Alvin Earl (Al) Wilson was born in 1931 at Chemainus, BC. Prior to enlisting in the RCAF in December of 1953, he was employed as an “A” Class lumber grader/tallyman by H.R. MacMillan Bloedel Ltd.
In the RCAF, Al was trained as an electronics technician and was employed for 10 years in the maintenance of radar, fire control and gunsight systems in F86 Mk 5 & 6 Sabre, CF100 Mk 4B & 5 Canuck, CF101 B Voodoo aircraft, and the Bomarc missile system.
He was commissioned from the ranks in 1965, as a Technical Armament Officer in the RCAF. With the implementation of the Canadian Forces Officer Classification Structure in 1969, Captain Wilson was converted to Aerospace Engineer (AERE) with sub-classifications of Avionics and Weapons.
The majority of his officer career was centered around the weapons aspects of the AERE classification. He also served three years as a career manager, and as the technical assistant to the Base Technical Services Officer at CFB Comox.
In addition, he had the opportunity to work along with RCEME and RCA personnel; he also worked with Underwater Readiness staff at Maritime Command Headquarters, Halifax.
Captain Wilson was appointed Member of the Order of Military Merit, received the Base Commander’s Commendation at CFB Rivers; he also received the Air Commander’s Commendation and the Maritime Commander’s Commendation. In 2005, he was awarded the Royal Canadian Legion’s Meritorious Service Medal.
During his career, Al served on many military and civilian community support duties; the most time consuming were being editor of two newspapers, one of which was The Totem Times here in Comox from 1973 – 1978. Here he served as editor for two years, was a feature writer and cartoonist.
This is Al and his wife, Carole, at the Yarmouth Air Show in 2009.
It is our pleasure to be able to share with you some of his most popular cartoons. This is the start of a new series ~ check in each month to have a look! Here are the first two: