– Continued from O Canada (Part 1) –
Driving from Toronto to Trenton, I got a few tantalizing glimpses of Lake Ontario. Arriving in Trenton, I drove around the area, spotting several WWII vintage buildings. However, it seems entirely too busy and modern here to do much in the way of filming.
John Magee attended his ITS (Initial Training School) at Trenton. Much like boot camp in the U.S., Magee had to learn how to be a part of the military. So much to learn: how to dress, walk, salute, etc. There is some air training here, but just ground school… no flying, not yet.
The Canadian Forces 8 Wing is located here, and were certainly very busy while I was visiting. Lots of flying activity going on. The National Air Force Museum of Canada (http://airforcemuseum.ca/en/) is here, and that was my next stop.
When I entered the Museum, I was warmly greeted (they did not know who I was). I was asked if I would like to be shown around. Certainly I would, thank you! The very first thing that I was shown was a memorial area. A granite slab was there, with familiar words on it. Within two minutes, the guide was pointing to a picture of John Magee getting his Wings, and telling me all about this American who had joined the RCAF! I let the guide go on for awhile… he was very good, with no factual errors that I could ascertain. I gave him my High Flight Productions business card, and told him what I was doing there. I complimented him and the Museum for doing such a great job of keeping the memory of John Magee alive.
As you enter the main museum area, a huge Handley Page Halifax bomber dominates the room. This particular Halifax had been pulled out of a lake in Norway, shipped to Trenton, and has been lovingly restored. It is absolutely fantastic!
Outside, there are several aircraft on display. Bordering the walkways are hundreds of blocks with the names of RCAF pilots on them; some of the blocks had Canadian and RCAF flags planted next to them. I managed to locate John Magee’s, noting that he was right next to the marker for George “Buzz” Beurling, Canada’s most successful fighter pilot. I thought that John’s marker was missing something, so I corrected it: