Saturday, September 28, 2013

John Murphy - 1923-2013

We are not about to make a habit of announcing obituary notices but an exception must be made in advising you of the passing of John Murphy. John was truly an aviation pioneer in commercial trans atlantic travel. He started his career in Gander in 1941 working for Ferry Command, After the war he became station manager for TWA in Gander, transferred to New York during the start of the jet age and later became TWA airport director responsible for LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark airports. As a hockey player he was exceptionally skilled. When televised hockey became available I don't think I ever watch Montreal Canadian's Jean Beliveau play without  thinking of John Murphy.  Frank Tibbo has written several columns for the Gander Beacon about John Murphy, his latest telling about his passing.  With Frank and the Gander Beacon's permission we hope in the future to have these columns available on our website.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GAHS First Annual Meeting

It gives us great pleasure to announce we here at GAHS have officially become a 'society'. The first annual meeting was held on Sept 17 and our elected executive is;

  • Jack Pinsent - President
  • Bob Pelley - Vice-president
  • George Innes - Treasurer
  • Rick Stead - Secretary

We would also like to announce that our corporate sponsor will be the Gander Home Finders Real Estate Co . We hope further corporate sponsorship will continue to help with our future endeavours.  The history of Gander Airport and it's original town is being kept alive by our sponsors.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lancaster Tragedy in Gander

We recently posted an article on the 1946 Lancaster Tragedy in Gander and added an addendum shortly after. As a side issue there was a reference to the vandalism of the Lancaster being parked in one of the old hangers where many of the instruments, etc. went missing, making the refurbishing of the aircraft very difficult. As a young lad growing up in Gander during this era, the exploring of such objects like a giant Lancaster bomber was one of our childhood airport delights. Being from the Army Side I doubt very much if I got to see this beast, that I can remember. The location of the hanger was on the American Side and we had our local turf rules, no visitors allowed unless accompanied by a local. The Station Area and Canadian Side were neutral areas. But as for the removal of the instruments I am sure the shiny glass and dials were the main attraction rather than for resale purposes. Just wondering if any of these instruments are still stored away in some attic.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Gander Street Names Revisited

Visiting Gander recently, it was not difficult to notice the development of a new residential area being constructed just north of the old Navy Radio Station plus a new street being built paralleling Roe Ave. This might be a good time to review our original suggestion of street names that holds some historical value to the airport. To tweak your memory on this subject it was our suggestion to include Group Captain Foss,  Dr. Samuel Martin, and USCG Commander Stew Graham. Mr. Graham was the second pilot ever to fly helicopters, was one of the helicopter pilots who flew out Sabena OO-CBG survivors, and went on to become instrumental in developing SAR helicopter rescue procedures. For any of our readers wanting to also lobby the Town, please feel free to make these suggestions on our behalf.