Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle – Heartbreak on Christmas Eve, 1944 — Aviation Trails

On the morning of December 24th, 1944, Brigadier General  Frederick W. Castle (s/n 0-319375), woke to the greet the day, and like most pilots facing perilous missions, he probably wondered if it would be his last. However, knowing what I know about Castle from my research, he was a calm, confident and highly competent pilot, […]

Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle – Heartbreak on Christmas Eve, 1944 — Aviation Trails

Dancing in the Sky & Flying to Extremes + “Ghost” Canso Update + Visiting the 10th Mountain Division + CANAV History Pt.5 + More Bob Finlayson Photos

More from Larry…

CANAV Books Blog

Canada’s Best Aviation History Booklist Is right here:Download

One title that you’ll really treasure in your library is Dancing in the Sky: The Royal Flying Corps in Canada. By 2020 few Canadians know much about this monumental WWI story. This gem of a book tells in details how the RFC, desperate for pilots in 1916, solved its problem by establishing a magnificent air training plan in Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, the plan almost overnight built massive aerodromes starting at Camp Borden, then Armour Heights and Leaside in Toronto, Deseronto east of Toronto, finally Beamsville in Niagara. There also were recruiting, indoctrination and trades training centres in Toronto and Hamilton. Soon thousands of young men were training here to learn to fight in the world’s first great aerial war. Thousands were sent overseas and by war’s end there still were 12,000 men in the RFC Canada system. The plan…

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Dancing in the Sky & Flying to Extremes + “Ghost” Canso Update + Visiting the 10th Mountain Division + CANAV History Pt.5 + More Bob Finlayson Photos — CANAV Books Blog

Canada’s Best Aviation History Booklist Is right here: Download One title that you’ll really treasure in your library is Dancing in the Sky: The Royal Flying Corps in Canada. By 2020 few Canadians know much about this monumental WWI story. This gem of a book tells in details how the RFC, desperate for pilots in […]

Dancing in the Sky & Flying to Extremes + “Ghost” Canso Update + Visiting the 10th Mountain Division + CANAV History Pt.5 + More Bob Finlayson Photos — CANAV Books Blog

Collection Alfred Kühn – 20 September 1980

Meeting on 20 and 21 September 1980 where 49 sailors from the T24 and a sailor from the Z24 met to reminisce about the events of the Second World War.

A sailor's story/Les souvenirs de guerre d'un marin/Eine Seemannsgeschichte

Here is a picture of Alfred Kühn’s collection.

On 20 and 21 September 1980, 48 sailors met in Budingen, Germany.


Alfred Kühn identified all the sailors.


It was his son Manfred who shared this photo several months ago. It is high time to try to reach the family members of these sailors. Do you recognise any of the names of former sailors from torpedo boat T24?

Here are the first fifteen with their names:


Pour nous contacter… To contact us… Um uns zu kontaktieren…

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New York City Vintage Photographs

A time to remember…

Inch High Guy

NYC_01_SSNormandyIn May of 1935 the French liner S.S. Normandie set the world’s record for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing of 4 days, 3 hours, and 2 minutes. At the beginning of the Second World War the French Line kept the Normandy berthed in Manhattan, fearing German U-boats. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the U.S. took possession of the ship, renaming her the USS Lafayette.

NYC_02_USSLafayetteThe US intended to use the Lafayette as a troopship and began conversion work. Shipyard welding started a fire which quickly got out of control. Efforts to extinguish the fire eventually flooded enough of the ship to capsize her, and she sank at her moorings at Pier 88.

NYC_03_J4F_Widgeon_Lafayette_1943_SSNormandieThe hulk of the USS Lafayette was stripped and re-floated, but she proved to be beyond economical repair and was eventually scrapped in 1946. Here a US Coast Guard Grumman J4F Widgeon is seen above the wreck in…

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40 Years for CANAV Books Part 4

Part Four

CANAV Books Blog

In Part 3, I didn’t show you the cover art for the first edition of A Formidable Hero. Here it is. I’ve always liked the looks of any cover by designer Robin Brass. Look how attractively he set up the front and back cover design for this dust jacket.

