Comox Air Force Museum


  • Christmas Closure
    Date: December 6, 2015 Category: News & Events
    Holiday time at the Comox Air Force Museum means our annual closure. This year we will be closed from December 20 to January 2, 2016. Until then our regular hours apply.  
  • Heritage Stone Dedication Ceremony
    Date: September 9, 2015 Category: Member Info, News & Events
    The 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:                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.
    Date: July 23, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Books, Collections, Library Display, News & Events, Posts
    I was helping in our Gift Shop the other day, and is my habit, invited our guests to have a look in our Museum Library.  People who venture in are amazed with the size and quality of our collection, as well as the variety of topics we have covered.  People are also intrigued by the number of model aircraft we have on display above our bookshelves; they also enjoy checking out other model aircraft in the Main Gallery and in the hallway showcase. I recently discovered an extensive collection of books published by Squadron/Signal Publications and by Sabre Model Supplies.  These books would be a great source of information for model-builders, historically and structurally:   Bristol Blenheim in action by Ron Mackay has a close look at the development of this aircraft and chronicles its use in combat.  You'll appreciate the black and white as well as the coloured photos; you'll also find the detailed line drawings most helpful.       Sopwith Fighters in action is written by Peter Cooksley and illustrated by Joe Sewell.  Cooksley introduces his book, "It could be argued that the aircraft built at Thomas Sopwith's factory at Kingston-on-Thames contributed more to the Allied cause during the First World War than those of any other aircraft company.  Of these, the Sopwith Camel is the best remembered... they made a great contribution to the development of the aircraft as a fighting machine at a time when the very science of flying was in its early stages..."   Read more...
    Date: July 21, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Heritage Air Park, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
    [caption id="attachment_9001" align="alignleft" width="150"] LUCIE[/caption]   We're pleased to share the first of Lucie's drawings with you. We enjoy seeing the Museum world through her eyes and hope you do, too!       [caption id="attachment_9071" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] HAWK ONE VOODOO LOCATED OUTSIDE THE ENTRANCE TO OUR MUSEUM[/caption]       [caption id="attachment_9072" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] STARFIGHTER IN OUR HERITAGE AIR PARK[/caption]
    Date: July 19, 2017 Category: Member Info, News & Events, Posts
    It's my pleasure to introduce our two youngest volunteers.  They originally came in with their mom, Carol, who volunteers on Thursday mornings.  At the time I met them, they were homeschooled and did some school assignments while their mom worked on her volunteer tasks.  They quickly discovered that when their school work was finished, they could help in the Museum; they helped organize and label photo albums, an ongoing task.  As summer approached, their thoughts went to Thursday mornings and what more they could contribute.  You see, they love the Museum!  They like the volunteers in the building, saying, "They're kind and funny."  Well, we like them too! Let's meet them! [caption id="attachment_9002" align="alignleft" width="300"] TYKO[/caption]   This is Tyko.  He's 12 years old, an air cadet, and in addition to using the flight simulator in the Library, is interested in writing.  Tyko's going to contribute some posts this summer.  This young man has some interesting topics in mind!       [caption id="attachment_9001" align="alignleft" width="300"] LUCIE[/caption]   This is Lucie.  She's 10 1/2 years old and in addition to using the flight simulator in the Library, is a talented young artist, interested in drawing; she especially likes to depict landscapes, vehicles, and aircraft.  This young lady is going to contribute some of her drawings to our website this summer!     We hope that you'll follow Tyko and Lucie's series.  It's always good to see the world through the eyes of our youth!  Thanks, Tyko and Lucie for volunteering Read more...
    Date: July 16, 2017 Category: Collections, News & Events, Posts
    This is another of our series: the Wickenby Register Newsletter.  The newsletters were printed twice yearly; they include information about 12 Squadron RAF, memories of service men and women, the occasional recipe, stories of times past… But perhaps the thing that spoke to both Mel and me when we saw them was the inclusion of a poem on the back of each issue.  We hope that you'll enjoy these two:   [caption id="attachment_8899" align="aligncenter" width="567"] "I WILL REMEMBER"[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_8900" align="aligncenter" width="664"] "FOR THE AIRMEN FROM OVERSEAS 1939-45"[/caption]      
    Date: July 13, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Gift Shop, News & Events, Posts, Vehicles
    Today's chapter from the gallery is an attempt to recognize and honour the people who make our museum what it is.That of course means the men and women who sacrificed so much through conflict but also the great team that runs our museum. Having celebrated our country's 150th, I thought it a great time to take a quick look at some of these characters. When you come in to visit our museum, the gallery tour begins with a look at WWI and the very beginnings of our air force. We began with just one pilot and one plane in 1914 under the command of Col. Sam Hughes. We continue through time and enter WWII; our displays begin to tell the stories of men such as Flt Ltn. Ray Brewster, MiD, born in Victoria, B.C. who flew light to medium bombers throughout the war. Another BC boy was Ltn. Robert (Hammy) Hampton.VC, DSC,MiD. 'Hammy' was born in Trail, BC. [caption id="attachment_5284" align="alignleft" width="150"] STOCKY EDWARDS[/caption] One of our most loved and respected men on display is W/C James Francis (Stocky) Edwards CM,DFC&bar,MiD. He was born in Saskatchewan, but now lives in Comox. We are blessed to still have visits and he is always happy to talk to those who are eager to hear a first hand account of his story. I hope the man and this fantastic historical resource will be around for a good while longer for us to honour. I have not included their stories as I want you to Read more...
