Member Profiles

Maxwell William Ward

Birth: November 22, 1921
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta
Inducted: 1974
Awards: OC

"His lengthy and continuing efforts to responsibly service this nation's most northern frontier by air, despite adversity, together with his development of a viable international charter service, have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation."

Maxwell Ward joined the RCAF in 1940 and served as a commissioned flying instructor at various Canadian bases until 1945. After WWII, Ward flew as a bush pilot for Northern Flights Ltd. and later organized his own air operation, Polaris Charter Company Ltd. based at Yellowknife, NWT. His big break occurred when he formed Wardair Limited, where he and his pilots pioneered the air transport of heavy equipment into the far arctic, and on one occasion landed on the geographic North Pole. This company became Wardair Canada Ltd. and commenced the first overseas charter flight agency serving western Canada. It later developed into Canada's largest international air charter carrier.

Donald Netterville Watson

Birth: September 21, 1921
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Inducted: 1974

"He has given of himself unstintingly and without reserve as a pilot, engineer and administrator to every facet of aeronautical challenge facing him, and despite adversity has fostered a spirit in others of a willingness to succeed, that has been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation."

Donald Watson joined Canadian Airways in 1938 where he remained for two years. He later assisted the government in 1940 with the technical, administrative, and flying functions of the BCATP. Watson served the United States Air Force Transport Command in 1945 and after the war, returned to Canada where he joined Canadian Pacific Airlines. He later flew in the world-respected Saskatchewan Government Air Ambulance Service and while there, transported more than 6,000 patients in all degrees of flying weather, saving hundreds of lives. In 1958 Watson joined Pacific Western Airlines (PWA) and served as the company's President and CEO from 1970 - 1976.

William J. Wheeler

Birth: 1931
Birthplace: Port Arthur, Ontario
Inducted: 2011

William J. (Bill) Wheeler, born in Port Arthur, Ontario in 1931, was a founding member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society in 1962 and served as editor of the quarterly Journal of the CAHS from 1963 to 2008. Under Bill's editorship the Journal became a foremost magazine of Canadian aviation history. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art, and a former art teacher, Bill encouraged Canadian artists, displaying their work on covers of the CAHS Journal. In producing the magazine he shared thousands of photographs and hundreds of previously unpublished stories with an appreciative readership. Bill Wheeler's enthusiasm and support of the organization was instrumental in building the Society to 12 chapters across Canada, and in 2001 the CAHS was bestowed a Belt of Orion award by Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.

2011 Induction Video - Biography of William Wheeler

Roland Burgess West

Birth: January 25, 1919
Birthplace: Medford, Nova Scotia
Inducted: 1974
Death: July 2, 2001
Awards: DFC, AFC, CD

"The unselfish dedication of his outstanding aeronautical skills to the perfecting of new techniques for search and rescue operations, have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation."

Roland West returned to Canada after WWI and became involved in search and rescue operations for missing aircraft, ships at sea, and in transporting critically-ill patients to hospital. He designed and perfected new search and rescue techniques which became standard operating procedure with the RCAF and with military commands of other nations. West also worked for the Canadian Research and Development Establishment in 1960 where he experimented with infra-red research. Four years later he was named a senior officer of the Air Material Command at Rockcliffe, Ontario. His responsibilities extended to all ferry operations throughout the RCAF, all aspects of flight safety and accident assessments, and nuclear defense and emergency plans for all members of the unit.

Robert Allan White

Birth: December 11, 1928
Birthplace: Sudbury, Ontario
Inducted: 1974
Awards:OMM, QSJM, CD**

Robert Allan (Bud) White, O.M.M., C.D.**, B.Sc., B.A.Sc., M.B.A., was born on December 11, 1928 at Sudbury, Ontario and educated at Kirkland Lake. He learned to fly in 1946 on float planes, at the age of 16, at Larder Lake, Ontario and obtained his private pilot's licence at Toronto while attending Upper Canada College. Imperial Oil Ltd. employed him for two summers as an engine-room seaman, initially on the Great Lakes and in 1948 aboard oil tankers to South American ports.

His desire to become a military pilot resulted in acceptance into the Royal Military College (RMC) at Kingston, Ontario in 1948 in the first post-war tri-service under a Royal Canadian Air Force Benevolent Fund scholarship. During the summer of 1951 he obtained his pilot's wings at Centralia, Ontario, and the following year he graduated from RMC as a Flying Officer in the RCAF regular force. He then attended the University of Toronto during 1952-53 and graduated with a Bachelor of Applies Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

After completing the fighter operational training course (OTU) at Chatham, New Brunswick, he was transferred overseas to No. 427 Fighter Squadron at Zweibrucken, Germany where he flew F-86 Sabres for 3 1/2 years during the peak of the Cold War. He returned to Canada in 1957 for brief tours of duty as resident staff officer at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton and on the staff of Central Flying School, Trenton. He then returned to England in 1959 as a Flight Lieutenant to attend the year long course No. 18 at the Empire Test Pilot's School at Farnborough, U.K.

