Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes (01) Reference Book - start here!

This aviation handbook is designed to be used as a quick reference to the classic military heritage aircraft that have been flown by members of the Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and the Canadian Forces. The interested reader will find useful information and a few technical details on most of the military aircraft that have been in service with active Canadian squadrons both at home and overseas. 100 selected photographs have been included to illustrate a few of the major examples in addition to the serial numbers assigned to Canadian service aircraft. For those who like to actually see the aircraft concerned, aviation museum locations, addresses and contact phone numbers have been included, along with a list of aircraft held in each museum's current inventory or on display as gate guardians throughout Canada and overseas. The aircraft presented in this edition are listed alphabetically by manufacturer, number and type. Although many of Canada's heritage warplanes have completely disappeared, a few have been carefully collected, restored and preserved, and some have even been restored to flying condition. This guide-book should help you to find and view Canada's Warplane survivors.

This book can be ordered on line here:

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Canadian-Warplanes-Harold-A-Skaarup/9781440167584-item.html?ikwid=harold+skaarup&ikwsec=Books.

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Canadian-Warplanes/book-A-1j_Vj7wEif37C4PAMqfw/page1.html?utm_source=indigo&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=retailer&ikwid=harold+skaarup&ikwsec=Books

http://www.amazon.ca/Canadian-Warplanes-Skaarup-Harold/dp/1440167583/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322339022&sr=1-1

Nook book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/canadian-warplanes-harold-a-skaarup/1108823626?ean=9781440167591&itm=10&USRI=Harold+Skaarup

Data current to 7 June 2020.

A brief history of aviation in Canada

(Elements courtesy of R.W.R. Walker and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum)

Military aviation in Canada began with stationing of British armed forces in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  In Augus 1883,  Captain H. Elsdale of the British Army used a captive balloon to take aerial photographs of the Halifax Citadel.   A Canadian citizen, J. L'Etoile, offered to create a Canadian balloon corps for the Canadian Department  of Militia that same year, but the offer was not accepted or acted on.

 (Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society Photo)

Aerial photo taken of Fort George, the Halifax Citadel, in 1883.

In March of 1909 Master General of the Ordnance, Canadian Department of Militia and Defence, Col. R.W. Rutherford, began to press for a formal Canadian military policy on aviation.  On 15 May the Militia Council announced that assistance of men and equipment would be offered to inventors, but no cash.  The first group to take advantage of this offer was the Aerial Experiment Association of Halifax (see below), who displayed several of their early aircraft to Canadian civil servants  and officers.  In June of 1909 the Association shipped the "Silver Dart", the first heavier than air aircraft to fly in Canada, to Camp Petawawa, Ontario (later home to Army AOP Troops, and today home to No. 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron).  Four demonstration flights were made in early August 1909, ending in a minor crash on the last flight.  The similar "Baddeck No. 1" was then shipped to Camp Petawawa, and flights were made on 11, 12 and 13 August.  Again the demonstration ended when the aircraft crashed.  This series of flights captured the imagination of many younger officers, who pushed to purchase aircraft and take flying lessons for several years, but older officers and civil servants dismissed the aircraft as an impractical invention.  Like most aircraft of the day, the Association's aircraft carried no registration, no serials, and no company numbers.

The Canadian Air Corps (CAC), Sep 1914 to May 1915

A small air arm was organized to accompany the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) to the UK in the early days of the First World War.   Using their entire capital budget of $5,000, a single engine Burgess-Dunne was purchased, and shipped from the factory at Marblehead, Massachusetts  to Lake Champlain, Vermont.  It was assembled there, and ferried to Quebec City by company pilot Clifford Webster. This was to be its only known flying time.  The aircraft was immediately loaded on a freighter bound for England, and sailed for Plymouth In late September, arriving there on 2 October 1914.

 (DND Photo)

Burgess-Dunne loaded on the S.S. Athenia for shipment to the UK in 1914.

