Monday, May 24, 2010
May 24…Happy Victoria Day, CANADA!
YOU KNOW that if my political party ever ascended to the win, the biggie, we'd be changing loads of things REAL fast.
Can anyone say steamroller?
Victoria Day would be one of them!
Consider that holiday already rewritten.
The fact that Canadians get a day off to celebrate a forgotten queen—and not a day off to remember the hundreds of thousands of Canadians, hailing from our past and present, who spilled their blood—many, MANY, even giving their greatest gift, their very lives…for our PRESENT FREEDOM…is simply unconscionable.
Here's how the rewrite would go down.
November 11, Remembrance Day…becomes a National Canadian Holiday.
November 8-10, whichever falls on the last school day, previous the holiday…would be spent at the classroom level…as an important part in the yearly curriculum in remembrance of Canadians who fought to keep Canada free. There are, of course, challenges in keeping this part of our history relevant to teens who are often distracted with other aspects of life! But we must rise to that challenge, right?
And while we're on a related topic, how 'bout our national anthem, folks?
A NATIONAL LAW would quickly be tabled that O'Canada is to be played every morning, in every school across Canada, whether public or private, without any exceptions. Individuals can abstain, as always has been allowed for religious reasons. Canadian tradition. Abstainers cannot demand, however, that the Canadian national anthem NOT be played…as recent foreigners in Nova Scotia demanded, and who's anti-patriotic concerns WERE ACTUALLY accommodated in a real Canadian school!!
With my political party at the helm, any school official found guilty of a refusal to play the national anthem, O' Canada, this individual or collective, would immediately be (we'd do it faster-if we could) arrested, tried that very week by special extraordinary court session, and subjected to an immediate 5 YEAR imprisonment.
NO LIVING CANADIAN, and certainly no un-Canadian, has the right to challenge the patriotic sacrifices of those Canadians who have gone before us. Our national anthem links present Canadians to those Canadian heroes of our sacrificial past.
And folks…jus' getting warmed up, here—
Sunday, May 16, 2010
WHEN A BRAND NEW 300 TONNE AIR CANADA DC-8 AIRLINER with a 109 people on board…slams nose first into a Castlemore farmer's field in 1970…at 400mph…well, parts of that airplane are going to be driven deep into the ground.
For a very long while.
Sooner, or later, however, those shattered pieces will work their way to the surface.
Whether human or aircraft.
These are some unidentified DC-8 parts from AIR CANADA CF-TIW, tail fin 878.
CAN any airmech ID any of these?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
EVER SINCE I WAS A BOY, my first memories of looking at a newspaper were of the July 5, 1970 Flight 621 crash in Toronto-Gore. We got the Toronto Telegram delivered to our door and, Johnny Lynch, my next door neighbour on Blackfriar Avenue in Etobicoke, delivered the Daily Star throughout the rest of the neighbourhood. He always had papers leftover. And when he did—we got one.
I remember all the grim crash photos from both competing papers.
Later, through the years the Toronto SUN, and the Toronto Star, would run articles revisiting the Flight 621 crash, usually when another significant air disaster had just happened.
I always wondered where the 621 crash location actually was. It bugged me that I didn't know.
Oh, well I thought. I guess I'll never know.
How wrong I was.
After a November, 2001 Mike Strobel article appeared in the Toronto SUN which revisited the Flight 621 crash by talking to eyewitnesses, I discovered that the crash site was somewhere less than three miles from where I had just purchased a new home!
Fancy that! I assured myself that now, I could indeed, even 33 years later, find the mysterious crash site.
I was right.
That's all I'll say for now. About that.
With the front page of Carol Parr's (Flight 621 crash eyewitness) Toronto Star in hand, Toronto Daily Star back then, I was able to stake out the crash arena quite accurately—just from that front page photo!
And with a little help from my friends.
Eventually, those friends would be known loosely as the Friends of Flight 621. Comprised of eyewitnesses and the concerned, we would discover a lot of things about the crash. I mean, things other than the human bones of the crash victims that kept popping up, through the years, in the poorly cleaned-up field. It was bad enough discovering someone's skull pieces, finger joints, kneecap, arm or leg bone shards mixed amongst abandoned Douglas Aircraft parts…but then I discovered the truly unexpected!
That the crash didn't have to happen!
That EVEN AS the Air Canada DC-8 was on fire quite spectacularly, and in the early stages of crash sequence…there was still ample time to turn it all around…and save everyone on board! No lives need have been lost!!
'nuff said, for now—
Wait—one more thing—in the lower part of the picture the reader sees the ominous caption, "Pilot faced terrible choice-and nothing could help him".
Well, that's not true.
(this article, as all my articles are in this format, are usually revised several times , even days after posting)
Monday, May 3, 2010
FIRST, ONE HOP down to the States.
Our Mighty, Mighty, Lanc ALWAYS gets a HERO'S WELCOME in the United States of America.
