MAJOR JOHN ALEXANDER ROBERTSON, CD
John Alexander Robertson, “Robbie” to all throughout his life, was born in Moncton, NB October 27, 1924. He joined the RCAF in 1943 and was trained as both a Bomb Aimer and Navigator before joining 160 Squadron in Torbay, Newfoundland where he flew Canso aircraft on coastal patrols. On release from the RCAF in January 1946, he returned to Moncton.
Robbie re-joined the RCAF in 1949 and served with 408 Photo Squadron flying both Lancasters and Dakota aircraft on photo survey operations. He next served at Summerside, PEI before attending the Staff Navigator Instructor Course at the Central Navigation School. His next posting was to the Maritime Operational Training Unit (OUT) at RCAF Station Greenwood and on completion of this training he served with 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron at Greenwood.
Beginning September 1955, Robbie attended the year-long No. 8 Specialist Navigation Course conducted at the Central Navigation School then located at RCAF Station Winnipeg, Manitoba. On graduation, he remained on staff and instructed several advanced courses in various specialized subjects.
In August 1959, he returned to Maritime aviation duties attending No. 2 Maritime OTU and converting onto the new Argus ASW Patrol aircraft where he carried out flight duties until 1963 at which time he became an instructor at the Operational Flight Tactical Trainer (OFTT) until 1964 before returning once again to flying duties with 404 Maritime Patrol Squadron at Greenwood. In 1965, he was posted to the Distant Early Warning Line station at Cambridge Bay. Following a one-year tour at that station, he returned to 405 Squadron and continued on flying duties until July of 1967 when he assumed duty as the RCAF Station Greenwood Deputy Base Operations Officer, a position he held until retirement from the Canadian Forces in 1970 in the rank of Major.
Robbie died March 11, 2008 after a short illness. He was an officer and navigator of note, contributing greatly of his talents in the service to his country.
Major Ray Cowper, CD, Operation SHARP GUARD
Operation SHARP GUARD was a multi-year joint naval blockade in the Adriatic Sea by NATO and the Western European Union of illegal ship-borne movements to the former Yugoslavia. Warships and maritime patrol aircraft from 14 countries were involved in searching for and stopping blockade runners to enforce economic sanctions and an arms embargo. The operation replaced naval blockades Operation Maritime Guard (of NATO and begun by the U.S. in November 1992) and Sharp Fence (of the WEU). It put them under a single chain of command and control (the "Adriatic Military Committee", over which the NATO and WEU Councils exerted joint control), to address what their respective Councils viewed as wasteful duplication of effort. Some maintain that despite the nominal official joint command and control of the operation, in reality, it was NATO staff that conducted the operation. Begun 15 June 1993, the mission was suspended 19 June 1996 and terminated 02 October 1996.
The fourteen nations contributed ships, submarines and patrol aircraft: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S. The operational area was divided into a series of "sea boxes", each the responsibility of a single warship. Each boarding team was composed of a "guard team" to board and wrest control of the target ship, and a "search team" to conduct the search. Coalition ships were authorized to board, inspect, and seize both ships seeking to break the blockade and their cargo. This operation marked the first time since its founding in 1949 that NATO was involved in combat operations. NATO and WEU forces challenged more than 73,000 ships, boarded and inspected almost 6,000 at sea, and diverted 1,500 suspect ships to ports for further inspection. Of those, nearly a dozen vessels were found to be blockade runners, some carrying arms in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. NATO officials said no ships were able to run the blockade successfully, and that the maritime blockade had a major effect in preventing escalation of the conflict.
Canada provided naval and air forces. Greenwood and Comox provided Maritime Patrol aircraft and crews, with the first two aircraft, flight and maintenance crews, a small headquarters and live torpedoes arrived in NAS Sigonella, Sicily 28 Aug 93. This was the first operation for the Aurora aircraft where torpedoes were carried with rules of engagement for possible use. Aurora missions were long and arduous, providing valuable reconnaissance of water areas locating possible target ships for naval blockade investigation.
The portrait here is of the first detachment commander, Major Ray Cowper, whose personnel had the difficult task of setting up in a very congested, busy station far from home and operating armed patrols in a very dangerous mission. Hundreds of personnel followed this first detachment until mission conclusion.
This painting was commissioned and presented to the Museum by the Greenwood Art Association 28 April 2016; the artist is Eileen Boyd.
A LAST ARGUS FLIGHT IN 10723
The CP-107 Argus was a great aircraft, perhaps the best of the Maritime Patrol aircraft of its day. It was produced by Canadair Limited in Montreal and was known with as the CL-28. It was powered by four Wright Cyclone turbo-compound engines, each producing 3700 horsepower and driving a three-bladed Curtis-Wright electric propeller. It had a wingspan of 142 feet, 3 inches, was 128 feet 3 inches in length and stood 36 feet 8 ½ inches high at the tail. It weighed 81,000 pounds empty and 148,000 pounds fully laden with fuel. It cruised at 207 mph and had a maximum speed of 290 mph. It had a service ceiling of 24,200 feet and a range of 4,000 miles. While in service, it once flew 4,570 miles without refuelling and on yet another flight it achieved an in-flight endurance of 31 hours.
Canadair produced 33 aircraft in two versions; the Mark I, beginning with 20710, and the Mark II, beginning with 20723, the difference being the search radar (the serials were later changed to 10 prefix from the earlier 20 prefix). The first aircraft rolled out on December 21, 1956 got its “Argus” name and made its first flight March 28, 1957. The last aircraft came off the line July 13, 1960. It began operational flying August 11 and subsequently flew with all four Maritime Patrol squadrons – 404, 4-5, 407 and 415. Operations included anti-submarine patrols, Search and Rescue, and Arctic Sovereignty Patrols. Two aircraft were lost during its life which lasted until May 1981.
The painting of 10723, the first of the Mark II models, was completed by Wing Commander Arne Lehn. W/C Lehn joined the RCAF in 1940, trained as a pilot and completed 85 operational missions in the African and Mediterranean theatres flying Blenheims, Baltimores and Liberators. In the post-war RCAF, he served with 404 Squadron as Operations Officer and then as Commanding Officer of 405 Squadron.
After his retirement in 1970, Arne served briefly with the Federal Public Service followed by a 20-year career in the Vancouver Real Estate business. Sometime after retirement, Arne took up painting as a hobby and is now a member of the South Delta Artists Guild in Tsawwassen, BC where his paintings, mainly non-aircraft subjects, are on display in art shows sponsored by the Guild. He is also a member of the Air Force Association and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
This painting depicts Argus 10723, the last aircraft Arne flew, over a submarine on an Atlantic patrol.
Chief Warrant Officer Colin Brooks Ainsworth, MMM, CD
Colin was born in Blackpool, England on January 26, 1943 and gained his early education there. He left Blackpool Grammar School at age 15 and began an apprenticeship job with the Lancashire Aircraft Corporation commencing in January, 1958. This employment was entirely in keeping with an early boyhood interest in aircraft. This apprenticeship involved being indentured for three to five years depending on success on the aircraft courses of instruction. The first three months comprised routine tasks such as cleaning hangar floors and washing drip trays. Next came a series of tasks related to aircraft components: the Engine Bay, Airframe Section, Fabric Shop, Supply Section and the Instrument-Electrical Shop. In the summer of 1960, he qualified for the Aircraft Electrician trade and gained his “M” Licence permitting him to work on aircraft weighing up to 27,000 pounds.
That same year, Colin emigrated to Canada and gained employment for the next three years with Timmins Aviation in Montreal. Then in September of 1963 he began an RCAF career at Camp Borden as a Munitions and Weapons Technician. He then served at many stations servicing many types of aircraft. First it was Station Greenwood, then 4 Fighter Wing followed by CFB Comox. Then came a break when he attended a one-year French language course in Ottawa that brought about a tour with 433 Squadron at CFB Bagotville. Again, he returned to Comox on a tour with 407 “Demon” Squadron.
Beginning in 1983, Colin served at NDHQ in the Directorate of Maritime Aircraft Engineering. While there, he volunteered with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Section. In 1990, Colin was posted to Maritime Air Group HQ in Halifax as the Air Group Chief Warrant Officer. Again, his spare time was devoted to volunteer work, this time with the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum. Projects included the Armstrong-Siddeley Cheetah, JA Prestwick and Rhone rotary engines, the F-86 Sabre and Aeronca C-3 aircraft.
