I worked with Bert for a time in Sioux Lookout after OCA bought out Hooker Air. I wish I knew more of Berts history but I'm pretty sure he worked for a while at McDonnall -Douglas when the first DC-3's rolled out. I'm sure he told me that but wouldn't stake my life on it. I'm also pretty sure that the collapsing building we worked out of at the Sioux Lookout airport was once the station for Trans Canada Airlines which became air Canada. I'm just putting this out there for debate as I'd like to know if someone has the facts on this.
Albert John McConnell was born on January 27, 1927. I have a copy of the obit. I was at the funeral. He passed away on Oct 8, 2000.
The first DC-3's rolled out in 1935. The company was simply "Douglas"'. The "McConnell " addition came along many years later. I do not have Bert's exact history at my fingertips but he would have been a little young to be at Santa Monica in 1935. I do know that he was an RCMP officer doing dog team patrols in the Keewatin area north of Churchill in the 1950's. He later joined TCA and worked in the overhaul shops in Winnipeg in the late 1950's-early 1960's. I am not sure about his history between TCA and Hooker. He may have gone to the DOT for awhile after TCA. After Hooker he went to the DOT in Winnipeg from which he retired.
The old building you worked in at the CYXL airport would have been the old Central Northern Airways/ Transair office, never TCA. TCA did not fly into CYXL, only Armstrong and Kapuskasing in the early 1940's.