Because there ain't nothing' like American neighbourliness. And the Lancaster is a poignant reminder to Americans that we Canadians are a littl' bit different. We even have different warplanes!
But we always had one common cause. FREEDOM!
And we really did defeat Hitler, and his Nazi's, together…when flailing Europe couldn't do it!
When Europe was on the ropes and out for the count…we bombed those Nazi's right off the map.
The AVRO LANCASTER was created for one purpose, and one purpose only…to bring Nazi Germany to her knees.
I can think of a few more places around the world, RIGHT NOW, that need a total war solution!
"And, …says the drug-addled Peacenik, what has war ever, really, solved, Never Was?"
OTHER THAN ENDING slavery, fascism, nazism, and communism…nothing!
After the USA tour, the former RCAF Lancaster flies on to Manitoba, Alberta, and BC.
Sorry, no Saskatchewan! Don't even think about it, suckers! Remember, a certain anti-Canadian, anti-Arrow, Prime Minister jughead, farmer grew up there. Diefendowner.
So it's personal now— And the Lancaster has a long memory.
When the Lancaster hits Manitoba, Alberta and BC…expect a hero's, long lost friend, type of welcome.
This, may very well be, the LAST TIME our Mighty, Mighty, Lanc makes such a cross-country flight. She ain't as spry as she once was, folks! Miss her…and you're indolent. Non-Canadian. And a whole lotta' things I can't say here…
But the warriors will be there! Damn straight!
Our heroic WW II CANADIAN VETS will be there.
One. Last. Time.
To hear that music, that song, that only those four, mighty, Merlins, will be singing in unison for OUR MOST VALIANT CANADIANS of all time.
And when the Mighty, Mighty, Lanc makes her low, friendly pass, over that truly Canadian crowd; there'll be tears in many an eye, and ramrod straight salutes aplenty.
Yeah, I'll tell it like it is…there won't be a dry eye in the house!
And salutes for an old friend, an old girl, also in the very twilight of her life, who just had to make an appearance.
For Western Canadians.
One. Last. Time.
And then, it be will all be said, and done—
I'm kinda' choked up myself, jus' thinking about it.
But…don't ever say…I never told ya'!
Get ready!! Be prepared! Camera or cam in hand!
HERE'S THE 2010 DATES
June 4, 5, 6 …READING, Pennsylvania
July 26, 27, 28…THUNDER BAY, Ontario
July 29 - August 3… WINNIPEG, Manitoba
August 4 - 12… CALGARY, Alberta
August 12 - 16…ABBOTTSFORD, BC
August 17… EDMONTON, Alberta
August 18 - 19…BRANDON, Manitoba
…and then, back home for MANY Ontario visits.
ORIGINAL Photo Size:
Posted by Never Was An Arrow II at 7:47 AM
Sunday, May 2, 2010
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. We will remember them."
WHEN YOU'RE READY…to celebrate Canadian heroism.
And those heroes who bought our PRESENT DAY freedom.
Far too many times with their very own blood. In places, far from Canada.
I REMEMBER…and not just in November!
30 Canadians were among the 133 airmen who participated in "Operation Chastise" which was a bombing raid on Germany's Ruhr Valley hydro-electric dams. 617 Squadron was a specially formed elite squadron of lads who used specially modified Lancasters to drop cylindrical 9500 pound bombs at low level.
And at night.
Not since General Doolittle's secret squadron of USAAF's best of the best, matched with modified Mitchell bombers had such precision flying, and bombing, been needed.
This time to bring the industrial heartland of Germany to an unexpected halt.
Yes, on May 16, 1943, in ink pool darkness…skimming the surface of the water at an unbelievable 60 feet with your massive Lanc, all the while maintaining a white-knuckle speed of 230 miles-per-hour, was not for the faint of heart. Now closing, closing, nary 450 yards from the dam…these elite Dambuster aircrews dropped their heavy payload of unforgivable bombs with deadly accuracy.
The Barnes Wallis (the same man who designed the Wellington Bomber) designed bombs were released rotating backwards at 500rpm! As these bombs skipped along the surface of the water, they would vault over any defensive Nazi torpedo nets, and slam into the dam wall.
And here is where the real magic took over.
Since these massive 5 tonne bombs were already spinning backwards, they would roll DOWN the dam wall going underwater…and proceed down, finally exploding at a pre-arranged depth!
Talk about wrecking havoc!
The dam wall now severely weakened, but with the great weight and expanse of water still pushing up against it…well, soon enough, these factors caused the dam to be overwhelmed, and the area to be flooded for 40 miles.
More importantly, Britain was now, on the attack!
Some info about F/Lt. John Fraser, the Canadian mentioned in the video clip can be found here: www.lancastermuseum.ca/fraserhoppy.html
He was the only member of his particular Lancaster crew to survive the bombing raid.
John was captured and sent to Luft Stalag III where he participated in the Great Escape.
Get the Bomber Boys right here from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum: