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: September 14, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Books, Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
      "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."  —British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill     Battle of Britain Sunday in Canada is on September 16th.  It is a day set aside to honour the courage of those who faced tremendous odds fighting the Luftwaffe.  It is a day to honour the memories of those who met their fate in the skies over England, and never returned … some 78 years ago now … In 1980, to honour the 40thAnniversary of the Battle of Britain, Donald Kenneth Anderson, Official War Artist ( 1920-2009 ) created a portfolio entitled “RCAF The War Years WWII ~ Air Forces Reunion Commemorating 40thAnniversary Battle of Britain”.  The portfolio contains twelve full colour reproductions from the original paintings produced by the artist, based on notes and sketches he made during his war-time service.  The portfolio was dedicated “to the memory of those Air Force personnel who gave their lives for their country.” Our Museum was fortunate to have a portfolio donated to our Collections.  Here are the twelve reproductions for you to appreciate, to reflect upon… with Anderson's notes recorded below each ...   [caption id="attachment_10592" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] "Dave Harling leader of No. 416 Squadron takes off with wide-open throttle - Jan. 1 1945, Evere, Belgium"[/caption]         [caption id="attachment_10593" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] "After the Rain - 'Tusker' Squadron Ceylon"[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_10594" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] "'Off for Norway' - Merlin-engined, Beaufighters of 404 Read more...
    It's that time of year... mid-September... your out-of-town visitors have gone home... your kids and grandkids are back in school... perhaps you've just retired... perhaps you're feeling at loose ends... perhaps you need a bit of a routine... Have we got a deal for you!  We'd like to invite you to become a volunteer at the Comox Air Force Museum!  We're a diverse group of people here, varying ages, varying backgrounds (not all of us have military experiences), varying transferable skills... What we all have in common is a desire to contribute to our community.   What are some of the ways in which you might help out?  You could volunteer to welcome visitors to the Museum and work in the Gift Shop.  This is a great way to meet people from all over the world and to hear their stories!  You could help with special events off-site, such as our Canada Day booth at Lewis Park; this allows you to be an ambassador for the Museum!  You might enjoy working in the Museum's Research Library, assisting those doing research; or perhaps you'd like to help with the cataloguing of our photo collection.  If you have an interest in the repair and maintenance of our heritage aircraft and vehicles, then being a part of our Heritage Maintenance Team might be the place for you! What will you get in return?  Have a look at some of the ways in which our members value their volunteering experiences:  volunteering reduces stress, it Read more...
    Date: September 10, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Books, Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
    Spitfire Fever is slowly passing... How about a change of pace?  Perhaps a little Fall Reading?  The Avro Arrow is always a popular topic here at the Museum... It's natural for our visitors to "talk aircraft" with us when they come into our Museum.  One of the "hot topics" of discussion involving some of our visitors is the Avro Arrow.  Those with a sense of the history involving this aircraft often chat with us about it...  If you'd like to read some background on the Avro Arrow, check out this earlier post. Several books about the Avro Arrow are in our Research Library.  Among them are these four:   Destruction of a Dream ~ The Tragedy of Avro Canada and the CF-105 Arrow: Written by Marc-Andre Valiquette, this first volume is a bilingual presentation.  This book "recounts the rise of the company, from its birth as National Steel Car up to the manufacturing of the CF-105 Arrow.  Second World War achievements, post-war adaptation, Jetliner, CF-100 and the start of the CF-105 project are some of the subjects covered. The second volume is "dedicated to the Arrow, from its roll-out up to the RCAF Boeing Bomarc acquisition."  The third and final volume "deals with the last few weeks of the Arrow project, its cancellation, post-cancellation projects, 'Avroites' reunions and work at the Malton plant up to its demolition in 2003."     The Arrow ~ Avro CF-105 MK.1, Pilot's Operating Instructions and RCAF Testing/Basing Plans is published by the Boston Mills Read more...
    Date: September 8, 2018 Category: Member Info, News & Events
    A reminder of the upcoming Info Session to be held in the Theatre Monday, September 17th at 10:00 a.m.  This will be followed by a potluck lunch.
