late Geoffrey Rowe of Victoria. This magnificent gift became known as the Geoffrey Rowe Collection – the donation was recognized by the official naming of the room as the Geoffrey Rowe Memorial Library in June 1995. When AFIS closed in 1996, the library material not transferred to Winnipeg, and all of the Geoffrey Rowe Collection, became part of CAFM. The Library moved to its current location on the north side of the ground floor of Building 11 in October 2003 after the Totem Times, the 19 Wing newspaper, moved elsewhere. The Library is the “information arm” of the Museum. The book collection now...
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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