On retirement in 1998, Colin and his wife settled in the Annapolis Valley and it was here that he volunteered to undertake leadership of the group restoring the Avro Anson at the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum that had been donated by the Reynolds family of Alberta. This was the first aircraft to be restored by the museum. Reconstruction began in October of 2003 and was completed in May of 2009. Colin’s leadership on this project has placed a most valuable artefact in the Greenwood Museum where its presence will show future generations the critical role it played in both operations and training during the Second World War.
Colin Brooks Ainsworth; an airman of note and a great contributor in the Aviation Heritage of Canada.
Master Warrant Officer Steve Dornan
MWO Steve Dornan joined the Canadian military right out of high school as a 19-year-old Air Cadet-trained pilot. After five years in the Air Reserve in Summerside, the trained airborne electronic sensor operator (AESOp, in today’s designation) joined the Regular Force. He served as a trade instructor, the only Master Corporal working in the CP121 field, and as a flight instructor, before being sent to Comox and the CP140 Aurora. It was here he had his first solid introduction to the value of linking officers above and NCMs below, as 407 Squadron deployed to the Adriatic Sea to enforce the United Nations’ embargo on Yugoslavia. As the lead radar operator and non-acoustic sensor analyst, and the senior electronic warfare and surface-to-air missile threat analyst, he was a go-between for information, decision-making and action. In the mid-1990s, Dornan worked in intelligence in Winnipeg as a field analyst.
“Pulling all the data together was neat,” he says, of reports coming in from Italy, Haiti, Rwanda, Serbia and other international hot spots. He wrote the Canadian Air Defence threat estimate for the CF18 deployment over the former Yugoslavia, and then did two on-the-ground deployments in Bosnia. “An amazing opportunity, for sure,” he says, “working with different countries’ air crews and ground crews and passing on all the information of different radars and snipers targeting UN aircraft.”
Making connections between French ground forces, the Foreign Legion, United Kingdom Special Forces, Latvian and American air crews; relief and medical teams headed to Sarajevo, the British Army and other partners, he was NATO’s radar expert, an inspector, watcher and planner for training, targeting and inspecting throughout the region.
MWO Dornan first arrived at 14 Wing in 1997, and quickly became a lead sensor expert in change aboard the CP140, around radar, what is today’s Deployable Mission Support Centre for remote information gathering and camera technology. He used his experience working with air and ground crews to put together technology that was useful in the Aurora’s ISR role. Some of those changes were used during Op Mobile, the 2011 UN intervention over Libya, showcasing the Aurora’s new capabilities in overland surveillance.
As early as 1995 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, MWO Dornan became the Canadian Armed Force’s senior unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sensor operator, and staffed recommendations on a future UAV detachment. He researched, priced, oversaw contracting and supply, tested, operated, developed policy, taught the use – and developed flight safety policy after crashes in testing and in the field in Afghanistan - of a half dozen UAV models over 10 years.“How we’re going to do it, use UAVs, the job descriptions around the equipment, the integration of UAVs and information into operations on a battlefield – in six months,” he said, of the 2007 introduction of UAVs in Canada’s Afghanistan presence. “We became the most critical air asset in theatre, and Greenwood was the monitoring unit: we put it together and integrated it with Army operations.”
In 2010, MWO Dornan retired from the forces: Canada was finishing Afghanistan field operations, he had 27 years in his career and he felt he was leaving “all the UAV lessons learned in place. “The paperwork was done, a lot of what was learned is now being applied in the Auroras. The AESOps today are where I was then, and I was happy.”
Sergeant Donald M. Cornish, DFM
Donald M. Cornish was a native of Scout Lake, Saskatchewan. He enlisted in the RCAF in Regina on 23 May 1941. He trained at 4 ITS then at 5 EFTS and finished at 10 SFTS in Manitoba where he received his wings and Sergeant stripes in January 1942. He is believed to have completed the General Reconnaissance School in Charlottetown before proceeding overseas. Once in the UK, he converted onto Wellingtons before joining 179 Squadron, RAF which was then stationed in Gibraltar.
On 21 October 1943 flying Wellington Z/179, Cornish and crew gained a radar contact. An attack was initiated and at a range of half a mile the Leigh Light revealed an enemy surface ship which began firing on them. They escaped with light damage and continued to patrol. Shortly thereafter a further contact initiated a second attack and the Leigh Light revealed U-431 which fired on them causing some additional damage but they completed the attack. There was no sign of the boat following the attack and, initially, the kill was credited to a ship but later re-assigned to Cornish. Three nights later, on 24 October 1943 Cornish and crew on night patrol in A/179 homed on a radar contact down to half a mile. The moonlight was so bright that the submarine’s wake was visible. Cornish elected to improve his attack position before using the Leigh Light. At a quarter mile they switched on the light and attacked though they were greeted with return fire. The captain of U-566 later confirmed that its steering and propellers were damaged beyond use and they scuttled the boat after boarding their dinghies. Cornish received the DFM and was promoted to Warrant Officer. A month later, on 26 November 1943, Cornish and crew flying H/179 from the Azores encountered U-542 and attacked, straddling the boat with six depth charges. But they had no further contact. It was confirmed many years later that they had sunk it on its first war patrol. Cornish and crew did indeed sink three submarines, all at night using the Leigh Light – a first. An outstanding record.
Donald Cornish left the RCAF at war’s end as a Flying Officer and returned to Saskatchewan, but in 1947 he joined the RAF and continued flying for the next eighteen months before leaving the RAF. He married an English girl, gained employment with Hawker-Siddeley and remained in England.
Group Captain E.L. Baudoux, DSO, DFC, CD
“Shan” Baudoux was born in Stellarton, Nova Scotia and gained his education there. He joined the Royal Air Force in October 1939 and following his training he began flying coastal operations with 233 Squadron based at RAF Leuchars, Scotland.
The Hudson aircraft portrayed in the background relates to an early mission where he was leading a “battle flight” of two other Hudsons on a North Sea patrol. They were armed with semi-armour piercing bombs with orders to attack targets of opportunity. All went well on the initial leg of the patrol and five miles short of the Norwegian coast they turned south maintaining a patrol altitude of 5,000 feet while scanning both visually and with their ASV radar for surface vessels. West of Stavanger they spotted a fully surfaced submarine. They began their attack while the other two Hudsons provided top cover against a possible threat by ME-110 or ME-109 enemy aircraft and also provided a capability for a second attack if required. On this particular patrol Baudoux was acting as Navigator – there was a shortage of them at the time – and moved to the nose of the aircraft where he set the bombing computer for release by the pilot of four bombs at fifty foot intervals. Rather than dive as expected, the submarine used its deck gun and fired on the aircraft achieving a number of hits just as the bombs were released. The aircraft was barely controllable as the elevators were inoperable and flap was used to gain some altitude. The aircraft was nursed home to Scotland. Abandoning the aircraft had been considered but, after experimenting with flaps and power, it was found that the aircraft could be controlled well enough to attempt a landing. They arrived safely back at Leuchars. Post war information confirmed the submarine was badly damaged from the attack but had not been sunk. Baudoux went on to complete more than 100 coastal missions that included several attacks on U-Boats as well as shadowing the battleship Scharnhorst. He also operated with the USAAF instructing crews on the use of the Liberator as an Anti-submarine aircraft. In 1944 he completed the Empire Test Pilots Course at RAF Boscombe Down.
In 1945 Baudoux transferred to the RCAF and served in many capacities including: time as the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Winter Experimental Establishment, as CO of the Central Experimental and Proving Establishment where he flew the “Flying Wing” as well as the first flight of the CF-100. Staff tours at Air Force Headquarters followed but he completed his career as CO of CFB Greenwood and retired in August 1968.
G/C Baudoux served with distinction for many years with noteworthy achievements in many fields including that of Maritime operations.
DOUGLAS DIGBY 747 OF 10 BOMBER RECONNAISSANCE (BR) SQUADRON SINKS U-520
In December of 1939, the RCAF ordered 20 Douglas twin engine B-18 “Bolo” Bombers. Intended for the Maritime Reconnaissance role, the aircraft were fitted with extra fuel and oil tanks, wing and propeller de-icing equipment and wing flotation compartments. The aircraft, serial numbers 738 to 757, began arriving in December 1939 and in January, it was officially named the “Digby” after the Nova Scotia town of that name. Like many other aircraft from the USA, they were flown to Pembina, North Dakota and crossed the border to Canada drawn by horse teams and then flown to Winnipeg.