    Date: September 7, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
        [caption id="attachment_10890" align="alignleft" width="150"] AL WILSON[/caption]   Welcome to another 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_10916" align="aligncenter" width="1513"] THE OLD SNAKE CHARMER[/caption]         [caption id="attachment_10917" align="aligncenter" width="791"] COFFEE BREAK[/caption]
    Date: September 6, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Exhibits, Heritage Air Park, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
      Jon Ambler, our Museum's Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator reflects on the process of getting the Y2K Spitfire to its current state and to bringing the aircraft "back home" to its beginnings: "We were all delighted to see the Roseland Spitfire, callsign Y2K, return to the Comox Valley this summer. The flights of the Spitfire were the culmination of 18 years of work: initially by the Comox Air Force Museum, who put in nine years of hard work, made possible only by the dedicated efforts of seemingly tireless volunteers. In 2009 the baton was handed over to Vintage Wings of Canada, who continued to make progress through a formal partnership with CAFM. In 2014 the Spitfire was moved to VWOC headquarters in Gatineau PQ, where their considerable resources were applied, the aircraft finished and test flown. There were some promises made, and we can proudly state that the promises were kept. Every person who donated money, materiel, time and effort did so on the promise that “The Y2K Spitfire will fly again”: we have seen that promise kept. VWOC promised that the Spitfire would be marked Y2K, and although it was named the Roseland Spitfire, in honour of 442(f) Sqn pilot Arnie Roseland who was killed on operations, it was still the Comox Spitfire. The Spitfire’s civilian registration is GYQQ, and we know the identifier of Comox Airport is YQQ: promise kept. Finally, VWOC promised that the Spitfire would return to the Comox Valley, and, triumphantly, that promise has Read more...
    When I spoke with Mike Forbes, one of our Museum volunteers, about the return of the Y2K Spitfire, I asked him how it felt.  After all, he was so committed to the reconstruction, spent so many hours working on it, hoping for the opportunity for the aircraft to return. I was waiting for something quite - well - profound!  His reply? "As for the visit l really wasn’t that excited. It was just another Spitfire that I spent 17 years waiting to sit in it. Just another day at the Museum." Yep, typical Mike!  And yet?  Have a close look at these final photos!  What do you think?   [caption id="attachment_11978" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] MIKE FORBES[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11980" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] MIKE FORBES[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11979" align="aligncenter" width="5312"] MIKE FORBES[/caption]   * All photos courtesy Mike Forbes      
    As mentioned in my previous post, Mike Forbes worked on the Spitfire Project, giving so much of his time and energy to the tasks needed... during those years, there were many fund raising activities, many visitors to the project, many committed volunteers involved. Here are some moments from Mike's photo history:   FUNDRAISING was necessary in order to keep the work going.  A number of events took place...   [caption id="attachment_11953" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Y2K PRINT WINNER, MR. RUSHTON[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11954" align="aligncenter" width="681"] STOCKY EDWARDS AND DUKE WARREN SIGNING PRINTS[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11952" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] MIKE FORBES PRESENTING A PRINT TO THE AIR CADET SQUADRON[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11955" align="aligncenter" width="640"] STOCKY AND PAT WITH ROLLS PLAQUE[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11956" align="aligncenter" width="640"] STOCKY AND DUKE LOOKING OVER THE PROJECT[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11957" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] MODEL OF STOCKY'S AIRPLANE - MADE BY PAT MURPHY[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11958" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] MODEL OF DUKE'S AIRPLANE - MADE BY PAT MURPHY[/caption]   AND DURING THIS TIME, THE VOLUNTEERS CONTINUED THEIR WORK...   [caption id="attachment_11962" align="aligncenter" width="640"] ERIC SPOKE WITH PATRONS[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11963" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] BONN WORKED ON THE INSTRUMENT HOOP[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11964" align="aligncenter" width="768"] HAROLD WORKED ON THE RUDDER[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11965" align="aligncenter" width="1347"] MIKE FORBES (BACK LEFT) AND SOME OF HIS FELLOW VOLUNTEERS TAKING A BREAK[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11966" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] MIKE FORBES HAVING A BIT OF FUN[/caption]   AND VISITORS CONTINUED TO COME...   [caption id="attachment_11968" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] AN ANTIQUE CAR Read more...
    Date: September 3, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Books, News & Events, Posts
    September 3rd marks the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. [caption id="attachment_11579" align="alignleft" width="300"] A CONSOLIDATED VLR LIBERATOR PROVIDES AIR COVER FOR A TRANSATLANTIC CONVOY (LAC - PA107907)[/caption]   "The Battle of the Atlantic was Canada's longest military engagement of the Second World War, lasting from September 1939 to May 1945. This battle was bravely fought by the men and women of the Canadian Merchant Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.  More than 4600 courageous men and women lost their lives at sea.       What a miserable, rotten hopeless life... an Atlantic so rough it seems impossible that we can continue to take this unending pounding and still remain in one piece... hanging onto a convoy is a full-time job... the crew in almost a stupor from the nightmarishness of it all... and still we go on hour after hour. Frank Curry of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) wrote these words in his diary aboard a corvette in 1941. From the very outset of hostilities in the Second World War in 1939, the Atlantic supply route from North America to the United Kingdom was threatened.  Eventually gaining control of the entire coast of Europe, from the northern tip of Norway to the Pyrenees, the Germans set out from every harbour and airfield in western Europe to sever the lifelines to Britain... The sea lanes of the North Atlantic formed a grim battleground.  Navigation was hazardous, and sailor in the navy and merchant Read more...
    Date: September 1, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Community Outreach, Exhibits, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
    Mike Forbes said last week that he'd waited for 17 years to sit in the cockpit of the Y2K Spitfire... he hoped he’d be able to do so while the Y2K Spitfire was back in the Comox Valley... But perhaps we should go back in time to find out how it all began for Mike... how it started with this:   [caption id="attachment_11913" align="aligncenter" width="878"] SOME OF THE WRECKAGE OF THE SPITFIRE TE 294[/caption]   The Spitfire TE 294 was built by Vickers Armstrong at Castle Bromwich, UK and a year later assigned to 39th Maintenance Unit.  In 1946 it served with RAF Squadron 122; however, in 1947, it was sold to South African Air Force, Waterkloof Air Base where the assigned serial was #5519.  Damaged in a landing accident in 1951, it was then written off and sold for scrap disposal.  The SAAF Museum acquired it for restoration and put it in storage the following year. In 1990, Mark DeVries purchased the Spitfire and brought it to Canada, selling it to the Comox Air Force Museum ten years later.  It was in 2000 that the Y2K Project started; the Fuselage Jig was obtained and fuselage construction began.  Mike's photos document some of the work done over time...   [caption id="attachment_11917" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] FUSELAGE AS OF AUGUST 2001[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11918" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] FUSELAGE AS OF AUGUST 2001[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11916" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] FUSELAGE AS OF SEPTEMBER 2001[/caption]   By 2002, the firewall and front panels had been Read more...
    Date: August 30, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Heritage Air Park, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
          This is Mel (centre in photo), a volunteer here at the Museum and Chair of Collections Management.  Mel spent many hours watching the Y2K Spitfire while it was here.  He took an amazing number of photos that we're able to share with you.  These are the photos Mel took at the Comox Marina Flypast and at the Air Force Beach Flypast.  Enjoy!     COMOX MARINA FLYPAST:                               AIR FORCE BEACH FLYPAST:                                  
    [caption id="attachment_11696" align="aligncenter" width="768"] DAVE HADFIELD[/caption]       This is Dave Hadfield, a Senior Pilot with Vintage Wings of Canada, tasked with bringing the Y2K Spitfire here to the Comox Valley (via Oshkosh-Airventure) and back east again (about 5000 miles in the Spitfire). A former Air Cadet, Dave later flew for Air Canada; he also took up aerobatics... To read more about this multi-faceted man, check here. Dave generously gave of his time, not only to fly the Spitfire over the Comox Marina and Air Force Beach to the delight of many living in the Comox Valley, but also to chat with many guests at the Y2K Gala Dinner as well as to visitors when the Spitfire was on Static Display. But... something special happens when Dave speaks with other pilots ~   [caption id="attachment_11823" align="aligncenter" width="1440"] TOM BURDGE CHATS WITH TERRY CHESTER AND DAVE HADFIELD[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11822" align="aligncenter" width="810"] DAVE HADFIELD AND TOM BURDGE[/caption]             [caption id="attachment_11805" align="aligncenter" width="810"] A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE CONTROLS: STOCKY EDWARDS AND DAVE HADFIELD[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11795" align="aligncenter" width="1027"] DAVE HADFIELD (Y2K PILOT) AND STOCKY[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11794" align="aligncenter" width="4032"] DAVE HADFIELD, STOCKY, TERRY CHESTER[/caption]   Thank you, Dave, for making the return of the Y2K Spitfire a special treat for so many of us!                  
