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...
FROM THE GALLERY- DID YOU KNOW THE AIR FORCE HAD A NAVY?

FROM THE GALLERY- DID YOU KNOW THE AIR FORCE HAD A NAVY?

This surprising and interesting story begins in 1929, when the then very young RCAF approached the Dept. of Oceans and Fisheries for advice on the type and size of boats the air force required at the time. The air force requirement was for a vessel capable of carrying people, stores and towing in all weather. They needed the towing capability because at the time the air force operated seaplanes. Not much was done at this time other than a committee was set up to study the problem! It took another  two years before any boats or crews were brought into the force. This happened in Trenton, Ont., where two powered dinghies and two 37′ seaplane tenders were introduced. These were followed by the first armored target towing tugs used by the RCAF. Meanwhile, #4 (flying boat) Squadron, stationed in Vancouver, BC, acquired a collection of craft which by 1937, consisted of three a/c tenders, one scow and three outboards. By the end of 1939, just at the start of the Second World War, the RCAF was the proud owner of 75 vessels, although 25 of these were row boats! The RCAF only had four high speed rescue craft, two of which were docked in Vancouver and Prince Rupert; the other two were in Nova Scotia.     Four years earlier, the RCMP had agreed that in an emergency it would transfer its marine assets to the RCN. In 1938, this policy was modified to say that both aircraft and boats be transferred to the RCAF. Although considered inferior to the boats on order, the air force did accept nine...

“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...
THE R.C.A.F. AND THE TRADITION OF THE GREY CUP

THE R.C.A.F. AND THE TRADITION OF THE GREY CUP

THE R.C.A.F AND THE TRADITION OF THE GREY CUP This week in the lead up to the annual Grey Cup game we would like to take our visitors back to WW2 when the regular C.F.L. competition was put on hold during World War II. Many of the players in the C.F.L. themselves went into military service. It is a  little known fact that in spite of a professional football league Military Branches including the R.C.A.F and the Navy continued the annual tradition and formed their own teams to compete and play for the Grey Cup. The Grey Cup had always been great morale booster for the country and the military. Peter Worthington wrote in the Toronto Sun for the 100th anniversary of the C.F.L in 2012 of the R.C.A.F.’s connection to the Grey Cup. The first game was played in 1942 when the Winnipeg R.C.A.F. Bombers succumbed to the Toronto R.C.A.F. Hurricanes 8-5. The game played at the Varsity Stadium in Toronto and was broadcast on radio to the troops in Britain. The following year the Hamilton R.C.A.F. Flying Tigers dominated the favored Winnipeg R.C.A.F. Bombers 23-14. The highly favored R.C.A.F. Hamilton Flying Tigers lost in 1944, 7-6 to what was basically a pickup group of Sailors called the Navy No Names. Celebrating the annual Grey Cup has always been a major event for all Branches of the Service. Members from the East and West on Grey Cup Day were now rivals pitted against one another in their various Messes cheering their favorite side. This often saw Bases competing for their own version of the Grey Cup. Nowhere was...

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