The Chairman's Report - by Don Matthews
The Board is pleased to introduce our new Commanding Officer designate. Lieutenant Colonel Derek "Duff" Gowanlock. He will officially accept the position in the New Year. Duff is the Commanding Officer of 1 Air Maintenance Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake.
Here are a few words from Duff, followed by his biography.
"It is my honour to have been approached to act as CO of the Air Force Museum of Alberta. As you well know, the Museum is already an exceptional success with world-class exhibits. The vision for the coming Cold War exhibit further demonstrates the outstanding leadership, energy and support that the Museum has benefitted from; everyone associated with the AFMSA should be proud of their accomplishments. I look forward to working with the Museum and Society over the next year to see the exhibit come to fruition and over the coming years as the Museum helps safeguard and promote our RCAF history and heritage."
Biography – Lieutenant-Colonel Derek (Duff) Gowanlock
Born and raised in the small town of Forestburg, AB, Lieutenant-Colonel Gowanlock enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces directly after high school. Following two years at Royal Roads Military College, Lieutenant-Colonel Gowanlock graduated from Royal Military College with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical). Upon completion of initial occupational training he was posted to 435 (Transport) Squadron at CFB (later 18 Wing) Edmonton. With the closure of 18 Wing, Lieutenant-Colonel Gowanlock was posted to the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE) in Cold Lake, AB. As the only Armament Officer at the unit, he had the good fortune of being involved in the conduct of testing for the CF’s first aircraft delivered precision guided munitions (PGMs). The capstone activity of this first tour at AETE was his assignment as Project Officer in charge of the testing the first fielded CF188 PGM, the GBU-12.
From AETE he was selected for Post Graduate Training at the University of Tennessee, where he obtained an MSc in Aerodynamics. Upon completion of his degree then Captain Gowanlock was employed in the Directorate of Technical Airworthiness (DTA) in Ottawa as a Flight Science Engineer supporting a variety of aircraft types ranging from the CF188 Hornet to the CT155 Hawk. Following four years in DTA, Captain Gowanlock was selected for Flight Test Engineering (FTE) training, attending the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, California. Following FTE Training, Major Gowanlock returned to AETE in Cold Lake as the Officer in Charge of Rotary Wing Evalutions (OiC RW Eval), responsible for the flight testing of all CF Rotary Wing aircraft. During this time Major Gowanlock had the unique opportunity to deploy to Kabul, Afghanistan to conduct testing of the CU161 SPERWER concurrent with its initial operations for OP ATHENA. Upon completion of his tour at AETE, Major Gowanlock was selected to lead a new Combined Test Force, established to support the acquisition of the CH148 Cyclone, located with the contractor in West Palm Beach, Florida.
In 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Gowanlock was promoted to his current rank and selected for the Joint Command and Staff Program (JCSP) in Toronto. Following completion of JCSP, Lieutenant-Colonel Gowanlock was appointed the Weapon System Manager for the CP140 Aurora, in Ottawa. After a short year in that capacity, he was selected to be the Senior Test Engineer at AETE. In July 2012, Lieutenant-Colonel Gowanlock assumed command of 1 Air Maintenance Squadron, a role he has gladly held for the past year.
Lieutenant-Colonel Gowanlock is married to Jennifer (nee Boyd) from River Bourgeois, Nova Scotia. Together they have two daughters, Olivia and Amelia.
One of LCol Gowanlock's CO duties is to represent the RCAF and the Air Force Museum of Alberta at The Military Museums Council. The Commanding Officers of the seven Museums plus reps from the University of Calgary sit on the Council to provide good governance and strategic guidance for TMM.
A recent initiative taken by the Council, at the request of Colonel Derek Macauly Chairman of TMM Council, is for all of the supporting associations to answer the questions "What is TMM to you" and "What do you want TMM to be?" Good questions that your Society has been discussing at the last two board meetings. Suffice it to say that a higher profile in Alberta and an increased opportunity to work with the other societies, foundations and associations are both high on the list. More to come in the New Year.
