Looking for a new read? We recently acquired these three titles for our Museum Library:
Check out Larry Milberry and Hugh Halliday’s latest, Aviation in Canada – Fighter Pilots and Observers 1915 – 1939. This is “… a new look at Canada’s pioneers of aerial combat. Beginning in 1915, these men flew fighters and two-seat observation planes undertaking some of the most perilous tasks of the First World War. The book honours the men, aircraft and organizations, detailing in a fresh light their many incredible accomplishments from training in Canada as early as 1914, to the dangerous skies over the Western Front, Italy and wherever else they were needed.
Besides the wartime period, the authors cover its immediate aftermath – Canadian airmen fighting in Russia’s civil war in 1919, then, how they adjusted to civil life back in Canada. Used to fighting for their lives, many now decided to try civil aviation, so soon were in the headlines for other great aerial deeds as Canada’s pioneer bush pilots. Others joined Canada’s newly-formed government air service, which soon led to formation of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The interwar years follow, the authors describing how the RCAF struggled to preserve some of the sessions learned over the front. The book takes the reader to the eve of war in 1939 when the RCAF finally exchanges its ancient Siskin fighters for a squadron of modern Hurricanes.”
That Lucky Old Son, Re-discovering my father through his World War II Bomber Command and POW experiences was authored by Mark Cote and published this year. “A moving work of autobiographical fiction, the book takes the readers on a journey of adventure, danger, and self-discovery as the author weaves his own memories with his father’s experiences in Bomber Command with No. 158 Squadron RAF during the Second World War. Writing from a child’s point of view, Mark Cote combines known facts with what he imagines his father doing from basic training through to being shot down and captured by the Germans. He poignantly communicates the terror, uncertainty, and fleeting hope felt by the crew, transporting readers back in time to 1940s Europe.
Having lost his father when he was only eight years old, Cote embarks on a quest to discover the man who left him too soon, but who left behind a legacy of courage, love, and faith…”
The third book, Only an Observer, is a treasure in that the author, Brian Johnson, a retired Civil Engineer with a life long interest in the history of both World Wars, shares the story of his grandfather, Lt. Charles G. Johnson, an Observer in World War One.
“Lieutenant Charles Johnson served 3 years with the Canadian Army in WWI on the Western Front building railways and in the last 6 months of the war flying over 400 hours as an Observer in No. 2 Squadron RAF. His original manuscript written from memory 40 years after the events reflects his sense of duty mixed with detailed descriptions of places and events and humour.”
If you live in the Comox Valley community, come into the Museum and have a closer look at these books! You might also want to check your local library and bookstore…