NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK ~ APRIL 23RD – 29TH

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK ~ APRIL 23RD – 29TH

The coming week has been declared “National Volunteer Week” and it’s rather fitting that we honoured our Museum Volunteers at the recent Comox Valley Air Force Museum Association AGM on April 4th.  During the meeting, we celebrated the many contributions of our volunteers.  It might interest you to know that our volunteers do a number of things to maintain the high quality of our Museum:  The Collections Management Committee meets monthly to work with the many donations brought in.  Many volunteers work in the Gift Shop, welcoming visitors and helping them with their purchases.  We are involved in display construction and development.  We work in the Library and assist with research.  We work in the archives and process photographs.  We administer our website and contribute posts to the site.  We maintain our presence on Facebook.  We staff events such as the Cumberland Heritage Fair..  We work on the Heritage Maintenance Team, working on our heritage vehicles and aircraft.  We participate on the Comox Valley Air Force Museum Association Board. In the past year, we contributed well over 11,000 hours!  And we get so involved with what we’re doing we don’t always record our hours! In addition to celebrating the volunteers, this year, some of our members received special recognition along with our admiration and thanks.   Alex received his five year pin.  Alex gives of his time in the Gift Shop.                 Three people received their ten year pins:     Gary helps in the Gift Shop.                   Steve volunteers in the Gift Shop.          ...
SNOWBIRDS AND CF-18 DEMO TEAM AT OUR MUSEUM

SNOWBIRDS AND CF-18 DEMO TEAM AT OUR MUSEUM

On Easter Sunday, our volunteers were busy supporting the Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo Team Autograph Session.  They arrived early to prepare the Museum for the always popular event, they helped our special guests park, they set up the tables and chairs in the Library, they helped greet and guide the public through the lineup, they helped in the Gift Shop, and they cleaned up after the event.  Without the support of our volunteers, this event wouldn’t be what it is.  So first - a very special thank you to all of you! As always, you worked together to make it happen! We want to also thank the Snowbirds and Demo Team for their welcoming interaction with the public!  We love having you in the skies each spring! Here are some memories of the Autograph Session ~      ...

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...

FROM OUR LIBRARY ~ CANADIAN FLYING ACE BILLY BISHOP

William Avery “Billy” Bishop VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED was a Canadian flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War. He received the Victoria Cross (VC) “For most conspicuous bravery, determination, and skill.  Captain Bishop, who had been sent out to work independently, flew first of all to an enemy aerodrome; finding no machines about, he flew on to another aerodrome about 3 miles southeast, which was at least 12 miles the other side of the line.  Seven machines, some with their engines running were on the ground.  He attacked these from about fifty feet, and a mechanic, who was starting one of the engines, was seen to fall.  One of the machines got off the ground, but at a height of 60 feet, Captain Bishop fired 15 rounds into it at a very close range, and it crashed to the ground.  A second machine got off the ground, into which he fired 30 rounds at 150 yards range, and it fell into a tree.  Two more machines then rose from the aerodrome.  One of these he engaged at a height of 1,000 feet, emptying the rest of his drum of ammunition.  This machine crashed 300 yards from the aerodrome, after which Captain Bishop emptied a whole drum into the fourth hostile machine, and then flew back to his station.  Four hostile scouts were about 1,000 feet above him for about a mile of his return journey, but they would not attack.  His machine was very badly shot about by machine-gun fire from the ground.” (August 1917) Our Museum Library has a number...

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...

INTERNATIONAL TARTAN DAY ~ A LOOK AT AN RCAF TRADITION

    The story of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) tartan goes all the way back to January, 1942.             Group Captain Elmer G. Fullerton, Station Commander of No. 9 Service Flying Training School, RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island, wanted to celebrate his Scottish heritage by organizing a “Robbie Burns Night” mess dinner.  He borrowed bagpipes for his station band and searched for a suitable tartan to outfit the band in full Scottish regalia. Group Captain Fullerton then decided to design an original pattern that represented the Royal Canadian Air Force.  With coloured pencils, he produced the prototype using light blue, dark blue and maroon colours.  The original sample of the proposed tartan was created by Patricia Jenkins and Loom crofters of Gagetown, New Brunswick.  It was the Gagetown weavers who added a white line to the design. He then ordered a sample of the material to be sent to RCAF Headquarters in Ottawa for approval.  The design was endorsed by the Air Council, and Air Vice-Marshal J. A. Sully sent it off to Scotland’s Lord Lyon, King of Arms, for approval in July, 1942. The approval was granted on August 15th, 1942 and the design was officially registered as the RCAF tartan.  As a result, the RCAF became the first air force in the world to have its own distinctive tartan.  The speed of the process from original concept to the final approval in a period of eight months is quite awe-inspiring!         Since then, the distinctive RCAF tartan has been worn by members of RCAF pipe and...

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