Category Archives: Lynn Garrison

Evolution – Lynn Garrison

Lynn Garrison is well-known in aviation circles. You can click here to be redirected to the Wikipedia article.

What most people don’t know is how he has the highest regards for Clarence Simonsen.`


Lynn Garrison tells all in his book written in 2013. It’s available on Amazon.

Lynn Garrison a rare individual who has compressed a half-dozen or so varied lives into one continuous stream. RCAF pilot, mercenary, publisher, film producer/director, diplomat, military adviser, aerial director, air show performer, aircraft collector and writer.

Born immediately before outbreak of World War Two, Lynn decided to be a fighter pilot. On his 17th birthday, RCAF’s 403 City of Calgary Squadron, sponsored him for pilot training. Lynn received his wings two months after 18th birthday, qualified on jet fighters. He is the youngest commissioned pilot since World War Two, a record that still stands.

A love for piston-engine warbirds saw him fly P-51D Mustangs, and Hawker Sea Furys, in Canadian service. Last to fly the famed Avro Lancaster in RCAF service, July 4, 1964 Lynn purchased KB-976 afterwards, for his Air Museum of Canada project.

Lynn accumulated over 70 aircraft.

1962 loaned to the UNEF, on the Sinai, he flew Otters and Caribous as UN Undersecretary Dr. Ralph Bunche’s pilot. Mid-sixties saw him as President of Craig Breedlove & Associates, working to capture World Land Speed Records. He flew his Vought F4U-7 Corsair during this period and coordinated modification of aircraft for Tora Tora Tora. Garrison purchased aircraft collected for The Blue Max.

During 11 years in Ireland, he operated the World War One aviation facility. Supported The Blue Max, Darling Lili, Red Baron, Richthofen & Brown, Zeppelin, You Can’t Win ‘Em All, Ryan’s Daughter and Barry Lyndon. During Roger Corman’s – Richthofen & Brown – Garrison crashed after being struck in the face by a crow. 50 years later Lynn still owns the Fokker Triplane.

Lynn shared a duplex with Ireland’s Prime Minister Jack Lynch. They drafted the Film Act of 1970, basis for other tax relief programs around the world. Lynn assisted in creating legal framework for Ireland’s offshore petroleum business. In his spare time founded a glass-blowing facility producing fine lead crystal.

1967 saw Lynn in The Biafran War, assisting Count von Rossen in his effort to create a new nation, flying Malmo MF-9s against the Nigerians. Garrison destroyed a Mig-17 and Il-28 and introduced a Canadian method of dropping food. A bag of rice/beans placed inside another bag before the drop. Bags hit the ground, inner would burst while outer contained the contents.

1969 saw his involvement with the Soccer War between Honduras and El Salvador, last combat between propeller-driven aircraft.

1970 saw Garrison flying Helio Couriers in SE Asia.

1973 saw the FAI award Lynn the Tissandier diploma for contributions to aviation.

1980 Haiti became his focus: While directing a film on Voodoo, Garrison was almost killed trying to dig up a Zombi. This visit led to a 35 year association with Haiti. During the 1991-94 embargo he served as a bridge between American embassy and Haiti’s military headquarters: Aristide’s people made 4 attempts on Garrison’s life. One saw 32 rounds fired into his bed through a window. His book, Voodoo Politics, tells this story and more. Aristide – The Death of a Nation is a follow up. Advisor to various governments, he was Honorary Consul to the States, and coordinates The Haitian Children’s Fund he created in 1983.

Now writing a series of books on his experience as collector and operator of classic aircraft. Evolution , followed by Triple Threat, Grand Theft Aircraft and several more as yet untitled books. Lynn owned over 70 aircraft, including Lancasters, Hurricanes, Spitfire, Corsair, Mosquito, P-40, Fokker Dr.1 and D-V11, SE-5, Pfalz D-111, B-25, B-24, T-33, F-86, CF-100, Vampire, T6, and more. Each has a unique story. His OS2U Kingfisher sits on the North Carolina Battleship Memorial. Since his 18th birthday, Garrison has owned at least one aircraft, at all times. Lynn is known for his ‘oft repeated comment: “If it has fuel and noise, I can fly it.”

More on Lynn Garrison

The First Vintage Flying Wings of Canada at Calgary, Alberta – The Calgary Lancaster FM136

The First Vintage Flying Wings of Canada at Calgary, Alberta
Research by Clarence Simonsen

The Calgary Lancaster FM136

The preparation for the long ferry flights of the surplus P-51 fighter aircraft from RCAF storage areas in Western Canada, spurred Garrison into the idea of saving a World War Two Lancaster bomber aircraft. The words of Garrison tell the true story of finding and saving FM136 for Calgary.


“Before Milt Harradence and I began to ferry the Mustangs, we first visited the old RCAF Station Macleod facility, now used by Canadian Pacific Airlines Repair for storage and maintenance. We drove to Macleod on a Saturday afternoon 1960, my 23rd birthday. It is an emotional thing to visit an abandoned airfield that once was full of life, noise, and activity. Now, the silence was only broken by the constant whisper of the wind in the popular tress, the flapping of loose metal against a hangar wall and grass growing through breaks in the parking ramp, and abandoned runways. One segment of the hangar door system was open two feet and we squeezed into the area where our Mustangs were stored. Our Mustangs were nested beneath the large wings of Lancaster bombers, and a couple of Auster fuselages sat wingless against the back wall. Our Mustangs would be saved to fly another day but the B-25s and Lancaster Mk. Xs faced the final extinction, turned into cookware or aluminum siding for new homes.

It was this moment I decided to save a Lancaster Mk. X bomber and bring it to Calgary. Milt and I made the necessary arrangements for our P-51 aircraft maintenance crew to gain access to the Mustangs and we drove back to Calgary. I had been dealing with Margaret Bidgood at C.A.D.C for the Mustang project, so I phoned her to enquire about purchasing a Lancaster bomber from Macleod. She was enthused about the concept and said I could have my pick for $975.00. That was a lot of money in 1961 and I didn’t have the cash. I had an account at the Bank of Montreal on Center St. and 16th Ave. and recalled the manager had flown PBY Catalinas during the war. When he heard of the project he was enthusiastic and loaned me the money.”

Original crown Assets letter to purchase Lancaster FM-136 for $975.00,
dated 5 April 1961.

Original Bill of Sale for FM-136 to Lynn Garrison, 15 April 1961. Total cost $975.00 cash for Lancaster serial number 253-182649. This has been shortened from the original to save blank space.
The Calgary Lancaster FM-136 is now owned by Lynn Garrison but never registered in the name of the Air Museum of Canada, and never transferred to the City of Calgary.

Garrison had obtained one WWII Lancaster and now he had to move it to Calgary, which required cash plus hard work. The “Lancaster Memorial Trust Fund” was formed by Lynn to obtain the necessary cash and material needed to get his bomber to Calgary and build a suitable display area. The committee included a handful of Lynn’s close friends most being 403 Squadron members or ex-RCAF World War Two.
When the Lancaster was officially dedicated, the plaque contained dozens of names, listing people who had nothing to do with the project. Their names had been included by Don Patterson, for personal political reasons. Don was a S/L on Lancasters during the war. Don was the Lancaster Fund finance manager.

“I then started the Lancaster Memorial Fund, with Clarence Mack promoting it on his radio program. He had previously done this for the 5900 Locomotive Fund. For a dollar a person you got a membership card. However, over the term only $229.00 was raised. Ron Jenkins, the owner of a major market chain bearing his family name, had flown Lancasters in the war, as had Art Smith, DFC., M.P. for Calgary South. Both promised their support, however Ron Jenkins never attended any functions, donated no money, while other RCAF veterans declined the opportunity to become involved. Art Smith was a big help.

Soon after I purchased Lancaster FM136, I approached Gordon Burke, an old family friend, and chief of the Canadian Pacific Airlines team in Macleod. He told me the undercarriage was too wide for the road and there was a bridge in-route to Calgary, which would block us. Gordon said his crew would volunteer to install the engines, and service the Lancaster, for a ferry flight to Calgary, if I could borrow the four engines from the RCAF. A special meeting with Doug Harkness, Minister of Defence, was arranged. Milt Harradence, Art Smith, and I met Harkness at the Palliser Hotel, where I made my pitch for the engines. He agreed to loan me four new Merlin powerplants, if I could supply an insurance policy for $89,000 covering their potential loss. Herb Spear, a 403 Mustang fighter pilot, was employed with Guardian Caledonian Insurance Company. He negotiated a policy for $89,000, with a premium of $2,400.00, which only had to be paid if we made a claim.
Tony Lansdown, another 403 fighter pilot, worked with Imperial Oil and he arranged for a donation of all fuel and lubricants for the flight to Calgary. Volunteers with Local 886 International Association of Machinists, prepared the Lancaster for the ferry flight to Calgary, installing the four new Merlin engines. Doug Holland was the Chief Test Pilot with Canadian Pacific Airlines and he would pilot my Lancaster to Calgary. Air Marshall Campbell, Chief of the RCAF Air Staff was the guest of honor along with Freddie McCall’s wife. For the flight Lancaster FM136 had received the civil registration CF-NJQ, and this allowed it to be flown to McCall Field,
When the big day arrived only a couple of hundred citizens stood waiting, while the Lancaster was parked on the grass strip near the terminal entrance. For some reason people believed they had the right to strip pieces off the aircraft. I had to hire a policeman to sit next to the bomber. A pedestal was required. My parents’ neighbor, Ron Graham, had his company begin the design and completed the job at no cost.
I wanted to paint the Lancaster for display. This is where I attempted to get 403 Squadron involved in the Lancaster Memorial Fund. This soon turned into a senior officer’s takeover attempt. Pressure was placed on me to relinquish control to Group Captains and Wing Commanders in the local reserve organization. W/C Gordon J. C. McLaws had taken over as Commanding Officer of 403 Squadron 8 September 1960. When I didn’t go along with the plan this resulted in a formal refusal to allow my Lancaster to be painted in the 403 hangar. Tensions were further increased when Defence Minister Doug Harkness ordered Wing Commander J. C. McLaws to make space, in his hangar, for the painting of Lancaster FM136. The painting took several weeks. McLaws had to walk under my Lancaster every time he needed to go to the bathroom, or get a cup of coffee. Needless to say, this caused certain frictions for me and 403 Squadron officers. The Lancaster painting was completed by a volunteer team from Canadian Pacific Airlines and finally appeared in a gorgeous new camouflage depicting an Royal Air Force Lancaster with code letters VN-N, which flew with No. 50 Squadron RAF during WWII. I selected this paint job because I had a photo of the wartime Lanc.”

Garrison image after the completed paint job

Lancaster Mk. I, serial R5689 was one of 200 built by Avro Manchester and delivered to the RAF between February and July 1942. This was a much photographed bomber which Lynn Garrison picked for the painting of FM136. It had no connections to the City of Calgary or Canadians in the RCAF. She was one of 48 bombers on a mine laying operation 18/19 September 1942. On landing at Thurlby, Lincolnshire, the aircraft crashed and was destroyed.
On 11 April 1962, Lancaster FM136 was lifted into position by three large cranes, supervised by ex-Lancaster pilot Red Whittit, of Dominion Bridge, Calgary.

Image from Lynn Garrison – 11 April 1962

This was followed on 14 April 1962, by an impressive dedication ceremony officiated by Air Marshal Hugh Campbell of the RCAF. Lynn Garrison purchased the display plaque and ex-Lancaster pilot Don Patterson selected the wording which reads as follows –

Dedicated to all personnel who served and trained
in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
The most important centre of this Plan was Calgary,
and this area saw nearly 30,000 men and women trained from 1941-45.
From here personnel went to all theatres of combat throughout the word.
Dedicated by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hugh Campbell, CBE, CD,
April 14, 1962.

Don Patterson wanted Lynn Garrison to sign over ownership of the Lancaster to Calgary Mayor Jack Leslie, but that suggestion was declined.

The pedestal was designed and constructed by a family friend and neighbour of Garrison, Ron Graham owner of the Hurst Construction Company.
The Calgary airport had officially been christened “McCall Field” in honor of WWI Calgary pilot Fred McCall. In 1966, the City of Calgary could not afford the rising cost of running McCall Field and it was sold to the Federal Government for $2 million. The Lancaster bomber now became the main entrance to the new Calgary terminal and name “Calgary International Airport.”
In 1964, Lynn Garrison held a dinner for the members of the “Lancaster Memorial Fund” at Hy’s Steakhouse on 4th Avenue, S.W. in Calgary. This was the best steak house in North America featuring Alberta triple “A” beef. Thirty-nine members signed the cover of the Air Museum of Canada magazine. Ron Jenkins and Art Smith did not attend the event.

Black and white image to clearly shows some of the signatures – Garrison collection.

Original signed cover from Lynn Garrison.
The hot, humid, climate of Haiti caused stained areas.

These pages from Lynn Garrison collection contain much more information on the related Lancaster events, names, and construction costs.
At age 24, Lynn Garrison had purchased and preserved Lancaster FM136 plus collected a very good selection of vintage WWII aircraft. In March 1964, Lynn purchased his second Lancaster KB976 for $1,500.00. The cash was raised by a No. 403 Squadron pilot, Brian B. McKay and a note in that sum was held to cover the purchase. Garrison was also responsible for the funding and initiated the first Calgary International Air show in July 1964. Defence Minister Paul Hellyer was the guest of honour. Garrison wanted to fly Lancaster KB976 at the air show and contacted Dick Beatty of the DOT in Edmonton, asking for permission to fly the bomber. He was informed he would require more than flight permit. A complete certification of airworthiness inspection was required. This was impossible, so Lynn suggested one last flight by the RCAF might be authorized. MP Art Smith ask his friend Paul Hellyer if this could have arranged and the minister replied it was no problem. The full story is contained in other websites and should be read in full to appreciate the complex problems encountered to get KB976 into the air.

The night before the 4 July Air Show Garrison slipped and broke his ankle. Ralph Langeman and others carried Lynn to a car and off to the Calgary General Hospital emergency room. A rubber bandage was wound around the broken ankle and Lynn went home. On the morning of the air show, the crew lifted Lynn into the rear Lancaster door and he crawled to the cockpit. Ralph Langeman sat in the co-pilot seat, Brian B. McKay stood behind the pilot holding a VHF radio set over Lynn’s head. Joe McGoldrick crawled into the nose section and Jimmy Hamilton took over the flight engineer’s position. This signed print from Lynn Garrison captures the classic occasion he piloted Lancaster KB976 over Lancaster FM136. Lynn purchased, saved, and owned both WWII bombers.

Garrison organized a second Calgary air show in 1965 and he managed to get an RAF Vulcan bomber and Valiant refueling aircraft from England. Shell Oil sponsored the famous legless RAF ace Douglas Bader as his guest of honour. The show was gaining a widespread reputation. In 1966, Calgary City Hall and political infighting caused the air show to transferred to Red Deer, and the future breakup of the Air Museum of Canada was beginning. This has been explained by Lynn Garrison in his book.

The events from 1967 until 1973, have been destroyed, lost or just forgotten by the ‘unknown’ group who sold the fifty-plus aircraft in the original Lynn Garrison collection. Many still fly today in museums around the world. His Hurricane G-HURI flies with the Battle of Britain Flight in the UK. His Spitfire AR614 flies in Paul Allen’s collection in Seattle, Both of these aircraft were sold by Peter D. Norman. At the time of this article, [April 2017] Lynn Garrison is working on a new book which details all his stolen collection of aircraft, and the people involved.
On 23 July 1973, the City of Calgary becomes the official new owners of the assets of the defunct “Air Museum of Canada” (Actually the Air Museum of Canada never had any assets.) Recently retired Calgary International Airport Manager Bill Watts takes over the daily operations of the homeless museum. The City of Calgary places the seven aircraft [outside] at the Planetarium property for safe keeping and give Bill Watts an office plus pay his wages as a museum manager.
In the summer of 1975, the “Aero Space Museum Association of Calgary” is registered as a non-profit, charitable, organization and pilot Roy Staniland becomes the founding President. In March 1979, I became a 30-year card carrying member of the Aero Space Museum Association of Calgary. The monthly meetings were held at the downtown Planetarium basement, where we drank coffee, and hoped ‘our’ future plans would at least include a building to house the aircraft and artifacts.
The Calgary motto should have read – “On a Broken Wing and a Prayer.” My first contact with our new founding President Roy Staniland was during one of these evening meetings in the Planetarium. President Roy Staniland was the finest person I have had the pleasure of meeting, and working under in Calgary.
At the time, [1979] he was Manager of the Helicopter Branch of Petro Canada and in the third year of recovering a rare Barkley-Grow bush plane which crashed into a lake in Quebec. Only eleven of these aircraft were constructed [1938-39] and today three remain in Alberta, the prototype, serial #1 in the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Westaskiwin. Barkley-Grow CF-BQM was number 8, constructed by the B-G Corporation of Detroit, Michigan, in 1939. It flew for several Canadian companies in the far north and was flown by pilot Roy Staniland on many occasions. In 1976, Roy Staniland purchased this aircraft which was submerged in a lake in Quebec. In the following two summers Art Bell, Jim Dick, and Roy worked on the aircraft and by the spring of 1979 it received certification for a one-way flight to Calgary, Alberta.