    Date: July 9, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Books, Collections, Library Display, News & Events, Posts
    With the recent focus on North Korea, perhaps this is a good time to have a look at the collection of books we have available in our Museum's Library: First, let's have a look at the area at the time: [caption id="attachment_9012" align="aligncenter" width="639"] map credit - "Deadlock in Korea", author Ted Barris[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9013" align="aligncenter" width="675"] map credit - "Deadlock in Korea", author Ted Barris[/caption]   From the publishers of Legion Magazine, Canada's Ultimate Story - Korea, the Forgotten War looks at the Canadian involvement in this war.  The magazine includes photos, relevant texts, and quotes from interviews with Korean War Veterans, "The people were starving.  When you are supplying rations to a large number of men surpluses build up.  We would give the surplus to the refugees - and felt very good about it." (Marcel Richard)         The Directorate of History and Heritage, DND, published Canada and the Korean War. The book not only shares the history of the times, but also includes maps, photographs, art work, and individual stories of those involved.         Deadlock in Korea was written by Ted Barris.  "Between 1950 and 1953, nearly 30,000 Canadian volunteers joined the effort to contain communist incursions into South Korea and support the fledgling United Nations.  All of the services were there and served with distinction... The book is considered a fascinating, sometimes heart stopping look at Canada's forces in a war that history forgot."         Graham Thomas is the Read more...
    The Comox Air Force Museum tent was definitely a place of interest on Canada Day.  We were so happy to have so many visitors and personal interactions with them!  Special thanks to Jon, Steve, Len, Mike O., and Gary W. for manning our booth; thanks too to Bobbi and Kevin for driving our jeep in the parade! Here are a few memories, courtesy our volunteers, from the day ~ [caption id="attachment_8976" align="aligncenter" width="300"] (photo credit Len)[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_8918" align="aligncenter" width="240"] (photo credit Mike)[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_8974" align="aligncenter" width="320"] OUR JEEP IS ALWAYS A WELCOME SIGHT (photo credit Bobbi)[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_8973" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A FEATHERED VISITOR (photo credit Len)[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_8975" align="aligncenter" width="300"] OUR MLA, RONNA-RAE LEONARD STOPPED BY TO SEE US (photo credit Len)[/caption]                
    Date: July 6, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Heritage Air Park, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
    Meet the wind vane that can be seen on the roof of the Hangar's shed in our Heritage Air Park!  One of our favourite volunteers, Irv, built it for the Spitfire Project that was taking place in the Hangar many years ago.  It was taken down for refurbishing as it wasn't too stable on its mounting.  Irv worked on that as well. Recently, Keith and Nort, two of the volunteers on the Heritage Maintenance Team, remounted it.  As Nort told me, "The building will have to blow away before it moves again."   [caption id="attachment_8984" align="aligncenter" width="240"] REMOUNTING THE WIND VANE[/caption]   It's great to have the wind vane right back where it belongs!  Thanks, Irv!   [caption id="attachment_8983" align="aligncenter" width="800"] RIGHT BACK WHERE IT BELONGS![/caption]
    Date: July 5, 2017 Category: Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
      Many of Al Wilson's cartoons relate to specific happenings from about 1958 - 1974, especially in the Comox area.  We know you're enjoying this series, and are happy to share this month's edition with you!           [caption id="attachment_8886" align="alignnone" width="1146"] "GEE, SARG, YA LET THAT..."[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_8887" align="aligncenter" width="1044"] "HEY, BUDDY, WANNA BUY SOME OL' RCAF GOODIES AT A GOOD PRICE?"[/caption]
    Date: July 2, 2017 Category: Aircraft, News & Events, Posts
    On April 13, 1912, King George V signed a royal warrant establishing the Royal Flying Corps.  The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was the air arm of the British Army prior to and during WWI until it emerged with the Royal Naval Air Service on April 1st, 1918; at that time, it became the Royal Air Force. The Flying Corps' initial permitted strength was 133 officers, and by the end of that year it had 12 manned balloons and 36 aircraft.  The RFC originally was the responsibility of Brigadier-General Henderson, the Director of Military Training. The RFC's motto was Per ardua ad astra (Through adversity to the stars).  This remains the motto of the RAF as well as other Commonwealth air forces.   In 1915, the RFC underwent expansion and, as a result, brigades were created; each was commanded by a brigadier-general.  Further expansion led to the creation of divisions, with the Training Division being established in August of 1917 and RFC Middle East being raised to a divisional status in December of the same year.  The air raids on London and SE England led to the creation of the London Air Defence Area under the command of Ashmore; this was done in August, 1917.     The regulation RFC roundel national insignia was in use in late 1915.  Early in the war, RFC aircraft weren't marked with national insignia.  Union flag markings in varying styles were painted on the wings (and at times on the fuselage sides and/or the rudder) at a Read more...
