Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

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Trevor
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Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Trevor » Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:43 pm

For seven years, I've been trying to track down any information on a short-lived fire bombing company in Whitehorse. I finally learned what the company's name was.

Can any one from the Whitehorse area share any information on a company called Mid Canada Aerial Contractors? They appeared in the 1973 Whitehorse telephone book, and several witnesses have confirmed they flew operationally in 1974. The tanker, a silver/grey A-26 with blue naceeles and red patches, and a large Canadian flag ended up at Air Spray the following year.

Thanks, and happy holidays.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Flybabe » Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:03 pm

Trevor - will see if I can dig anything up for you.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by longjon » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:02 pm

Did you contact Bob Cameron in Whitehorse?

He is an aviation historian and lifelong Yukoner.

Last I heard he was living on a sailboat in Skagway so he may be unavailable but his son is an AME with Air North.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Trevor » Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:35 am

I did contact Bob Cameron, but he couldn't provide anything more.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by longjon » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:25 am

I take it you spoke to some people at Air Spray as they had the tanker next season. Is Mr.Hamilton still around?

What about some of the Air Spray tanker drivers from that area. Bert Weaver comes to mind.

Barry Watson ? Hes still in Whitehorse.

Win or Joe Muff.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Fatass » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:48 pm

Trevor

I asked around a little today. Mid Canada Aerial Contractors was owned by Terry Harold. Gordon Sherman may have piloted the Invader. He later went to Air Spray. These names were from distant memories and may not be fact (although I don't think I've ever seen this guy be wrong).

Cheers
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by rum-runner » Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:08 pm

Fatass wrote:Trevor

I asked around a little today. Mid Canada Aerial Contractors was owned by Terry Harold. Gordon Sherman may have piloted the Invader. He later went to Air Spray. These names were from distant memories and may not be fact (although I don't think I've ever seen this guy be wrong).

Cheers
I am wondering if they were A-26's? I think the aircraft that Terry Harold had were B-25 Mitchell's. I think Gord Sherman (now deceased) did fly as captain and Gordon Peel was his co-jo.
Gordon Peel lives just west or Red Deer, Alberta. Might be worth a call to him.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by CLguy » Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:31 am

There used to be a company that operated 2 B-25 Mitchell's in the north firebombing. In fact when I was in Yellowknife years ago I bought my kids a childrens book that was wrote by one of the pilots that flew them. It was a story about firefighting with his dog in the B-25. That was lots of years ago so I don't remember the name of it.

Not sure if this will help you!
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by W5 » Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:30 pm

Northwestern Air Lease had the B-25's, usually based in Fort Smith but I remember seeing them at work in High Level. They also tried to convert the Lancaster.
Terry Harrold once had B-25 (DKU ?), can't remember the name of his company (G&M?). They all used to winter at St. Albert.

here is some of the history of Airspray's 26's:

http://www.vectaris.net/id263.html

Wasn't there also a "Mid Canada" (... something) at that time that tried (or did) operate one or more DC-7's?
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Driving Rain » Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:25 pm

That was lots of years ago so I don't remember the name of it.
"Chico" the Waterbombing Dog. Your right, there was a B25 illustration in the book.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by CLguy » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:07 pm

Wow between you and my wife I never have to worry about remembering anything. Can't believe you remember the name but she trumped you because she still had the book stored away. Anyway the pilots name flying the B-25 was Captain Reeve if that jogs any memories.

The book is based on a true story but was wrote by Elizabeth M. Trotter and not the pilot himself. My mistake!
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Driving Rain » Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:17 am

I think you and I bought the last two copies Fort Snith had in stock. Remember the bike riding librarian? :shock:
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by rum-runner » Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:51 am

You two shud get each others emails..
Yea screwed up the 215 thread with the PBY chatter
and now your f'kn up this one with your love affair with comics..
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by BD8 » Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:43 pm

The 1973 and '74 A/C Registries shows Mid Canada Aerial Contractors of Whitehorse operating A26 CF-BVH. The '76 Registry shows it with Airspray. The aircraft (Tanker 6) was written off in a firebombing accident adjacent to the Slave Lake airport April 24, 1980.

Aside from Mid Canada, Conair and Airspray, other operators that had A/B26's registered in 1974 were :
Kenting Aircraft, Toronto (2)
Mercury Flights Ltd, Edmonton (1)
Huitikka Olavi N, Fort Frances, (2)
Forest Patrol Ltd, Saint John (1)
:)
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by CLguy » Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:54 am

Gee Rumrunner sorry to ruin your day. Didn't realize you have been assigned the thread cop role. If you have something to say in the 215 thread why don't you go ahead and say it.

As far as this thread goes it appears to me that Trevor is trying to find some info about a company that operated in the north years ago. It also is quite apparent that most aren't sure whether it was A-26's or B-25's or maybe both and I happened to remember a few things, including a book with a pilots name that maybe could help jog some memories.

Go ahead fill your boots, this thread is all yours!!
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Trevor » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:26 am

Thanks everyone for the responses. I've talked with the Harolds already, they owned the B-25s out of St.Albert/Ft.Smith. I'll keep digging and see if some of the older pilots remember anything, its too small an industry to forget about your competition.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Flybabe » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:25 pm

All I could find out the last few days was that Mid Canadian was in Yukon maybe one season, probably 1974 as you noted. I have a couple of pictures of one of the airplanes with "MCAC" on the nose.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by X Driver » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:15 pm

I believe at some time in the 70's a pilot by the name of George Landry operated an A 26 out of Whitehorse he was killed the following winter in a Reindeer Air Services DC3 out of Norman Wells if I remember correctly.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Flybabe » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:12 pm

For those that are interested, I believe this is the machine Trevor is asking about:

Image

I have a couple other photos of 26's from that era.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by bilko » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:46 pm

I can confirm that picture was taken on the ramp in Whitehorse.
I remember when that hangar in the background burnt down.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by BD8 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:07 pm

Love the T33 nose on her.

:lol: :lol:
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by Trevor » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:46 pm

Flybabe... That is exactly what I was looking for.

X Driver... I'd heard GL's name mentioned, but no one had any information. Could you tell me if he had family or friends up in Whitehorse that I may be able to track down?
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by X Driver » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:23 pm

Hi Trevor
Sorry I don't have any info on George I believe he lived in Whitwhorse at the time.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by rum-runner » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:36 pm

bilko wrote:I can confirm that picture was taken on the ramp in Whitehorse.
I remember when that hangar in the background burnt down.
What year was that? I thought they tore the old hangar/tower down.
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Re: Fire bombing Invaders in the Yukon

Post by bilko » Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:54 pm

The year the old hangar burnt down?

Not to sure, maybe late 70,s or could be early 80,s but I stand correct if anyone knows more.

But it was years after the Paddle Wheelers burnt.
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