Canada did not have the trained pilots needed to operate the Burgess-Dunne, and therefore the Canadian government decided that its main aerial contribution in the early years of the war would be training airmen for the existing British flying services, including the Royal Flying Corps (later in the war, the Royal Air Force), and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS).  When the Canadian Air Corps was officially disbanded in May 1915, its only aircraft was left to decay and it was likely scrapped.  It does not appear to have a recorded serial number and no remains are known to be preserved.  A replica may be viewed in the National Air Force Museum of Canada, at CFB Trenton, Ontario.

The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and Royal Air Force (RAF) in Canada, Feb 1917 to Nov 1918

Canadians began joining the British flying services even before the war began, and the British recognized that Canada could be an excellent source of recruits, aircraft production, and flying room.  At first, private schools were encouraged in Canada to train Canadians (and a few Americans and others) to FAI license standards.  The volume of recruits eventually swamped these early facilities, so in early 1917 the RFC began a massive expansion of schools, flying facilities, and aircraft production in Canada.  Construction of the first RFC school in Canada began at Borden, Ontario, in February 1917.  Some of the World War One buildings survive, and at least one is used as a museum.  Eventually, three main air stations would be operated in Canada, and a temporary detachment flew in Texas in the winter of 1917/1918.

The primary training aircraft in use at the time was the Curtiss JN-4 (Canadian), or Canuck, built in Canada by Canadian Airplanes Limited of Toronto, Ontario.  Glenn Curtiss' aerial association with Canada dated back to his joining Alexander Bell's Aerial Experiment Association on 30 September 1907.  At the beginning of the First World War, Curtiss was an established aircraft manufacturer in America.  Together with J.A.D. McCurdy, a former partner from the Aerial Experiment Association, he opened the Curtiss Aviation School, and an associated manufacturing and design facility, in Toronto, Ontario on 10 May 1915 to meet the British demand for trained pilots.  The factory became Canadian Airplanes Limited in the summer of 1916, as a result of early planning for a large scale increase in aircraft production and aircrew training in Canada.  This Canadian facility produced a number of Curtiss designs, original designs, and licensed designs, for training schools in Canada, for the British flying services, and for the US Army.  At least one de Havilland D.H.6 was built by Canadian Airplanes Limited, and delivered to the RFC in Canada (without a serial number).  This aircraft was later operated as a civil aircraft in the USA.

By the time the RFC called for large quantities of trainers for its new Canadian schools, the Curtiss JN design had evolved into a state of the art trainer.  The Canadian built JN-4 (Canadian) or Canuck differed in several respects from US built JN-4s.  The Toronto facility built about 1,210 for the RFC in Canada, and about 120 similar aircraft were delivered from Curtiss' American plant for use in Canada.  All Canucks were built with ailerons on the both the upper and lower wings, unlike the American-built JN-4s, which had ailerons only on the upper wing.  At least a few American-built aircraft received lower wing ailerons post-war, probably as a result of a mingling of spare parts.  Canadian built aircraft did not initially receive the increased dihedral seen on American-built JN-4s, but by the end of the war some Canadian built JN-4s had been re-rigged to match US production.

 (DND Photo)

Canadian built Curtiss JN-4 (Canadian) aka Canuck (Serial No. C731).

The aircraft of the RFC in Canada bore RFC markings, and were painted with distinctive squadron markings.  They were allocated their own serial numbers, beginning with Serial No. C101 and running to at least Serial No. C2000.  These numbers duplicated numbers in the C1 to C9999 series used by the RFC/RAF in Europe.  The records of the RFC Canadian serial numbers are incomplete, and sometimes contradictory.  At the end of the First World War, the surviving RAF aircraft in Canada were sold, or donated to the Canadian government.  The aircraft that had been sold included JN-4s, Avro 504s and one D.H.6.  These aircraft were flown by commercial operators and a few barnstormers in Canada and the USA.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo)

Avro 504K Lynx, with J-4 Engine, Canadian Vickers Ltd, 8 July 1925.   