Image from Kathleen Staniland, Quebec, April 1979, Roy [left] and Jim Dick.

In May 1979, pilot Art Bell, co-pilot Roy Staniland and maintenance chief Jim Dick lake hopped B-G T8P-1 across Canada from Quebec to Chestermere Lake, just East of Calgary. The Cross-Canada flight took two days with 17 hours, 45 minutes’ flight time. The aircraft was then trucked to Calgary International Airport where it would be converted from floats to wheels in the repair hangar of Petro Canada Helicopters. Roy always welcomed me to his office, and if he was not busy, it was coffee and plane talk. His newly arrived float-plane B-G was parked on airport property, however due to security you could not walk over and take a photo. During a visit in July 1979, I mention I would love a photo. In a flash we were both in a Petro Canada vehicle driving across the Calgary airport to his ‘baby.’

Due to the simple fact the Aero Space Association of Calgary had no building or restoration area in May 1979, this rare aircraft had to be restored in the Government of Canada helicopter hangar. Some of this restoration work, converting from floats to wheels, was unknowingly donated by the Canadian taxpayer, which saved a very rare aircraft for all of Canada. No money was ever received from the City of Calgary for this rare aircraft and most of the cost came from President Roy Staniland. Roy arranged for full Canadian Government protection of his aircraft before he donated it to the Aero Space Museum of Calgary. Today Barkley-Grow #8 is registered and declared a Canadian National Treasure, protected for life, unlike the Lynn Garrison collection which was stolen and sold for profit.

While under restoration the Barkley-Grow was first displayed to the Calgary public in the Government of Canada hangar for Petro Canada Helicopters. I took this photo in 1984 and the Aero Space Museum of Calgary will not receive a home until the following year. I had the pleasure to sit in Roy Staniland’s home, drink coffee, and watch his 35 mm slide presentation of how he located and recovered this aircraft for Calgary and Canada. Today this is the only restored to flying condition B-G in the world, thanks to Roy. In 1985, Barkley-Grow T8P-1 was moved to the Aero Space Museum building and the remaining restoration was completed by a Canadian Federal Government Job Training Grant Program. Today this rare aircraft is one of a kind and the very first aircraft saved in the post Lynn Garrison era.
I feel the period between 1986 to 1991 became a major time of change for the Aero Space Museum of Calgary, and these decisions, good and bad, still effect the museum today, twenty-plus years later. A new management has taken hold but some of the old ‘powerful’ directors still linger in the background. The name has been changed to “The Hangar Flight Museum” under Executive Director Anne Lindsay, and I wish her well. In April 2016, Anne gave me a tour of the old 1940 RAF Drill Hall, and informed me the City of Calgary had just spent one million dollars, to upgrade the WWII building and make it fire proof.
Roy Staniland was the driving force to get a home for the new Aero Space Museum and the collection of aircraft including his rare Barkley Grow. Built in 1940, [the same year the museum was built] it left the B-G factory with pilot Lee Britnell at the controls, purchased by MacKenzie Air Service in Edmonton, Alberta. It flew for Pacific Western Airlines, Canadian Pacific Airlines, Sioux Narrows Airways, Parson Airways, Northland Wild Rice Ltd., Northern Airlines and last Associated Airways. Roy not only saved this aircraft, he had been the pilot of “his baby” for a number of years. Thanks to his position with Petro Canada Helicopters, Roy was able to secure a Canadian Government Job Development Training Program Grant to complete the restoration of his B-G aircraft. This Federal grant money not only saved the Calgary taxpayer restoration fees, it saved, and restored to flying condition, a most valuable part of Western aviation history for all of Canada. Today, it sits alone with very little history, but I do hope that will change under the new directors.
Now that the Aero Space Museum had a place to call home [1985], another big question remained, who in fact legally owned the Lancaster bomber FM136? When Lynn Garrison departed for California in the fall of 1966, the WWII bomber was situated at the main entrance to McCall Field, property owned by the City of Calgary. In that same year, the City of Calgary could no longer afford to run the fast growing airport and it was sold to Transport Canada for two million dollars. The Government of Canada began planning for a new airport which opened in November 1977. The WWII memorial bomber was now left unprotected in the old airport industrial area, and vandals soon moved in to steal, destroy, and damage the once proud aircraft. Large sections of glass in the cockpit area were broken and the original instrument panel gauges was stolen, or damaged beyond repair. The pigeons soon found a new home and by 1986, some sections in the bomber contained four inches of pigeon droppings.

