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Frontier tales from Pacific Western.

Stuart Russell has sent us this information and two photos -

tmb pwa c 46 in front cf hyi and dc3 cf inb in back fox 1957Pacific Western Airlines Curtiss C46 Commando CF-HYI and Douglas DC-3 CF-INB at the Dew Line site (Distant Early Warning) Fox Main at Hall Beach Nunavut N44’ 39” Latitude W63’36” Longitude in 1957.

Hall Beach YUX was one of 42 radar stations constructed in the mid 1950s that stretched across the arctic from Alaska to Labrador, designed to monitor potential air traffic over the polar regions of North America.

tmb pwa dc4 cf pwj coppermine kugluktuk nunavut 1962Pacific Western operated seven Douglas DC-3’s and seven Curtiss C-46 Commandos during the 1950's and 1960's, with many of these aircraft used to transport vast amounts of air cargo to the sites during the construction of the Dew Line, and later during the resupply phase. Both aircraft types were considered workhorses in their day. Photo courtesy of Jim Kulak.

Pacific Western Airlines Douglas DC4 CF-PWJ offloading drum fuel and lumber at Coppermine NWT (now Kugluktuk Nunavut) N67’49” Latitude W115’08’ Longitude in the early 1960’s, with the assistance of local Inuvialuit residents and their dog teams.

PWA aircraft provided a resupply lifeline to communities like YCO up on the arctic coast and their arrival was always a cause for excitement in the remote isolated northern communities. Photo courtesy of HCRA files, from the "Canadian Pacific COMPASS" magazine issue 1981.


Taking off.

At the same time civil aviation was becoming increasingly important. In 1942, 10 small regional air services, flying North-South routes, were consolidated to form Canadian Pacific Air Lines.

Two strong men, C.H. 'Punch' Dickins and Grant McConachie took on the task of shaping the destiny of the new airline. D.C. Coleman, now president of Canadian Pacific, expected great things of company air transport after the war. The government, however, had different ideas.

It ordered that, within a year after the war, railways would have to be out of the airline business.

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