Independent Canadian Military Aviation Units, 1918 to 1919

Towards the end of the First World War, Canada had established itself as a military power to be reckoned with.  Its military leaders had learned the importance of military technology, including aircraft.  They had also learned that the British military command, however well intentioned, could not always be counted on to act in Canada's best interests.  As a result, Canadian government and military leaders began planning for an independent Canadian military, including an army, a navy, and an air force, well before the end of  the war.

An independent Canadian Army needed support, and planning for this organization including for the first Canadian Air Force (CAF) began in the UK in April 1918.  It was to contain fighter and bomber squadrons, and would be equipped and organized along British lines.  The funding and the staff, however, would be Canadian.  Ground crew training commenced training at Halton in the UK on 22 August 1918.  The formation of the CAF Headquarters began in the UK in September 1918.  In late November, the first 2 Canadian squadrons came into existence, when No. 81 Squadron and No. 123 Squadron of the RAF became No. 1 and No. 2 Squadrons, CAF, respectively.  Both squadrons were disbanded in early 1920, and the last Headquarters unit was disbanded in August of that year.  Some of the personnel were to join the Air Board and the new CAF in Canada.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3390995)

Sopwith Dolphins, Canadian Air Force, No. 1 and No. 2 Fighting Sqns, Upper Heyford, UK, 1919. 

No. 1 and No. Squadrons. CAF, operated RAF-owned aircraft, such as the Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin, still carrying their British markings, as well as a number of German war prize Fokker D.VII fighters (including Serial Nos. 6823/18, 6849/18, 8482/18, and 8493/18).  Some of the ex-CAF aircraft were sent to Canada, where they joined the 10 or 12 USN flying boats from Halifax, and 10 of the RAF's Canucks, in in the newly formed Air Board.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3390442)

Fokker D.VII, (Serial No. 592418), RK, Major Andrew McKeever, DSC, MC and Bar, CO of No 1 Sqn CAF, 1919.

Plans to organize a Royal Canadian Navy Air Service (RCNAS) also began late in the war.  It was to provide anti-submarine patrols off the Canadian East coast (in place of U.S. Navy units then performing that task from bases in Nova Scotia), and train pilots for the RAF.  It was intended that a USN base near Halifax, Nova Scotia, along with its equipment and Curtiss HS2L aircraft, would be transferred to the RCNAS when enough trained personnel were available.  Other naval aircraft in Britain and the US were set aside for this service, and some may have been shipped to Canada before the war's end, but were never used.  By the end of the war training was underway, and some RCNAS members were serving with the RAF to gain operational experience.  The force was formally established on 5 September 1918 and disbanded on 8 December 1918, before any aircraft were operated.  Among the aircraft known to have been transferred to Canadian control, intended for the RCNAS, were the Sopwith Schneider (Serial Nos. 3707, 3709, 3765, and 3806), and the Sopwith Baby (Serial Nos. 8125, 8197, 8204, and 8209) which were transferred minus their engines.

 (IWM Photo, Q33778)

Sopwith Schneider.

 (SDA&SM Photo)

Sopwith Baby.

Canadian Military Aircraft preserved

Bell CH-136 Kiowa, 403 Squadron, painted in markings commemorating RCAF operations in support of the D-Day landings, 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.  (Author Photo)

For  updates on military aircraft preserved in Canada, see additional web pages listing them by province on this website.

Previous books in this record have been superceded by the most recent update listed above.  Older versions include the following books:

 

The purpose of this handbook is to provide aviation enthusiasts with a simple checklist on where to find the surviving retired military aircraft that are preserved in Canada. The majority of the Canadian Warbird Survivors are on display within a great number of well maintained aviation museums, many others are displayed as gate guards near or in a number of Canadian Forces Bases, and a good number are in the hands of private collectors. Many are not listed in any catalogue, but have been found by word of mouth,or personal observation.