Initially assigned to 10 (BR) Squadron at Dartmouth, five aircraft were immediately re-assigned to Gander, Newfoundland closer to the North Atlantic convoy routes. From June 1940 until April 1941, five aircraft were rotated between Gander and Dartmouth until April when all squadron aircraft were moved to Gander.
In October, the squadron was very active in support of Convoy SC107 which was under attack by thirteen U-Boats of Veilchen Wolfpack. The Wolfpack sank 13 ships of Convoy SC107. At the same time, there was a further three Type IX U-Boats just south of the Veilchen Wolfpack but they took no part in the attacks on SC107. This trio, made up of U-520, U-521 and U-522 encountered no ships and so were transferred to the area just off Halifax and the approaches to the St Lawrence. U-520 was on its first operational patrol and had departed Kiel on October 3, 1942.
At 2002 hours on October 30, 1942 Digby 747, PB-X of 10 (BR) Squadron, was returning to Gander from a submarine patrol with Convoy ON-140 when the crew visually sighted U-520 115 miles due east of St John’s. F/O Raymes descended the Digby from 3,200 feet and set up an attack by approaching the submarine directly along its track from astern. Four Amatol MK VII depth charges were dropped and the co-pilot F/O Leigh watched huge bubbles and large quantities of oil come to the surface until darkness fell about 30 minutes later. U-520 was sunk with the loss of all hands.
The upper portion of the painting displays the Digby attack while the lower section displays the aircraft on return to Gander being met by the Station Commander and to his left will be seen S/L J.M. Young, the 10 (BR) Squadron Commander. Being greeted are F/O Raymes, Pilot, F/O Leigh, Co-pilot, P/O Johnson, Wireless Operator and last, with his always heavy load, the Navigator, F/O Martin. Two other crew members, Sgt Bede and Sgt Gilfillan had not yet exited the aircraft.
Although the Digby continued operations throughout the war, this was its only submarine sinking.
Colonel Ronald F. “Ruff” Johnson, OMM, CD
Ruff Johnson was born 5 February, 1926 in the mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. In 1944, eager to join in the wartime fray, he did successive stints in the RCAF and RN Fleet Air Arm. At war’s end, he resumed his education at St Francis Xavier University and TUNES (now Dalhousie) where he graduated with an engineering degree in 1949. While at university, he earned his pilot’s wings over three summers in the first post-war RCAF pilot training program. On graduation, he transferred to the permanent force element of the RCAF. On completion of the Maritime Operational Training Unit (OTU) he began operational flying on the venerable Lancaster, first on 405 Squadron and later on 404 Squadron. Missions were varied and challenging as were the training exercises with naval forces out of bases around the periphery of the Atlantic. October of 1952 saw a change in scenery for F/L Johnson on posting to the newly formed 407 Squadron at RCAF Station Comox. Again, the aircraft was the Lancaster and missions were largely surveillance in nature with frequent visits to US Naval air stations adding much interest.
In June of 1955, he began a series of ground tours including one at the RCAF Staff School followed by a year at the RAF Staff College in the UK. In 1966, he returned to flying duties after a third refresher at 2 (Maritime) OTU on Neptune aircraft preparatory to a second tour at 405 Squadron flying the Argus aircraft. At this time, the ASW role was very different: the nuclear submarine was the quarry and passive acoustics constituted the main search sensor. In August 1968, now a Lieutenant-Colonel, he was appointed Commanding Officer of 415 “Swordfish” Squadron at RCAF Station Summerside. Under his leadership, the 415 crews acquitted themselves well on all major exercises.
Next came a tour at Maritime Air Command HQ as Senior Staff Officer Operational Readiness Air for all squadrons: Argus, Sea King and Tracker. A most noteworthy achievement was the introduction of the Maritime Air Standardization Team (MAST); a formal standards and training program for all Maritime aircrew. For his success with this and other programs, he was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Military Merit.
A final career posting took him to the Directorate of Maritime Aviation at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. Selection of the Aurora to replace the Argus was a highlight. Another significant achievement was obtaining formal approval in 1979 to begin the Sea King replacement studies.
Col Johnson devoted 19 years of his RCAF career to Maritime aviation; his leadership and professional skills place him amongst the best of a thoroughly dedicated and professional group of Maritime aviators.
Major Derrick Hotte, Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR
(Canadian designation OP MOBILE)
Long Range Patrol Air Expeditionary Units deployed in 2011 to Operation Unified Protector, Canada designation OP MOBILE, a NATO-led effort to impose on Libya the arms embargo and no-fly zone authorized in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 of 17 March 2011, which called on the international community to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas in Libya. The first Detachment Commander, Major Derrick Hotte, and personnel of 405, 407 and 14 Air Maintenance Squadrons, and 14 and 19 Wing operations, administration, logistics and engineering branches comprised the CP-140 Long Range Patrol Air Expeditionary Unit (LRP-AEU). They deployed on little notice, declared operational readiness, and began flying within days of arrival in theatre, completing 99 percent of their missions, flying over 180 sorties, and accumulating over 1400 hours. The first week’s operations were traditional Maritime Patrol (MP) but very quickly evolved into non-traditional and critical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions in the near-land and overland environment, and targeting support to both Naval Gunfire (NGS) and strike aircraft, while continuing to provide essential operational and tactical level surveillance and reconnaissance.
The overwhelming success of the operation was due directly to the incredible professionalism, adaptability and dedication of each and every member of that initial rotation ‘0’ deployment, and the equal efforts of all the personnel that contributed to subsequent deployments over the 7-months operation.
WING COMMANDER JERAULD G. WRIGHT, DFC, CD, MiD
Wing Commander Wright was born in Nova Scotia in August, 1917 and was educated there before joining the RCAF in 1940. He was awarded his Observer wing and Sergeant’s stripes and proceeded overseas on assignment to 240 Squadron, RAF flying Stranraer aircraft. Soon thereafter, he converted to the Catalina at Loch Erne, Ireland. Just prior to his 25 ½ hour reconnaissance flight to Spitzbergen, Jerry had married the Scottish physiotherapist who had helped him recover after losing the fingertips of his right hand to a Catalina’s propeller. Thereafter, his navigation logs were typed on a small portable that accompanied him everywhere.
A Far East tour provided further innovative opportunities that resulted in his attending the Specialist Navigation Course in England. In 1946, he returned to Canada and the ANS Test and Development Section where he began development of the Synchronous Astro Compass; eventually a part of the Air Navigation and Tactical Control System (ANTAC) later fitted to the Neptune and Argus aircraft. Next came Air Force HQ and development of the ANTAC, the R-Theta Computer in the CF-100 and the Position Homing Indicator MK V fitted to the CF-104. His thirty patents earned Canada over a million dollars in royalties.
Staff College in 1957 was followed by a tour at the Naval Research Establishment where he was involved with radar, sonar and hydrofoil developments. The Joint Services Staff College in England in 1960 preceded another tour at National Defence HQ in the Directorate of Instruments and Electrical Engineering.
After retiring in 1960, Jerry began JGW Systems Ltd and was a consultant on many projects by industry as well as government, including the National Research Council. Several inventions were forthcoming during this period. After that, he developed a series of housing construction forms that constituted the basis of the “Wright” designed prefabricated housing that was built in the Dominican Republic.
A Spec ‘N’, Jerry was an Honorary Member of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation, a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, a Member of the Society for Technical Communications, and a member of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. He was awarded the Inventor’s Award from the Canadian Government Patent and Development Corporation, the McKee Trans-Canada Trophy for outstanding contributions to Canadian Aviation and is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.
LCol Brendan Cook MSM, CD. Operation IMPACT
Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Forces’ (CF) contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF) – the multinational coalition to halt and degrade Daesh. Under Operation IMPACT, the CF conducts air operations and provides training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces, capacity building capabilities to regional forces, and support to the coalition with highly-skilled personnel.
The CP140 Aurora contribution to Operation IMPACT departed 14 Wing Greenwood 24 October 2014. The first Long Range Patrol Detachment (LRP Det) consisted of two modernized Block 3 CP140 Auroras (aka CP140M) specifically modified for the mission and approximately 75 aircrew, maintainers and support staff. This deployment was the first overland Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) role for the modernized Aurora - a relatively modest tactical investment that provided huge returns for Canada and the Coalition. Op IMPACT was supported by the entire CP140 community with personnel and expertise, both operational and support. By Rotation 4 (ROTO 4), the LRP Det had flown well over 500 combat missions, accumulating more than 4000 combat hours, executing its mission with a 96% mission success rate, gathering valuable intelligence in support of coalition operations in the air and on the ground. Like any operation, ROTO 0 had its specific challenges, with planning and training tightly constrained, leaving only 6 weeks to plan, train and deploy for the mission. During this phase, 404 (LRP&T) Squadron (Sqn) prepared highly-realistic simulator scenarios on short notice for the deploying crews, enabling them to conduct mission rehearsals - a first for the LRP Fleet. After arriving at the deployed location, the Det was challenged with establishing the physical infra-structure and communications necessary to support operations, achieved with tight coordination with both Canadian and U.S. units operating from the deployed base in Kuwait. Lastly, despite the aircrew, technicians and support staff having to contend with an unforgiving environment of sand storms, intense heat, unpredictable weather in the operations area, scorpions and camel spiders, or enemy fire, the members of ROTO 0 persevered to ensure success.
The painting on display here is a testament to incredible determination, perseverance and operational excellence displayed by the LRP Det during ROTO 0 – a legacy of excellence that has continued through each subsequent rotation of personnel. This commitment and tenacity is recognized and incorporated into the LRP Det official patch (depicted), which shows a CP140M Aurora coming to life as a scorpion over the back drop of a map of Iraq. LCol Brendan Cook MSM, CD served as the ROTO 0 LRP Detachment Commander. His image in this picture is representative of all those who have and still are participating in this operation with honour and distinction.
This painting was commissioned and presented to the Museum by the Greenwood Art Association September 2016; the artist is Peter Robichaud.
AIRBORNE MAPPING UNIT
In late February 2009, 14 Wing Greenwood was directed to provide a Long Range Patrol Detachment to deploy for aerial mapping missions over Afghanistan. Led by Lieutenant-Colonel James A. Irvine, the “Air Mapping Unit” was comprised of air and ground crews from both Greenwood and Comox, as well as geographic survey specialists from the Mapping and Charting Establishment in Ottawa. The unit deployed to the theatre of operations on 28 April 2009.
Crews were tasked to map all of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan, the primary area where the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) were operating at that time, and other areas of interest to Australian, American, British and Dutch allies, but only upon completion of the Canadian mapping requirements. To accomplish the mapping and imagery mission, a specialized “Applanix” camera system was installed in the same aircraft camera bay that held the legacy KA107 reconnaissance camera.
Due to their great professionalism the air, ground and mapping crews were able to overcome many operational, environmental and logistical challenges and completed all the tasked mapping areas and some extra in support of allied operations.
Area of Afghanistan mapped – 114,000+ square kilometers
Hours flown (operational on station) – 129.7
Hours flown (total including all transits) – 260.2
Missions lost due to maintenance – Zero
Missions impacted by maintenance – 1 (2.5 mission hours lost due to delayed departure)
Missions lost due to weather and sandstorms – 4.5 missions
CATALINA M/240 & BISMARCK
The sinking of the German battleship Bismarck was a most significant event of WWII for, at that time, Britain was suffering a shortage of supplies caused by the destruction of Atlantic convoys. Though losses resulted mainly from U-Boats, an Atlantic raid by the German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sank 30 merchant ships. A successful breakout by the Bismarck could inflict further heavy convoy losses and seriously degrade Britain’s ability to sustain her defences.
The Bismarck, 42,000 tons displacement, was built in Hamburg by the Blohm and Voss shipyard. It was launched February 14, 1940 and was commissioned in August. Sea trials showed her to have a top speed of 30.8 knots but also a serious fault; an inability to steer well with propellers alone and this was to contribute to her downfall later. On May 17, 1941 Bismarck began her maiden voyage on Exercise ‘Rhine’ – a breakout to raid Atlantic convoys – accompanied by the cruiser Prinz Eugen. During a fuel stop in Bergen, Norway on May 21, she was photographed by a Coastal Command Spitfire and the hunt was on.
The Bismarck and Prinz Eugen were detected in the Denmark Strait by two Royal Navy cruisers. Two battleships, HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, intercepted the Bismarck. In the ensuing battle, Bismarck sank the Hood and damaged the Prince of Wales. The Bismarck also sustained damage, however, and was forced to seek a port – Brest being the choice. The two British cruisers, using radar, continued shadowing the Bismarck while other elements of the British Fleet were directed onto her but without success. On May 25th, the cruisers lost contact and Prince Eugen escaped to raid the Atlantic convoys. On May 26th, Catalina ‘Z’ of 209 Squadron located Bismarck and radioed her position to Coastal Command before losing contact again. Contact was regained by Catalina ‘M’ of 240 Squadron who then shadowed her for five hours, regularly reporting her position. That evening, a torpedo dropped from a Swordfish flown off of HMS Ark Royal crippled Bismarck’s rudders and put her at the mercy of the British Fleet which began firing on her at 8:49 AM May 27, 1941. The Bismarck sank at 10:39 AM that day.
The painting shows Bismarck firing on ‘M’ 240 on one of three occasions. It is a companion to the portrait of F/L G. Williams and was gifted to the Greenwood Art Association by the artist, Don Connolly.
The Greenwood Art Association (GAA) was initiated in 2001 by three former Maritime aircrew members: Colonel (Ret’d) Morris D. Gates, OMM, CD; Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret’d) Gordon G. Hynes, CD; and Colonel (Ret’d) R. Douglas Beaman, CD to commission and place artwork into the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum that would help preserve the heritage of Maritime Air Aviation and, particularly, the stories of airmen who contributed in some noteworthy way. Beyond individual portraits, the artwork was to include paintings of significant events in Maritime air operations from the earliest days of Maritime Aviation until the present time. The artwork was to be funded from monies donated by former Maritime airmen, hopefully sufficient to contribute two paintings per year. As part of the agreement, all artwork is available on loan to the Comox Air Museum.
From its inception in 2001 until 2012, the Art Association exceeded its expectations of two paintings per year, placing 50 paintings in the museum over its 10-year span. In 2012, the final presentations were made by Colonel Gates and Beaman, and the management of the Association was relinquished to younger hands Colonel (Ret’d) Brian G. Handley, OMM, CD; with the intent that the artwork should begin to reflect more recent individuals and events. Seven more paintings have been donated since then, with an eighth scheduled for unveiling March 27, 2018.
To lend the Association added credibility, two patrons were appointed – both were former Maritime airmen who had achieved very senior rank – Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) Harold A. Carswell, CMM, CD; and Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) Patrick O’Donnell, CMM, CD.
Donations to the GAA are tax deductible. Download GAA Donation Form
Greenwood Art Association
Major W. George Dunlop, MMM, CD
George was born in Kincardine, Ontario in July 1932 and completed both public and high school there before joining the RCAF in December 1950. At the Aircrew Selection Centre, London, Ontario he was selected for Radio Officer Training at RCAF Station Clinton, Ontario. On graduation in 1951 he won his wings and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer.
After completing operational training at 2(M) OTU he was transferred to 404 Maritime Patrol (MP) at Greenwood, Nova Scotia. After two years of operational flying he was transferred to the OTU as an instructor, first on gunnery then as a Radio Officer following his Staff Officer Radio Instructor Course. He also qualified at the Junior Officers Administrative Course. Three years later he served at Maritime Command HQ on the air staff and in 1962 he returned to flying duties on Neptune P2V-7 aircraft with 407(MP) Squadron in Comox, BC. He was selected for further training at the Electronic Warfare Course in California and returned to 407 Squadron and assumed a position of leadership in the Standards Section. In 1967 he served on recruiting duties in Hamilton, Ontario for two years and was then cross-trained as navigator and returned to 404 Squadron. The squadron was now flying the Argus aircraft and Captain Dunlop soon qualified as the Tactical Coordinator on his crew and in that capacity saw the crew to the winners circle for the O’Bien Trophy and then to compete in Singapore for the Fincastle Trophy against Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Again his outstanding ability saw him assigned to the Standards Section on 404 Squadron. In 1972 Captain Dunlop was proposed as the outstanding Maritime airman from Greenwood to be decorated under the recently introduced Order of Military Merit. He was made a Member (MMM) of that Order in 1973. Next came a tour at 1 Canadian Air Group in Germany followed by another tour in Maritime Air Group HQ. On retirement Major Dunlop joined the Reserves and served at Maritime Air Group on the team designing the automation system for the HQ and then spent two summers with the Air Cadet Camp at Greenwood.