    Date: June 29, 2017 Category: Community Outreach, Gift Shop, News & Events, Posts, Vehicles
    Saturday, July 1st, marks Canada's 150th Birthday!  Join us as we participate in the parade and then celebrate in Lewis Park that day. We'll have a tent on the grounds, as well as our Jeep.  In addition, our Gift Shop manager, Deb, will be there with a few items for sale. We're looking forward to seeing you there! For those of you looking for an indoor activity, our Museum will be open for the day, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  
    Date: June 25, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Books, Collections, Library Display, Links, News & Events, Posts
    One of the most common questions asked of us is, "What happened with the Spitfire?"  We're now happy to report that Vintage Wings sent an update: "Last week, Spitfire TE294, the Roseland Spitfire, made its first flight after nearly two decades of steady progress. Click on this link to enjoy the official photos and video of the event." If you have a thirst for all things Spitfire, check out these books and others that can be found in our Museum's Library:   Jeremy Flack wrote Spitfire.  The inside cover reads, "The Supermarine Spitfire is the most famous of all British fighters.  Designed by Reginald J. Mitchell at a time when all serving RAF fighter aircraft were canvas-covered biplanes, the prototype first flew on 5 March 1936.  Over 20,000 Spitfires were to be produced in over 40 variants and it was used as a fighter, in the ground-attack and photo-reconnaissance roles and even - as the Seafire - from aircraft carriers. By the early 1960s, just a handful of Spitfires remained in flying condition and it was the making of the film The Battle of Britain which was to turn the tide on the extinction of airworthy Spitfires.  Today nearly 50 can be seen flying including those of the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight...     Birth of a Legend - The Spitfire was written by Jeffrey Quill.  Quill's book celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Spitfire's first flight with this volume.  "The achievements of the fighter pilots ensured that the Spitfire became Read more...
    Date: June 20, 2017 Category: Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
    Last month, we introduced a new series: the Wickenby Register Newsletter.  The newsletters were printed twice yearly; they include information about 12 Squadron RAF, memories of service men and women, the occasional recipe, stories of times past… But perhaps the thing that spoke to both Mel and me was the inclusion of a poem on the back of each issue. Noel Coward's poem, written in 1943 ~ [caption id="attachment_8767" align="aligncenter" width="568"] AND LISTEN[/caption]     I'd also like to share a recipe for "Kidneys Garibaldi".  It was introduced with the words, "This article will, hopefully, stimulate those among our number who lay claim to some degree of expertise in the grub-stakes department..."  Let us know what you think of the footnote! [caption id="attachment_8765" align="alignleft" width="676"] KIDNEYS GARIBALDI[/caption]                
    Date: June 17, 2017 Category: Community Outreach, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
    Our Museum's Deputy Director, W/O Mike Barnucz, has retired.  Mike has been with us for some time now, and on Thursday, worked his last day for us.  I asked him if he'd like to share a farewell message with us: "Well world, it’s been quite a ride. Throughout my military career, both with Regs and Reserve, I’ve had many enjoyable jobs. I can say with all certainty that one of the most enjoyable was this one as Deputy Director for CAFM. I’ve often told people it was the perfect semi-retirement job. To all of those who work and volunteer for the museum I’d like to pass on my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for making it so. During my tenure as Deputy Director, I was a part of a team that took great pride in Canada’s west coast military aviation history. That pride is proven by the amount of compliments we get from our 10,000 or so visitors a year. Whether it was giving tours, helping to create or adjust displays, or running around in circles dealing with the ever gorging bureaucracy monster, I'm glad that I had a small part in making our museum one of the finest military museums in Canada. Everyone has been asking me whether or not I’ll stay with the museum as a volunteer. My answer is, eventually. I have an old Mustang in the garage that needs preserving first. After that, most definitely yes. As long as it does not interfere with my lovely wife’s Read more...
    Did you know that our Museum Library has over 8500 books?  Our collection is used by our visitors, by folks coming into the Museum to do research, by volunteers, and by those of you looking for titles related to topics of interest.  If you're not able to come into the Museum personally, perhaps your community library would have these titles, or perhaps you might like to purchase them from your favourite bookstore in order to have them in your home library. The titles I'm sharing with you this time are focussed on the Lancaster:   Written by Leo McKinstry, who also wrote Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend, Lancaster: The Second World War's Greatest Bomber has a close look at the place of the Lancaster in air history.  "The Lancaster and the Spitfire were the RAF's two weapons of victory in the Second World War.  But without the bomber, Britain would never have been able to take the fight to the German homeland.  Lancaster highlights the scale of the plane's achievements, including the famous Dambusters attacks, and how it transformed the effectiveness of Bomber Command. With the first-hand accounts from surviving pilots, engineers and ground crews, this is a compelling saga which cements the plane's special place in our history."   FM159, The Lucky Lancaster was authored by Dave Birrell.  This is "one of 7377 Avro Lancasters built to wage war against the one of only four taxiable Lancasters in the world.  It has flown widely over the Pacific, the Atlantic, and Read more...
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