You can expect an announcement soon on our expansion of the Museum -The Air Force Cold War Exhibit - a new Gallery dedicated to the 40 year campaign known as the Cold War. Most of the fund raising is complete and once we have confirmed the long term operations and maintenance funding we will announce the next stages at a Licence Agreement signing. Exciting times are ahead, we just need to maintain our patience as we put the last pieces of the puzzle together. The work on CF-104 846 at Springbank and CF-18 719 at Cold Lake continues on time and on target.
Our iconic CF-5 #707 marking our spot on Crowchild will have to wait until next April for its "makeover". The cold weather arrived before our special order paint so look for work to start in April 2014.
We are also preparing next year's special exhibit on Search and Rescue. The year of the Korean veteran is almost complete so we have chosen the very important work the RCAF does in search and rescue as the new exhibit for 2014. Other upgrades to our Museum can be found in the curator's report.
May you and your families enjoy a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
With 2013 drawing to a close (so soon?!), we are now well into planning for 2014. First up, a new Search and Rescue exhibit will open in late January, taking the place of our current Korean War exhibit. Because of their largely domestic operations, SAR personnel are often overshadowed by their colleagues from theatres of conflict. We are well into the research portion of this display and, through the help of two Board members with SAR experience, it will highlight the unique story of SAR personnel in the Canadian military from the Second World War to today.
Our main focus of 2014, however, will be the Cold War exhibit. This will be installed in the simulated Hardened Aircraft Shelters that will house the CF-18 and the CF-104.
From a curatorial standpoint, this display presents some challenges. On average, people know less about the Cold War than they do about the First or Second World Wars. Why? There are a few reasons. First, there is less "popular history" available about this period; a trip to the local bookstore reveals more books about the World Wars than the forty-plus-year conflict that consumed the world after 1945. Second, the Cold War lacks the 'flair' of previous conflicts. Warfare started to become faceless, the enemy was unseen, there are few inspiring stories and certainly none like that of P/O Andrew Mynarski, VC, for example. One could even argue that this era suffered the same fate as the Korean War: it was overshadowed by the lingering effects of World War Two and is largely forgotten today. Mistakenly, we often fall prey to that mentality in the museum industry: oh, it happened after 1945? Not historical enough. Cue ambivalence.
So how do we bring vitality to a Cold War display? First, we have to realize that it is a completely different ball-game than the Second World War. Therefore, we must tap the main themes of the era: espionage, secretiveness, the nuclear threat, the jet age. Instead of an era of sheepskin-lined flying coats and cheeky nose-art, the Cold War has got a chilly (pardon the pun) sleekness to it, mirrored in the polished sides of the CF-104. Even RCAF uniforms gradually lose their disheveled elegance seen in the Second World War. Technology, though still in its infancy, has got a bigger role to play.
We have to keep these themes in mind when building our exhibit. We have assembled a crack exhibit committee: all members served during the Cold War and they will be a wonderful source of insight. But before we can sit down and decide the components of this display, we have to talk to the public. By mid-December, there will be an electronic survey at the museum entrance. One segment will be a short quiz to find out how much the public knows about the Cold War - so we can fill in the gaps. The second will be a questionnaire to determine what people actually want to see in the exhibit. Artefacts? Videos? Interactive displays? Visitor expectations are always changing so it is nice to stay on top.
Likewise, if you have any stories or suggestions that we could apply to the 2014 Cold War exhibit, don't hesitate to get in touch. Either send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-410-2340 Ext 2661.
With the end of the year upon us, it's time to highlight one of the most interesting donations we received this year. During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force committed four squadrons to North Africa - 420, 424, and 425 Squadrons, which made up No. 331 Medium Bomber Wing, and 417 Squadron, flying fighters. Some Canadians also served with RAF squadrons stationed in the same theatre.