Major Dunlop ceased military activity in 1986 after 30 years of dedicated service and with a reputation as “an outstanding Maritime Airman” – a reputation that was well deserved.
Flight Lieutenant Edward Albert (Ted) De Long, CD
In late 1940’s the growing submarine fleet of the Soviet Union threatened the North Atlantic sealanes and Maritime Air Group was formed to supplement the RCN anti-submarine forces. No. 2 Operational Training Unit (OTU) and 405 Squadron and 404 Squadrons were activated with MK-X Lancasters taken from storage. They were inadequately equipped for their task; their main detection systems being basic sonobouys, an outdated and unreliable H2S Search Radar and a searchlight. New techniques and technology were needed. Into this scene came a young RCAF officer whose vision and determination was to make a difference.
“Ted” DeLong was born in West Lorne, Ontario in May 1928 and was educated there and at Royal Roads Military College before enlisting in the RCAF. He received his Navigator Wings at the Air Navigation School, Summerside, PEI in 1950. Following graduation from 2 (M) OTU he served with 405 Squadron, Greenwood until 1952 when he joined the Joint Maritime Warfare School (JMWS). During this tour he became particularly interested in the application of underwater acoustic methods to detect and track submerged submarines, whether snorkelling or operating on battery. He was requested to brief the annual Tripartite Sonobuoy Conference on his idea of tracking a submerged submarine by using a small explosive charge as the sound source to effectively make a passive sonobuoy active. His briefing attracted the attention of both US Navy officers and influential persons in industry. This led to “Project Julie” and eventual adoption of “Julie” as an operational tracking system.
Ted’s next position - 1954 to 1956 - was a new one at Maritime Air Command Headquarters (MACHQ) as Staff Officer Development and Evaluation (SOD&E). While with SOD&E, Ted’s reputation with the US Navy led to mutual discussions and with Bell Telephone Laboratories about long range submarine detection and identification employing passive acoustic methods. They resulted in equipment trials on a 404 Squadron Lancaster and the beginning of “Project Jezebel”. The use of the 404 Lancaster brought about the Test and Development Flight and eventually the Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit (MP&EU).
Ted never saw the end results of these two major projects as a posting took him to Air Force Headquarters in 1956 for service in the Directorate of Operational Requirements. In 1960 Ted obtained his release from the RCAF and gained employment with industry in the field of Maritime equipment development.
Ted DeLong’s vision, his leadership skills and his dedication resulted in several outstanding contributions in the field of Anti-submarine warfare and this portrait is presented in recognition of those contributions.
Chief Warrant Officer Peter Sayers, CD
CWO Peter Sayers joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in Nanaimo, BC 16 October 1951. He received his basic training in St Jean, PQ and his trades training in Camp Borden, ON specializing in Rolls-Royce V12 engines for bomber reconnaissance and transport aircraft. His first posting was to 426 (Transport) Squadron in Lachine, PQ.
426 Squadron aircraft flew from Dorval airport to destinations throughout the world. With the Korean conflict ending at this time, Chief Sayers missed going to Japan; instead he was posted to North Luffenhan, England on a three-month detachment.
In the fall of 1954, he began Flight Engineer training in Trenton, ON, subsequently returning to Lachine as a Flight Engineer on North Star aircraft. During this tour, he saw all provinces and territories in Canada and many countries throughout the world – from Hong Kong to Leopoldville in the Congo.
Cross-training to P2V-7 Neptune aircraft in 1958 saw the start of his Maritime Patrol flying with postings to Comox, BC; Summerside, PEI; Halifax, NS; and Greenwood, NS. During his posting to Summerside with 2 (Maritime) Operational Training Unit (OTU), he was a Flight Engineer instructor for five years.
In October 1960, the Chief was called back to 426 Squadron for the United Nations Emergency Force, as the Squadron was short of Flight Engineers. This detached posting included time in Resolute Bay, NWT; Zweibrucken, Germany; Decimomannu, Sardinia; Shannon, Ireland; Gutersloh, Germany; Pisa, Italy; Idris, Libya; Kano, Nigeria; Leopoldville, Belgian Congo; and Lisbon, Portugal.
He returned to 407 Squadron, Comox, BC mid-December 1960 and later held positions in Maritime Command Headquarters, Halifax with the Maritime Aircrew Standards Team, the Military Manpower Distribution Centre South Street and, finally, as Base Chief Warrant Officer at 14 Wing Greenwood, NS.
During his career as a Flight Engineer, CWO Sayers accumulated 14,000 hours in the North Star, Neptune, Argus and Aurora aircraft, flying with 426 Transport, 2 (M) OTU, and 407, 415 and 405 Maritime Patrol Squadrons.
CWO Sayers retired in 1986 with 35 years of service in the RCAF and Canadian Forces, then joined the Atlantic Region Air Cadet Organization for eight years and, since 2000, has been doing volunteer work with the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum.
Major Harold Morris Macleod, CD, Bronze Star (Netherlands)
Harold Morris Macleod was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, on 25 September, 1022 and gained his education there. In 1942, he joined the RCAF, completed Manning Depot and then gained his pilot’s wings at 20 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) in Oshawa and 16 Service Flying Training School, Hagersville. Next came a course in Navigation at Summerside, PEI followed by a transfer to England in Stirling aircraft. He served with 620 Squadron until shot down on 21 September 1944 during the airborne invasion of Holland. He spent the balance of the war in Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany. Post war he was awarded the Netherlands Bronze Star in recognition of his participation in the liberation of that country.
Following the war, he served with 435 Squadron in Edmonton, then as the Resident Staff Officer at Queens University, Kingston. In December 1952, “Hal” returned to flying duties on Lancaster aircraft with 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron operating out of Greenwood, Nova Scotia. In 1955, he converted onto the new anti-submarine aircraft, the P2V Neptune and he and his crew delivered the first of these new aircraft to Greenwood from Burbank, California. He next served at Maritime Command HQ in Halifax as Staff Officer Tactics.
Following Staff College in Toronto, he served at Air Force HQ in Ottawa until 1961 when he began a tour of duty at the Canadian Joint Staff in London as the personnel officer. Four years later, he returned to Greenwood and converted onto the Argus aircraft and once again began anti-submarine patrol duties with 405 Squadron where he completed his military service on September 25, 1969 in the rank of Major.
Following retirement, he attended Acadia University and earned a BA and BEd in 1972 and was also awarded the Birks Gold Medal in Education. He then taught at Cornwallis District High School for 12 years before retiring once again.
Of particular note, Hal served for many years as assistant editor of Maritime Patrol Aviation magazine to which he contributed many fine articles on Maritime Patrol aircraft of many nations.
In war and peace, Major “Hal” Macleod was a credit to his service and to his country.
Lockheed Hudson MK III
The Lockheed Hudson was derived from the Lockheed 14 Super Electra transport. The Hudson first flew in December, 1938 and entered squadron service with the RAF in February, 1939 as a General Reconnaissance (GR) aircraft and Navigation Trainer. A total of 2,584 aircraft were
produced and it was flown by many nations in various versions; from MK I to MK VI and also as the A-28, A:-28A, A-28B, A-29, A-29A, A-29B, AT-18 and AT-18A. One version was as a rescue aircraft carrying a life boat that was dropped to crews who had been forced to ditch their aircraft. It served in most combat theatres during WW II.
The Hudson aircraft assigned to No. 36 Operational Training Unit at Greenwood were MK III aircraft. On 11 May, 1942 the first 20 students commenced training. Student crews of pilots, navigators and gunners formed prior to flying training made up of advanced flying, navigation training, night searchlight sorties and submarine bombing and gunnery. Some aircraft were fully armed for training of both bombing and gunnery while others were unarmed aircraft for pilot and navigation training. The MK III had a wingspan of 65 feet 6 inches, a length of 44 feet 4 inches and a height of 11 feet 10 1/2 inches. It had an all-up weight of 18,500 lbs. It was powered by two 1,200 horsepower engines giving it a maximum speed of 246 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 24,500 feet and a range of 1,960 miles. When armed it had seven 0.303 Browning machines guns and an internal bomb load of 750 lbs of bombs or depth charges.
