Canadian Army Aviation Forum





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Picked-up a very interesting copy of a book (soft-covered, 108 pgs), at a Militaria Show here in Ottawa recently, entitled "Jump Wings-History of Canadian Airborne Qualification Badges 1942-2012". It is authored by Ken Joyce and published by Service Publications in Ottawa in Aug 2015. It is a very well-researched book IMO and of particular interest was a chapter on the Army Flying Badge.I believe the book is available through the publisher at sales@servicepub.com. I would also like to strongly recommend Mr. Joyce's website "Airborne History Canada" for anyone interested in Canadian Airborne Operations.

Added: May 8, 2016
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All Pilots,

For those who have taken the opportunity to visit our Canadian Army Aviation website will find that it is maturing. A number of updates and new items are posted or being reviewed for posting. The "work in progress" is starting to gather momentum and will show up on the site in time.

One area of army flying that needs to be addressed is in individual experiences or better still a biographical overview of flying careers. Many had unusual experiences outside of the main stream army units (Air OP, Recce, transport, liaison etc.). Some of you were seconded or posted to other CAF flying units and others to foreign units. We need to capture your story in this regard. The Editorial Board appreciates that most of us are somewhat reluctant or too busy to tell our story. Swallow your pride and take some time to add to our history! Your submissions will be edited to give the flavour of an interview and it will be posted using the third person. We will also ensure edited submissions get the approval of those who submitted them before being posted. Please consider having photos to accompany your submission, it is always interesting for visitors to the website to actually see the person(s) and the aircraft/equipment/clothing of the perioud.

One final note, does anyone have any recollection whatsoever of a Rowlandson G. RCA, who is listed on page 173 of Canada's Flying Gunners, as a "Gunner pilot"? John Dicker and Joe Oakley are unable to sleep trying to track down who this chap was so that they can complete the listings of army pilots. The question is either the list in the history (Canada's Flying Gunners) is an error or he did exist at sometime as an army pilot. Let John, Joe or me know if you have any information about this person.

Regards to all,

Vic Coroy
Coordinator
Canadian Army Aviation Website


Added: May 7, 2016
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Any old farts going to attend the 75th of 403 Sqn? If my plans work out, I will be in Fredericton enroute to Les Iles de la Madeleine around the time of their festivities.

Added: April 12, 2016
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Fred,

In my view you are certainly an army pilot and I know from first hand a dedicated RCASC pilot. You may be over-qualified being trained in Air OP operations by Nick Mulikow. Thanks for the comment.

Vic
Website Coord


Added: April 7, 2016
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At times not sure if I am still considered an army pilot by you guys. I'm not a "Gunner' but a proud RCASC and air force pilot, but not RCAF.

I was checked out on L19s after getting my wings with the US Army, and I noted after four hours on type, what next? The truth is that earlier we were not really considered "qualified" pilots. Lorne Rodenbush flew our Canadian army pilot wings to us in Fort Rucker for the wings parade arriving at the eleventh hour. Up to the last minute we were not considered qualified by Canadian standards even though the US Army was presenting us with wings, but only to fly helicopters.

The British Army Air Corps instructed and qualified me as Air OP pilot. I really learned how to do the job from Nick Mulikow when I was CO of 403 Squadron. Nick was one of my instructor pilots (What a superb pilot and Gunner). I was then qualified to teach Air OP procedures (on helicopters obviously} and eventually forward air controlling.

I'm not gripping but just trying to provide you with some history of my own flying experience as an RCASC army pilot, the blue wings are my most proud possession.

Yours,

Fred Zeggil


Added: April 7, 2016
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For the information of our readers, some sad news. Col (Ret'd) Fred Harris, RCCS and a very early Canadian Army Aviator (Course No. 2, grad Aug 51) passed away 24 Mar 16 in Manotick ON. Fred was 92.

Added: March 29, 2016
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The Work of the Devil

Gagetown, July 1956

As the designated officer of 1AirOP Flight, I was summoned to Div Headquarters to report to General Rockingham. Upon arrival, I was introduced to a boffin down from Army Headquarters about a new camera that would revolutionize aerial photography. It was called a Polaroid or Land camera and it was arranged that we would fly over a demonstration area, take a photo, and when it appeared, we would put it in a sandbag and drop it at General Rockinghams's feet! At the OP with the General were selected officers representing various units. In the demonstration area there was a squadron of tanks and infantry coming up towards the OP. As they approached the OP, we photographed this combat group. Three minutes later, we had a black and white photograph and made the drop. One of the observers, a major from the Black Watch looked at the photo in disbelief and said in his strong Scottish broghe, "Och, it must be the work of the Devil!"

Fast forward now to a cocktail party with Dean Wellsman and Claude Parenteau in Florida: When I mentioned this story, a woman piped up "do you mean a Land Camera?" She then told us that she had been the executive secretary to Doctor Land, and that he would have really enjoyed hearing this story!


Added: March 6, 2016
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The January 22, 2016 edition of the RCAF Association News lists two very interesting 75th anniverary announcements for two Tac Hel Sqns.

403 Sqn May 28-29 2016.
408 Sqn 24-26 Jun 2016.

A number of our readership served in one or both Sqns.

See the "New" section of this website for details.


Added: March 3, 2016
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Here is an anecdote from Pierre Marceau that is an account of one of the procedures for engaging targets from altitude.

It was St-Valentine's day, 14 Feb 1968, a cold and very windy day. The type of day our Air Observation Post Troop Officer Commanding, Joe Thibedeau had been waiting for to execute one of his plans. We had been firing and observing the fire of our regiment, 2 RCHA, quite a lot in the last two months with our new SP 155mm guns, the M109s, and on this day, he insisted we all take our binoculars with us in the cockpit because we were going to need them! We prepared for the flight in our rented hangar at the Fredericton airport and Joe explained, using the map, what he wanted us to do. After the appropriate checks, we took off and headed East. Joe on board 16735 with Bdr Leyte as observer, Loyd MacMorran and Gord Shellard (who was not yet checked out on type) were in 732 whilst I was in 733 with Sgt Irwin as my observer. After take off, we climbed in a loose formation over the St. John River and headed towards the extreme Eastern boundary of the Gagetown Training Area.

We RV'd at the MacLeod Cross Road with Jerusalem Road, an intersection we had marked on our maps. It is just North of Murray Lake and as planned, when we arrived on station, I was already at 6000 ft ASL, Loyd took his place above me at 7000 and Joe was at 8000. The winds were very strong and maintaining the nose of the aircraft into the wind, with lowered flaps and reduced power, we could maintain height and position over this one spot. After we were properly stacked-up and stationnary, so to speak, Joe indicated a target in the impact area that I was to engage. It was at least 14 km away. My observer, Sgt Irwin and I determined it's location and I radioed the Regt CP ordering a Battery Target. I ranged onto it successfully using my binoculars whilst still flying or hovering the aircraft, looking down to stay over the intersection, and looking up, to make sure I was not creeping onto Lloyd. On completion of my shoot, Loyd and Gord also engaged a Battery Target, and then, finally, Joe engaged a Regimental Target. It was the only time I ever used my binoculars whilst flying my L19 and it was an experience that I shall never forget.


Added: December 17, 2015
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Further to my Blog of 29 Nov 15, for a picture of LtCol REM Cross go to the grad picture for LAPC 41. LtCol Cross was Reviewing Officer for that Course Graduation. Note that he was also a Parachutist.

Added: December 13, 2015
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