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Nov 09

RAF Ferry Commanders No Longer Forgotten

FerryCommandBadgesOn Monday, November 9, 2015, the following media release started going out world-wide to aviation publications, aviation museums, aviation editors in print and electronic media, world governments and their national defence departments as well as the public relations offices of government air forces and major airlines of the world. The release will be sent out over a two-day period, in advance of what is commonly known in a number of countries as Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, or Veterans’ Day.

RAF Ferry Commanders No Longer Forgotten

DATELINE: Monday, November 9, 2015– Welland, Ontario, Canada, and Davie, Florida USA

A new website now exists to pay a long-term and long-overdue tribute to the nearly-forgotten thousands of unarmed, non-uniformed and non-insurable civilians who came from 23 allied nations to create and sustain the world’s first large-scale military air ferry unit in 1940: what became popularly known throughout World War II as the Royal Air Force Ferry / Transport Command.

Announcement of this new website, www.RAFFerryCommand.com, has been timed to coincide close to Remembrance Day in Canada, Wednesday, November 11, which is generally known in many countries as a day of remembrance celebrating the endings of World War I and World War II.

It is a dynamic website in the sense that information is being added to it on an almost daily basis by its creators in Davie, Florida: Ms. Donna McVicar Kazo, and her daughter, Christianna Cannon. They work almost daily with Ted Beaudoin, an aviation writer in Welland, Ontario, Canada, who has compiled a massive amount of information on the RAF FC/TC unit over a ten-year-long research period and is producing a series of three standalone but companion books on this operation.

Information obtained from this decade of research, begun as a labour of love in 2005, the Year of the Veteran in Canada, is far greater than what can be published in his three books now nearing completion.

The website was created to make certain that all of the anecdotes, stories, photographs and other memorabilia, such as personal memoirs, some loaned and many donated to him, be made publicly available.

It also contains much information about Ms. Kazo’s father, Capt. Don McVicar, OBE. He was one of the many frontier-busting aviation pioneers from the 1930s and onward. He wrote a series of books on his experiences in unfolding aviation frontiers throughout much of Canada’s remote northerly regions, all of which will be featured on the new website.

While much has been produced in various media formats about how the allied nations of World War II gained planet-wide mastery of the air to assist their marine and ground military units, by comparison, little has been produced about how this vital mastery of the air came to be.

It happened thanks to the civilians who launched it, starting as a Canadian Pacific Railway operation in late 1939. They did this by surreptitiously moving aircraft at four different points across the Canada / USA border, and then, on the night of Sunday, November 10, 1940, flew the first seven of these aircraft, unarmed Hudson bombers, across the then-unknown and uncharted skies of the North Atlantic Ocean, deemed suicidal by political and military aviation experts of the day.

These civilians were soon to be strongly supported by air and ground / administration crews made up of personnel seconded from allied military air forces and personnel attached to the unit from allied nations’ commercial airlines, along with men and women from the Air Transport Auxiliary squadrons set up by allied nations to ferry aircraft within their own countries and elsewhere.

Once the United States of America was able to support this civilian-driven air ferry, the resulting boost made it possible for American aircraft manufacturers, along with some Canadian aircraft manufacturers, to make and deliver more than 250,000 fighter and bomber aircraft from North America to when and where they were needed to bring the Germans and Japanese to the peace table in August, 1945, effectively bringing an end to a global war.

 

Author Beaudoin can be reached at tedbeaudoin@yahoo.ca, or by phone, (905) 714-1788