Wednesday, November 23, 2011
THE FIRST RCAF SQUADRONS to serve under the British Coastal Command were formed in Great Britain in 1941. Three squadrons, No 404, No 407, and No 415 took part in attacks against German ships along the coasts of north-western Europe.
Equipped with Bristol Beaufighters in the spring of 1943, No 404 played a role in the development of a new weapon, the three-inch (7,6 cm) rocket with a 25-pound (11.3 kg) armour-piercing charge, as it hunted down Axis ships off the coasts of Norway.
(accidentally deleted my November 11, 2011 post , 404 was my dad's squadron after the war)
Thursday, November 10, 2011
DON'T SAY I DIDN'T tell you!
AVRO ARROW DAY - Book Launch & Presentation at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
NOVEMBER 12, 2011 - 1 pm in the Dome
AVRO ARROW POWER POINT PRESENTATION by Author Marc-Andre Valiquette. Regular admission, FREE to members.
Following the presentation, Marc-Andre Valiquette will launch his latest book on the Avro Arrow, "DESTRUCTION OF A DREAM - Volume 4". Avro Arrow artifacts from Marc's personal collection and the Museum's collection will be on display.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
THERE ARE NOT many places within the City of Toronto that still exist, have significant local and national historical importance, and remain, much as they were "back in the day".
That have the weight of history upon them.
65 Carl Hall Road is such a place.
The former de Havilland Canada manufacturing site (built in 1929) groans under the weight of the Canadian history—it bears witness to. Participated in.
65 Carl Hall Road Canadians fought their war on the home front.
Our soldiers, sailors, and airmen fought the war on the war front.
Here, at 65 Carl Hall, the yet unrealized potential of the emerging industrial might of Canada squared off surely—against the already realized, ominous industrial might of Nazi Germany, back in the late thirties, and early forties.
Here, at ole '65…DHC Gipsy Moth and Tiger Moth production went into full swing.
Canada never seemed able to build a successful homegrown automobile. No matter how many times we wannabes tried.
CANADA HOWEVER has manufactured dozens of very successful homegrown aircraft, sold, to countries the world over.
Most of them have—a 65 Carl Hall Road connection.
Many of these Canadian aircraft or projects were either envisioned, mocked up, or manufactured at 65 Carl Hall and/or at the adjoining de Havilland facilities.
Yes, yes…even the current Dash 8-Q400 family series of airliners (over 1000 sold to date to airlines globally) have a 65 Carl Hall Road connection.
But folks, let's go back to WORLD WAR II.
When Herr Hitler threatened to enslave the world, de Havilland of Canada (then entirely based at 65 Carl Hall Road) responded by producing thousands of military aircraft to supply our great Canadian war effort. Without these very aircraft, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) could never have gotten off the ground…if you'll forgive my pun. And as you know, or should know, without Canada's BCATP the Allies never would have won the war.
Over a 100,000 airmen were trained in Canada through the BCATP. Even 9000 Americans!
But you can't train aircrews without airplanes!
You can't practice dog-fights with bicycles—although early in the war, the British tried that.
You need AIRPLANES!
DE HAVILLAND of CANADA (located at 65 Carl Hall Road) the largest employer of Torontonians at the time, and for decades thereafter, responded overwhelming with:
• 1,500 DH 82C Tiger Moths
• 375 Avro Anson II training aircraft
• 1,133 DH98 Mosquito fighter-bombers
Merlin-Packard engines for the DHC Mosquitos were even assembled in the main room of the CASM, in the Museum area that opens up behind the gift shop/museum entrance area.
Moving right along, still under the weight of history…after World War II ended in victory, the Cold War began for Canada.
And de Havilland of Canada was there!
"…the very successful DHC-1 Chipmunk trainer, and the DHC-2 Beaver and the DHC-3 Otter 'bush planes" that opened up Canada's north to be first mapped and then later protected from a first strike by the establishment of the DEW Line. These hardy aircraft were designed and built through project overseeing headquartered at ole' 65.
DHC aircraft are Canada's most successful original aircraft designs from the 40s, 50s, and 60s besides of course the illustrious Avro Jetliner, the famed Avro Arrow, and the secretive Avrocar which were also great successes, but sadly—never saw production!
De Havilland of Canada and the government of Canada donated 200 Canadian-made Mosquitos and Canadian DHC pilots to train the democratic Nationalist China air force fighter-pilots in their war effort bid to suppress the Chinese Communist factions. The Communists did eventually overtake China—the Nationalist Chinese lost, and thus China is still without democracy. But De Havilland of Canada had a very active role in the Allied attempt to suppress Chinese Communism.
SPAR Aerospace, the maker of the Canadarm -- Canada`s biggest contribution to current space technology -- began in Building #1 at 65 Carl Hall Road. Here, again, at ole' 65, Canada's first spacecraft - the Alouette I- was assembled. SPAR also built the innovative STEM antenna for satellites in this very building.
In 1990, the Federal Heritage Building Review Office (FHBRO) completed an historical assessment of this site. The building was assigned the status of Recognized Federal Heritage Building in May 1992 because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value."(CASM, 2011)
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE those Canadians who sell CANADA short.
Just as there are those Canadians who forever think of Canada as a one trick pony.
Good at hockey, or, winter sports.
End of story.
But, that isn't the end of the story.
That's as far as their historical knowledge, and myopic vision of Canada takes them. Of course it's the lowest common denominator vision of Canada.
As if Canadians have had only a hockey focus.
AS IF, we never did anything else. And while a lot can be said for simplicity—absolutely nothing good can be said about simpletons.
And yet that's exactly who the CANADIAN AIR and SPACE MUSEUM (CASM) contends with these days. En masse.
PDP. Parc Downsview Park. Simpleton, central.
You gotta' feel for the CANADIAN AIR and SPACE MUSEUM.
With each passing day…Parc Downsview Park looks for ways to make it harder for the museum to survive.
CASM were even firstly locked out of their own museum by Parc officials. And then they were let back in. CASM was told they need to pay rent arrears—and then they were forbidden from allowing paying patrons to visit the museum, and generate further revenue! CASM were told their museum building at 65 Carl Hall Road wasn't up to code—as if the museum building would suddenly implode—at any given moment—and therefore the only solution recommended by Downsview Park—was to demolish the building!
Still, my biggest concern is that nobody has been able to see the root cause of the problem.
It's D and his irregularly set up Crown corporation.
Parc Downsview Park (PDP) is a Crown corporation birthed into being to bypass regular Parliamentary review and the usual accompanying federal government restraints on such an endeavour.
Parc Downsview Park (PDP) to date has blown $100 million of taxpayers money with VERY little to show. This is a 'corporation' that was flagged by Sheila Fraser, FCA Auditor General WAY BACK IN 2002 as to how DPD was spending taxpayers money, and getting around the normal review process.
Today? Nothing's been done.
DPD…still spending…still unaccountable!
If you've ever seen the Lord of the Rings, then you know the deformed hobbit, Gollum, and his sickly obsessive, demented, refrain, "My precious", my precious" .
Switch up to a glowing, eager, PDP's D holding an artist's representation of his 'precious', his personally endorsed creation: a 4-plex of hockey arenas right where he imagines the CANADIAN AIR and SPACE MUSEUM (65 Carl Hall Road) won't be, when he's done wrecking Canadian heritage.
All D can see is his 'precious'.
More armpit arenas.
And the only difference between S and Gollum, that I can see, is that, well…Gollum was…actually…likeable.
These Crown corp execs, like D…….got the grandiose idea put into their head—years back—that they were actually real biz folk, real CEOs and stuff, you know like those commanding free-enterprise biz types whose jobs were on the line with every decision they made.
Poor D. He forgets he retains a government position that is exposed to no risk, whatsoever. Flanked as he is, on all sides by his union—and with the Canadian taxpayer as his safety net.
Oh, yeah—that's real biz, D-boy.
D, you'll never be a baron, or captain of industry. Or even a good manager.
Nor should you be.
Any anti-Canadian lunatic who would demolish the site of the oldest notable aircraft manufacturing facility in Ontario, a building dating back to 1929, the actual former site of Toronto's largest manufacturing employer for decades—and anybody who would wave away, wave off the gift of hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours—valued at millions of dollars—from those dedicated volunteers who stepped up and took on the thankless job of painstakingly restoring and even creating (the Arrow) fantastic remembrances of our precious, and honourable Canadian historical past—is not fit for the job of overseeing a convenience store—let alone a 500+ acre Crown park.
And once again—why is the CANADIAN AIR and SPACE MUSEUM even paying rent???
Museums have NEVER been about making money, D.
They've ALWAYS been about preserving and sharing a country's unique past…first, with ourselves, and then, with the world around us.
Go to the great American battlefield of Gettysburg and on many days there are relatively few folk milling about. But the historical aura is still there—because the actual battlefield and wartime buildings have been left standing. Its the very place where the US Civil War took a major turn, an unadorned place that would go on to define America as a nation forever.
And 65 Carl Hall Road is such a place for Canada.
Here, Canadians first embraced complex manufacturing processes. Here, we mastered them. And went on to fight the home front war! Because there was two wars. We have many remembrances of the war front, in other museums across Canada but none left of the home front.
Yet, 65 Carl Hall Road, is such a place. Is such a reminder of our past.
And if you can't see that. Or feel that—there's no hope for you!
Fast forward to today.
Does anyone realize the tens of millions of dollars in specialized work that has been donated by selfless volunteers to create and maintain the CANADIAN AIR and SPACE MUSEUM? All, given for free, by many generous volunteers —in order to FOREVER PRESERVE our uniquely Canadian, aviation and aerospace history, from both the commercial and military sectors!
These are our Canadian stories.
This is our notable past still ensconced at the cozy abode (by modern standards) within 65 Carl Hall Road.
Canadian aviation history holds no value to D-boy.
I hope it holds some for you.
Again, as of September 28, 2011…Parc Downsview Park has locked out all staff, volunteers, and visitors at 65 Carl Hall Road.
How can you help?
Go to: casmuseum.org/index.html
Upper left hand corner of CASM's web site, locate, "Send a message", and click.
A letter will appear noting the Museum's concerns, which are every true patriotic Canadian's concerns. Just add your e-mail into the box provided and send!
ALSO, sign this on-line petition: www.petitiononlinecanada.com/petition/longterm-reprieve-a...
Your support of the Museum will be sent to those who can really help save the Museum.
DONATE to the Museum—if you are able.
(PHOTO: is of the CASM-created, exact replica, of the once mighty and imposing Canadian designed Avro Arrow) Must see LARGE!