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.
      In the gallery we have a display showing a tug and tow of the British forces, that being a Dakota and its tow, the Horsa glider. The first successful airborne assault was carried out by the Germans in May 1940. They used the venerable JU52 with the DFS230 glider.     The attack took place at the fort Eben Emael, Belgium. This attack was so successful that Churchill immediately orders a proposal be put forth to create a British airborne force. In April 1941, the Germans successfully captured the bridge over the Corinth canal in Greece, using their airborne troops. Fortunately for the allies, that would be the last successful attack using gliders for the Germans. May 1941, operation Merkur (invasion of Crete) saw very heavy losses. Of the 493 JU52’s that began the attack, 271 were lost. This is the fork in the road where we see Hitler reducing his use of airborne troops and the Allies beginning a massive build up on their way to D-day, and beyond. 42 days after the loss of Eben Emael, France surrendered and 2 days after that, the Parachute training centre was opened at the now, Manchester airport under the command of Major John Rock. Almost immediately there was conflict with the RAF. This early in the war there was a shortage of heavy bombers, the Short Stirling only just becoming operational and the Lancaster was still a year away. Bomber command was against the formation of an airborne regiment as Read more...
    A year ago, Sgt. Mike O'Rourke joined the Comox Air Force Museum Team as our Deputy Director. Mike works closely with our Director and with our Programme Manager & Volunteer Coordinator; he also works with all the Museum's volunteers to support the work we do.  He brings many experiences to share with us and is a valued member of our Museum Team. Since Mike's been here, we're all learning to appreciate fire trucks! We thought you might enjoy knowing a bit about Mike ~ where he's been and how he got here: [caption id="attachment_9660" align="alignleft" width="202"] MIKE[/caption] "As a fourth generation military member I first joined the Royal Newfoundland Regiment at age 17. After 3 years in the infantry militia I joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a firefighter. During my 25 years in the regular forces I served with NATO Europe including a deployment to the Gulf and Kuwait War 1990-91. On return to Canada with posting from coast to coast I completed deployments to CFS Alert, Gulf of Oman (OP Apollo) and OP Danica Golan Heights. After 25 years in the regular forces I transferred to the reserves as a firefighter for another 7 years. When the opportunity opened for an air reservist position at the Comox Air Force Museum I felt this was this was the ideal place for me. With my interest in military history and background of deployments and postings I knew I could contribute to the museum experience. After 1 year at the Comox Read more...
    Date: July 8, 2018 Category: Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
    Recently, our Museum received a wonderful donation that honours Barbara Parlby, LAW, RCAF from 1955 - 1959.  Along with the donation of her uniform pieces, came her story.  Today is Barbara's birthday and I think it appropriate that we celebrate her special day with the sharing of this story:   " Barbara was born on July 9, 1936 and grew up in Victoria, BC.  She was the oldest of 7 siblings.  Barbara enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force February 12, 1955 at the age of 19 years. Barbara was sent to St. John, Quebec for basic training, where she contracted measles, which delayed her graduation by a few weeks.  She was then posted to Camp Borden for temporary duty before being assigned to Alymer, ON for her Clerk Admin Course. After a quick week back home to visit her family, she was given her first posting, Goose Bay Labrador in December of 1955.  She was issued a pair of Flight boots and a Parka as she boarded the aircraft.  Her first image of her new home was Cold and Snow up to the roofs - all a bit of shock for a Vancouver Island girl.  She recalls hearing the ice cracking in the bay.  On a positive note, she had her very own room for the first time in her life. After about 8 months in the north, Barbara was next posted to 2 (F) Wing Grostenquin, France, in September '56.  The journey getting there was an adventure in Read more...
    Date: July 5, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
    [caption id="attachment_10890" align="alignleft" width="150"] AL WILSON[/caption]   Welcome to our July Edition of Al Wilson's work!   Enjoy this month's cartoons!           [caption id="attachment_10972" align="aligncenter" width="1443"] FIRE![/caption]       [caption id="attachment_10973" align="aligncenter" width="1333"] FORMER MEMBERS VU 33...[/caption]
    Date: July 3, 2018 Category: Community Outreach, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
      [caption id="attachment_11436" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (photo courtesy Totem Times)[/caption]   Jon Ambler, our Volunteer Coordinator, reported that our Museum's participation in Canada Day was a complete success! "The jeep thrilled those watching the parade, kudos to Bobbi for driving it, and to Kevin’s Team for getting it running. The booth at Lewis Park had positive interactions with 100s and 100s of people. Many thanks to Miriam, Dan, Mike Owen, Gary Wiffen and Camille Douglas for running the Booth. Special thanks to Steve McNamee. He did all the paperwork to have us participate, furthermore he worked from 8:00 a.m. til 4:15 p.m.: set up, all day at the booth and tear down!!!!!!! Finally, more thanks to Captain Power; he came through with the RCAF giveaways that are so important to the booth’s success. Thanks again Dennis!"