He returned in 1960 to engineering test-flying duties in Canada with the Central Experimental and Proving Establishment (CEPE) at Edmonton, Alberta. There he served with the Climatic Detachment at Namao, and as the Detachment Commander and resident test pilot at Northwest Industries Ltd., conducting acceptance trials on T-33 and C-119 aircraft for the RCAF. During this period, he won a commendation for saving his crew and a C-119 Boxcar aircraft during an engineering test flight. He also completed the Air Transport Command "Captains" OTU course at Trenton and the RCAF Staff School course at Toronto.

In 1962 he was one of 4 Canadians 'loaned' to the USAF's Space Systems Division at Los Angeles, California for service with the NASA Mercury & Gemini Launch Vehicle Program offices. He spent the first year with the Mercury manned program, then returned to the Gemini Launch Vehicle Directorate as an operations project officer with the rank of Squadron Leader. There he was responsible for propellants, loading and engine systems, and for the acceptance and pilot safety programs. During his 3 1/2 years with the USAF and NASA, working out of Los Angeles, Sacramento, Baltimore and Cape Kennedy, Florida, he served with distinction in the acceptance and launch programs for the last two Mercury and the first four Gemini manned NASA space flights from Cape Canaveral, as well as some twenty other associated military launch programs.

He returned to Canada in 1965 to attend the last RCAF Staff College course before being assigned to the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETA) as Officer Commanding flying operations. In 1967 he was promoted to Wing Commander and named Vice-Commander and Senior Test Pilot of AETA which at the time numbered over 3700 personnel. During 1967 he led the Canadian Centennial Team in their assault on the Russian held World Altitude record for aircraft. The team was composed of military, governmental and civilian agencies, and focused on the highest level of Canadian technology on special modifications to a CF-104 Starfighter aircraft, on the special "zoom" profile to be flown, and on the uniquely Canadian instrumentation and tracking arrangement with the Defence Research Board and their Telecommunications Establishment (DRTE) at Shirley's Bay, Ottawa. After 42 flights, 12 of them above 96,00, the team had to admit defeat. Wing Commander White had piloted the aircraft to the new FAI national (Canadian ) record of 100,100 feet. His leadership and flying skill in this undertaking won him the McKee Trophy for 1968, and his unique CF-104 is still on display in the National Aeronautical collection in Ottawa.

The following year, he was appointed Director of Cadets and Military Training at the RMC. In this capacity he was responsible for implementing sweeping social and structural changes which greatly strengthened the ethos and ethics of officer education at the military colleges. In 1972-73 he attended the USAF Air War College at Montgomery, Alabama, graduating with distinction, while at the same time obtaining a Master of Business degree from Auburn University. After his return to Canada in 1973, he was promoted to Colonel and took over the Directorate of Policy Coordination and Review, which eventually provided the secretariat and inner staffing for the Chief and Vice-Chief in the Defence Staff and the Deputy Minister at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ), Ottawa.

In 1976, he was appointed Base Commander of CFB North Bay, a North American Air Defence Command base and home of the 22nd NORAD region, with one of the largest underground military facilities (SAGE) in the western world. Originally sent to oversee the closure of the base, Colonel White convinced Air Command and NDHQ not only to retain the base, but rather to upgrade and modernize the underground facility. In 1979, after 31 years of distinguished service and with 52 aircraft types to his credit, Bud took early retirement from The Canadian Armed Forces to accept an offer from Noranda Mines Ltd. to become Vice-President of their Special Metals Division manufacturing facility at Arnprior, Ontario.

For his engineering test flying and service with the USAF and NASA, and particularly for his leadership of the Centennial team, Colonel White was made on Officer of the Order of Military Merit by the Governor General on 1974.

Bud and his wife Lee, live in New Zealand where he holds a private pilot's licence. He is active in downhill skiing and races in the Masters in North America and New Zealand.

He was named a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1973 with the following citation:

"His record can be matched only by those airmen of high endeavour and professional calling who have devoted their lives and skills to the benefit of the free world, and whose contributions have substantially benefited Canadian aviation."

Dafydd R.(Dave) Williams

Birth: May 16, 1954
Birthplace: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Inducted: 2012
Awards: LL.D. D.Sc.

