Simone Takes Wing?


Simone pads quietly up and down the streets in search of a yard sale. After only a few minutes, she finds a street closed to traffic and shoppers are wandering from one yard sale to the next. Simone jumps up on the tables to take a closer look at the items for sale. Baby clothes. Toys. Dishes. Not much to interest a curious cat. Ah, but in one yard, a man is selling some items that belonged to a pilot.

Simone spies a shiny pin that is a set of tiny silver air plane wings. This would look great on her neck scarf! As she looks the wings over, she hears a woman talking about a group of civilian (not in the armed forces) airmen who flew air planes from Canada to Great Britain during the Second World War (1939-1945). They were called The Ferry Command. These courageous men completed long flights across the Atlantic Ocean in constant danger of attack from enemy submarines and battleships.

Consolidated 'Liberator' and Lockheed-Vega 'Ventura' aircraft of R.A.F. Ferry Command en route to Britain, Dorval, Que., 13 May 1942.
Photo: Library and Archives Canada PA-114767

The Ferry Command air planes were flown from the Montréal area, Québec, to Gander, Newfoundland, where there was a refuelling stop. (Wait until Gandy hears this, Simone thinks. He's from Newfoundland and Labrador!) From there, the planes were flown across the Atlantic Ocean to Prestwick in Great Britain. The air route that the Ferry Command used during the war became a peacetime route for a Canadian private airline. By the end of the Second World War in 1945, the airmen of the Ferry Command had delivered 20,000 aircraft for the war effort.

Simone is impressed. That's a lot of air planes. The pin is nice and Simone wants it to help her remember the exciting story of the Ferry Command. Time to tell the others!

The Bell Strikes Eight!
Date modified: