tmb rick holiday

Frank Pedder sent us this photo of Rick Holiday in 1988 at YUL.


tmb toronto 1938
Toronto 1938

Back in the early TCA days, before passenger service began, we were flying air express together with mail. In 1938 at Toronto and Ottawa and in 1939 at Winnipeg airport.
tmb ottawa 1938
Ottawa 1938

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Winnipeg 1939

Conclusion of the story by Frank Sayer entitled "Incredible inaugurations" we started in NetLetter nr 1322
extracted from “Between Ourselves” magazine issued June 1942

The Newfoundland beginning was no exception. One of the pre-inaugural flights in the spring of 1942 had among its passengers: Bill English; Ron George; Walter Fowler; Casey Van der Linden; Don MacLaren and myself. This plane flew along the south coast of Newfoundland in an effort to reach St. John's by way of Burin Peninsula and Argentia.

It didn't. Reason? Weather. As a compromise we settled for the night at Gander and ventured through the next morning. It was now Saturday, April 4, and we expected to return home on Monday on board another plane from Moncton.

As a matter of fact, we next saw our loved ones on April 10. Reason? Weather. Not until then could the pilot again get to the Torbay airport. as St. John's was then in the inky blackness of its first permanent black out. The party during its long exile had the hardening experience of stumbling over curbstones and bumping into pedestrians until they had learned to see in the dark. Of our further adventures discretion forbids mention, but it should do no harm to recall to the Quixotic instincts of one of our number, the soul of Winnipeg chivalry who on one occasion walked home in the black out, about seven miles.

But the real heartbreak came when Bill English laboured to contact pilot and plane at Moncton by telephone. The circuit  was routed via Montreal and also via censor. Three times our pooled intelligence attempted to penetrate the watchfulness of that hidden ear. We began. "when can the plane- ."
"You can't say that" interrupted the ear.
"Well, the airport - "
"No! It is not permitted." spluttered the ear. Desperately "the weather -." 
"No! No! No!" Click went the line, and after that all we could do was stand and hopefully wait for salvation.

Today, of course. everything is different. Aerial navigation aids have reduced those old first hit and miss first flights to mere memories. But what memories.

Robert Pelley has sent us this information -

As you may know, this is the situation for the history of Gander. In 1935 it was only trees and bog. It existed as military airport until 1945 and then was used for civilian purposes until 1959.

In 1959 a new town was built; the present-day terminal was constructed and the old military airport torn down so that nothing exists. I have a website which tries to collect and display data on “old” Gander: Click here for Bob's Gander History web site. 

Over the years, former staff from TCA or other organisations have given me enough info to be able to do a first article on TCA in Gander from the initial flights in 1942 to the first Viscounts. But I suspect there is a lot more info out there that merits being included. This could be timetables, lists of employees or any other Gander info, line diagrams, anecdotes, photos of any nature from operations to company parties.

My article on TCA can be seen at TCAAIRCANADA.PDF

If you could inform your readers about the website with hope of obtaining information which would make it more complete and pertinent, your help would be immensely appreciated!

Robert Pelley, former Gander resident

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