    [caption id="attachment_11417" align="alignleft" width="300"] CODY ENJOYING HIS TIME AT OPEN COCKPIT DAY[/caption]   Special thanks to the many Museum volunteers who participated in making the Inaugural Open Cockpit Day at our Heritage Air Park a success!  The event was held on June 16th as part of Camp Boomer.         The Heritage Maintenance Team worked in advance to prep the aircraft for visitors; other volunteers worked at each display on the day of the event to provide safety and information.  A total of 264 visitors stopped in to take a closer look at the CF-00 Canuck, CF104 Starfighter, T33 TBird, CP107 Argus, CH147 Labrador, and CH21 Piasecki.   It was the first time that the aircraft were safe and fully accessible to the public. In some cases, visitors could actually sit in the cockpits.                                   Entrance to our Museum is always by donation, but during the Open Cockpit event during Camp Boomer, 100% of the donations were given to Boomer’s Legacy – Support Our Troops Credit for the photos and support of our website: Totem Times
    Date: July 1, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
      This is another in 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.   [caption id="attachment_10333" align="aligncenter" width="783"] FULL MOON TONIGHT[/caption]       [caption id="attachment_10331" align="aligncenter" width="774"] OUR LAST MERLIN RAID[/caption]    
    Date: June 28, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Collections, Links, News & Events, Posts
    The  Colwell Diary is, arguably, one of the most popular spots in our Museum.  As Gary, one of our volunteers, says, “The very fact it survived the war is incredible in itself.  It gives us a detailed, unique look at the great escape from Stalag Luft 3 POW camp.”       [caption id="attachment_11323" align="alignleft" width="300"] ARMAND GRANBOIS ~ EFTS CALGARY[/caption]   Did you know that Armand Granbois was also a POW at Luft 3?  Granbois was an Air Gunner in WWII and after being shot down over Holland, he spent two years as a POW.               [caption id="attachment_11325" align="alignleft" width="163"] AIR GUNNER GRANBOIS[/caption]   Granbois served his country as a tail gunner with 405 Squadron, a dangerous, tough and often lonely task… determined following the shooting down of the aircraft (Halifax II DT723 LQ-F) on April 3, 1943 by a JU 88 night fighter… followed by 25 months as a POW…               [caption id="attachment_11326" align="aligncenter" width="741"] THE CREW AS RECORDED BY COLWELL IN HIS DIARY[/caption]     Our Museum is fortunate to have some donated items that focus on this part of Granbois' military career.  Follow his story as we look closely at letters, cables, his logbook, and his personal diary. Following an air operation, April 4, 1945, the RCAF Casualties Officer sent a telegram to Armand's family, indicating that Armand was missing:     A letter was sent to the family one month later:     A Read more...
  • Y2K Spitfire Gala Teaser
    Date: June 26, 2018 Category: Community Outreach, News & Events, Newsletters
    [et_pb_section bb_built="1" _builder_version="3.6" custom_padding="10px|10px|10px|10px|false|false" border_width_all="4px" border_color_all="#5198cc"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.48" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0|0px|27px|0px|false|false"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_post_title meta="off" featured_placement="background" _builder_version="3.6" title_text_shadow_style="preset1" title_text_shadow_color="#0a0a0a" box_shadow_style="preset3" title_font="Lobster||||||||" title_text_align="center" title_font_size="66px" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_line_height="1.3em" meta_font="||||||||" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.8" text_font_size="16px" text_line_height="1.9em"] Jon Ambler, director of the Comox Air Force Museum, gives us a little teaser about the impending arrival of the restored Y2K Spitfire and the pilot, Stocky Edwards, who will be honoured at the gala event on 8 August 2018. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_video _builder_version="3.8" src="" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.48" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0|0px|27px|0px|false|false"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_button button_text="Visit the Y2K Spitfire website" button_alignment="center" _builder_version="3.8" custom_button="on" button_text_color="#5198cc" button_bg_color="#ffffff" button_font="|600||on|||||" button_use_icon="off" button_bg_color_hover="rgba(255,255,255,0.71)" box_shadow_style="preset3" button_text_color_hover="#1f003c" button_border_color_hover="#1f003c" button_url="" url_new_window="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_button button_text="Buy tickets to the Gala Event" button_alignment="center" _builder_version="3.8" custom_button="on" button_text_color="#5198cc" button_bg_color="#ffffff" button_font="|600||on|||||" button_use_icon="off" button_bg_color_hover="rgba(255,255,255,0.71)" box_shadow_style="preset3" button_text_color_hover="#1f003c" button_border_color_hover="#1f003c" button_url="" url_new_window="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
    Date: June 24, 2018 Category: Collections, Exhibits, Links, News & Events, Posts
      [caption id="attachment_10875" align="aligncenter" width="172"] F/O JOHN COLWELL[/caption]   One of the most popular spots for visitors to our Museum showcases the Colwell Diary.  It also happens to be the favourite exhibit of one of our volunteers, Gary; you may have read his post. And if you've come to our Museum, you've been lucky enough to see the diary personally.     With the help of our Museum Librarian, Allison, we're now pleased to be able to share a PDFcopy of the COLWELL DIARY with you.  We hope that you'll enjoy it!
