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: April 23, 2017 Category: Member Info, News & Events, Posts
    The coming week has been declared "National Volunteer Week" and it's rather fitting that we honoured our Museum Volunteers at the recent Comox Valley Air Force Museum Association AGM on April 4th.  During the meeting, we celebrated the many contributions of our volunteers.  It might interest you to know that our volunteers do a number of things to maintain the high quality of our Museum:  The Collections Management Committee meets monthly to work with the many donations brought in.  Many volunteers work in the Gift Shop, welcoming visitors and helping them with their purchases.  We are involved in display construction and development.  We work in the Library and assist with research.  We work in the archives and process photographs.  We administer our website and contribute posts to the site.  We maintain our presence on Facebook.  We staff events such as the Cumberland Heritage Fair..  We work on the Heritage Maintenance Team, working on our heritage vehicles and aircraft.  We participate on the Comox Valley Air Force Museum Association Board. In the past year, we contributed well over 11,000 hours!  And we get so involved with what we're doing we don't always record our hours! In addition to celebrating the volunteers, this year, some of our members received special recognition along with our admiration and thanks. [caption id="attachment_8345" align="alignleft" width="201"] Alex Boyko[/caption]   Alex received his five year pin.  Alex gives of his time in the Gift Shop.                 Three people received their ten year pins:   [caption id="attachment_8343" Read more...
    Date: April 22, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Community Outreach, Member Info, News & Events, Posts
    On Easter Sunday, our volunteers were busy supporting the Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo Team Autograph Session.  They arrived early to prepare the Museum for the always popular event, they helped our special guests park, they set up the tables and chairs in the Library, they helped greet and guide the public through the lineup, they helped in the Gift Shop, and they cleaned up after the event.  Without the support of our volunteers, this event wouldn't be what it is.  So first - a very special thank you to all of you! As always, you worked together to make it happen! We want to also thank the Snowbirds and Demo Team for their welcoming interaction with the public!  We love having you in the skies each spring! Here are some memories of the Autograph Session ~        
    Date: April 21, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Books, Collections, Exhibits, News & Events, Posts
    This is the third and final chapter covering the topic of aircraft nose art. It's been a topic that is never ending with so many stories and tales to explain the reasons why it was used or the emotions and reasons for using it. [caption id="attachment_8381" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Bugs bombs Tokyo[/caption]   it wasn't just Disney characters that were used, as you can see from the photo above, many aircraft painted looney tunes to send a message. This painting was on a Ventura, based on Argentia, NL. What's  special about this painting was that it was done at the factory in Burbank, California by the studio artists themselves. [caption id="attachment_8377" align="alignleft" width="300"] Popeye[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8398" align="alignleft" width="300"] Olive Oyl[/caption]               Another two popular characters are those seen above, Popeye and Olive Oyl. I used the olive Oyl picture because it shows the humour often seen in these paintings, as olive beats the behind of Hitler. This was painted on an RCAF lane piloted by P/O D.J. Sullivan.       Many of the planes were adorned with stylized pin up girls such as "Lonesome Lola" seen here. She was on a mk1 Lanc of no.9 Sqn. This a/c finished 97 ops! [caption id="attachment_8369" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Lonesome Lola[/caption]   Some of these girls were very much on the line of what could be accepted and what could not, even to today's standards! The following two pictures highlight this well. [caption id="attachment_8371" align="alignnone" width="159"] Unnamed nude[/caption] Read more...