The museum staffs and volunteer organizations throughout Canada have done a particularly good job of preserving the great variety of Canadian military aircraft, illustrated here. Hopefully, as more aircraft are recovered from their crash sites in the bush and restored, traded or brought back from private owners, they too will be added to the record. The book lists the aircraft alphabetically by manufacturer, number and type. This list is also appended with a brief summary of the aircraft presently on display within the nation and a bit of its history within the Canadian Forces.

Canadian Warbirds books are available through the iUniverse.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and Chapters-Indigo online bookstores.

Order Book: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000013712/Canadian-Warbird-Survivors.aspx.

Nook book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/canadian-warbird-survivors-harold-skaarup/1111903393?ean=9781462048021&itm=34&USRI=Harold+Skaarup

 

The purpose of this handbook is to provide aviation enthusiasts with a handbook on where to find the surviving retired military aircraft preserved in Canada. The majority of the Canadian Warbird and War Prize Survivors are on display within a significant number of aviation museums. Many others are displayed as "gate guards" on or near a number of Canadian and Allied Armed Forces Bases and installations. There are also a few in the hands of private owners and collectors that have been restored to flying status. These include a number of foreign warbird survivors that were brought back to Canada as War Prizes.

The museum staffs and volunteer organizations such as the Canadian Aviation Preservation Association (CAPA) have done tremendous work in preserving military and civilian aircraft that have been a major part of Canada's aviation heritage. A few of these aircraft are illustrated in this book, along with a short description of the aircraft flown by Canadian servicemen and women. The aircraft are listed alphabetically, along with a city or museum location, the manufacturer, aircraft serial number and call sign where known.

Canadian Warbird and War Prize Survivors is part of a series on aircraft used by the Canadian Forces throughout its history.

Order book: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000004392/Canadian-Warbird--War-Prize-Survivors.aspx

Order book in Canada: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Canadian-Warbird-Survivors-Handbook-Where-Harold-A-Skaarup/9780595122165-item.html?ikwid=harold+skaarup&ikwsec=Books

E-book: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Canadian-Warbird--War-Prize/book-Fk3wru8mu0WujM6gbBXpRQ/page1.html?utm_source=indigo&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=retailer&ikwid=harold+skaarup&ikwsec=Books

http://www.amazon.ca/Canadian-Warbird-Survivors-Handbook-Where/dp/0595122167/ref=sr_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322339729&sr=1-14

Nook book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/canadian-warbird-war-prize-survivors-harold-skaarup/1111897835?ean=9781462047949&itm=37&USRI=Harold+Skaarup

 

The purpose of this handbook is to provide aviation enthusiasts with a simple checklist on where to find the surviving retired military aircraft that are preserved in Canada. The majority of the Canadian Warbird Survivors are on display within a great number of well maintained aviation museums, many others are displayed as gate guards near or in a number of Canadian Forces Bases, and a good number are in the hands of private collectors. Many are not listed in any catalogue, but have been found by word of mouth or personal observation.

The museum staffs and volunteer organizations throughout Canada have done a particularly good job of preserving the great variety of Canadian military aircraft, illustrated here. Hopefully, as more aircraft are recovered from their crash sites in the bush and restored, traded or brought back from private owners, they too will be added to the record. The book lists the aircraft alphabetically by manufacturer, number and type. This list is also appended with a brief summary of the aircraft presently on display within the nation and a bit of its history within the Canadian Forces.  This book was updated in 2005. 

In the first of the many updates for this handbook the author has used his own artwork, some of which is presented here, to illustrate most of the military aircraft flown by Canadians. 

For a photographic update on military aircraft preserved in Canada, see the sections on this website on "Canadian Warbirds" and "Canadian Warplanes".

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. V, used for the cover of "Canadian Warbird Survivors 2000".  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20, CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Blackburn Shark floatplane.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20, CFB Shearwater Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Supermarine Stranraer flying boat, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Canadian Car and Foundry (Grumman) G-23 Goblin biplane fighter, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Avron Anson, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  New Brunswick Military History Museum collection, CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.

Noordyn Norseman floatplane, CF-BSC "Big Black", Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  Private collection, Washington D.C., USA.

Canadian Car and Foundry (Hawker) Sea Hurricane, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20, University of King's College collection, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  University of New Brunswick collection, Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Curtiss P-40N Kittyhawk, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada collection, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Westland Whirlwind, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Fairchild (Bristol) Bolingbroke Mk. V, No. 119 Squadron, RCAF, being restored at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.

Handley-Page Hampden, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Avro Lancaster with radial engines, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  Private collection, Ottawa, Ontario.

Handley-Page Halifax, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  Private Collection, Ottawa, Ontario.

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, RCAF (Serial No. 9204), Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.

Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Bristol Beaufighter, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Consoldiated B-24J Liberator, coded AK, No. 5 OTU, RCAF.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.

Consoldiated B-24J Liberator, "Lady Faye", RCAF.  Acrylic on canvas panel, 8 X 10.

 

Grumman G50 (F6F-5) Hellcat Mk. II, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy, flown by Canadians serving in the British Pacific Fleet against Japan.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.

Grumman AS3 (ex-USN TBM-3E) Avenger, RCN, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20, Fredericton Airport collection, Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Grumman TBF Avenger, C-GLEK, (ex-USN BuNo. 85733), Reg. No. N6824C, No. 14, Forest Protection Limited colours.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20, Forest Protection Ltd, Fredericton Airport, New Brunswick.  One of 30 owned by FPL.  This aircraft was lost in a crash.

North American B-25J Mitchell, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

The RCAF was an important user of the B-25 Mitchell, although most of the RCAF use of the 162 Mitchells delivered was postwar. The first B-25s for the RCAF had originally been diverted to Canada from RAF orders. These included one Mitchell I, 42 Mitchell IIs, and 19 Mitchell IIIs. No 13 (P) Squadron was formed unofficially at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario in May 1944.  They operated Mitchell IIs on high-altitude aerial photography sorties.  The No. 5 OTU (Operational Training Unit) at Boundary Bay, British Columbia and Abbotsford, British Columbia operated the Mitchell in the training role together with B-24 Liberators for Heavy Conversion as part of the BCATP.  No. 418 (Auxiliary) Squadron received its first Mitchell IIs in January 1947.  It was followed by No. 406 (Auxiliary) Squadron which flew Mitchell IIIs from April 1947 to June 1958. No. 418 Squadron operated a mix of Mk. IIs and IIIs until March 1958. No. 12 Squadron of Air Transport Command also flew Mitchell IIIs along with other types from September 1956 to November 1960.  In 1951, the RCAF received an additional 75 B-25Js from USAF stocks to make good attrition and to equip various second line units.  The RCAF retained the Mitchell until October 1963.

Vought F4U Corsair, as flown by RCNVR Lt (N) Hampton Gray, VC, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  University of King's College collection, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

de Havilland Sea Hornet, Oil on canvas panel, 18" X 24".

de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  This painting was initially with the Peterson Air Museum collection in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  It moved with the Canadian NORAD Museum collection to the Base Borden Military Museum, CFB Borden, Ontario, where it is currently on display in the Aviation section of the museum.

Douglas Boston, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Gloster Meteor, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.   CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Canadair CT-33 Silver Star, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.   CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk. 4 (Serial No. 18297), C/N 197, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.   CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

Avro CF-105 Arrows, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  Charlottetown Flight Centre, Charlottetown Airport, Prince Edward Island.

McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo over the rockies.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20, Western Canada Aviation Museum collection, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Canadair CF-116 Freedom Fighter, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.

CFPT SkyHawks, Twin Otter exit.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.

CFPT SkyHawks DC-3 exit.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.

CFPT SkyHawks, C-130 Hercules exit.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.

Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopter, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  New Brunswick Military History Museum collection, CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.

Canadair CP-107 Argus, Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20.  Private collection, Ottawa, Ontario.

McDonnell Douglas CF-188 Hornet in D-Day commemorative markings.  Oil on canvas panel, 16 X 20, CFB Greenwood Aviation Museum collection, Nova Scotia.