I got this message from a friend to whom I had sent what I had just posted this morning…

Wow, Pierre you have found a most important part of RCAF history.

This is pure “Gold.”

The reorganization of the Canadian Air Force [the fifth] officially adopted the “Royal” on 1 April 1924, and the RCAF was born.

On 19 May 1925, the Ottawa Privy council authorized the establishment of six service squadrons, for use to fulfill the operational duties of many government departments. Yes, our RCAF first began to operate as a non-military agency of the Canadian Government, opened air routes, experimented in air mail, transported government officials, carried ‘treaty money’ to the Indians, patrolled fishing, hunting, and forestry, flew sick and injured trappers and Indians, from remote sites, and photographed the first vast areas of wilderness in Canada. 

The first six RCAF squadrons included – H.Q. at Ottawa, No. 1 Flying Station, Camp Borden, [training]  No. 1 Operations Wing, Winnipeg, [which you have in your photos] and No. 3 Operations [photo] Squadron, Rockcliffe, Ontario, [which became the first to test and develop photographic equipment in Canadian aircraft] Wow, you have all these first images, taken by No. 3 RCAF Photo Unit, pure gold my friend. This is huge to me, and I’m sure someone in Ottawa will be in contact with you.

Attached you will find the aircraft info. from the book “RCAF Squadrons and Aircraft” National Museum of Man, Ottawa, 1977.

On 1 July 1927, the Directorate of Civil Government Air Operations [DCGAO] took over all air operations, which became Federal Government aircraft, etc. It was in fact a ‘paper’ air force and the RCAF did most of the work.

You have captured and preserved that small forgotten part of our early [first] RCAF squadron history. They were a photo section, so, they had lots of film, etc. paid by the Canadian government, that saved our history.

This is huge, keep up the good work, your site is doing so much good for Canadians.


It made my day!

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