Dafydd (Dave) Williams was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on May 16, 1954. Following high school at Beaconsfield, Québec, he attended McGill University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1976. Dave earned his M.Sc. and M.D. degrees from McGill and completed a residency in family medicine practice in 1985 through the University of Ottawa.

In 1988 he completed a residency in emergency medicine at the University of Toronto. He then became an emergency physician at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, while lecturing with the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. In 1989-92 he served as an emergency physician and in 1992 became director of the Department of Emergency Services at Sunnybrook Health Centre and assistant professor of surgery and medicine at the University of Toronto.

Earning his private pilot’s license in the 1980s, Dave continued on to earn both commercial and multi-engine licenses and trained in aerobatics. Learning in 1991 that NASA would be hiring Canadians as astronauts, he applied to the National Research Council. In 1992 he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as one of four successful candidates of over 5300 applicants to begin basic training as an astronaut. In 1993 he was appointed manager of the Missions and Space Medicine Group with the Canadian Astronaut Program. His assignments included implementation of space medicine activities in the Space Unit Life Simulation project.

Following his initial astronaut training, in 1995 Williams joined a group of international astronaut candidates and reported to NASA for the next three years, assigned to a mission in April 1996. In April 1998, he was aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia as a Mission Specialist in Mission STS-90 as one of the seven-person crew during the 16-day space flight. Dave served as medical officer, Extra Vehicular Activity crew-member flight engineer during the ascent phase, and helped perform 26 experiments focusing on the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system.

For the next four years he held the position of Director of the Space and Life Science Directorate at the Johnson Space Center, for which he was awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. As a pilot, during that time he completed a multi-engine turboprop rating and continued his interest in aerobatics.

In 2001, Dave became an aquanaut through participation in the joint NASA-NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) NEEMO-1 mission, a seven-day training exercise held in Aquarius, the world’s only underwater research laboratory. Aquanauts are involved with experiments conducted underwater, using spacewalk techniques. Dave was involved in planning medical objectives in NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Missions Operation) projects and in 2006 he led the NEEMO-9 mission as crew commander of an 18-day project dedicated to assess technologies for remote medical care.

Dave’s second space flight was with Mission STS-118 from August 8-21, 2007, aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station, following which he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. During the mission, the crew of the Endeavour added another truss segment, a new gyroscope and external spare parts platform to the Station. Dave participated in three spacewalks and was lead spacewalker in two of them.

A veteran of two space flights, astronaut Dave Williams has logged over 687 hours in space, including three spacewalks totalling nearly 18 hours. In March 2008 he joined the clinical staff at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario and the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University as a professor of surgery and Director of the McMaster Centre for Medical Robotics. In 2009 Dave joined the Board of Directors of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, where some of the memorabilia from his space missions have been placed in a space collection. As well, he has logged time in flying a number of the Museum’s vintage aircraft. His log book shows that he has now flown over 30 types of aircraft.

In July 2011 Dave Williams became President and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, bringing his experience to a new challenge, managing a tertiary care community hospital that employs 2,800 people, including 500 physicians. An accomplished public speaker, he has the ability to draw on his varied experiences to weave together the insights he has gained as a physician, pilot, scientist, aquanaut and astronaut.

2012 Induction Video - Biography of Dave Williams

Thomas Frederick Williams

Birth: October 12, 1885
Birthplace: Ingersoll, Ontario
Inducted: 1974
Death: July 25, 1985
Awards: MC

"His exemplary conduct in aerial combat and his half-century of dedication to the science of aeronautics, despite adversity, has inspired young and old alike, and his total involvement in flight has been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation."

Thomas Williams was one of Canada's best pilots during WWI. He flew on the front lines in the Royal Flying Corps and battled against Manfred von Richtofen's, the Red Baron, group. He served with distinction on the lines and, in total, destroyed 14 hostile aircraft. After the war, he returned to Canada and earned his commercial license and air engineer's license. From 1927 to 1931 he owned a commercial air service in south western Ontario and then became a flight instructor at the London Flying Club in Ontario. Williams was later hired by J. Moar as a pilot for Skylines Express but when the company ceased operation, he became a charter pilot and instructor at Rouyen, Quebec. On retirement, Williams performed one last aerobatic flight in 1971. He was 86 years old at the time and, because of this feat, was officially recognized as the world's oldest pilot.

Arthur Haliburton Wilson

Birth: July 27, 1899
Birthplace: Kendal, England
Inducted: 1979
Death: December 30, 1983

"The dedication of his superior instructional abilities in airmanship, to several generations of embryonic pilots and his general upgrading of aeronautical facilities, has been of substantial benefit to Canadian aviation."