    Date: April 19, 2017 Category: Books, News & Events, Posts
    [caption id="attachment_8275" align="alignleft" width="141"] BILLY BISHOP[/caption] William Avery "Billy" Bishop VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED was a Canadian flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War. He received the Victoria Cross (VC) "For most conspicuous bravery, determination, and skill.  Captain Bishop, who had been sent out to work independently, flew first of all to an enemy aerodrome; finding no machines about, he flew on to another aerodrome about 3 miles southeast, which was at least 12 miles the other side of the line.  Seven machines, some with their engines running were on the ground.  He attacked these from about fifty feet, and a mechanic, who was starting one of the engines, was seen to fall.  One of the machines got off the ground, but at a height of 60 feet, Captain Bishop fired 15 rounds into it at a very close range, and it crashed to the ground.  A second machine got off the ground, into which he fired 30 rounds at 150 yards range, and it fell into a tree.  Two more machines then rose from the aerodrome.  One of these he engaged at a height of 1,000 feet, emptying the rest of his drum of ammunition.  This machine crashed 300 yards from the aerodrome, after which Captain Bishop emptied a whole drum into the fourth hostile machine, and then flew back to his station.  Four hostile scouts were about 1,000 feet above him for about a mile of his return journey, but Read more...
    Date: April 13, 2017 Category: Member Info, News & Events
    [caption id="attachment_8388" align="alignleft" width="262"] HERBIE AT BINGO[/caption] The family of Herbie Lightfoot will be holding a Celebration of Life at 888 Wing on Monday 24 April, 2017, between 2 and 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, if you wish, the family has asked that you make a donation to the Comox Air Force Museum in Herbie's name. A light lunch/snack will be served.  Please RSVP your attendance by email to:
    Date: April 10, 2017 Category: Exhibits, News & Events, Posts
    [caption id="attachment_8336" align="alignleft" width="282"] RUTH MASTERS[/caption]   On April 5th, one of our volunteers, Len, greeted a special guest.  Sgt. Ruth Masters came into the Museum for a visit. If you've been in our Main Gallery, you likely took time to enjoy the Women's Division exhibit.  It's there that you'll find Ruth's uniform and badges.  We hope you enjoyed your time with us, Ruth, and will come again soon! Our Museum appreciates the donation Ruth made and hope that our visitors do as well!
    Date: April 6, 2017 Category: Collections, News & Events, Posts
    [caption id="attachment_8267" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image: Sergeant Paz Quille[/caption]     The story of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) tartan goes all the way back to January, 1942.             Group Captain Elmer G. Fullerton, Station Commander of No. 9 Service Flying Training School, RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island, wanted to celebrate his Scottish heritage by organizing a "Robbie Burns Night" mess dinner.  He borrowed bagpipes for his station band and searched for a suitable tartan to outfit the band in full Scottish regalia. Group Captain Fullerton then decided to design an original pattern that represented the Royal Canadian Air Force.  With coloured pencils, he produced the prototype using light blue, dark blue and maroon colours.  The original sample of the proposed tartan was created by Patricia Jenkins and Loom crofters of Gagetown, New Brunswick.  It was the Gagetown weavers who added a white line to the design. He then ordered a sample of the material to be sent to RCAF Headquarters in Ottawa for approval.  The design was endorsed by the Air Council, and Air Vice-Marshal J. A. Sully sent it off to Scotland's Lord Lyon, King of Arms, for approval in July, 1942. The approval was granted on August 15th, 1942 and the design was officially registered as the RCAF tartan.  As a result, the RCAF became the first air force in the world to have its own distinctive tartan.  The speed of the process from original concept to the final approval in Read more...
    Date: April 5, 2017 Category: Aircraft, News & Events, Posts
    This afternoon, the 19 Wing Public Affairs Office gave us permission to share this news release: "SNOWBIRDS ARE BACK FOR SPRING TRAINING IN COMOX VALLEY 19 WING, COMOX - The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be perfecting the 2017 aerobatic air show from 5 to 20 April at 19 Wing Comox. The team is scheduled to fly mid-morning and early afternoon practices over either the 19 Wing Base or the Strait of Georgia, near Air Force Beach. "We are always grateful for the warm welcome and tremendous hospitality we receive from the Comox Valley community," said Maj Patrick Gobeil, Team Lead, Canadian Forces Snowbirds.  "The Comox Valley provides us an important training venue to practice flying our aerobatic show over mountains, water and diverse landscape." Comox Air Force Museum, located at the entrance of 19 Wing, will host the Snowbirds Team April 16, from 4 to 5 p.m. where they will meet the public and sign autographs. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are proud ambassadors of the men and women in Canada’s military, who are making a difference around the world.  In 2017, the Snowbirds will have the privilege of participating in 60 air shows in 40 communities across North America." **You'll note that specific times are not given as flying times are always tentative due to weather concerns or other unforeseen issues.
