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: August 20, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Books, Library Display, News & Events, Posts
      The Schneider Trophy, the common name for the Coupe d'Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider, was awarded annually to the winner of a race for seaplanes and flying boats.  The trophy itself is now found in the Science Museum in London. [caption id="attachment_9242" align="alignleft" width="187"] JACQUES SCHNEIDER[/caption] In 1912, Jacques Schneider, a French financier, balloonist, and aircraft enthusiast, offered a prize of about 1000 pounds for the competition.  The race was meant to encourage technical advances in civil aviation, but ultimately became a contest for pure speed, with laps over a normally triangular course of between 280 and 350 kilometres.  These contests were actually time trials, with aircraft setting out individually and at pre-agreed times, most often 15 minutes apart.  The contests were very popular and drew huge crowds.  The race was held twelve times between 1913 and 1931. If an aero club won three races in five years, they would retain the trophy and the winning pilot would receive 75,000 francs for each of the first three wins.  Each race was hosted by the previous winning country and was supervised by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, as well as the aero club in the hosting country.  Each club could enter up to three competitors with an equal number of alternatives. The races were important in terms of advancing aeroplane design, especially in the fields of aerodynamics and engine design; these would then show results in the best fighters of WWII.  The streamlined shape and the low drag, liquid-cooled engine pioneered by Read more...
    Date: August 15, 2017 Category: Exhibits, News & Events, Photo Archives, Posts
    This surprising and interesting story begins in 1929, when the then very young RCAF approached the Dept. of Oceans and Fisheries for advice on the type and size of boats the air force required at the time. The air force requirement was for a vessel capable of carrying people, stores and towing in all weather. They needed the towing capability because at the time the air force operated seaplanes. Not much was done at this time other than a committee was set up to study the problem! It took another  two years before any boats or crews were brought into the force. This happened in Trenton, Ont., where two powered dinghies and two 37' seaplane tenders were introduced. These were followed by the first armored target towing tugs used by the RCAF. Meanwhile, #4 (flying boat) Squadron, stationed in Vancouver, BC, acquired a collection of craft which by 1937, consisted of three a/c tenders, one scow and three outboards. By the end of 1939, just at the start of the Second World War, the RCAF was the proud owner of 75 vessels, although 25 of these were row boats! The RCAF only had four high speed rescue craft, two of which were docked in Vancouver and Prince Rupert; the other two were in Nova Scotia.   [caption id="attachment_9207" align="aligncenter" width="300"] EXAMPLES OF THREE TYPES OF BOATS[/caption]   Four years earlier, the RCMP had agreed that in an emergency it would transfer its marine assets to the RCN. In 1938, this Read more...
    Date: August 13, 2017 Category: Collections, Links, 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_9064" align="aligncenter" width="608"] "THE NAVIGATOR"[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_9066" align="aligncenter" width="927"] "GREATCOATS"[/caption]                            
    Date: August 10, 2017 Category: Aircraft, News & Events, Posts
    [caption id="attachment_9223" align="alignleft" width="202"] LUCIE[/caption]   Lucie volunteers with us on Thursday mornings; we hope you might come in and meet her!  In the meantime, we're pleased to share two more of Lucie's drawings with you.               [caption id="attachment_9226" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] LABRADOR[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_9227" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] HORNET[/caption]
    Date: August 6, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Books, Collections, Library Display, Links, News & Events, Posts
    [caption id="attachment_5760" align="alignleft" width="300"] LARRY MILBERRY[/caption] Larry Milberry is a lifelong aviation enthusiast who has authored, co-authored, or edited approximately 41 books on Canadian aviation history, including many of the best-known reference books on the subject. In 2004, Milberry was inducted into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.  As well, he's an honorary Snowbird, a long-time member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, and last spring our Museum Association presented him with an Honourary Lifetime Membership.   It's interesting to note that while Larry Milberry has come to our Museum to conduct his research for upcoming projects ~ many volunteers and visitors who come into the Library to get help with their personal research are often pointed in the direction of Milberry's publications!  Let's have a look at just a few of the titles on our shelves:   Aircom - Canada's Air Force - Published in 1991, this is " ... a detailed look at the air force seen through the photographic viewfinder.  It shows all the aircraft operated by Air Command.  It also focuses upon the people who make the air force work, and on their many bases.  A special section deals with Canada's Hornets in the Persian Gulf war."           The Canadair Sabre - This book is considered "... the most detailed book ever about the famous F-86 Sabre... the book tells the story of the 1815 Sabres built under licence by Canadair in Montreal... The RCAF's first Sabre squadrons were formed at St. Hubert, Uplands, Read more...
    Date: August 5, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Collections, 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_9046" align="aligncenter" width="1314"] YELLOWKNIFE ~ HOME OF THE MUC-TUC-ANNIE[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_9047" align="aligncenter" width="1563"] SEEMS THE RUNWAYS ARE GETTING SHORTER[/caption]
    The annual washing of our fighter aircraft took place recently.  As you can imagine, keeping the planes clean and maintained when they are exposed to the elements is a constant battle.  Luckily for the Museum, a crew from 888 Wing takes on the responsibility of power washing and scrubbing the four fighter aircraft in the park (the CF-100 Canuck, the CF-101 Voodoo, the CF-104 Starfighter and the T-33 T-Bird).  I am happy to report, no major water fights broke out during the project and a light lunch was enjoyed by all back at 888 Wing.  A big thanks to Duke and his team for their continued support of the Museum and the Air Park.      
    Date: August 1, 2017 Category: Collections, Exhibits, News & Events, Posts
    Our Museum has a dedicated group of volunteers who sit as members of our Collections Management Committee.  When an artifact is donated, it is evaluated on its relevance to the museum, its condition, and its rarity. This story began when Don Magor of Campbell River inquired if our museum would be interested in the donation of a WWI German pilot's helmet.  The helmet was a battlefield souvenir from his grandfather, the former Chief of the Air Staff RCAF Overseas 1944-45, Lloyd S. Breadner. In this case, the artifact was part of the story of the birth of the Royal Canadian Air Force and coincided with the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.  Therefore, this artifact was extremely relevant to our museum. Don, one of the volunteers on the committee, noted that there was an inscription in the helmet that was barely legible. "Hun brought down near (Mnt...?) April 23 17. The fact that the owner of the helmet was an important personage in the RCAF and having this inscription was more information than the museum usually receives with a donation, but we wanted to see if we could find more of the story. Our research showed that L.S. Breadner was a pilot serving with Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) No. 3 Squadron at Marieux (Montplaisir), France and we were able to find first person accounts of his actions in aerial combat 17 April, 1917. (These are related in Jon Guttman's "Naval Aces World War I" and Read more...
    Date: July 30, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
    [caption id="attachment_9002" align="alignleft" width="150"] TYKO[/caption]   In this, Tyko's second post, he talks about three squadrons attached to 19 Wing Comox:       19 Air Maintenance Squadron   19 Air Maintenance Squadron (19 AMS) provides second-line aircraft support to all the flying squadrons at CFB Comox, and specific air support to 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, Victoria. 19 AMS also provides Explosive ordnance disposal services to 19 Wing and various areas within British Columbia and the Yukon. The commanding officer of 19 AMS is responsible for 110 personnel who work in a wide range of areas including armament, avionics, non-destructive testing aircraft structures and mechanical support. The squadron was formed in 1993. Superbia Et Excellentia (Motto: Pride and Excellence)   407 Long Range Patrol Squadron   No. 407 Coastal Strike Squadron was formed at RAF Thorney Island, England in 1941 first flying the Bristol Blenheim. It was one of seven RCAF squadrons serving with the RAF Coastal Command. From September 1941 to January 1943 the squadron operated as a “strike” squadron attacking enemy shipping with the Lockheed Hudson. It was as a strike squadron that won its reputation and nickname “The Demon Squadron”. On the 29th of January 1943 it was re-designated 407 General Reconnaissance Squadron, and for the remainder of the war the “Demons” protected allied shipping from German U-boats, operating the Vickers Wellington. The squadron was disbanded in 1945 following the end of WWII. In 1952 the squadron was re-activated at RCAF Station Comox as 407 Maritime Reconnaissance Read more...
    Our Museum has lost a beloved volunteer, Irv Fraser.  Our Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jon Ambler, wrote, " For over a decade, Irv was our handyman and builder, and there is no part of our Museum that did not benefit from his skill and effort.  When we say something was 'Irv built', it means that it was built remarkably strong... he had a funny expression for everything, and took great joy and pride in his work. A 'Spirit of the Volunteer' winner a few years ago, Irv represented all the very best attributes of a member of our Museum family.  He will be terribly missed." In no particular order, here are some memories of Irv's time with our Museum.   [caption id="attachment_845" align="aligncenter" width="300"] IRV BUILT THESE FOR OUR YOUNGEST VISITORS[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1360" align="aligncenter" width="300"] IRV, WITH ONE OF THE AIRCRAFT HE BUILT[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_6106" align="aligncenter" width="201"] IRV WAS PRESENTED WITH HIS 10 YEAR PIN, 2016[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_4079" align="aligncenter" width="300"] IRV AND HIS EVER PRESENT TOOLBOX, 2014[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_3142" align="aligncenter" width="300"] IRV HELPING TO PACK UP THE SPITFIRE FOR SHIPPING TO VINTAGE WINGS CANADA, 2014[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_3127" align="aligncenter" width="300"] THANKING IRV, 2014[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2940" align="aligncenter" width="300"] IRV, BOTTOM LEFT, HELPING TO MOUNT A NEW EXHIBIT IN OUR MAIN GALLERY, 2014[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9178" align="aligncenter" width="296"] WORKING ON THE HALLWAY PROJECT, 2017[/caption]   Rest in peace, Irv...  
    Date: July 26, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
      [caption id="attachment_9002" align="alignleft" width="150"] TYKO[/caption]   Tyko's first post introduces us to our base, 19 Wing Comox.         19 Wing Comox, BC The airfield at 19 wing Comox was built as an RAF base in 1942 and in 1943 it was officially designated an RCAF base. Its primary purpose was to fly control for 32 Operational Training Unit (OTU) at Patricia Bay, Victoria. 32 OTU later transferred to Comox and become No. 6 Transport Squadron (RCAF) flying C-47 Dakotas under the command of Group Captain D.C.S Macdonald. In 1946, No.6 Squadron moved to RCAF Station Greenwood N.S. and RCAF Station Comox was closed. In 1952, Comox was re-opened as an Air Defense Command (ADC) establishment under the operational control of 12 Air Defense Group and began an extensive modernization program witch included several new buildings including a new, bigger hangar (hangar 7) and extending the runway to its current 10,000 ft. The stations first operational squadron, 407 “Demons” Maritime Patrol Squadron was reactivated and equipped with Lancaster bombers modified for the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. In 1953, the first 150 permanent personnel quarters were erected and occupied. An elementary school for the RCAF personnel’s children with classrooms for grades one to six and kindergarten was built. 409 “Nighthawks” All Weather Fighter Interceptor Squadron was formed in 1954. Over the years, the squadron was equipped with T-33 Silverstar, CF-100 Canucks and the CF-101 Voodoo. Also formed in 1954 were 51 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron as part Read more...
    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]      
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