David Robb Gilchrist and Charlotte Maria Campbell’s son

This is where I am right now on Our Ancestors.

Alexander James Bryson Gilchrist was born on the 13th of November 1933.

Alexander James Bryson Gilchrist married Sheila Doreen Lightfoot. They had a daughter born in 1961 in Hennepin, Minnesota. I don’t have much more information except that Alexander James Bryson Gilchrist died on August 26, 1996 in Minnesota.

Should you be related to these people please use this contact form. I have so much history to share with you.

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.

Source: http://1000aircraftphotos.com/HistoryBriefs/CanadianVickersVedette.htm

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

Source: http://1000aircraftphotos.com/HistoryBriefs/CanadianVickersVedette.htm


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…






Deer Lake, Manitoba

We will probably never find out about Charlotte M. Campbell, but this does not deter me to search for her or for other people we see in the album.

Finding about the planes is much easier.


This is page 5 of Charlotte M. Campbell’s precious album. I had to know more about that plane.

So I went on the Internet and I found this on a forum.

Top to Bottom – Left to right 

Canadian Vickers Vedette II G-CYZM – Canadian Vickers serial number CV50. Taken on Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 17th of May 1927. Struck off Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 21st of June 1933. Subsequently carried Canadian civil aircraft registration CF-SAB and flew with the Government of Saskatchewan air services.

‘EV’ (with the men sitting on starboard side of the hull) is G-CYEV, a Canadian Vickers Viking IV. It is serial number CV2. Taken on Strength with the Canadian Air Force on the 15th of August 1923. Struck off Strength with the Royal Canadian Air Force on the 20th of February 1931. This Viking served with No. 1 Operations Wing (Headquarters at Winnipeg, Manitoba) with detachments (also referred to as sub-bases) at Victoria Beach, Norway House, Lac du Bonnet and Cormorant Lake. This aircraft was struck off strength with the R.C.A.F. at Cormorant Lake on the 2th of February 1931.

The aircraft with the airman on the top wing refueling it is a Canadian Vickers-built Avro 552A Viper (T.S. Patrol A.V.S.) * (Two Seat Patrol Avro Viper Seaplane). It was powered by a Woseley Viper.

‘GC’ is a G-CYGC, a Canadian Vickers-built (s/n CV21) Avro Viper 552A (T.S. Patrol A.V.S.). Taken on Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 26th of May 1925.. Struck of Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 18th of October 1927 as a result of an accident the same day at Bowden Lake.

“GE’ is another Avro 552A. It was Canadian Vickers s/n CV23. Taken on Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 12th of June 1925. Struck off Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 16th of January 1928 at Long Lake, Manitoba, the same day it suffered category ‘A’ damage.

The last photo showing a group of pilots in front of the sole Avro Wright (Two Seat Patrol Avro Wright Seaplane) the R.C.A.F. operated, G-CYGK. Canadian Vickers s/n CV29. Re-serialed to R.C.A.F. s/n 12. Taken on Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 14th of July 1925. Struck off Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 17th of January 1930. Category ‘A’ crash at Orillia, Ontario on the 26th of September 1929.




Canadian Vickers Vedette II G-CYZM – Canadian Vickers serial number CV50. Taken on Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 17th of May 1927. Struck off Strength with the R.C.A.F. on the 21st of June 1933. Subsequently carried Canadian civil aircraft registration CF-SAB and flew with the Government of Saskatchewan air services.

But there is more on the forum…

Hello, I was looking through these photos as my great grandfather flew Vickers Vedettes and other such flying boats out of Victoria Beach in the 20s. I noticed in the photo of the four men sitting on the hull of the aircraft marked “VE” that the furthest right is my grandfather, Gordon Donaldson. If you have any more photos of either the aircraft at Victoria Beach or just Victoria Beach itself i would be very gracious if you would email them to me or post them on this site.

-Inigo Jenkins