At last the City of Calgary put up a security fence, but refused to spend taxpayer money on a bomber they did not own, and ownership was still a legal question to be decided later in a court of law. President Roy Staniland and a group of RCAF WWII veterans from the Aero Space Museum of Calgary stepped forward and decided to save the aircraft, as they believed it still came under their protection. The broken glass was replaced, the inside cleaned of pigeon droppings, and a complete repainting was undertaken thanks to public donations, most received from the owner of Jack Carter Chev Olds in Calgary. The Lancaster paint now appeared in new squadron code letters [NA] and the aircraft single code letter [P], the same as the Lancaster in the National Aeronautical Collection museum at ex-RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario. I had seen the Ottawa Lancaster during my first visit in 1977, yet it contained no information on the WWII crew or its combat history. What came next was a total surprise.

Calgary FM136 in 1986, being painted as KB760, No. 428 [Ghost] Squadron code NA-P for “Panic.”

The image of KB944 painted as KB760 NA-P for “Panic” in Ottawa, 1967.

In the fall of 1986, I met ex-F/O Arthur John Edward Carter and my first question was –
“Why have we painted Calgary Lancaster FM136 in the markings of No. 428 [Ghost] squadron NA-P [P for Panic] KB760?”
His quick answer was very simple –
“That was my Lancaster, which I flew seventeen times, after I joined No. 428 Ghost Squadron in July 1943.”
That would lead to extensive research and the fact both ‘our’ Canadian built Lancaster aircraft [Ottawa and Calgary] were painted incorrectly.

End of Part One

More on Lynn Garrison

The First Vintage Flying Wings of Canada at Calgary, Alberta

The First Vintage Flying Wings of Canada
at Calgary, Alberta

Research by Clarence Simonsen

Herb Spear (Courtesy Lynn Garrison)


The vision of forming the first Vintage Flying Wings Aviation Museum in Canada belonged to Lynn Garrison, a very young RCAF pilot. He was 22 years old, attending university at the time, flying with 403 City of Calgary Squadron on weekends.

Today, many in the Aviation industry authoritatively recount the origins of our Aero Space Museum Association of Calgary, including the Aero Space Museum Website, which is today re-named The Hangar Flight Museum, with no mention of Lynn Garrison, its true founder. With absolutely no ulterior motive, Garrison had accumulated a huge collection for permanent display in his home town. Lynn has published a new book, EVOLUTION – From 90 mph to Supersonic in 30 Years, giving some detail of what happened between 1954 and 1978. Due to the fact almost all of the people in his book are deceased, it will serve as a missing link to the original formation saga of what should have been Canada’s first flying aviation museum. He is completing another book, GRAND THEFT AIRCRAFT which tells of aircraft stolen from him over the years. Some are very famous today.

Lynn Garrison in Mustang 9279 cockpit 1960,
prior to ferry flight to New York. (Garrison collection 2013)

The following brief history contains photos and facts from the new book EVOLUTION. I have been given carte blanche to use whatever I wish. The majority of this text is from my memory, photos, and records, regarding Avro Lancaster FM136, and creation of the old Aero Space Museum of Calgary. I have also included photos and descriptions of events supplied by Garrison.

The Beginning

Garrison’s idea of forming a museum in Calgary began in 1959, with the name Alberta Aviation Museum and restoration of a Supermarine Seafire.

The concept was launched with nothing more than a box of letterhead, printed by Roy Farran and Graham Smith, of the North Hill News, and Garrison’s imaginative determination. It would later become a registered entity. These two men became the first real and strongest supporters. Major Roy Farran D.S.O. M.C. was a founder of the famed British Special Air Service. S/L Graham Smith D.F.C. had been a Pathfinder Mosquito pilot, with the RAF in WWII. One of the first aircraft acquired was a de Havilland Mosquito CF-HMS, RS-700 with the concept of painting it in Grahams wartime colors.

