REST IN PEACE, IRV FRASER

REST IN PEACE, IRV FRASER

Our Museum has lost a beloved volunteer, Irv Fraser.  Our Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jon Ambler, wrote, ” For over a decade, Irv was our handyman and builder, and there is no part of our Museum that did not benefit from his skill and effort.  When we say something was ‘Irv built’, it means that it was built remarkably strong… he had a funny expression for everything, and took great joy and pride in his work. A ‘Spirit of the Volunteer’ winner a few years ago, Irv represented all the very best attributes of a member of our Museum family.  He will be terribly missed.” In no particular order, here are some memories of Irv’s time with our Museum.                   Rest in peace, Irv…...
FROM THE GALLERY

FROM THE GALLERY

Today’s chapter from the gallery is an attempt to recognize and honour the people who make our museum what it is.That of course means the men and women who sacrificed so much through conflict but also the great team that runs our museum. Having celebrated our country’s 150th, I thought it a great time to take a quick look at some of these characters. When you come in to visit our museum, the gallery tour begins with a look at WWI and the very beginnings of our air force. We began with just one pilot and one plane in 1914 under the command of Col. Sam Hughes. We continue through time and enter WWII; our displays begin to tell the stories of men such as Flt Ltn. Ray Brewster, MiD, born in Victoria, B.C. who flew light to medium bombers throughout the war. Another BC boy was Ltn. Robert (Hammy) Hampton.VC, DSC,MiD. ‘Hammy’ was born in Trail, BC. One of our most loved and respected men on display is W/C James Francis (Stocky) Edwards CM,DFC&bar,MiD. He was born in Saskatchewan, but now lives in Comox. We are blessed to still have visits and he is always happy to talk to those who are eager to hear a first hand account of his story. I hope the man and this fantastic historical resource will be around for a good while longer for us to honour. I have not included their stories as I want you to come in and visit as there are many more stories to go along with these.   When you do come in for a visit, this...
CANADA DAY AT LEWIS PARK ~ THANK YOU!

CANADA DAY AT LEWIS PARK ~ THANK YOU!

The Comox Air Force Museum tent was definitely a place of interest on Canada Day.  We were so happy to have so many visitors and personal interactions with them!  Special thanks to Jon, Steve, Len, Mike O., and Gary W. for manning our booth; thanks too to Bobbi and Kevin for driving our jeep in the parade! Here are a few memories, courtesy our volunteers, from the day ~                      ...
CANADA DAY ~ CELEBRATE WITH US!

CANADA DAY ~ CELEBRATE WITH US!

Saturday, July 1st, marks Canada’s 150th Birthday!  Join us as we participate in the parade and then celebrate in Lewis Park that day. We’ll have a tent on the grounds, as well as our Jeep.  In addition, our Gift Shop manager, Deb, will be there with a few items for sale. We’re looking forward to seeing you there! For those of you looking for an indoor activity, our Museum will be open for the day, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m....
THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY ~ THE INVENTION OF THE TANK

THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY ~ THE INVENTION OF THE TANK

Military leaders during WW 1 have been labelled as mindless butchers, incapable of original thought, who led soldiers to useless deaths. It is true that the tremendous increases in firing rate and accuracy of both artillery and small arms created extreme lethality, which led to casualties and stalemate, not victory. The truth is actually a little more complex: the crucible of WW 1 was actually a period of great invention and innovation, so much so that it created “A Revolution in Military Affairs”, one that shaped 20th century warfare. No weapons system symbolizes that more than the creation of the tank. Combat in WW1 began in August 1914. Initially consisting of vast armies maneuvering by railway and on foot, the lethality of modern weapons forced the armies to create 450 miles of parallel trenches stretching from the Swiss border to the English Channel. There were no flanks: all attacks had to be head-on. As early as October 1914, after a month of trench warfare, military leaders were already seeking solutions to the stalemate. A LCol Swinton envisaged the need for a machine to cross trenches, barbed wire, and mud to attack the enemy. The basic idea was to take machine guns and heavier guns and place them in a steel box to protect them from defenders’ fire. Powering this machine would be the recently invented (1884) gasoline-fuelled internal combustion engine. An effective continuous track, patented in 1901, would propel them across the shell torn muddy landscape and be able to cross trenches. This unique combination of firepower, protection and mobility was christened the “tank”, a vague term that provided...
THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY ~ WWI MILITARY COMBAT INNOVATIONS

THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY ~ WWI MILITARY COMBAT INNOVATIONS

Military Combat Innovations of WW1:  a Revolution in Military Affairs   WW1 quickly proved the lethality of modern weapons: their extended range, accuracy, ease of use, and unprecedented volume created huge casualties and stalemate. WW1 created the need for new technologies and tactics, and they were remarkable in their number. A brief list follows.  Land Power The following new weapons were invented: tracer bullets, incendiary bullets, light machine guns, flamethrowers, effective hand grenades, poison gas, and the tank.   New fire techniques were invented: artillery would fire a “creeping barrage” going forward just ahead of attacking soldiers. Artillery and machine guns would fire for long periods on the same area “suppressing” enemy action. At the same time innovative ways to locate the enemy’s guns, including the use of microphones were invented.       Sea Power WW1 saw the start of using unrestricted submarine warfare to cut sea lines of communication. Inventions to counter the new submarine threat included: sonar, hydrophones, and depth charges all had to be invented. The birth of air power meant that naval forces needed it as well, so aircraft carriers were invented.    Air Power Tethered balloons already existed, but real air power using fixed wing aircraft, both single and crewed, as well as dirigibles were fielded in large numbers and most air power missions were invented in WW1. Air power saw the invention of effective large scale aircrew training, interrupter gear (to enable safely shooting through one’s propeller), bombsights, bombs, autopilots, airborne radios, air traffic control, pilotless bombs/drones etc.   Conclusion 20th century warfare was dominated by armoured land battle, submarine blockades and the...

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