At one point there were 64 Hudsons serving at Greenwood in the training role but also doing operational patrols in the Bay of Fundy. Beginning in 1942 Greenwood was converting to a Mosquito OTU and when the first "Mossie" arrived in March 1943, the Hudsons were reduced in strength until by June there were only 21 left on strength. On 3 October, 1943 the last Hudson was struck off strength at Greenwood.
The painting shows Hudson BW 642 attacking "Ile Haute" which was a tactic taught at 36 OTU for use in the anti-shipping role the Hudson was often employed in while operating out of the UK. One RCAF squadron within Coastal Command and so employed was 407 (GR) "Demon"
Squadron. Indeed, personnel who having completed a tour of operations with 407 overseas were returned to Canada to be instructors at No. 36 OTU.
The concept for this painting came from a 1942 student of 36 OTU, Sergeant (later F/L) D. M. (Smoky) McLennan who described the tactic as one being taught by the returning 407 Squadron aircrew instructors
Major Douglas Haig MacLeod, CD
Doug was born 30 may, 1929 in Hartsville, PEI. He was educated there and began his working life as a teacher in the one room schoolhouse in Springfield PEI before moving to Moncton, NB and a position with Eaton’s. In 1951 Doug joined the RCAF as a radio and radar technician, but before completing that training he was selected for aircrew training and in 1952 he gained his navigator wings and a commission as a Pilot Officer. He then began operational flying with Maritime Command at Greenwood NS on 405 “Eagle” Squadron.
Over the next 24 years Doug served in many capacities; as an instructor; as a Liaison Officer with the Navy—where he gained a “watchkeeping” certificate— as member of the Greenwood Operations Staff; and again on flying operations with 404 Squadron where he was the last Commanding Officer of the “Buffaloes” before it became the training squadron. During these many years Doug became a legend among Maritime airmen for his unceasing good humour and his part in many “noteworthy” incidents that became “stories of the times”. There were many such stories over the years and the name “Black Doug” attached itself to him and the legend that eventually surrounded those incidents that were told and re-told by Maritime airmen for more than two decades. But it would be wrong to imply that Doug had a light-hearted approach to his duties. Not so, he was an accomplished Maritime airman and his many thousands of flying hours attest to his professionalism, often unassuming, but ever present.
Doug’s interest in aviation extended beyond his Air Force experience and he gained a private pilots license and was soon instructing in that field. And these newfound talents soon saw him active with the Air Cadet gliding program. Following his retirement from the Forces he became head of the Atlantic Provinces gliding program for the Air Cadet League, a position he held for four years.
In 1980 Doug began yet another career when he and wife, Jean, moved to the west coast where he was instructing at a local flying club for a number of years before starting his own business, the “MacLeod School of Aviation”. As expected, it prospered and soon he had five aircraft and four staff instructors and an office manager.
Sadly, Doug was killed in an automobile accident in June of 2002, but not before he had realized his life’s dream— a full career in aviation. He did that in full measure. In a very large circle of airmen “Black Doug” was colourful because of his ability to turn the commonplace and mundane into an event that sparkled with common sense and good humour. He was a warm a generous person, everyone’s friend. To several generations of airmen the name “Black Doug” carries a significance of its own.
Colonel (Ret’d) Herb Smale, CD
Herb Smale joined the RCAF in 1946 and earned his Radio Officer Wings in 1949 and was posted to 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron at RCAF Station Greenwood. During the next 25 years his career was confined to Maritime Patrol operations. He commanded 407 Squadron based at Comox, British Columbia and his final appointment was as the Base Commander of CFB Greenwood in 1971. He retired as a Colonel from Greenwood in 1974.
During his command of 407 Squadron, he initiated the P-2000 Club to foster fellowship amongst Maritime aviators. In 1970 this club, again on Herb’s initiative, evolved into VP International with its permanent Headquarters in Greenwood. Since that time VPI has expanded into a worldwide association of 16 countries with over 5,000 members. This organization is unique in military aviation history for its proven ability over 35 years of fostering fellowship and professionalism amongst Maritime aircrew. The VPI Magazine Herb coached into creation has helped create and strengthen these characteristics. He was also instrumental in creating the VPI Memorial located at Greenwood that honours the airmen who have give their lives while serving on Maritime Operations. In conjunction with the Memorial, Herb initiated the creation of the Book of Remembrance that records the names of over 1800 aircrew who lost their lives during Maritime flying operations. In April, 2000, when serving as Honorary Colonel of CFB Greenwood, Herb was awarded the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service – a most deserved reward for the leadership he provided over many years to VP International.
Herb’s portrait is displayed in the VPI section at the Museum.
Chief Warrant Officer Allan Blair Stewart, SC, CD
Allan “Blair” Stewart was born in O’Leary, PEI in 1947 but gained his education in Ottawa. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1965 and was trained as an Electrician. He served on HMCS Cape Scott until 1970 when he remustered to the Observer trade and gained his wings in April 1971. Operational training was followed by a tour with 405 Squadron flying on the CP-107 Argus aircraft.
Beginning in 1975, Master Corporal Stewart served two years in a non-flying position at CFB Kingston before a return to flying duties on the Argus with 415 Squadron at CFB Summerside until 1981. At that time, he was remustered to the newly formed Airborne Electronics Equipment Operator (AESOP) trade.
Sergeant Stewart next converted to the Sea King helicopter and was posted to flying duties out of CFB Shearwater. The majority of his flying was with the Helicopter Air Detachment operating from HMCS Iroquois. It was here that Sergeant Stewart earned the Star of Courage medal for rescue work from the Iroquois on December 5, 1983. A Korean merchant ship, No. 5 Ho Ming, had encountered heavy weather off Newfoundland and while a rescue attempt had been made the night of 4/5 December, the darkness and bad weather precluded a successful mission. In a further daylight attempt, Sergeant Stewart’s part was to help recover some of the sailors from the foundering ship and he did so by being lowered by winch to the canted and slippery deck of the ship to first assist 8 sailors to be hoisted aboard the Sea King and landed safely aboard Iroquois. On a second Sea King trip, he assisted the remaining three sailors aboard the Sea King and, last to leave, he was winched aboard and all returned to the deck of Iroquois. Sergeant Stewart was not a trained rescue specialist and he exhibited extreme bravery in undertaking such a dangerous task in bad weather that would have challenged a highly trained Search and Rescue Technician. For his exceptional courage he was awarded the “Star of Courage” (SC) medal.
In 1984, Sergeant Stewart completed conversion on the CP-140 Aurora aircraft and served with 405 Squadron at CFB Greenwood and was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer.
In 1988, in the rank of MWO, he served with 404 Patrol and Training Squadron until 1994 when he moved to the CFB Greenwood Maritime Air Standards Team and completed a tour there before being promoted to Chief Warrant Officer and returning to 404 Squadron as its Squadron Chief Warrant Officer; a position he held until his retirement in 2002 after a very notable 37 years of service and 5600 hours of flying.
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER WILLIAM TATARCHUK, CD
Bill was born 29 September, 1920 in Alberta and gained his education there. He was engaged in farming until 1942 when he joined the RCAF and qualified as an Air Frame Mechanic (AFM). During the war, he served at many stations including St. Thomas, Claresholm, Calgary, Vancouver and Regina. He was discharged in December 1944 and returned to Vancouver.
After a short period with the postal service, in March 1946 he rejoined the RCAF at Sea Island in BC and again served as an AFM. In 1948, he was re-mustered to the new trade if Airframe Technician (AFTech). He served at RCAF Station Sea Island until posted to Whitehorse, Yukon in 1951 where he remained until 1954 when he moved to 404 Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) Squadron at Greenwood, NS after attending No. 2 Maritime Operational Training Unit (OTU). He later moved to RCAF Station Summerside, PEI where he instructed at the OTU before returning to Greenwood in 1958 as an instructor at the Argus Conversion Unit.
In June of 1959, Flight Sergeant Tatarchuk re-mustered to the Flight Engineer trade and was posted to the Central Experimental and Proving Establishment (CE & PE) at Uplands, ON and crewed on the Argus undergoing the navigation system trials which involved him in the first high arctic flight employing a navigation system using a true north reference. From 1965, he next served with 436 (Transport) Squadron at Uplands until promoted to Chief Warrant Officer and posted to 435 (Transport) Squadron at Edmonton, AB where he served as the Chief Flight Engineer. In 1971, he returned to the Argus and the Maritime role serving with 404 “Buffalo” Squadron as the Chief Flight Engineer. In 1972, he was a member of the crew that won the O’Brien Trophy for the best Canadian Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) crew that travelled to Singapore to challenge the best crews from the RAF, RAAF and RNZAF for the Fincastle Trophy.
Bill, or “Tat” as he was known to his friends, retired in 1973 and returned to Edmonton where he was very active with the air cadets, producing the best squadron in 1979 and generating over 20 air cadet scholarships. Bill died in December, 1986.
Chief Warrant Officer Tatarchuk’s performance throughout his service, both at war and during peace, on his ground duties and later as a Flight Engineer was of a superior level of professional competence which he combined with outstanding leadership. Wherever he served, he was recognized as an airman of superior abilities and achievement. He was truly representative of the outstanding personnel that gave the Canadian Air Force its reputation for excellence.
Flight Lieutenant Gaynor P. Williams
Gaynor Williams was born 22 September 1921 in Baysland, Alberta. He joined the RCAF in April 1940, graduated as a Sgt Observer and joined 240(RAF) Squadron in 1941, flying Stranraer aircraft on coastal patrols out of Scotland.
In March 1941 240 Sqn converted to Catalina aircraft and relocated to Lough Erne, Ireland. At 0410Z 26 May Sgt William’s crew departs in Catalina M/240 to search for the German Battleship Bismarck. Catalina Z/209 first sights the Bismarck but loses it in poor weather. Enroute to the reported position Sgt Williams suggests a plan of action and twenty minutes later they sight Bismarck. Closing, they encounter flak but manage to escape using low cloud and rain squalls as cover. They continued to shadow the great ship reporting its position to headquarters. After shadowing the Bismarck for five and half-hours they return to base, 20 hours after take-off.
On 8 July 1942, Gaynor Williams, now a Pilot Officer, and his crew were deployed from their home base in Scotland to search for the German battleship Tirpitz in an area off northern Norway. On completion of an unsuccessful search they landed in a small lake a few miles south of Archangel, Russia. On 10 July they were tasked to conduct a search for survivors from Convoy PQ17 that had lost 23 ships out of 33 to enemy action during the past few days. (The navigation logs and charts of this 10 July flight have been reconstructed and are on display in the Museum as part of the Air Navigator’s Display.
Later in July 1942 240 Squadron moves to Madras, India and routine patrols of the Indian Ocean follow. In 1943 F/L Williams is assigned as navigator to Lord Louis Mountbatten on his special Dakota “Sister Ann” and makes many VIP flights from New Delhi. It was here that he adopted the "Bush Hat” as protection against the Indian sun. Commenting later on his unofficial headgear Gaynor had this to say, “As far as I know I was the only Canadian airman to wear such a hat. I was the lone RCAF Canadian in New Delhi… the station commander didn’t know what Canadian airmen wore.” Gaynor returned to Canada in December 1944 and finished the war as an instructor at No. 1 Air Observer School where it had all begun for him some five years before.
Celebrating our 25th Anniversary
Flight Lieutenant Robert Morrison Aldwinckle, DFC
Robert Morrison Aldwinckle was born 28 July 1920 in England. He came to Canada as a child and had completed one year at the University of Toronto before joining the RCAF in August 1940. Awarded his pilots wings, he attended No. 13 Operational Training Unit (OTU) at Patricia Bay, BC training for duty with a Bomber Reconnaissance (BR) squadron. He began operations with 116 BR Squadron at Dartmouth on Catalina aircraft. Next came service with 10 BR Squadron Detachment in Yarmouth which shortly thereafter was renamed as 162 Squadron. While with 162 Squadron in Dartmouth he received a “Mention in Despatches”. In response to an urgent situation he went to Gander, Newfoundland in January 1943 flying Canso aircraft on Atlantic convoy protection patrols.
After converting to the B-24 Liberator in June he returned to 10 BR Squadron at Gander and resumed flying Atlantic patrols that now closed the “Atlantic Gap” - the U-Boat killing grounds during the period known as the “Happy Times”. On 26 October 1943 while patrolling in Liberator A586 Aldwinckle spotted a submarine on the surface and initiated a depth charge attack. The submarine saw the aircraft and began to dive and the attack weapon was changed to a “Zombie” – a top secret homing torpedo not to be used for surface attacks. The submarine then elected to remain surfaced and fight back with its two 20 MM anti-aircraft guns. The attack weapon was altered to a stick of six depth charges—but only one exploded. The submarine returned fire and Aldwinckle circled out of the guns range and attempted to get a second aircraft to the scene, but failed. A ruse of an open message declaring a return to base because of fuel shortage caused the submarine to dive at which time a second attack using the Zombie and two remaining depth charges was initiated. The attack appeared successful and was later confirmed—they had sunk U-420. During their return to base they attacked a second submarine with guns only and forced it to submerge. Flight Lieutenant (F/L) Aldwinckle was awarded the DFC for “his initiative and devotion to duty have at all times been exemplary”.
Subsequent duties saw F/L Aldwinckle promoted to Squadron Leader, posted to Eastern Air Command HQ and then to the Operations Staff at Air Force HQ where he was demobilized in May 1945.
He returned to the University of Toronto for one year but in 1946 he rejoined the RCAF and, while on leave-without-pay, he attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He graduated with a degree in Engineering Science, and returned to full time RCAF service in the Aeronautical Engineering Branch until 1971 when he retired in the rank of Brigadier General. He had a second career working in several federal government departments. After full retirement Brigadier General Aldwinckle remained in Ottawa where he died in 2003.
Major Bert Campbell, CD
Albert Sampson Campbell, “Bert”, was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia and completed his education in Chatham, New Brunswick in 1966 and joined the RCAF that same year. He graduated as an Electronic System Officer in 1967 at the Air Navigation School (ANS) in Winnipeg where his father presented him with his wings. After completing the Maritime OTU he converted onto the Argus aircraft and served with 405 Squadron.
On Squadron, he quickly gained Lead Radio Officer status and also developed a sonobuoy placement method and a number of improved Arctic Communications techniques. An extra duty saw him develop the Base First Aid Training Program that continues to this day. In 1974, he served briefly at the Base Test Flight before returning to the ANS for Navigation Training. Next was a tour with 415 Squadron at Summerside, PEI where he achieved TACCO status in 1976. Again, his innovative ideas improved ASW techniques.
In 1978, he served at the USN facility in Argentia, Newfoundland and played an active part in community affairs including helping found the Newfoundland Parent Teachers Association (PTA). He received commendations from both the Naval Facility Commander and the Maritime Commander.
He returned to 405 Squadron in Greenwood where his innovative talents again introduced a tactical simulation training program and Search and Rescue procedures. He also published the National Acoustic Newsletter used by the air force and navy. Again, he was active with the local PTA. Bert then served with the Maritime Air Standards Team as the Command Acoustics Sensor Officer. Next it was a change of scene to a position in Canadian Forces Europe with the Command Comptroller where again his innovative ideas produced some improved personnel management procedures. Again, he was commended for his work.
He returned to 415 Squadron for operational duties and activities with the 50th Anniversary Reunion. Next, exchange with the USN at Keflavik where his work earned him a commendation from the Secretary of the US Navy. He returned to 405 Squadron as a crew commander and Deputy Commanding Officer. He became the President of VPI, organized the 30th Anniversary Reunion and placement of the VPI Memorial. In 1996, he was posted to Wing Operations as Ops Centre Director. He became the Editor of Maritime Patrol Magazine. In 2003, Bert retired from the CAF, joined the Reserves and took up a position as the General Manager of the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum where he contributed greatly to the continuing success of that organization. He retired fully in 2010. Major Bert Campbell – a Maritime airman who contributed significantly to the effectiveness of Maritime air operations and latterly to the preservation of that heritage.
CAPTAIN MARY CAMERON-KELLY
Captain Mary Cameron-Kelly was born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1962. Upon graduating from High School, she enrolled in the military as an Airframe Technician, receiving the Commandant Shield as the best recruit in the platoon during recruit training. On-job training was conducted at CFB Winnipeg for two months followed by the airframe course.