    Royal Air Force Veteran, Flight Lieutenant Tom Burdge, came up from Victoria to share the fever.  Tom was a Mosquito Pilot during the war.  You might be interested in reading this piece from the Times Colonist three years ago to learn more about Burdge's time during the war.   [caption id="attachment_11825" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] TOM BURDGE, MOSQUITO PILOT[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11824" align="aligncenter" width="3024"] TOM BURDGE, WWII MOSQUITO PILOT[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11823" align="aligncenter" width="1440"] TOM BURDGE CHATS WITH TERRY CHESTER AND DAVE HADFIELD[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11822" align="aligncenter" width="810"] DAVE HADFIELD AND TOM BURDGE[/caption]         [caption id="attachment_11820" align="aligncenter" width="4032"] SOMETHING SPECIAL HAPPENS WHEN PILOTS COME TOGETHER...[/caption]   * A very special thank you to Kevin Kinsella for the photos!  
    Date: August 24, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Community Outreach, Heritage Air Park, News & Events, Posts
    Stocky Edwards had an opportunity to sit inside the cockpit of the Y2K Spitfire ~ such a wonderful opportunities, such memories... Kevin Kinsella from our Heritage Maintenance Team was on hand and submitted these photos to share with you.  We hope you love them as much as we all do!                       [caption id="attachment_11794" align="aligncenter" width="4032"] DAVE HADFIELD (Y2K PILOT), STOCKY, TERRY CHESTER[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_11795" align="aligncenter" width="1027"] DAVE HADFIELD (Y2K PILOT) AND STOCKY[/caption]                                     [caption id="attachment_11808" align="aligncenter" width="810"] CHECKING OUT THE CONTROLS...[/caption]         [caption id="attachment_11799" align="aligncenter" width="810"] CONVERSATION WITH DAVE HADFIELD ABOUT THE CONTROLS[/caption]       ** Special thanks to Kevin for the photos!
    Date: August 21, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Books, Collections, News & Events, Posts
    The Y2K Spitfire left Monday... Still got Spitfire Fever?  A section of our Research Library houses books about Spitfires.  Some of the titles you might be interested in reading include:   The Spitfire Story by Alfred Price - the author points out that "... to the British people the Spitfire was far more than just a sleek machine.  It was... a symbol of defiance and hope for Britain and her allies in the dark days of 1940, of victory in the air during the years of conflict that followed, and today of nostalgia for those who lived through those hectic times..." The book includes artwork, line drawings, and photos that focus on the evolution of the Spitfire.       "The Spitfire is the most famous aircraft ever made.  Although the Hawker Hurricane was actually responsible for more 'kills' during the Battle of Britain, the Supermarine Spitfire has come to symbolize that vital struggle in the summer of 1940.  In Spitfire, David Oliver describes how a typical interception mission was performed during the Battle of Britain, the best way for a Spitfire to shoot down a German bomber, what to do - and what not to do - when tangling with a Messerschmitt Bf-109."       Spitfires and Polished Metal ~ Restoring the Classic Fighter was written by Graham Moss and Barry McKee.  " 'Historic Flying' is a company that has an international reputation for rebuilding Supermarine Spitfires to flying condition.  Since their formation... they have rebuilt ten aircraft.  This book Read more...
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