For Canadian Aviation Enthusiast

Worth visiting…

Two news books…

Bagotville: 75 Years of Air Defence by Marc-Andre Valiquette

Here’s the info about Canada’s aviation blockbuster book for 2017. It’s a major effort – 512 pages, hardcover, some 1600 photos, 30 paintings and colour profiles – on and on, so no one will be disappointed in this outstanding production.

Marc-André has done his usual solid, in-depth coverage, assembling the exciting history of one of the great RCAF air stations. Also as usual, he has blended in both languages in his attractive and seamless layout. The book begins with WWII, with Bagotville training newbie fighter pilots on the Harvard and Hurricane. Many famous aces pass through on instructing tours, many students go on to stellar careers overseas. Next, comes the postwar era with Vampires, Sabres and CF-100s – all the historic squadrons, especially the all-weather CF-100 units – 440 and 432 form with CF-100 Mk.3s in 1953-54. Following, come steady developments – 440 goes overseas, 413 forms up, the CF-100 Mk.4 and 5 arrive, there’s a steady stream of air defence exercises, etc.

The CF-100 gives way to the CF-101 Voodoo era (410 and 425 squadrons), then the tactical world arrives with the CF-5 and the renowned 433 Squadron. Finally, the CF-18 Hornet years arrive for 425 Squadron. The evolution of Base Flight/439 Sqn is also included – from T-33 to Griffon helio. Many other aspects of life at “YBG” are included in this huge colour production, from DEW Line helicopter times to Air Cadets and airshows. So don’t think that my brief overview here begins to cover all the exciting content.

All things considered, Marc-André’s book is a bargain at the sticker price of $60.00 + $12.00 postage (Canada only, so USA and overseas please contact me for a shipping price) + tax $3.60 … Total in Canada $75.60 How to order? PayPal to, or post a cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6.

Exile Air: World War II’s Little Norway in Toronto and Muskoka

Andrea Baston has spent years working on the history of this epic WWII story. Her wonderful history finally is in print.

To begin, Andrea provides an in-depth description of the 1940 Nazis invasion of Norway, and how Norway and the UK struggled valiantly to stave off disaster. Detailed coverage of the air war including RNoAF 1920s Fokkers and RAF biplane Gladiators putting up a strenuous defence.

Norway is overwhelmed, but the government, treasury, many citizens, etc. make it to the UK. By June 1940 arrangements are made to establish a Norwegian air training plan in Canada. “Little Norway” is established at Toronto Island Airport. Almost a hundred aircraft initially are assigned, Curtiss P-36 fighters included. Training officially begins in November. All the details are given, including the expected growing pains and how Little Norway dovetailed with the BCATP. Besides all the training, housing, contracts, administration, accidents, sports, social life in Toronto all are part of this outstanding new book – this is really an all-encompassing treatment. Then, Little Norway opens a new base in the Muskoka area to the north. Here, new pilots train on the Fairchild Cornell. Eventually, the Norwegian graduates end up manning RAF squadrons flying Spitfires, Catalinas, etc. All this also is carefully covered.

Many personal profiles (based on in-depth research and interviews) are part of the content and everything is described in detail to war’s end. The aftermath also is covered, including such important events as unveiling commemorative monuments and plaques in Toronto and Muskoka. This beautifully-produced, large format, 240-page softcover is one of the most important Canadian aviation stories in recent years. It includes many first-class photos, essential maps, notes, bibliography and index. An all-around beauty of an aviation book. $30.00 + $12.00 Canada Post + $2.10 tax = $ 44.10 (Canada). USA and overseas CDN$52.00. PayPal directly to, or post a cheque by snailmail to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4E 3B6 Canada.

This is what got me interested…

John Colton, another Typhoon pilot


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