Her first posting was to CFB Greenwood where she obtained her Private Pilot Licence and, in 1985, participated in the Webster Competition, placing 2nd for Best Amateur Pilot in Canada. She became the first female technical instructor in 404 (MP&T) Squadron in 1986, and in 1988 applied and was accepted for pilot training with the Canadian Forces. Upon graduation in 1991, Mary returned to CFB Greenwood and, after training at the 404 (MP&T) Squadron OTU, became the first female Aurora pilot in the Canadian Forces. She was then posted to 405 (MP) Squadron. Three years later, Mary qualified as an Aircraft Commander on the Aurora and, in 1995, she became the world’s first female Maritime Patrol Crew Commander. Posted back to 404 (MP&T) Squadron that year, she became the first female pilot instructor on the Aurora and instructed for the following five years. On completion of the Instrument Check Pilot course, she was posted back to a crew on 405 (MP) Squadron in August 2001 where she completed the Pilot Training and Standards course prior to assuming new duties in Standards and Training. In May 2003, she flew to the Arabian Gulf and participated in Operation Apollo in the fight against terrorism. On termination of that operation, her crew flew the last Aurora home.
On November 22, 2007, Captain Mary Cameron-Kelly, then serving with 404 (MP&T) Squadron, was honoured at the 18th Annual Progress Women of Excellence Awards that was held in Halifax. The event celebrated the achievements and accomplishments of sixteen Nova Scotian women who have made a significant impact in their community and profession. Captain Mary Cameron-Kelly was a most deserving recipient of this recognition as she had at that time served with distinction for 26 years in the Air Force as well as being involved in the community through her dedication with the Air Cadets, Girl Guides and Greenwood Minor Hockey.
On January 30, 2008, Captain Cameron-Kelly achieved yet another milestone when she succeeded in attaining 5,000 flying hours in the Aurora during a surveillance patrol flight over the Atlantic Ocean. On July 15, 2018, on the anniversary of her joining the military, a Mary Cameron-Kelly commemorative stamp was issued at Greenwood.
As of January 2019, Captain Cameron-Kelly was still serving at 14 Wing Greenwood as a Check Pilot with 404 (MP&T) Squadron and has amassed over 7,000 flying hours in the Aurora. She is most definitely a maritime aviator of note.
The Supermarine Stranraer was the last of a long line of biplane flying boats designed by R. J. Mitchell of Spitfire fame. First built in 1935, it served with several RAF squadrons from 1936 until 1941 when they were taken out of service in favour of the Lerwick, the Sunderland and the Catalina.
The Stranraer was a large aircraft for its day with a wingspan of 85 feet 2 inches, a length of 54 feet 10 inches and a height of 21 feet 9 inches. Gross weight was 22,000 pounds. Maximum rated speed was165 miles per hour and its cruise speed was 105 miles per hour. Its operating range was 820 miles for an endurance of 8 hours. Armament was three Lewis machine guns – one each in the nose, amidships and the tail. It could also be armed with four 250-pound depth charges or two 500 pound bombs. The Stranraer was affectionately known as the “Whistling Bird Cage” because of the many brace wires. It was considered by some airmen that flew it to be the best biplane flying boat ever built.
The RCAF first ordered the Stranraer in 1936 with the aircraft to be built by Canadian Vickers in Montreal. It entered service in 1938 and until 1944 flew operations from many stations including Jericho Beach, Dartmouth, Prince Rupert, Sydney, Coal Harbour and Sea Island. A total of forty Stranraers served with the RCAF in the anti-submarine, coastal patrol, and search and rescue roles on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Indeed, a Stranraer flying out of Dartmouth on 10 September 1939 may well have carried out the first wartime mission of the RCAF. The Stranraer served on many RCAF Squadrons including No, 4,5,6,7,9,13,117 (Auxiliary), 120(Auxiliary), and 166 squadrons. All were Bomber Reconnaissance (BR) squadrons except No. 166, which was a communications squadron. The Stranaer was replaced in 1941 by the Catalina on the East Coast and fully retired from RCAF service in mid 1944.
This painting was contributed to the Greenwood Art Association by the artist, Lieutenant Colonel G. Gordon Hynes, and presented to the Greenwood Museum by Lieutenant General H.A. Carswell at the 60th Anniversary Celebrations held at 14 Wing Greenwood in July 2001.
The Stranraer painting is on display at the museum. Plan on visiting the museum during Remembrance Week to view this painting and the many other paintings depicting World War 2 events. We have many WW2 artifacts on display including components from the famous Lancaster bomber, which is on display in our aero park adjacent to the Museum. The Museum is open 1000 to 1600 hrs Tuesday through Saturday.
SERGEANT LOUIS (LOU) TOTH, CD
Lou was born in Quebec in 1933 and gained his education there before joining the RCAF in 1951. He was trained as an Electrical Technician at Camp Borden and then served with 439 Squadron both at Uplands, ON and in the UK at North Luffenham. On return to Canada, he served with 412 Squadron before moving to Vancouver to serve first with 443 Squadron, then with Station Vancouver followed by a tour at RCAF Station Comox. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1966 on transfer to RCAF Station Greenwood where his technical expertise focused on the CP-107 Argus aircraft.
In 1972, Lou led the servicing crew attached to the 404 Squadron ASW Competition crew challenging for the O’Brien Trophy. The servicing crew competed for the Morrow Trophy awarded to the best servicing crew amongst the four competing squadrons; 404, 405, 407 and 415. The competition took place from Canadian Forces Base Summerside, PEI. Crew 1 of 404 Squadron won the O’Brien Trophy and Sergeant Toth and his servicing crew were awarded the Morrow Trophy by Admiral Timbrell, Commander of Maritime Command.
Traditionally the O’Brien Competition winner represents Canada in the Fincastle Competition; an annual competition between the Air Forces of the old Commonwealth countries Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Argus 10730 with aircrew and servicing crew aboard departed Greenwood on 2 September, 1972 with enroute stops at Comox, Midway Island, Guam and on to Singapore and RAF Station Tengah where the competition was held. Canada did not win the coveted Fincastle Trophy, but the aircraft performed flawlessly throughout the competition under Sergeant Toth’s care. On departure day for Canada, an engine failed on take-off requiring an engine change. Awaiting a new engine and diplomatic clearance difficulties delayed the return to Greenwood until 5 November. Again, the aircraft performed flawlessly due to Sergeant Toth’s leadership.
In 1972, Lou left Greenwood to serve at the air technicians training school at Camp Borden, then at the Canadian Forces Leadership Academy. His last posting was to the Maintenance Staff at National Defence Headquarters. He reached Chief Warrant Officer rank level as a fitting result of his technical professionalism and his outstanding leadership qualities. Lou died in August 2001.
MAJOR HERBERT W. PARKER, CD, MBA
Herb was born in Georgetown, PEI May 29, 1927. He completed High School in nearby Montague and in January 1948 he joined the RCAF and was trained as an Aero-Engine Technician. In 1960, Herb was selected for Navigator training and in 1951 he was presented his wings by the Commander of the Italian Air Force.
Herb joined 404 Squadron in Greenwood and on completion of his tour he returned to No. 2 (M) OTU as a navigation and weapons instructor. Next, Herb joined the Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit (MP&EU) where one of the many projects he conducted was the MK 43 Shallow Water Trial conducted in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, BC. The MP&EU received a commendation for the quality and content of the report.
On April 15, 1963 Herb was posted to Maritime Command Headquarters as the Staff Officer Development and Evaluation (SOD&E) and served as project officer for the “Nutmeg” Study and the development of the Moored Buoy Concept. His primary responsibilities included planning, organizing, coordinating, assessing and reporting on system performance. He wrote the Operation Order, the Test Plan and the Target Instructions for the Project Ocean IV, Phase II Operational Evaluation. Shortly thereafter, the 56 trial buoys were moored in 12,000 feet of water spaced 20 miles apart in the trial location South East of Sable Island. The field covered an area of approximately 25,000 square miles, roughly the size of the province of New Brunswick. Aircraft surveillance of the buoy field began July 20, 1966 and ended September 30 that year; a total of 73 trial days. The main objectives of the “Nutmeg” project were realized: the operational evaluation of the moored Buoy System demonstrated a remarkable performance throughout the trial. All five target submarines were detected and some of them were tracked in real time. The trial results were compiled in a 500-page report by Herb and the analysis team. The trial results were classified material and the decision not to proceed further with this concept was never made public.
Herb’s next posting took him to National Defence Headquarters and a position in the personnel branch as the Career Manager for 1400 Navigators and Radio Officers. His next move in 1971 was internal as he became the Director of Administrative Services for the Personnel Group where a major contribution was managing the conversion of the paper files to microfiche for all members of the Canadian Forces.
Herb retired in 1974. Major Herb Parker contributed much to the development of Anti-Submarine Warfare at a time when Canada was a major contributor in that field.