Making History


Another draft written before I found Bill’s identity.

This part of Canadian aviation history has to be told and shared. I will be using my Internet research and all the pictures that were found in a photo album.

The album might have ended up in a dump if not for Ross Campbell who wanted to preserve the past.

Little by little I am learning more and more about this part of Canadian aviation history. Someone’s grandfather is on this photo. I wrote him but I got no feedback.

Collection Charlotte M.Campbell

Feedbacks I got from Harold Skaarup, from Clarence Simonsen also, as well as Ross who set me straight on who Bill really was.

Bill was R.C.A.F all the way.

Collection Charlotte M.Campbell

This research is more than just about Sergeant Bill and Charlotte M. Campbell who I still don’t know how she is related to all this.

Collection Charlotte M.Campbell

Bill and this lady seemed pretty close.

Collection Charlotte M.Campbell

Here Bill is a corporal.

Collection Charlotte M.Campbell

Now on this photo Bill is a sergeant. The lady looks just I little older. A Vickers Vedette is in the background.

Collection Charlotte M.Campbell

We can barely make out the Z of its call sign. It’s probably this Vickers Vedette II at Deer Lake, seen on another of Charlotte’s picture.


Collection Charlotte M.Campbell

This is what I found on the Internet about the Vickers Vedette.

It’s quite an impressive research that I want to keep as a reference.


Here is an excerpt of which I will add some pictures.

Canadian Vickers Vedette

For the origin of the Vedette design one has to turn to the acquisition of a Napier Lion-powered Vickers Viking IV by Laurentide Air Service of Montreal in 1922. It went into service on their forestry operations in Quebec and Ontario, and Vickers in England closely followed the operations.

As a result of Laurentide’s experience, two of their employees, C.S. (Jack) Caldwell and I. (Pete) Vachon prepared a report which, although it has not survived, its substance indicated that a smaller aircraft than the Viking IV was recommended for forestry operations, and one with a particularly good take off and climb. The requirements for forestry patrol aircraft were also reviewed by a committee of the Society of Forest Engineers, especially set up for the purpose. It was composed of Capt D.N. Johnson of the Ontario Forest Service, Ellwood Wilson, Chief Forester of the Laurentide Co, and Col. Stephenson, District Forester of Manitoba. This committee agreed with the Laurentide Air Service report.



The amphibious Vedette was developed specifically to meet the requirements of Chile and six were produced for export there. The amphibious undercarriage installed was identical to that used on the Viking Mk.IV which had been made earlier by Canadian Vickers. It was a mechanically-operated manually-powered undercarriage. The first amphibious Vedette, G-CAUU, was first flown at St. Hubert Airport on October 6, 1928, by C.S. (Jack) Caldwell.

Six more amphibious Vedettes were later supplied to the RCAF, and one civil amphibian was made. It is believed that little use of Vedettes as amphibians was made in Canada and the undercarriage was usually removed.


No complete Vedette survived, although salvaged parts are preserved at various locations. The Western Canada Aviation Museum at Winnipeg, Manitoba, has a replica since 2002, while the Western Development Museum at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, is building a replica for completion in 2015.

A few Vedettes from a list that the author provided.


G-CYFS First flown November 4, 1924. Delivered to RCAF, first noted July 17, 1925, crashed at Torrance, Ontario, August 1927.

CV 31 Vedette II

Wright J-4


G-CYZM To RCAF, first noted May 17, 1927. Registered to Government of Saskatchewan as
CF-SAB on June 1, 1933, withdrawn from use May 28, 1937.

CV 51 Vedette II

A.S. Lynx IVB

Collection Charlotte M.Campbell

G-CYYC To RCAF, first noted June 14, 1928, struck off May 13, 1932. Registered to Manitoba Government Air Service as CF-MAE, June 2, 1932, destroyed by engine fire at Cranberry Portage, Manitoba, July 28, 1932.

CV 73 Vedette II

A.S. Lynx IVB



G-CYYB To RCAF, first noted June 14, 1928, last noted November 25, 1931.

CV 74 Vedette II

Wright J-4


G-CAUU Amphibian version. Registered to Canadian Vickers. To Chilean Navy, October 1928.

CV 99 Vedette V

Wright J-5


To be continued…






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