Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 4: The Second World War, and post-War, Noordyn Norseman

Canadian Warplanes of the Second World War and Post War, Noorduyn Norseman

Data current to 12 Feb 2019.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583646)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 692).

The Noorduyn Norseman, also known as the C-64 Norseman, is a Canadian single-engine bush plane designed to operate from unimproved surfaces.  Distinctive stubby landing gear protrusions from the lower fuselage make it easily recognizable.  Introduced in 1935, the Norseman remained in production for almost 25 years with over 900 produced.  A number of examples remain in commercial and private use to this day.  Norseman aircraft are known to have been registered and/or operated in 68 countries throughout the world and also have been based and flown in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

The first Norseman, powered by a Wright R-975-E3 Whirlwind, was flight tested on floats on 14 Nov 1935 and was sold and delivered to Dominion Skyways Ltd., on 18 Jan 1936, registered as CF-AYO and named “Arcturus."  In the summer of 1941, Warner Brothers leased CF-AYO for the filming of "Captains of the Clouds" starring James Cagney, and with Air Marshall Billy Bishop.  Principal aerial photography took place near North Bay, Ontario with CF-AYO carrying temporary registration CF-HGO.  CF-AYO was lost in a crash in Algonquin Park in 1952.  Its wreckage currently is on display at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Almost immediately, the Norseman proved itself to be a rugged, reliable workhorse with steady sales.  The first aircraft, CF-AYO, was designated the Norseman Mk. I.  The next aircraft, "CF-BAU," having some minor changes required after the certification tests, and a new Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp SC-1 engine up-rated from 420 to 450 hp, was designated Norseman Mk. II, while the next three aircraft were Norseman Mk. IIIs: CF-AZA going to MacKenzie Air Service, Edmonton, Alberta, CF-AZE to Prospector Airways, Clarkson, Ontario and CF-AZS to Starrat Airways, Hudson, Ontario.  CF-BAU would be modified on 26 June 1937 to become the prototype Norseman Mk. IV, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Wasp S3H-1.  The Mk. IV became the "definitive" model.

Until 1940, the Noorduyn company had sold only 17 aircraft in total, primarily to commercial operators in Canada's north and to the RCMP.  With the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe, demand for a utility transport led to major military orders.  The RCAF and the USAAF became the two largest operators; the RCAF ordered 38 Norseman Mk. IVWs for radio and navigational training for the Commonwealth Air Training Plan.  The RCAF ordered an additional 34 aircraft designated as the Norseman Mk. VI.

In postwar production, the Canada Car and Foundry (CCF) in Fort William, (now Thunder Bay) Ontario, acquired rights to the Norseman design, producing a version known as the Norseman Mk. V, a civilian version of the wartime Mk IV.  In order to exploit the market further, the CCF factory designed and built the Norseman Mk. VII.  This version had a bigger engine, a new all-metal wing and greater cargo capacity but was fated never to go into production.  The last Noorduyn Norseman to be built was sold and delivered to a commercial customer on 19 Jan 1959.  A total of 903 Norseman aircraft (Mk. I - Mk. V) were produced and delivered to various commercial and military customers.

The Canadian Second World War "ace-of-aces" George Beurling died in a Norseman while landing at Urbe Airport in Rome, Italy, in May 1948.  Beurling had been ferrying the aircraft to the nascent Israeli Air Force.  (Wikipedia)

The operated 79 Norseman aircraft from 1940 to 1953, and the RCN operated 21 Norseman aircraft from 1943 to 1957.

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. III (2), (Serial Nos. 694, 697), Mk. IV (47), (Serial Nos. 491, 494, 496-499, 678, 681, 691, 692, 693, 695, 696, 698, 2455, 2456, 2458, 2462, 2465, 2466, 2469, 2470, 2474, 2476-2481, 2483, 2486, 2493, 2494, 3522, 3523, 3525, 3527-3529, 3531-3537, 3539), Mk. IVW (27), (Serial Nos. 492, 493, 495, 679, 680, 2457, 2459, 2461, 2463, 2464, 2467, 2468, 2471-2473, 2475, 2482, 2484, 2485, 2487, 2489-2492, 3526, 3533, 3538), Mk. IVWA (3), (Serial Nos. 2460, 2488, 3524), Mk. VI (21), (Serial Nos. 361-372, 787-792, 2495, 2496, A591), for a total of 100 aircraft.

 (DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 692).

 (Comox Air Force Museum via Mike Kaehler)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 695), Comox Air Force Museum.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3545916)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IVW, RCAF (Serial No. 679).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581155)

Noorduyn Norseman, Mk. IVW, RCAF (Serial No. 680).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650955)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 681).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650956)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 681).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583157)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 3523), 24 Feb 1944.