Here’s another short “episode” of the CANAV Books story. Last time we arrived into the mid-1980s with The Bremen, Woody, and A Formidable Hero. Just lately I was flipping through some fine old copies of that incomparable UK journal, “Aviation News” when, in Vol.16, No.17, January 1989, I spotted reviews for Woody and A Formidable Hero, very nice write-ups that I hadn’t noticed until 30+ years later. Better late than never, that’s for sure. Note how on the same page Woody is followed by a review of A Formidable Hero. Since the latter mirrors the first (it’s…

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The Bloody Blenheim (PDF version) — Preserving the Past II

Research by Clarence Simonsen This research is dedicated to all members of No. 115 [Fighter] and [B.R.] Squadron which numbered almost 300 Canadians in total. Photos would be appreciated to help preserve their historical past, there out there someplace. Thanks to denial by the U.S. Navy and the Russians, true Canadian RCAF WWII history was […]

The Bloody Blenheim (PDF version) — Preserving the Past II

Veterans – L’Orignal remembers David Christie

L’Orignal remembers its veterans.

https://www.lorignal.com/en/lifestyle/veterans/118-david-christie

The article

David Christie, born May 6th, 1923 in Dundee, Scotland, arrived in Canada May 18th, 1924 with his parents, James & Davidina Christie. They came second class, with her father, John Cleghorn and her sister Betsy Cleghorn, to Quebec City aboard the Saturnia.

They moved to Smerdon St., Hawkesbury about 1926 when David’s father came to work as a machinist for the Canadian International Paper mill. David attended the old Hawkesbury Public School and High School on Nelson Street.

Too Young to Enlist

In May of 1940, David was 17 years old, unhappy at school after seeing many of his older friends leave to join the Armed Forces. He left school, travelled to Montreal and joined the Army: No 2 sect. 16th Field Engineers. He did his basic training in the Montreal area and at Farnham, Quebec. In August, the recruits traveled by truck convoy from the Montreal area to Debert, Nova Scotia (near Truro) where he worked on the construction of the military base.

David drove a truck and operated a bulldozer and other equipment but before the spring of 1941, it was discovered that he was under age and he was sent home.

Needed on Canadian Soil

In May 1941, he went to work as an apprentice machinist in the CIP paper mill in Hawkesbury where his father worked. By December 1942, he was old enough to join the R.C.A.F. and was sent to Ottawa to take a course in Aero Engine Mechanics at the old Ottawa Technical High School. Since he sent a Souvenir booklet home to his mother from the St.Thomas, Elgin County. No. 1 Technical Training School, he must have spent some time there as well.

David Christie was then posted to # 16 Service Flying Training School in Hagersville, Ont. On September 30th, 1943 as an engine and frame mechanic. While at Haggersville, he worked servicing the aircraft on the ground, doing pre-flight service and fueling. He spoke of driving the fuel truck and being on the crash tender or rescue truck. The main aircraft that he worked on were Avro Anson, the Harvard, and the Cornell.

He told of witnessing a plane crash landing on the runway. Both the instructor and a student were still alive in the cockpit when he arrived with the rescue crew. But while they were running toward the plane with a fire blanket the plane blew up and he and the rest of the rescue crew were sent flying backwards through the air. Both men on the plane were killed.

In March 1945 he was transferred to # 10 E.F.T.S. in Pendelton, Ont. This flying school, a few miles south and west of Plantagenet now home to a glider club, was an elementary flying school. Cornells and other single engine aircrafts were used.

In July 1945, he had volunteered to continue while the war on the Pacific was still raging. He was then sent to C.F.B. Greenwood and stayed on there until the fall. After his discharge on Oct 30th, 1945 he returned to work at C.I.P. Hawkesbury.

Life after the War

By May of 1952 he had begun to build a summer cottage on Lalonde Rd. in Longueuil Twp. off Bay Road that he owned until he moved to Front Rd. L’Orignal in 1972. In 1953, he left C.I. P. and went to become Machine shop Foreman at Canadian Refractories new brick plant at Marelan, Quebec.

In 1956 he married Marion A. Laundry originally from Bancroft Ont. She had come to teach Home Economics at the new Hawkesbury District High School when it opened in 1952. They had three children Jim, Andrew, and Janet.

After he left Canadian Refractories in 1968 he briefly managed Astro Industries, a textile plant in Hawkesbury. By the summer of 1969, he had planned to move to Parry Sound Ont. where he was Maintenance supervisor at an auto parts plant, however he injured his arm in an industrial accident and was unable to return to work.

After considerable rehabilitation he was able to Teach Machineshop part time for Algonquin College who ran adult training programs in the evening at the Hawkesbury High School. In 1972, the family moved from Emerald St. in Hawkesbury to the home on Front Road, L’Orignal where he operated a small machine shop and sharpening service for many years.

He died in March 2001 from complications following surgery for a fractured leg.


From the collection of his son Jim… All scans were done by Ian Walker.