Flight Sergeant J.V. Davey was a pilot with 112 Squadron RAF, flying Spitfires, Kittyhawks, and Hurricanes. He joined up in Victoria, BC, and took his flying training at No. 8 EFTS at Sea Island and No. 10 SFTS at Dauphin, Manitoba. Assigned to the RAF seven months later, he qualified on Spitfires at No. 53 OTU in Llandow, Wales. In his flying log, his first entry for the Mk. VB Spitfire describes the aircraft as "real sweet kites." By early 1942, he was in the Western Desert with 112 Squadron. Sadly he was reported missing on 17 May 1942 after an attack on targets behind enemy lines.
He is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial for those who have no known grave. We are privileged to hold his flying log, papers, and his one-of-a-kind leather suitcase, decorated with aircraft sketches and signatures of traveling companions. Our sincerest thanks go out to Corinne Davey for this donation.
Vignettes From The Memory Bank Of An Old Fighter Pilot - contributed by KC(Ken) Lett a member of 402 City of Winnipeg Fighter Squadron
F/L (Dick) Audet DFC & BAR - New Years eve 1944 at B66, a fighter strip north of Eindhoven Holland, was being celebrated by members of 126 RCAF spitfire wing in the usual Canadian fashion when I was grasped in a bear hug by a classmate from pilot training days . Dick and I had completed SFTS (Harvards) at Uplands and were presented our wings by Prime Minister MacKenzie King on parliament hill on a cold and breezy October 24 1942.
We travelled to England together and then parted ways. So we had a lot of catching up to do. We updated each other on what we knew of the fate of our Uplands classmates after which I heard the story of Dick's rise from infamy to fame, probably never told before. Th principals involved are all long gone from this world so the story can be told even if biased by the teller and influenced by the New Years eve environment.
After completing Spitfire operational training he had been transferred to another RCAF spitfire wing where his explosive personality got him into trouble. Exiting the officers mess his way was barred by a large furry animal which Dick removed with the toe of his boot. The dog was the pride and joy of his Group captain airfield commander. Dicks next job was towing flags at gunnery school.
After completing his punishment tour he was transferred to 411(F) Squadron 126 Wing where he proceeded to rewrite the record books --- He shot down five German fighters in one sortie, a feat never before accomplished in the European Theatrer of Operations.
As we stood at the bar that evening his comment to me was " I hope that SOB is taking note"
Dick was an Albertan with fantastic eyesight and an agressive personality -- literally tall dark and handsome. He was a natural pilot who graduated near the top of a class of 57 trainees and never stopped learning. Unfortunately he was shot down by anti aircraft fire while attacking a German train in March 1945.
2013 Air Force Museum Society Golf Tournament
With great cooperation from the weatherman a very successful golf tournament with 87 entrants was held at Silverwing golf course on 21 August 2013. Approximately $12000 was raised to support ongoing operations and new exhibits for our Air Force Museum. One highlite was the arrival of a Griffon helicopter from 408 Squadron carrying a squadron golf team. It remained parked by the driving range for the duration of the tournament allowing everyone to have a looksee and talk to some of the crew.
Silverwing provided outstanding support throughout the tournament culminating with a tasty roast beef dinner which everyone seemed to enjoy.
1st prize for low net score was won by Clark Olson, Phil Sprung, Tim Sprung and Charles Douglas. The team of Jim Couglan, Jack Graham, Marion Graham and Rob MacDonald walked off with the prize for low gross score. 2nd low net went to Marg McGillivray, Rob McGillivray, Blair Smook and Wayne Smook. 3rd low net was won by Ken Lett, John Hutt, Dean Buckland and Ed McGillivray.
The draw for the Golf Tournament raffle was held at the completion of dinner and the top prize of two tickets anywhere WestJet flies (donated by WestJet) was won by Mallory Watson. The 2nd and 3rd cash prizes went to Gail Slen and Mark Bowes respectively. The raffle brought in about $3000 of the $12000 total proceeds realized from the golf tournament.
Preparations are underway for the fifth annual Air Force Museum of Alberta Golf Tournament to be held at the Silverwing Golf Course on Wednesday 20 August 2014. We hope to see you all there for another great day of golf. Anyone wishing to help out with the planning for the tournament can contact Gord Todd at email@example.com.