Monday, February 25, 2013

FORGOTTEN TORONTO ::: MOSQUITO Fighter-Bombers on the Production Line

YES, yes…over 1,100 Mosquito Fighter-Bombers were made in Toronto.
All-wood construction these Mosquitos were.
"Use lots of glue" the factory sign reminded the largely female work force.
Back in the day (1942-44) if you flew over Downsview you'd see 20-30 of these beasties huddled around the airfield. When they came in to land, Sheppard Ave. had to be temporarily closed to allow Mosquitos to pass through!
Yes, yes, these deadly aircraft used to beat up Toronto skies.
Of course, a distant memory now.
Yes, yes the 40s interventionist Canadian Government GAVE over 200 battle-ready Mosquitos, and training support, to the Chinese Nationalists who fought a tough battle for democracy in China…and, as we all know now, lost.
The Chinese have been fighting for democracy EVER since.
What isn't well-known is the Chinese freedom fighters also had a tough time learning to fly these high-performance aircraft and pranged quite a few of them. The older Chinese pilots resented learning how-to from the brash young Canadian pilot, George Stewart, and his assistant.
And as luck would have it, George is still alive and resides in Hamilton.
That guy has many a story to tell.
Anyhow, focusing back.
Yes, yes…does anyone, BESIDES ME remember this factory of democracy that was first was enlisted to create trainers for the war effort (De Havilland Moths)…and later Mossies to bring Hitler and his war machine to its knees?
Apparently not.
TODAY this former De Havilland factory serves a forgetful public as an indoor soccer field…and will be morphed transformer style into redundant hockey arenas in the near future.
CANADIANS don't respect their own history or Canadian achievement.
That's why they know so little about it.
So one can't expect them to honour related historical sites.
And that's why a portion of De Havilland won't be saved as the Museum it should be, and was for the longest time. Enter the corrupt power players at Downsview Park who lined pockets and ninnified our history by insisting these sports facilities (sports facilities!) had to be located on the former 1929 De Havilland Factory site, instead of 500 feet N,S, E, or W of that.
But hey…look at those beauties (Mossies) on the Downsview production line, anyway!
• Original De Havilland Mosquito photo corrected and tone altered - Paul Cardin
• 2013 Downsview Park photo - Paul Cardin

No comments: