Comox Air Force Museum
- Heritage Stone Dedication CeremonyThe Comox Valley Air Force Museum Association Cordially invites you to the Heritage Stone Dedication Ceremony When: Sunday, 20 September 2015 Time: 2 P.M. Please be seated by 1:45 Where: Protestant Chapel across the road from Heritage Air Park Suggested Dress: Business Casual Guest of Honour: Colonel Tom Dunne, Commander 19 Wing Comox, or his delegate The 2015 ceremony will follow the Battle of Britain Parade. The Master of Ceremonies will read out the name on each stone. Reception to follow in the Comox Air Force Museum. RSVP: by 14 September 2015 Museum: (250) 339-8162 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Canada Post: CVAFMA Building 11, 19 Wing Comox PO Box 1000, Station Main Lazo, BC, V0R 2K0 Please let us know how many people will be with you. Participants are requested to bring an umbrella in case of inclement weather. If you are unable to attend, we will be pleased to send you a photograph of your Heritage Stone.
- HAPPY 91st BIRTHDAY, MAJOR RICHARD NELSON ‘RED’ HILL, MMM, CD!Major Richard Nelson 'Red' Hill, MMM, CD RCAF Photographic Branch 1946 - 1982 Earlier this year, Red Hill brought two of his personal photo albums to the Comox Air Force Museum and spoke with members about the photos and tried to remember some of the faces and places over his lengthy career. This was most enjoyable and before leaving, Red granted the Museum access to his photos and stories and the permission to use them at our discretion. This photo album, reproduced using Red’s photos and words, is the result. We are indebted to Red for his gracious gesture, and are posting this in honour of his recent 91st birthday. Richard Nelson Hill was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan on 26 November 1927. His Grandfather, Private Henry Mills, served in World War I, and his Father, Charles Nelson Hill, served in World War II with the 14thCanadian Light Horse (209thCanadian Infantry Battalion, CEF). Richard’s younger brother, Sergeant Leonard Hill, also served in the Army during the Korean War. Charles Nelson Hill with the 14thCanadian Light Horse prior to World War II, circa 1939. In 1941, Richard joined the newly formed No. 54 Air Cadet Squadron in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Air Cadet Richard Hill, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, 1943 No. 54 Air Cadet Squadron, July 1stin Swift Current. Richard is 5thfrom the left. In 1944 the Hill family moved to Cabri, Saskatchewan. Richard found out there was no Air Cadet Squadron in his new town, Read more...
- WORLD WAR II HEROES REMEMBER…Though this year recognizes the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice, it's also very important that we remember those who fought in World War II. One of our volunteers, Mel, located some interesting interviews with a few of those men and women, and thought you might enjoy them yourself. Check them out here. Lest we forget...
- REMEMBRANCE WEEK ~ THE ALLIES OF WORLD WAR IITHE ALLIES OF WORLD WAR II The allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939 – 1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese, and Italian aggression. At the start of the war on September 1, 1939, the Allies consisted of France, Poland and the United Kingdom, as well as their dependent states, such as British India. Within days they were joined by the independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. After the start of the German invasion of North Europe until the Balkan Campaign, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, and Yugoslavia joined the Allies. After first cooperated with Germany in invading Poland while remaining neutral in the Allied-Axis conflict, the Soviet Union joined the Allies in June 1941 after being invaded by Germany. The United States provided war material and money all along and officially joined in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. China had already been in a prolonged war with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge incident of 1937, but officially joined the Allies in 1941. The alliance was formalized by the Declaration of United Nations, from January 1, 1942. However, the name United Nations was rarely used to describe the Allies during the war. The leaders of the “Big Three” – the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Read more...
- REMEMBRANCE WEEK ~ CANADIAN HERO BEHIND ENEMY LINESCANADIAN HERO BEHIND ENEMY LINES Gustave Bieler was one of them. In 1940, at age 38, he was an officer in the Regiment de Maisonneuve. He came from Montreal and volunteered for service in the S.O.E., Britain’s special operations (Spies). He arrived in the UK in 1940, was interviewed and sent for a 4 month training course in Scotland. His specialty was explosives and unarmed combat. At 38 years old, he was the oldest in his training class. When his training was complete, he was dropped by parachute at night and landed just southwest of Paris and was met by partisans. His assignment was the recruitment and training of other cells all over France. With arms and supplies of explosives by night flights and parachute drops by the S.O.E. in England, they began the work of blowing up trains, railway lines, factories, troop trains… they became very effective against the German occupation. Within a few months, Bieler had set up and trained 25 cells all over France, which was causing many delays in movements of German goods and troops. The Gestapo and Police began a manhunt to find the leader of this group offereing a 100.000 mark reward. Being involved always presented great danger as many people were afraid and became informers. Bieler was a warm and affable man, highly regarded by his comrades, but alas, he stayed in France too long. The Germans were able to pick up his daily radio transmissions. In January 1944 he was Read more...
- REMEMBRANCE WEEK ~ SOME OF CANADA’S AIR FORCE HEROESSOME OF CANADA’S AIR FORCE HEROES F/O Lyle James. Lancaster Pilot. Lyle flew a record 32 missions in 90 days over enemy territory. F/O Alan Early DFC. Saved his crew crash landing his B24 on Sable Island. F/O George Clark. Lancaster Bomber. Killed in action November 30, 1944. P/O Raymond Adams. Killed in Action. December 20, 1944. Age 20 years. F/O Edward Brian. Killed in Action. Night raid over Belgium. Age 27 years. P/O Robert Chapman. Killed in Action. Shot down during night raid over Germany. Age 21 years. F/Sgt Joseph Deschamps. Killed in Action. Shot down over English Channel. Buried in Dieppe. Age 23. P/O George Matuszewski. Lancaster Bomber. Shot down by German jet fighter. No known grave. Age 19. AG Alphonse Ouellette. Wellington Bomber. Lost over Egypt. Never found. Age 20 years. F/O John Zwina. S.O.E. Failed to return from S.O.E. drop. Now known grave. Age 24 years.
- REMEMBRANCE WEEK ~ WHAT REMEMBRANCE DAY MEANS TO MEWHAT DOES “REMEMBRANCE DAY” MEAN TO ME? My Father. Harry Danton. Gassed in WWI My Eldest Brother. Peter. Royal Navy. WWII My Second Brother. Tom. Royal Air Force. WWII My Uncle Jim. British Army. Killed. WWI My Uncle Fred. British Army. Killed. WWI My Aunt Emma. Royal Air Force. WWII My Neighbour. Billy Sheehan. Billy joined the Army in 1944. He was 18 years old, sent for basic training for 6 weeks, took part in D. Day landings and was killed on the beaches.
- REMEMBRANCE WEEK ~ HIGH FLIGHTHIGH FLIGHT Written by F/O John Magee, Royal Canadian Air Force – killed December 11th, 1941 at 19 years of age Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air . . . Up, up the long, delirious burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or ever eagle flew — And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
- REMEMBRANCE WEEK ~ IN FLANDERS FIELDSIN FLANDERS FIELDS - written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, Canadian doctor, soldier – died January 28th, 1918 In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.
- COMOX AIR FORCE MUSEUM CLOSED SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH FOR THE DAYThe Comox Air Force Museum will be closed this Saturday, November 10th for the day; our Museum family will be hosting a Celebration of Life for Deb Dyer, our Gift Shop Manager. We'll be open again Sunday, November 11th for Remembrance Day and hope you might spend part of that day with us.
- REMEMBRANCE WEEK ~ NOVEMBER 5th – 11thREMEMBRANCE WEEK NOVEMBER 5th– 11th Each year, in November, many special events take place to commemorate Remembrance Week as well as Remembrance Day, November 11th. This is a time to honour the courage and sacrifice given by so many Canadians over the years. Our veterans could be our grandfathers, our fathers, our mothers, our brothers, and our sisters. You can “Remember Them” and honour our veterans, past and present, by wearing a poppy, attending a Remembrance Day service in your local area. When you see a “Vet”, smile and thank him or her. Teach your children about the meaning of Remembrance Day and what it truly means for our freedom.
- LOOKING AHEAD ~VETERAN’S WEEKNorm Danton describes himself as a “proud volunteer”. Originally from the UK, he brings that part of his history with him when he volunteers Thursday mornings; his fellow volunteers, along with our Museum visitors, always learn something new. At Norm’s request, this year’s focus on Veteran's Week is a look at a number of meaningful posts selected by Norm himself – each one is meant to focus our attention on a specific aspect of our history. In addition, Norm shares a very personal “What Remembrance Day Means To Me”. Norm's series is called "Remembrance Week". I invite you to take the time over the coming week to read and to ponder… to remember and to appreciate… Lest We Forget…
- AL WILSON’S CARTOONS ~ NOVEMBER EDITION[caption id="attachment_10890" align="alignleft" width="150"] AL WILSON[/caption] Welcome to November's look at Al's cartoons! It's our honour to continue to share Al Wilson's work for all of you to enjoy. [caption id="attachment_10928" align="aligncenter" width="775"] DECHY DOIT[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10929" align="aligncenter" width="892"] WORDS TO THINK ABOUT[/caption]
- THE LONDON “BLITZ” ~ September 7th 1940 – May 10th 1941.Every night for 10 weeks, September 7th until November 14 1940, London was attacked by an average 160 German bombers. Thereafter from November 14th 1940 until May 10th 1941 the attacks spread out to other major cities, Plymouth, Birmingham and Coventry. One of the worst nights was the first night, September 7th. It began with a daylight raid on London where hundreds of incendiary bombs were dropped to set London ablaze. Later followed a night time raid; this time the aircraft were guided to the target by the many fires still burning. Following these two raids 400 people were killed and 1,600 were severely injured. By October the number of aircraft had increased and on October 15th, a raid of 400 bombers dropped 540 tons of high explosives causing hundreds more casualties and massive damage. On December 29th 1940, the attackers dropped an estimated 2000 incendiary bombs on London which caused a major firestorm. 1500 major fires were started, 52 being considered “major”. The fire services were stretched to the limits. But for all the continuous bombing, on the last night, May 10th 1941, the worst was still to come, with several German squadrons together, thousands more incendiary bombs and tons of high explosives; 1,400 people were killed and 155,000 people left with no gas, water or electricity. By May 11th 1941, 28,556 people had been killed as well as 25,578 people were very seriously injured. Across Britain, two million homes has been damaged or destroyed, and 1.5 million people were homeless.