Larry Milberry is a lifelong aviation enthusiast who has authored, co-authored, or edited approximately 41 books on Canadian aviation history, including many of the best-known reference books on the subject.
In 2004, Milberry was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. As well, he’s an honorary Snowbird, a long-time member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, and last spring our Museum Association presented him with an Honourary Lifetime Membership.
It’s interesting to note that while Larry Milberry has come to our Museum to conduct his research for upcoming projects ~ many volunteers and visitors who come into the Library to get help with their personal research are often pointed in the direction of Milberry’s publications! Let’s have a look at just a few of the titles on our shelves:
Aircom – Canada’s Air Force – Published in 1991, this is ” … a detailed look at the air force seen through the photographic viewfinder. It shows all the aircraft operated by Air Command. It also focuses upon the people who make the air force work, and on their many bases. A special section deals with Canada’s Hornets in the Persian Gulf war.”
The Canadair Sabre – This book is considered “… the most detailed book ever about the famous F-86 Sabre… the book tells the story of the 1815 Sabres built under licence by Canadair in Montreal… The RCAF’s first Sabre squadrons were formed at St. Hubert, Uplands, North Bay and Bagotville, then moved to the U.K. at North Luffenham and finally to the Continent. Their story is enlivened with details from the squadron diaries and the memories of those who were there.”
The Canadair North Star – “… is the story of one of Canada’s best-known aviation ventures. Conceived by Trans-Canada Air Lines in 1944… started life amidst a flurry of controversy. It became the proverbial political football. There were alleged ‘shady dealings’ and plenty of fuss over TCA’s choice of the wartime Merlin engine. Nonetheless, the North Star survived its detractors and went on to a long and successful career, becoming one of the classic aircraft of the ‘propliner’ age… ” This book contains “… first hand accounts by those who designed, built, flew and serviced the airplane. It also includes the biggest published collection of North Star photos. An exclusive gallery of North Star art has been especially done for the book by a group of aviation artists; and just about everything one might want to know about the technical side of the North Star is included for the die-hard buffs.”
Sixty Years – The RCAF and CF Air Command 1924 – 1984 Published in 1984, this was “… the first book to tell in detail the story of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Forces Air Command. It begins with early developments in Canadian military aviation leading to the formation of the Canadian Air Force in 1918 and the RCAF in 1924. The fledgling RCAF was equipped mainly with wartime hand-me-downs and performed such civilian duties as photography, forestry patrols and spotting rum-runners. By 1936 a small number of obsolete combat aircraft such as the Siskin and Wapiti had been acquired, but most squadrons existed only on paper.
Sixty Years is the story of the people and planes from the early Avro 504 and Vedette to such recent acquisitions as the Aurora maritime patrol aircraft and the CF-18 fighter…it is illustrated with the finest and largest collection of photographs of Canadian military aircraft ever published, as well as a collection of over 90 specially commissioned colour profiles of RCAF/CF aircraft.”
Canada’s Air Force Today “… is a comprehensive look at the many tasks and the ever-fascinating selection of aircraft…” including “… a Hercules transporting aid to some distant land or supporting troops in the field, an Aurora on maritime patrol, CF-18s on watch over the Arctic or on low-level runs across Europe, or a Labrador helicopter on a life-and-death search and rescue mission.” This book includes ” over 300 colour photos as well as a focus on the people who are in the Air Force and shows them on the job. Various bases are also included…”
The Royal Canadian Air Force at War 1939 – 1945 “… gives detailed coverage to the RCAF both at home and overseas in the Second World War. From an ill-prepared air force in 1939, to establishment of the formidable British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, to dogfights from London to Singapore, bombers over Berlin, sub-hunters over the North Atlantic and transports over Far Eastern jungles, the RCAF’s wartime record is all here.
The authors, Milberry and Halliday have uncovered vast amounts of previously unpublished material and used a fresh approach in presenting it. They scoured the official records, diaries, logbooks and scrapbooks, and conducted personal interviews with RCAF veterans in many trades who served in every theatre.”