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...
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE SPITFIRE

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE SPITFIRE

One of the most common questions asked of us is, “What happened with the Spitfire?”  We’re now happy to report that Vintage Wings sent an update: “Last week, Spitfire TE294, the Roseland Spitfire, made its first flight after nearly two decades of steady progress. Click on this link to enjoy the official photos and video of the event.” If you have a thirst for all things Spitfire, check out these books and others that can be found in our Museum’s Library:   Jeremy Flack wrote Spitfire.  The inside cover reads, “The Supermarine Spitfire is the most famous of all British fighters.  Designed by Reginald J. Mitchell at a time when all serving RAF fighter aircraft were canvas-covered biplanes, the prototype first flew on 5 March 1936.  Over 20,000 Spitfires were to be produced in over 40 variants and it was used as a fighter, in the ground-attack and photo-reconnaissance roles and even - as the Seafire - from aircraft carriers. By the early 1960s, just a handful of Spitfires remained in flying condition and it was the making of the film The Battle of Britain which was to turn the tide on the extinction of airworthy Spitfires.  Today nearly 50 can be seen flying including those of the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight…     Birth of a Legend - The Spitfire was written by Jeffrey Quill.  Quill’s book celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Spitfire’s first flight with this volume.  “The achievements of the fighter pilots ensured that the Spitfire became a legend in its own time.  No other aircraft has ever enjoyed quite the same charisma nor engendered the...
THE WICKENBY NEWSLETTER ~ JUNE

THE WICKENBY NEWSLETTER ~ JUNE

Last month, we introduced a new 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 was the inclusion of a poem on the back of each issue. Noel Coward‘s poem, written in 1943 ~     I’d also like to share a recipe for “Kidneys Garibaldi”.  It was introduced with the words, “This article will, hopefully, stimulate those among our number who lay claim to some degree of expertise in the grub-stakes department…”  Let us know what you think of the footnote!              ...
WHO WAS THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE DAM BUSTERS’ RAID?

WHO WAS THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE DAM BUSTERS’ RAID?

Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson, VC, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, was the first commanding officer of the Royal Air Force’s No. 617 Squadron; he led the Dam Busters‘ raid (Operation Chastise) in 1943.  He was awarded the Victoria Cross, and in June 1943, became the most highly decorated serviceman in the country.  By the age of 26, he had completed over 170 operations. From an early age, Gibson wanted to fly; he kept a picture of his boyhood hero, Albert Ball, VC, the First World War flying ace, on his bedroom wall.  His ambition was to become a civilian test pilot so he wrote to Vickers asking for advice.  He received a reply from their chief test pilot, who told Gibson he should first learn to fly by joining the RAF on a short service commission.  Gibson applied to the RAF but was rejected after he failed the Medical Board (the probable reason is that his legs were too short).  However, he applied again and this time it was successful; his personal file included the remark ‘satisfactory leg length test carried out’.  And so he began a short service commission in November of 1936. Gibson began his flying training at the Bristol Flying School with No. 6 Flying Training Course.  After some leave, he moved to No. 24 (Training) Group at RAF Uxbridge for his RAF basic training.  He was commissioned with the rank of acting pilot officer effective January 31, 1937.  He underwent further training as a member of the junior section of No. 5 Flying Training course at 6 Flying Training School, RAF Netheravon, and...

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