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: email@example.com 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.
- AL WILSON’S CARTOONS ~ OCTOBER EDITION[caption id="attachment_10890" align="alignleft" width="150"] AL WILSON[/caption] It's our honour to continue to share Al Wilson's work for all of you to enjoy. Our October Edition looks at "TallMan": [caption id="attachment_10983" align="aligncenter" width="487"] THE BALLAD OF TALLMAN[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10984" align="aligncenter" width="818"] NEWS ITEM[/caption]
- Open Cockpit Day!Join us this Saturday, September 7th at the Heritage Airpark from 10am to 2pm to explore our outdoor collection of aircraft and vehicles. Volunteers will be on hand to guide you through the aircraft and answer any questions you have. Be sure to come up to the museum for a visit too. We will be showing 2 documentaries starting at 1pm in the Museum theatre about the Battle for Britain. Entry is by donation. Arrive early to guarantee a seat. Don't forget to check out our booth at Rexspo at the Base Rec centre. We are looking forward to seeing you!
- AL WILSON’S CARTOONS ~ SEPTEMBER EDITION[caption id="attachment_10890" align="alignleft" width="150"] AL WILSON[/caption] This is our September set for you to enjoy. It's our honour to continue to share Al Wilson's work with all of you! [caption id="attachment_10979" align="aligncenter" width="1154"] GAD THOSE 409...[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10980" align="aligncenter" width="1303"] JUST IN FROM GROS-TIN-CAN[/caption]
- Battle of BritainBattle of Britain Join us on Saturday, September 7th at 1pm to watch two documentaries that explore the Battle of Britain (13 hours to save Britain & Women who fought the Nazis). Each film is 45 minutes long and there will be a 15 minute intermission. Entry is by donation. Come by the museum to pick-up a ticket to guarantee a seat. While you are here be sure to visit our booth at Rexspo (at the Base Rec Centre) and the Heritage Airpark to explore Open Cockpit day from 10am to 2pm. Open Cockpit Day is an opportunity to get inside our aircraft and learn more about our aircraft and vehicle collection. 13 hours to save Britain Documentary exploring the events of 15 September 1940, the day Churchill described as the 'crux of the battle' and which is now celebrated as Battle of Britain Day. Dramatic colour film footage of aerial combat, combined with contemporary interviews, illustrate how the events of that summer still resonate with a new generation. The programme offers a gripping and powerful account of a nation united behind the pilots of Fighter Command who defended Britain from the might of the Luftwaffe. Women who fought the Nazis Showing the vital role that women played throughout the Battle of Britain and beyond, serving in the WAAF (Women’s Auxilliary Air Force) in the factories and airfields, radar stations and operations rooms across Britain, and in the ATA (Air Transport Auxilliary) flying and delivering Spitfires and Hurricanes wherever needed. Read more...
- Do you have RCAF items to donate to our museum?We appreciate receiving log books, Air Force artefacts related to 407, 409, 414, 418, 442, VU33 and Snowbird Squadrons, medals, uniforms (not modern), artefacts from prominent west coast airmen, Squadron history books and photos that include as much information about the photos and donor as possible. Visit our donation page to learn more. https://comoxairforcemuseum.ca/donate Other ways to support our museum Financial contributions can be made in person at the museum or through CanadaHelps.org. Tax receipts are provided for any donation over twenty-five dollars https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/comox-valley-air-force-museum-association Thank you for your support in helping to preserve our RCAF heritage.