Source Internet

This is the very same RAF Mosquito that two senior Colonels of the RCAF Association, attempted an under the table sale to a rich millionaire in England. They nearly succeeded! Forgotten in all the Aero Space Museum of Calgary infighting, lies, politics and greed, is the fact that Lynn Garrison personally, on a university student’s budget, saved these rare aircraft, for future generations of Calgary citizens.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

In a twist of fate, this Mosquito aircraft is now being restored to the very same markings as seen in these first Garrison photo images. While the old Aero Space Museum directors, politicians, and aviation V.I.P.’s of Calgary involved never intended to honor Lynn Garrison, that is just what they will do. History can be twisted, but never destroyed.

As Garrison once said:

“I have been painted as the devil incarnate. Not being there to defend myself allowed the guilty to draw attention from their crimes. Now, one of my Hurricanes flies as G-HURI, in the United Kingdom, while my Spitfire AR614 flies with Paul Allen’s museum in Seattle. Both were sold by Peter D. Norman as his personal possessions.”

Their current valuation is well over $2,000,000 per aircraft.

Back to the beginning: In the fall of 1962, Lynn was talking with Jim Lipinsky, his friend who managed Spartan Air Services in Ottawa.

“We discussed my interest in collecting aircraft for the new museum in Calgary. He offered me a retired Spartan Air Service de Havilland Mosquito, sitting in Ottawa. A price of $900.00 was agreed upon. I sent him a cheque and delayed payment of my tuition.. Lipinsky replied with a telegram, acknowledging payment. He suggested one of his contacts at de Havilland Canada [Downsview] might help prepare the Mosquito for rail shipment to Calgary. William Duck became involved. He had been with de Havilland for years and soon had a team of volunteers preparing the aircraft for its move to Calgary. Canadian National Railway donated 2 flat cars to carry the Mosquito from Ontario to the Shell Oil pipe yard on Calgary’s Edmonton Trail. The transfer was completed during the winter of 1963.”

Photos Lynn Garrison – 2013

“In April 1964, the new AIR MUSEUM OF CANADA was incorporated by Lynn Garrison. Calgary lawyer Albert Ludwig filed the documentation. It began as a charitable corporation and none of the aircraft acquired over the years, were ever transferred into the museum’s name for ownership. The Museum had 100 shares. 98 were held by Lynn, 1 by his wife Evelyn and the other by his mother.”

“In 1964, I obtained two Canadair Saber Mk. 6 jet aircraft, in original Golden Hawk colours from Crown Assets Disposal Corporation with the understanding that I mutilate them before disposal. My friend Milt Harradence wanted one and I declined, because of my agreement with the government. He insisted promising to get approval from his cousin, Jack Horner, the Minister of Commerce. I agreed, conditioned upon receiving authorisation in writing. I received a phone call, agreeing to release of the Sabre, but promised written approval never arrived, so I refused.”

Original RCAF Golden Hawk #23424 at Calgary airport 1964, (Lynn Garrison image)

In short, the Golden Hawk Sabre generated litigation between Lynn Garrison and his close friend, best man Milt Harradence, a major political power in the Alberta Government and the City of Calgary. Milt wanted one of the Sabres as his personal aircraft. Lynn’s refusal to violate his word launched litigation that would eventually destroy the entire concept. It’s not my story to tell, but it gives some idea of what was going on to destroy Canadians first Vintage Flying Aviation Museum at Calgary, Alberta.

This is the ex-Golden Hawk CF-AMN that caused the destruction of Canada’s first Vintage Aviation Museum. Note the “MH” on tail for pilot Milt Harradence, and the Confederate Air Force marking, plus the “R” from RCAF has been removed. [Photo from Lynn Garrison]

By the summer of 1965, Lynn Garrison, a 28-year-old college student, was involved in major litigation with Milt Harradence, one of Canada’s leading trial attorneys, head of the Progressive Conservative team, and serving his second term as a Calgary Alderman. (Lynn had managed his campaign.) By this date Garrison had accumulated over 45 aircraft, along with a massive collection of aircraft-related material. A few of these aircraft were acquired in two or more, allowing for a spare parts inventory, or for future flying or trading with other groups.

During the summer of 1965, Milt Harradence filed a legal action against Lynn Garrison, and the Air Museum of Canada, claiming a violation of contract, even though the original handshake understanding that the government was required to give written permission was never met. This led to legal infighting when Albert Ludwig filed a response. Albert was a lawyer with strong ties to the Alberta Social Credit (he was a Member of the Legislative Assembly) party and wished to make this a political thing; Garrison refused.