(RCAF Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 2477).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3545910)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IVW, RCAF (Serial No. 679), 1938.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 358790)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF, 25 Jul 1945, Maple Leaf.

 (RCAF Photo via Larry Milberry)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 792), c/n 14, Reg. No. CF-IGX.  Built as USAAF (Serial No. 43-5150), but transferred via Lend-Lease to the RCAF.  Delivered 10 June 1943 as aircraft No. 792 and assigned to No. 12 Squadron, Rockcliffe, Ontario. 

 (RCAF Photo via Shaun Mullins)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 792)

 (RCAF Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 371), AP-N.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586673)

Noorduyn Norseman, RCAF, coded AP-P, No. 413 Sqn, Clearwater Lake, 28 Aug 1950.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586650)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 7--), coded AP-P, June 1950, No. 10 Det, Sault St Marie, Ontario.

 (RCAF Photo via Shaun Mullins)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IVW, RCAF (Serial No. 2487), c/n 60, coded CJ-H.  Taken on strength 7 May 1941.  Assigned to No. 3 Training Command, Montreal, Quebec.  Put in Reserve Storage until being transferred to No. 12 (Comm) Squadron 1 November 1941.  On 16 February 1942 transferred to Eastern Air Command, No. 4 Repair Depot, for use in rescue work and then on 12 March 1942 to RCAF Station Sydney, Nova Scotia.  To Noorduyn Aviation for repair 28 July 1942, following a Category B accident.  To No. 12 (Comm) Squadron 27 January 1943.  Transferred to No. 1 Training Command, No. 4 Wireless School, 22 June 1943 and then to No. 1 Air Command 15 January 1945.  To Noorduyn Aviation for overhaul 19 February 1945. Returned 4 January 1946 and assigned to No. 4 REMU.  Transferred to Central Air Command 28 April 1947 and then to North West Air Command, Edmonton, Alberta, 17 September 1948.  Struck off 23 april 1953.  Following three subsequent moves, it was transferred via Mutual Aid to the Royal Norwegian Air Force on 23 April 1953 and coded R-AU.  (rwrwalker.ca)

The aircraft is painted aluminium with a matt black anti-glare panel and search red applied to the outer wings (top and bottom) as well as the horizontal stabilizer.  All the control surfaces were painted aluminium.  (Chris Charland)

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584523)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. VI, coded AK-T, 408 Sqn, Rockcliffe, Ontario, 9 Jun 1951.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4448522)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 790), 17 Mar 1954. medevac.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo,MIKAN No. 3390844)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 787), June 1943, Upper Green Lake, Ontario.

 (RCAF Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 787), QT.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584790)

Noorduyn Norseman, top view, 26 May 1953.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584161)

Noorduyn Norseman, 18 Aug 1948, AP-O.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584156)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 2496), coded AP-Q, during Geodetic Survey support duties at Flin Flon, Manitoba in 1948.

(RCAF Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 2486).

(RCAF Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 2486).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586697)

Noorduyn Norseman, coded AK-O, being towed by a tractor. 

 (DND Photo via Chris Charland)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 365), coded GA-A with RCAF Station Goose Bay's Station Flight.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584792)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 368), coded AK-O, 26 May 1953.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228255)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 368), coded AK-O, on skis, 408 (P) Sqn, 12 Mar 1951.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4449260)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. VI, RCAF, AK-F, Golden Lake, Ontario.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4448523)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. 2476), 10 Aug 1952.

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 787), c/n 136, QT.  Built in 1943, this Norseman VI was flown by No. 3 Wireless School in Montreal during the Second World War, and was used to train wireless operators.  Between 1945 and 1950, it served as a communications, search-and-rescue, and transportation aircraft across Canada.  In 1950, it served with No. 121 Communications and Rescue Flight, still bearing the RCAF markings from its last year of active service.  This aircraft was transferred to the Museum in February 1964.  (CA&SM)

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4276736)

Noorduyn Norseman, CF-MPI, RCMP Air Service.

 (Author Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. IV (Serial No. 494), mounted on skis, CF-EIH.  Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Alberta.

 (Author Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. V, floatplane, CF-HPY, mounted on a pylon.  Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Alberta.

 (Alain Rioux Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman Mk. VI, floatplane (Serial No. 831), CF-DRD, yellow with red stripes, silver pontoons, mounted on a pylon.  Red Lake, Ontario.

(CambridgeBayWeather Photo)

Noorduyn Norseman, CF-SAN, Buffalo Airways.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2218801)

Noorduyn Norseman 60-cent stamp, 1982.