    Date: April 5, 2017 Category: Collections, News & Events, Posts
    Al Wilson's cartoons seem to be of 19 Wing Comox and relate to specific happenings from about 1958 - 1974.  We know you're enjoying this series, and are happy to share this April Edition with you!       [caption id="attachment_8241" align="aligncenter" width="1590"] BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN[/caption]       [caption id="attachment_8242" align="aligncenter" width="794"] "MACHEN SCHNELL, HERR MOOSE!"[/caption]
    Date: April 3, 2017 Category: Exhibits, Library Display, News & Events, Posts, Vehicles
    Military leaders during WW 1 have been labelled as mindless butchers, incapable of original thought, who led soldiers to useless deaths. It is true that the tremendous increases in firing rate and accuracy of both artillery and small arms created extreme lethality, which led to casualties and stalemate, not victory. The truth is actually a little more complex: the crucible of WW 1 was actually a period of great invention and innovation, so much so that it created “A Revolution in Military Affairs”, one that shaped 20th century warfare. No weapons system symbolizes that more than the creation of the tank. Combat in WW1 began in August 1914. Initially consisting of vast armies maneuvering by railway and on foot, the lethality of modern weapons forced the armies to create 450 miles of parallel trenches stretching from the Swiss border to the English Channel. There were no flanks: all attacks had to be head-on. As early as October 1914, after a month of trench warfare, military leaders were already seeking solutions to the stalemate. A LCol Swinton envisaged the need for a machine to cross trenches, barbed wire, and mud to attack the enemy. The basic idea was to take machine guns and heavier guns and place them in a steel box to protect them from defenders’ fire. Powering this machine would be the recently invented (1884) gasoline-fuelled internal combustion engine. An effective continuous track, patented in 1901, would propel them across the shell torn muddy landscape and be able to Read more...
    Date: April 2, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Exhibits, Library Display, News & Events, Posts, Vehicles
    Military Combat Innovations of WW1:  a Revolution in Military Affairs   WW1 quickly proved the lethality of modern weapons: their extended range, accuracy, ease of use, and unprecedented volume created huge casualties and stalemate. WW1 created the need for new technologies and tactics, and they were remarkable in their number. A brief list follows.  Land Power The following new weapons were invented: tracer bullets, incendiary bullets, light machine guns, flamethrowers, effective hand grenades, poison gas, and the tank.   [caption id="attachment_8309" align="alignleft" width="300"] VIMY INFANTRY TANK[/caption] New fire techniques were invented: artillery would fire a “creeping barrage” going forward just ahead of attacking soldiers. Artillery and machine guns would fire for long periods on the same area “suppressing” enemy action. At the same time innovative ways to locate the enemy’s guns, including the use of microphones were invented.       Sea Power WW1 saw the start of using unrestricted submarine warfare to cut sea lines of communication. Inventions to counter the new submarine threat included: sonar, hydrophones, and depth charges all had to be invented. The birth of air power meant that naval forces needed it as well, so aircraft carriers were invented.    Air Power Tethered balloons already existed, but real air power using fixed wing aircraft, both single and crewed, as well as dirigibles were fielded in large numbers and most air power missions were invented in WW1. Air power saw the invention of effective large scale aircrew training, interrupter gear (to enable safely shooting through one’s propeller), Read more...
    Date: April 1, 2017 Category: Exhibits, Library Display, News & Events, Posts
    This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge.  Our Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jon Ambler has created an interesting display in our Museum Library for those of you who are able to visit the Comox Air Force Museum.  Included is an informative narrative.  I thought you might like to read it here on our website.  Thanks to Jon for the work he's done to educate us! Background The Battle of Vimy Ridge is Canada's most celebrated military victory. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, attacked the ridge from 9 to 12 April, 1917 and captured it. Vimy Ridge itself is a seven kilometer-long hill rising amid the open countryside north of Arras, France. To the east of the ridge was German occupied territory on the Douai plain; to the west were the British lines. German forces were entrenched on the ridge, having held it for much of the war. More than 100,000 Allied soldiers had already been killed and wounded in previous efforts to dislodge the Germans from the ridge. Easter Monday 1917 After a week of intense Allied bombardment, the Canadian Corps attacked the ridge at 5:30 am on 9 April, Easter Monday. Timing and co-ordination were critical — the troops moved up the long western slope of the ridge, just behind a rolling artillery barrage designed to keep the Germans hidden in their bunkers and away from their machine guns as long as possible. [caption id="attachment_8307" align="alignleft" width="300"] VIMY Read more...
    Date: March 30, 2017 Category: News & Events, Posts
    WING COMMANDER MARK (HILLY) BROWN was born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.  Wing Commander Mark Henry Brown DFC, nicknamed Hilly, was the first Canadian pilot to become a fighter ace during World War 2 whilst serving with the Royal Air Force during the Battle of France and also the Battle of Britain; he was killed in action in November 1941 over Sicily. [caption id="attachment_8258" align="alignleft" width="245"] "HILLY' BROWN (Aces of WW2)[/caption]   He was the son of Mr & Mrs S Brown of Glenboro, Manitoba. Whilst working for the Bank of Montreal, he learned to fly at the Brandon Flying Club and after passing the required medical test, left Canada to join the RAF in May 1936.         [caption id="attachment_8257" align="alignleft" width="300"] Flight-Lieutenant M H Brown (left) and Pilot Officer Chetham of No. 1 Squadron RAF standing by the nose of a Hawker Hurricane Mark I at RAF Wittering, Huntingdonshire, England[/caption]   After completing his RAF training, Pilot Officer Brown joined No 1 Squadron in February 1937. He was promoted to Flying Officer in December 1938. At the beginning of September 1939, Brown's squadron was deployed to France as part of the RAF Advance Air Strike Force. On November 23, 1939 he was credited with half a kill of a Dornier 17 whilst flying a Hawker Hurricane.     During the Battle of France in early 1940, Brown was involved in heavy fighting and on 20 April 1940 he claimed his first kill, a Messerschmidt 109. He became the first Canadian pilot to reach “ace” status with five confirmed kills by May 1940. Brown also was the Read more...
    Date: March 29, 2017 Category: Community Outreach, News & Events, Posts
    The CoVal Choristers have asked us to share with you information about their special upcoming performance.  They're also seeking help with related history.  Please read this and share! "Below is a poster about the event and news article about the CoVal Choristers' Vimy Ridge commemorative performance at 2 pm on the afternoon of SundayApril 9th. As you may be aware that is the exact 100th anniversary of the start of the Canadian assault.  Using a combination of narrative and song from the era, the performance is evocative of those times. We would like to spread the word among the members of the forces.   Also we are looking for people living in the Comox Valley who are descended from those who served at Vimy.  Anything you can do would be appreciated."   Please check ARTICLE VIMY for a request for help with related history.  
    Date: March 28, 2017 Category: Aircraft, Links, News & Events, Posts
    The Comox Air Force Museum would like to introduce you to a special interest group that can be found on Facebook: CANADIAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT WRECKS, RELICS, SURVIVORS, WARBIRDS, AND CRASHES The administrator, Mike Kaehler, explains that the "group is dedicated to discussing and exchanging information and photos of Canadian Military Aircraft Wrecks, Relics, Survivors, Warbirds and Crashes. There are often very interesting, historically enlightening facts that come out in posts as subject matter experts and group members, that were present during the various events, contribute their information to this group... Please note that the objective of this group is not to discuss aircraft that were or are in active service unless they have been grounded due to an accident or administrative action. This group is also not designed to judge or humiliate anyone involved in an aircraft incident..." You can have a closer look at this group and the guidelines for participation by checking it out on Facebook.  Thank you, Mike, for being available to share information with our Museum as we do our research!  
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