The conclusion of the Lancaster story from NetLetter nr 1316 -
The association has refinished a number of aircraft, in most cases those representing planes flown by Canadian recipients of a VC or DFC. While the Lanc being refinished was never on a bombing operation, it will be repainted in the markings of the aircraft in which Andrew Mynarski of Winnipeg won the Victoria Cross while serving in 419 squadron in 1944. Once restored, the aircraft will become a flying memorial to Canada's aerial efforts in the Second World War.
Two employees have a particular interest in seeing the Lancaster restored and painted to represent the aircraft in which Andrew Mynarski won his posthumous Victoria Cross. They are Jack Friday, a Passenger Agent in Thunder Bay, and Jim Kelly, Manager, Industry Systems Development, Montreal. Both were in the same crew as Mynarski and were on the same operation when they were shot down. They were to bomb enemy supply lines behind the Normandy beachhead, but before reaching the target, they were attacked by an enemy night fighter. With the port wing and rear fuselage ablaze, the pilot ordered his crew to bail out. While most of the crew escaped through the front escape hatch. Mynarski made his way to the door at the rear. He was about to jump when he saw his best friend Pat Brophy was trapped in the rear turret. Ignoring his own safety. he fought his way through the flames toward Brophy and began tearing at the turret doors which had jammed. After many vain attempts and with his clothing on fire, he finally had to give up and with a last anguished look at his trapped buddy, bailed out. He was found by French farmers but died of his burns. Ironically Brophy had a miraculous escape when the bomber crashed, and lived to tel! a tale which won Mynarski the V.C.
Jack Friday was the Bomb Aimer and Jim Kelly the Wireless Operator on that fateful flight. Friday and the Flight Engineer were both taken prisoner and spent 11 months in various POW camps. They became well acquainted with the German highway system having taken part in forced marches between prison camps, part of the way barefoot.
Shortly after Jim Kelly landed, he managed to team up with Bob Bodie, the Navigator, and with the help of the French underground they managed to evade capture for three months, until the village where they were hiding was liberated by the British. ''It was a pretty grim three months'' said Kelly. "When the British arrived riding on top of their flower-bedecked tanks, wine and champagne that had been hidden away for years suddenly began lo flow and the gay abandon of the celebration as that village was freed was something I'll never forget."
Crew members of the ill-fated Lancaster bomber are shown, from the left: Pat Brophy, rear gunner; Jim Kelly, wireless operator; Roy Vigars, front gunner; Art deBreyne, pilot; Andy Mynarski, mid-upper gunner; Jack Friday, bomb aimer; and Bob Bodie, navigator.
Bill Evans referred to the photo if the IAMAW Maintenance Shop Committee in NetLetter nr 1314. The person at the front right includes Ken Deshauer, at one time Shop Committee member and member of the Negotiating Committee.
Regards, Bill Evans
Jim Douglas also gave us this identification.
After reading about the Pat Sowsun family in NetLetter nr 1313, Karin Fulcher sent us this -
Our family has continued the aviation tradition too - my father in law Victor Fulcher was one of the early station managers and then HR (I think) folks at TCA in the late 1930's and 40's.
My late husband Bob Fulcher joined Canadian Pacific Airlines in 1962 and flew for 34 years until he was forced into early retirement because of medical issues.
In 1993 on his 14th birthday our son William Fulcher soloed an ultra light and for a brief time became the youngest pilot in Canada!! He is now also part of the Air Canada family flying the Embraer 175 as a Captain for Sky Regional. He has two sons - who knows - perhaps the tradition will continue!!
The crew on the aircraft were Captain W. E. Twiss, Winnipeg, formerly of Vancouver; First Officer C. E. Lloyd, Winnipeg, formerly of Ottawa, and Miss M. G. Mayne, stewardess, Winnipeg. Sadly all on board perished. The plane had apparently overshot its mark and landed one mile south of the north-south runway of the field. While the wild terrain of northern and northwestern Ontario is better suited for ski and float equipped planes, T.C.A. has minimized this hazard by establishing a string of emergency bases. Eastward from Winnipeg, these landing fields are located at Vivian and Whitemouth in Manitoba, and at Kenora, Vermillion, Sunstrum, Sioux Lookout, Allenwater, Armstrong, Nakina, Grant, Ogahalla, Pagwa, Nagogami and Kapuskasing in Ontario. The bases are just a few of a series strung along T.C.A.'s trans-continental route.