    Date: June 23, 2018 Category: Community Outreach, Exhibits, News & Events, Posts, Vehicles
    Sunday, July 1st marks Canada's Birthday!  Join us as we participate in local festivities; watch for our Jeep in the Canada Day Parade and find us at our Museum's booth in Lewis Park! 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.  Check out our Aleutians Campaign Exhibit! **Special thanks to Hatley, QC "Canada Day" committee for the use of their banner - Happy Canada Day, Hatley!**
    Date: June 20, 2018 Category: Aircraft, Links, News & Events, Posts
    Lately, I discovered this article and thought I'd share it with you:   [caption id="attachment_11337" align="aligncenter" width="280"] credit - Dave O'Malley[/caption]   “It’s springtime in the Glebe, May 14thto be exact.  The sun shines with a new intensity.  The breeze billows through the screen window of my office, wafting paper across my desk. It was a particularly tough winter but the pain of it is soothed by a fine evening.  Tonight is one of those evenings in which it is very good to be alive. My office is on the second floor of a small building at the corner of Third Avenue and Bank Street in an area of Ottawa known as the Glebe. Bank is what you would call the high street in England, the main street in North America.  It draws down from the north near the Parliament Buildings and continues on uninterrupted until almost the St. Lawrence River, 60 miles to the south. I suspect that Bank in the Glebe is much the same as it was 75 years ago in May of 1943 – save for the nature of the businesses, the highfalutin quality of our new-age restaurants and their fancy outdoor terraces and the style of the automobiles.  Today, pricey Glebe housing means that the people of the Glebe are uniformly in a higher income tax bracket, but in ’43, the Glebe had three distinct layers – the wealthy, the middle class, and the working class.  I have lived in the Glebe now for 46 years, all Read more...
    Please note that the Comox Air Force Museum will be closed Saturday, June 23rd due to a planned electrical outage in our area.  We will be open again Sunday, June 24th from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m.
    Date: June 10, 2018 Category: News & Events, Posts
      An RCAF contingent is heading to London to serve as the Queen's Guard.  It's the first time in the CAF 94 year history that a non-infantry group has had this privilege.  Read about this here.
    [caption id="attachment_11343" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] “Vimy Flight pilot Dale Erhart honours Boomer on his Nieuport XI replica aircraft. Dale will be telling his story at Camp Boomer on June 16.” (photo credit: Steve Eykelenboom)[/caption]     "On Saturday, June 16 the Comox Air Force Museum (CAFM) will be opening their Heritage Air Park for a special opportunity look inside several cockpits. Volunteers will be on hand from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to welcome the public – by donation – as part of Camp Boomer 2018. This inaugural open cockpit event is a fundraiser for Support Our Troops: Boomer’s Legacy and CAFM. A donation at the open cockpit event will provide full access to Camp Boomer, including presentations at 888 (Komox) Wing by Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs and Vimy Flight member Dale Erhart, as well as lunch with Afghanistan veteran soldiers including Capt (ret’d) Trevor Greene. The public will also have an opportunity to see the Vimy Flight WWI Nieuport XI replica aircraft at the Heritage Air Park. Camp Boomer, situated across the road at Glacier Gardens Arena, will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Military displays and demonstrations from 19 Wing Comox, CFB Esquimalt, 11 Field Ambulance, the Scottish Regiment, cadets, and veteran groups will be open to the public while the six hour walk/ run/ cycle event takes place on two designated routes. Visit the Camp to see a field hospital, fire truck, EOD robot, Military Police, 442 Squadron Cormorant hoist, and more! Enroll the children in Read more...
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