The Blatchford Tales Oral History Project was established to keep the stories of Edmonton’s aviation pioneers alive. Many of those who flew from this airfield over its 80 years are growing old, and some are no longer with us. Two years ago, the Alberta Aviation Museum began this project to ensure that we do more than protect artifacts; we needed to preserve the ‘first person stories’ of those who contributed to making Edmonton a leader in Canadian aviation.
To date, we have done more than two dozen oral histories. We are pleased to be able to share short segments from some of those interviews with the public.
World War II flying instructor and Halifax bomber pilot. Cornish returned to Edmonton after the war and continued flying with the 418 (City of Edmonton) Squadron. He earned the dubious title, “Master of Abdominal Landings” for belly landing three B-25 bombers.
Hazel Fausak left her home in Evansburg just after high school and travelled east to become a radio operator for the war-time Ferry Command. She handed secret coded messages for flights travelling across the Atlantic, working in Montreal and, eventually, Gander.
Lois Argue was the first of the RCAF Women’s Division assigned to work at Blatchford Field during World War II. She served with Number 2 Air Observers School in the hangar now occupied by the Alberta Aviation Museum.
Robert (Bob) Morgan
Although he would bristle at the title, Bob Morgan was a real hero. Morgan was awarded the George Medal in 1955, one of the highest military peacetime awards, for rescuing a pilot who crashed an F-86 Sabre in front of him. In the fall of 2015, Morgan received another honour when a street in north Edmonton was named after him.