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Frontier tales from Pacific Western

Stuart Russell has sent us this information and photo -

tmb pwa dc4 cf pwj winter harbour nwt apr1962Pacific Western Airlines DC-4 aircraft CF-PWJ at Winter Harbour on Melville Island, NWT, N74’48” Latitude W110’ 30” Longitude in April 1962. This aircraft is one of five DC-4's flown by PWA during the 1950s and 1960s and was used primarily for hauling cargo North from Edmonton and Yellowknife.

In the background is Peter Bawden Drilling rig #22, drilling the first oil exploration well in the Canadian High Arctic on behalf of Dome Petroleum and partners.

The well was drilled to a depth of 3828 M / 12,441 feet, and although there were no hydrocarbons found, it showed drilling could be accomplished in the remote arctic wilderness and was later followed by approx. 175 other wells in the High Arctic, drilled both on land, and from the offshore ice platforms, over the next 30+ years.

Pacific Western Douglas DC-4s, Lockheed Electras, Lockheed Hercules, Boeing 737C and 727C aircraft played a huge role in arctic oil and gas exploration over the years.

Photo courtesy of Jim Kulak.


From the "Canadian Pacific COMPASS" magazine issue 1981

The Air Bridge

One of the most significant contributions of Canadian Pacific to the war effort was in the air. In 1940, after only four months of preparation, a bomber delivery service by air to Britain had been organized and was operated by the company. The next year this now-vital service was turned over to the RAF and became the famous Ferry Command. The company also operated, on a non-profit basis, six Air Observer Schools training navigators for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Aircraft overhaul plants were also operated for the air training schools and RCAF.


These two photos of B737 aircraft from the “Canadian Airlines Photo History”.
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