Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

Ken Pickford shares this wonderful video found on YouTube. 

I came across with interesting 1961/62 footage of PWA operations supporting construction of the Granduc copper mine about 50 km north of Stewart, BC, and about 210 km as crow flies north of Prince Rupert, just east of the Alaska border (the road from Stewart to the mine mostly passes through Alaska).

No sound but fairly good quality footage (for those days). Some good aerial views of the mountains in that area.

Aircraft types appearing include the Avro Anson, DHC-3 Otter, DHC-2 Beaver and Curtiss C-46. Most of the last half of the video features the C-46. Was able to read the registrations of two C-46's (CF-CZM and CF-CZN). Both were among 4 of CPA's 8 C-46's that went to PWA in 1959 when CP's routes between Edmonton and the Northwest Territories were transferred to PWA.

The 8 ex-US military C-46's were acquired by CPA in 1955 (mostly from US cargo carrier Flying Tiger) to transport supplies during construction of the DEW Line radar stations across the Arctic. PWA also acquired two of their own C-46's in 1955, no doubt also for their activities supporting the DEW Line project. A couple of the CPA C-46s that didn't go to PWA later went to Nordair. Until CP's northern Alberta and NWT routes went to PWA in 1959, the C-46s were CP's primary type on those routes and were operated in both cargo and passenger configurations.

There are several sites with information on the Granduc mine which closed in 1984. The processed ore was trucked to Stewart and loaded on ships. Stewart is at the end of a very long, almost 200 km, fjord from the open Pacific.

There have been proposals to reopen the mine since then but nothing has happened as far as I know.

Editors' Note: The video is posted on the 'Reel Life / CanadaMotorSport' YouTube channel.

As per the video description, "this 8mm reel was found and rescued a year ago in a second hand store in Vancouver by a colleague and is now part of my growing collection of vintage amateur reels, numbering over 2000 reels. Enjoy!"

We have to wonder how many 8mm films like this are stored away in people's personal memorabilia collections. We are fortunate to live at a time when so much history has been preserved in video for all of us to enjoy.

tmb 550 granduc