In November, 1938, when the company was making test flights preparatory to opening up a regular service schedule for passengers and mail, Captain David Imrie and Pilot Officer Jack Herald were killed when a T.C.A. plane CF-TCL fin #36 crashed just outside of Regina.
Bill Cameron writes -
One of my hobbies to record the past story of Canadian Aviation has involved putting together examples of DC-3 and C-46 aircraft – CPAL and other carriers.
These are a few that are now in the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in Wetaskiwin, AB. The 1/72nd scale models have a wing-span of about 13 inches.
Cheers, Bill C.
Bill Cameron has also sent us the history of his airline career and a history of CPAL as well -
I had the good fortune to have worked as an Agent, Radio Operator, Flight Dispatcher, Station Manager (Rome & Montreal), Regional Flight Operations Mgr (Tokyo), General Manager, Spain, General Manager, Mexico, and General Manager, North American airports - so had a finger in a lot of the airlines activities..!!
I retired from CPAL in May of 1986 – almost a year before PWA bought CPAL, and created ‘Canadia>n’ Airlines International.
In my early years with the Airline – as a Radio Operator/Agent from 1948, and as a Flight Dispatcher from 1955 to 1966 – the Union representing the Airport and Reservations Agent (and Flight Dispatchers) was called: the “Order of Railway Telegraphers” or O.R.T. That all came about because Canadian Pacific Airlines was created in 1942, when the Canadian Pacific Railway bought ten small regional airlines to form the new Airline.
Most of the airports were manned by one employee only in the early years (they were nearly all remote places like; Pickle Lake, ON; Dawson Creek, AB; Prince Albert, SK; etc), and in most cases required radio-telegraphic skills – as all internal operations, traffic, and administrative communications was by means of Radio Telegraphy.
There were only a few airports that had more than the one Agent on staff, e.g. Vancouver, Edmonton, Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Winnipeg, Montreal. In fact, when I was hired in 1948 as a Relief Radio Operator-Agent for the Manitoba, Northern Ontario, Saskatchewan District - the Company required agents have a Second Class Commercial Radio Operators Licence, as issued by the Canadian Department of Transport. The Company required operators that could send and receive Morse Code at the speed of at least 25 words per minute. And in the early 1940’s, the Railway Telegraphers Union was perhaps the logical organization to represent that group of employees.
Of course, not all airport staff or reservations employees were radio operators – but those who were not (titled as ‘Traffic Clerks’) were included in the O.R.T. for convenience. By the 1970’s all the Airport Passenger Service Agents – and the Reservations Agents of CPAL, were represented by a Union called:
“Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks” or BRAC.. Obviously there was still the Railway association involved, but the Union had re-invented itself to recognize the growing number of Airline employees, and so the name change – and the change of affiliation. For six years prior to my retirement I had the position of General Manager, North American Airports – with responsibilities for Airport Agents of BRAC.
On at least one occasion during my tenure there were contract negotiations with the representatives of the BRAC Union. That event was during the difficult last five years of CPAL, and the de-regulation of the airline industry in Canada. The result was a relatively tranquil negotiation with minor adjustments to the existing contract. During the forty-five year existence of Canadian Pacific Airlines – 1942-1987, there was never any work stoppage or disruption to the operation of the airline because of disagreement between the Union and the Company.
In December of 1966 I was appointed as Station Manager, Fiumicino Airport, Rome, Italy – and ceased to have ORT Union Membership. All vacant positions at Company locations were advertised within the Union, and awarded to the Senior Bidder. Transfer of personal effects expenses were the responsibility of the successful bidder –unless the move was at the request of the Company. Rail transportation of the employee and family was provided on CPRail. Attached is my winning bid on the position of Flight Dispatcher at Montreal, QC in 1957 (from the position of ‘Operator-Dispatcher’ at Winnipeg, MB)
The c.c. names on that document are Company Management, Union Representatives, and unsuccessful bidders on the position.
Unfortunately, I can provide no information about the BRAC Union after May, 1986 – and as it existed in the created Airline of ‘Canadi>n Airlines International from January 1987.
|Here is a copy of the ORT Dispatch Seniority List – ca. 1966. My name is at No. 19. (regrettably, only three of those named are still alive)|
|and a copy of the acceptance of my bid as a dispatcher.|