- AL WILSON’S CARTOONS ~ AUGUST EDITION[caption id="attachment_10890" align="alignleft" width="150"] AL WILSON[/caption] Here's our August Edition for your viewing pleasure! It's our honour to continue to share Al Wilson's work for all of you to enjoy. [caption id="attachment_10975" align="aligncenter" width="827"] FEATURING BIG FRANS'S DANCING GROUP[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10976" align="aligncenter" width="1443"] CYPRUS HOME SWEET HOME[/caption]
- AL WILSON’S CARTOONS ~ JULY EDITION[caption id="attachment_10890" align="alignleft" width="150"] AL WILSON[/caption] It's our honour to continue to share Al Wilson's work for all of you to enjoy. This month's additions are from Al's scrapbook: [caption id="attachment_10905" align="aligncenter" width="844"] A GENOOINE SOURDOUGH STORY...[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10906" align="aligncenter" width="802"] FLOWER POWER[/caption]
- OUT OF THE THEATRE – THE DAMBUSTERSOn July 6th we are showing the original feature: THE DAMBUSTERS. This is the story of the famous RAF raid on the dams of the Ruhr valley in 1943. The RAF actually formed a special squadron to perform this raid. The film suggests that the crews were hand picked for their experience and skills but in fact, 5 of the 20 flight engineers were making their first sorties on this raid! The youngest member of the squadron was 18 on the night of the raid meaning that he had to have lied about his age in '41 at 16yrs old. This raid highlighted the amazing work going on between the men on the line and the Boffins (scientists). One of the main characters in the movie is Barnes Wallis, the man who designed the bomb, but he wasn't the only scientist who helped facilitate this raid. The movie shows the solution for the altitude problem was conceived by squadron leader Guy Gibson. In fact, it was solved by Ben Lockspier who was working on how to find U-Boats using two spotlights mounted on a Lockheed Hudson. His trials failed but the use of the spots to gauge the altitude of the Lancs proved to be both ingenious and simple. Out of the 84 crew, 29 were Canadian. Out of the 29, 13 were killed, one became a POW and the remaining 15 went on to serve on the squadron which became a specialized attack squadron. I feel it important to Read more...
- MORE CANADIAN POW STORIESIf you're wanting more good reads, powerful stories, you might consider seeking out these titles: The Tunnel King, written by Barbara Hehner, is the true story of Wally Floody and the Great Escape. You might know that “the Great Escape was one of the most daring prisoner-of-war breakouts of the Second World War. Yet few Canadians know the heroic story of Wally Floody. Wally was a Canadian fighter pilot, imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, who was a key figure – The Tunnel King – in the carefully planned escape. Shot down over France on his very first combat mission, Floody captured by German soldiers and spent almost four years in POW camps… Wally, who had worked as a miner before the war, knew the best way out was to tunnel underground…” This book not only has fascinating facts about life in the camp, but also pays tribute to a courageous Canadian. The Forgotten, Canadian POWs, Escapers and Evaders in Europe, 1939-45“… tells the story of the more than 10,000 Canadian servicemen, merchant mariners, and civilians for whom the war ended in surrender, capture, imprisonment or escape, as seen through the eyes of a group of men who struggled to survive in Hitler’s Europe. Among them were Private Stan Darch, who had already survived the cauldron of Dieppe; Sergeant Edward Carter-Edwards, who endured the hell of Buchenwald; RCAF Sergeant Ian MacDonald, who was on the run before being betrayed to the Gestapo and spent six weeks in Read more...
- “HIDDEN” STORY ~ F/L G.A. BUMSTEAD, BC POWAfter RAF Bomber Command had established itself with significant numbers of aircraft, it focussed its energies on the industrial sections of Germany. Towns and cities already damaged were hit again; this was because though light industries had been moved, it had been impossible to move heavy engineering and metal works. The raids therefore had substantial impact. On October 9th, 435 aircraft attacked Bochum. On that day, 179 Halifaxes from several squadrons, including Squadron 424, set out to join the attack. The crews were over the target between 17,000 and 20,000 feet, releasing 928,000 pounds of high explosives and 544,000 pounds of incendiaries. The target was covered by clouds, and according to reports, the attack itself was scattered. Flight Lieutenant G.A. Bumstead, from Vancouver, was assigned to No. 6 (RCAF) Group, Squadron 424 at that time. On the 9th, he was part of the crew flying Halifax III MZ-802, coded QB-G (with nose art Gallopin' Gertie) and airborne from Skipton-on-Swale. The squadron’s commanding officer, W/C G.A. Roy DFC, the pilot, along with his crew, failed to return from their raid. It was later determined that one crew member was killed and six became POWs. F/L Bumstead, POW No. 8226, was interned in Camp L3.
- “HIDDEN” STORIES ~ FLIGHT LIEUTENANT JOHN FRASER, DAM BUSTER AND BC POW[caption id="attachment_13614" align="alignleft" width="146"] FLIGHT LIEUTENANT John Fraser (credit: Bomber Command Museum of Canada)[/caption] F/L John Fraser, perhaps best known for his participation as one of the Dam Busters, as well as a part of "The Great Escape", was an RCAF bomb-aimer from Nanaimo, BC. Prior to being selected to join No. 617 Squadron, he had completed a tour of 30 operations with No. 50 Squadron. [caption id="attachment_13616" align="alignleft" width="209"] FLIGHT LIEUTENANT JOHN HOPGOOD DFC[/caption] John Hopgood ( “Hoppy” ) was F/L Fraser’s pilot. He was selected from the No. 106 Squadron, having served there with Guy Gibson, Wing Commander of 617 Squadron. “Fraser and Hopgood were part of Formation No. 1; Fraser was Hopgood’s bomb-aimer…like all the attacking aircraft, Lancaster AJ-M flew to the Mohne Dam at an extremely low level. At one point, the rear gunner, Tony Burcher, saw an arc of high tension cable above his line of vision. “It seemed to drop away behind the aircraft as Hopgood gained height. ‘Right under the bloody things!’ exclaimed the front gunner. ‘Sorry about that,’ said Hopgood. Soon afterwards, AJ-M was raked by ground fire. Burcher was hit in the groin and stomach. A searchlight blazed onto the aircraft but Burcher shot it out. Then a shell burst alongside and Hopgood feathered an engine that had been set on fire. As well as Burcher being wounded, John Minchin, the wireless operator, had been hit in the leg and the front Read more...
- BC POW ARTHUR COLESNearly 9000 Canadians became German POWs during World War II. These were usually soldiers who were captured during combat, airmen whose aircraft were shot down over enemy territory, sailors picked up from sea after their ships were torpedoed and sunk. At times, Canadians were taken captive in large groups; 1948 troops were taken after the failed Dieppe Raid in 1942. Others fell into enemy hands in ones or twos, especially the airmen shot down during bomber raids over Germany. In a previous post, “Hidden” Stories in Our Museum ~ Prisoners of War, a list of BC / Yukon prisoners of war was shared. In this series, we’ll meet some of the men on this list, along with other Canadians who were POWs. [caption id="attachment_13554" align="alignleft" width="286"] FLIGHT LIEUTENANT ARTHUR COLES (photo credit: Coles family collection)[/caption] Flight Lieutenant Arthur Coles hailed from North Vancouver; he joined the RCAF at age 22 and headed to Europe during the Second World War. He participated as a Spitfire pilot in 412 SQN. On August 21, 1943, he gunned down his first German plane while over France. On October 3, 1943, Coles shot down 2 Focke-Wulf 190s in separate engagements, blowing off a wing from one enemy plane. He didn’t fare as well when on an operation November 29th, 1943. In a letter to Coles’ father written a few days later, the Squadron Leader explains, “At nine o’clock on November 29th, Arthur took off with the squadron for an operation over France. He was leading a section Read more...
- HERITAGE TEAM UPDATE – AMBULANCEThe 1954 Dodge Ambulance engine overhaul is finally nearing completion. Our volunteer heavy vehicle mechanic, Tom, has been working away all winter. The block and head were taken to Nanaimo to be re-conditioned and returned looking as good as new. The radiator and gas tank were also taken to a local shop for checks and repairs as required. Once the engine was reassembled, it was replaced in the engine compartment. Now the fun began...reattaching hoses, connections and systems. Some parts and pieces were missing or beyond repair but Tom has been able to come up with solutions every step of the way. Recently the radiator and gas tank have been re-installed, so it was time to think about flashing it up. The first engine run occurred on Thursday, 23 May. Check out this video of Tom at the wheel! (vroom, vroom). There are still some timing issues and the daunting task of getting all the electrical hooked up, but the team is cautiously optimistic that this vehicle will be back on the road very soon. If you see us on a road test, like the one shown here, give us a wave.