William Cameron entered Grade 9 at Scott Collegiate in Regina in 1942 and soon became a member of the Air Cadets squadron as required by the school curriculum. Bill’s stories for the third volume of the Flight: Stories of Canadian Aviation book series include his reminisces of patrolling several city blocks with the Regina District Civil Defence Corps, as a teenager, in case air raid sirens were activated and they needed to warn residents to turn off their lights.
|Bill Cameron and friends with Lancaster bomber, Regina airport, 1945|
Photo courtesy of William Cameron
Bill’s stories are three of the 33 stories in this third volume of the series, written by 15 Canadian writers including me. I wrote six stories about: Moose Jaw-based Laura Lawrence, the only commercially operating female aerial application pilot in Canada in 2017; Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote, who hadn’t flown over much water before she flew her aircraft from their farm in Leask down to Mexico and then Chile; Lisa McGivery, who had some annoying passenger experiences in her work as a flight attendant and now works as an aircraft maintenance engineer in Ontario; and Gerd Wengler, who transports rehabilitated owls and other creatures to safety and new homes in Manitoba and Ontario.
|Flight: Stories of Canadian Aviation, Vol. 3 by Deana J. Driver and Contributors|
Ken Wilson wrote about touring the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa with his father Ron just prior to the museum’s opening. Ron, a long-time pilot in northern Saskatchewan, noticed that the Beaver aircraft on display did not have a specific piece of equipment that would have been standard gear when transporting supplies for anyone staying in the bush. Ken made that suggestion to the museum curator, resulting in a change to the national museum’s Beaver display.
Retired journalist Will Chabun contributed three stories to this third volume of Flight, including details of annual vacations that Regina resident Jean Thomas took to France for 20 years as a member of the Royal Air Force Escaping Society. Co-founded by her late husband Hugh, the Society maintains contact and offers aid to those who rescued and sheltered RAF pilots like Hugh, whose plane was shot down during the war. The fiddle playing of Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Howard Leyton-Brown is also chronicled by Will Chabun.
|Hugh and Jean Thomas, 1945|
Story by Will Chabun, photo courtesy of Jean Thomas
The stories in the Flight series are not about the aircraft or flight terminology as much as they are about the people who had these adventures and incidents. My interest in these stories is in why they did what they did and what we can learn from those activities and experiences. I’ve already received submissions for Volume 4 of the series. Stay tuned.
Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of Flight: Stories of Canadian Aviation by Deana J. Driver and Contributors are available from www.driverworks.ca, Saskatchewan Aviation Museum gift shop, McNally Robinson Booksellers, Chapters, Indigo, Coles, Handmade Saskatchewan gift shops, SaskBooks, Amazon, and other select stores.