Arthur Wilson was educated in England before joining the Royal Naval Air Service as a provisional officer in March 1918 and earned his pilot's license that same year. In 1923 he emigrated to Victoria, British Columbia where he enrolled in an RCAF refresher course and then found work with British Columbia Airways Limited. Wilson later served as a part-time aviator with No. 111 Auxiliary Squadron and in the opening stages of WWII he became the first tow-pilot in his area of operations and a proficient aerobatic instructor. Wilson's innovations in many aeronautical arenas brought new standards of flight safety to the province of B.C., including the installation of cable markers across many of the province's valleys. He retired from aviation in 1965 after qualifying as a pilot of 68 different aircraft types.

John Armitstead Wilson

Birth: November 2, 1879
Birthplace: Broughty Ferry, Scotland
Inducted: 1974
Death: October 10, 1954
Awards: CBE

"The application of his engineering and management abilities to take problems facing the nation's emergence into the air age, has been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation."

John Wilson was educated in Scotland and at 16, became apprenticed to the engineering firm of James Carmichael and Sons at Dundee, Scotland. He qualified as an engineer in 1901 and emigrated to Canada in 1905. In 1910 he became the director of stores and contracts in the Department of Naval Service during WWI and was named Secretary of the Canadian Air Board where he participated in framing the first air regulations for Canada. Wilson was responsible for the survey and construction of a Trans-Canada air route from Halifax to Vancouver. In 1937 he was appointed one of the government directors of Trans-Canada Air Lines and a key figure in the development of other airlines and flying clubs and in the development of a national airfield system.

Jack Fraser Woodman

Birth: May 14, 1925
Birthplace: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Inducted: 1995
Death: May 16, 1987
Awards: CD

"His pioneering work and internationally recognized abilities as an Experimental Test Pilot have done much to improve the safety and efficiency of both civil and military aircraft and made a significant contribution to Canadian aviation."

Jack Woodman joined the RCAF at age 18. He was selected to be an Air Gunner and went overseas upon completion of gunnery school. During his career he completed 23 operational trips in his Halifax and Lancaster aircraft before the war ended; he returned to Ontario for pilot training. Woodman eventually became Canada's representative to the Empire Test Pilot's School in England where he tested numerous types of aircraft, including the Vampire, Lancaster, Otter and Chipmunk. He later became a test pilot with the Avro Arrow Project where he was the only military pilot to fly the Arrow aircraft. In January of 1960 he transferred to California to work as Project Pilot in the development of Lockheed aircraft and later held several management positions within the company.

Walter ‘Babe’ Woollett

Birth: January 1, 1906
Birthplace: Rochester, Kent, England
Inducted: 2004
Death: June 1, 1998

“His contributions as an early bush pilot, as organizer and administrator of Canada’s involvement in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, and his leadership in helping to establish worldwide air passenger service have been of great and lasting benefit to aviation in Canada.”

A former RAF pilot, F/Lt. Woollett emigrated in 1929 to fly for Fairchild Aerial Surveys at Lac-a-la-Tortue, Quebec. He became a famous bush pilot while helping to open up the Chibougamou goldfields area, pioneering aerial survey mapping and ‘drop mail’ assignments, as well as carrying out many dangerous rescue flights. During WW II he helped develop the model for Air Observers Schools for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) and served as Supervisor of all AOS training schools operated by CP Air in eastern Canada. He received an O.B.E. for this distinguished service. Woollett was appointed supervisor of the eastern Canada division of CP Air after the war, and played a major role in CP Air’s worldwide expansion, developing CP Air’s first international route over the South Pacific as well as other international routes.

Jerauld George Wright

Birth: August 31, 1917
Birthplace: Liverpool, Nova Scotia
Inducted: 1974
Awards: DFC, CD

"The application of his technical brilliance to the design of numerous navigation devices has been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation."

Jerauld Wright joined the RCAF in Liverpool, Nova Scotia in 1940. He graduated as a navigator and served on operations in England and India with No. 240 Squadron RAF until 1944. In 1945 Wright engaged in the testing and development of aerial navigation and was named head of the Test and Development Establishment of the RCAF at Rockcliffe, Ontario. It was here that Wright also worked on compass problems. In 1949 his flair for invention was seriously noted at RCAF Headquarters where he designed a family of distance/bearing type computers, the best known being the R-Theta which allows fighter pilots, at the flip of a switch, to tell their course and distance to any selected spot. In all, Wright invented and patented some 30 navigational devices, many of which were accepted for use by military agencies of other nations.

© Copyright in the portrait drawings of the honoured members of the Aviation Hall of Fame, which were prepared by Mrs. I. Coucill are the property of Mrs. Coucill.