TCA/AC People Gallery

1939 - Nov 1st - First flight Montreal-Moncton.


  • April 1st - New quarters for TCA opened at Lakehead airport.
  • April 25th - North Star service inaugurated to Regina replacing DC-3.
  • April 27th - North Star service inaugurated to Lethbridge replacing DC-3.

An extract from the "Between Ourselves" magazine Issue dated June 1953

thumb moncton terminal 1953Moncton was one of the original terminals for inter-city air travel in Canada. Back in the winter of 1927-28, air service out of Moncton to the Magdelan Islands on the Gulf of St.Lawrence was inaugurated. Passengers were carried "space available", after mail and the only shelter for them as they awaited their flight was a workshop at Cook's Brook. The flights were operated off the ice. The original schedule out of the Maritime point was followed in 1928-29 by an air mail and passenger service to Summerside and Charlottetown. Operations were moved from the ice at Cook's Brook to a sod covered field near the city, and, in the winter the combination office-waiting room had an old coal stove in the centre, where passengers warmed themselves after driving some four miles by horse and sled.

This, of course, is a far cry from conditions that Moncton air travelers find today. It was the fall of 1939 that the airport at Moncton was opened and TCA operated the first Montreal-Moncton flight on November 1st., and not until 1942 before TCA inaugurated daily Moncton-Sydney-St.John's, Newfoundland. After the war there were inadequate quarters due to building restrictions. In the summer of 1951, the D.O.T. commenced building a new terminal when, on October 4th, 1951, a fire razed the complete building.

Construction was began again and, on the March 23rd., 1952 the new terminal was officially opened, and two major airlines operated out of Moncton, Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) and Maritime Central Airways (MCA).

Issue dated September 1959
A 1.5 million dollar computer centre ordered for Electronic Reservations system. The centre was built by Ferranti-Packard Electric Ltd, in operation 1961. The same company was awarded a 2 million dollar contract in March 1959 to build field equipment for the reservations system.


Al Brown, Noel Humphrys and Dick Williams were busy in Canada in an exciting new business. They were radio operators with TCA, Canada's new dynamic airline venture. They were called Radio Operators, but if they had a hat for every different job they did, they could have kept a haberdashery in business. They made out local sheets, took weather observations, helped to sort out aircraft and crew routing problems, and in between times talked by radio to our brand new Lockheed Electras in the air. Art Rankin, Kelly Edinison, Ted Stull and many other of our first pilots became accustomed to hearing these men on the ground, and came to rely on their judgment in many conditions. And so began the TCA Flight Dispatch era.

January 1st, 1940 is the date Noel Humphrys and Dick Williams officially started as Flight Control Officers (later changed to Flight Dispatchers) and a system of operational control was formally recognized.

thumb stewardessesTCA's Stewardesses training was the subject, in part, of a book on ''Stewardess as a career''. Well known writer-photographer Jack Engeman seen snapping three radiant graduates of the previous day, had just returned home to Baltimore after having completed the second of his two week photo coverage on classroom work for the stewardesses-to-be. The first week was spent amidst the thirty-odd beginners on their first week of training. His book, the seventh in a series on careers was distributed during September of 1960. The girls seen arranging Micheline Beland's uniform in the center, are Barbara Sander left, and Sheila Stiles on the right.

Viscount hits wandering deer.
One night late in July 1959, a stray deer fell prey to the whirling propeller of an inbound Viscount at Saint John, N.B., and was buried by a Municipal Airport crew alongside the runway on which it was hit.
The accident happened as flight 425 from Montreal and Fredericton touched down on what to be a brief stop before continuing on to Halifax.

One of the passengers saw the accident and he called Stewardess Alice Francis, "I think we hit a deer." She informed the pilot, Captain Donald Dubrueil, of Montreal, who swung the aircraft and picked up the body of a big buck deer and its sheared antlers in his landing lights.

As a precautionary measure the aircraft was grounded and the remainder of the passengers bound for other parts of the Maritimes were placed aboard another aircraft.

thumb chicago staff 1959Chicago employees stop to pose for the camera during their annual Summer Dance. They are, from the left: W. H. Rourke, Miss C. M. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. G. N. Leather, Mrs. R. W. Miles, R. W. Miles, Mrs. L. E. Timbers, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Douglas, Mrs P. McCoy, P. McCoy and Miss M. Rackow.

Current Mail List

Join our Mail List

Please use the form below to sign up to our mail list.
Thank you for subscribing to The NetLetter.