During 1966 Garrison was involved with a film titled the Darling Lili. While he was in California coordinating pre-production for the film, Peter D. Norman had his home raided by the Sheriff. Norman obtained papers, memorabilia, and Bills of Sale of 45 aircraft, including the location and photos of aircraft that had not been delivered to Calgary. The documents also included all his personal papers, including his daughter’s first report card.

Norman was claiming to act on behalf of the Air Museum of Canada in which he had no official standing. The Museum had 3 Governors (Directors) Lynn Garrison, Evelyn Garrison and Jean Garrison, holding 100% of the shares. The Museum never owned anything so all Norman got was a lot of material and a filing cabinet. No legal control of anything! All material was still in the name of Lynn Garrison/Alberta Aviation Museum, a fact that was clarified during 1993 when Garrison visited Calgary to block sale of Lancaster FM-136 by Bill Watts to the Confederate Air Force.

Disgusted, Garrison returned to Calgary, sold his home at 2732, Brecken Road, sold his possessions, loaded what was left in a U-Haul and departed for California.

While the litigation is not important to my story, the following information should be taken into consideration by the City of Calgary taxpayers, and all aviation historians. When Lynn Garrison left Calgary, his total aircraft collection was around 65 aircraft.

Prior to 1964, Joe McGoldrick, an RCAF 403 Squadron sponsored nav student, training at RCAF Station, Winnipeg, was the man who travelled the countryside, on weekends, locating a variety of old WWII aircraft. He took photos of each aircraft, then noted the location and contact details for the aircraft. Milt Harradence had prepared a simple legal document. Joe carried a load of blank copies with him. Whenever possible Joe would obtain a written agreement to donate the aircraft to the Alberta Aviation Museum in Calgary. Owners were overjoyed to have their derelict aircraft considered for museum display. Joe McGoldrick would become Chief Pilot with Canadian Air.

By 1965, Joe McGoldrick had obtained definite paperwork for [3] Bristol Bolingbroke, one Fairey Battle, [2] Westland Lysanders, [3] Airspeed Oxfords, [2] Fairchild Cornels, [1] Fleet Finch, [1] Tiger Moth, [1] Cessna Crane, [2] North American Yales, [3] Hawker Hurricanes, [2] Fairy Swordfish, (one now in Stan Reynold’s collection) [2] Avro Anson Mk, II [4] Avro Anson Mk. IV, [1] Barkley Grow, [1] Fairchild 82, [minus engine] a de Havilland Mosquito fuselage K-114, [1] Avro Lancaster fuselage, the front half of a Handley Page Hampton, plus a scattered collection of aircraft parts and engines.

Garrison –

“While in the United States I registered Spitfire BM-597 and Lancaster KB-976 with the FAA since I had 2 American teams ready to restore them for the Calgary flying museum ” At the time, I offered my collection to Eric Harvey, and his Glenbow Foundation. He had been a friend of my father, since World War One, and had helped me with the cost of purchasing aircraft. At one point he bought an ex-RCAF H-5 Sikorsky helicopter from CADC for $2,500. It is still in Calgary.”

“Eric declined my offer saying… ‘Lynn, your project is a personality project. Without you it will fail.’”

He was correct, and it did fail.

“Having received no assistance, from the Canadian government, in support of my legal action with Milt Harradence, I gave him a Sabre in exchange for 2 Vampires, and sold the remaining ‘Golden Hawk’ F-86 to the Flight Test Research, owned by Russ O’Quinn in San Diego. The $19,000 received paid the account owing for the 1966 Red Deer Airshow, [$7,000.00]. The balance was left in the museum account. This money was taken over by Peter D. Norman, with the Bills of Sale for 45 aircraft, plus the photos and location of the above listed 23 aircraft.”

I have a copy of the original Bill of Sale [22407 CA] of the Air Museum of Canada to the City of Calgary, dated 23 July 1973 at 1:39 P.M. for the price of one dollar.

The back page is “Schedule A” which lists the seven aircraft of the legal sale to the City of Calgary.

One Avro CF-100 Canuck #18126

One de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito CF-HMS #RS700

One de Havilland DH100 Vampire CF-RLK #17069

One Hawker Hurricane X11A, AC#41 # 48084

One North American Harvard Ground Trainer [unmarked]

One de Havilland Tiger-moth serial unknown

One Sikorsky H-5 #9607

Fact – when Lynn Garrison departed Calgary, he had amassed in part or whole a collection of over 50 aircraft for the Air Museum of Canada. Lynn sold one Sabre and the remainder were left with Milt Harradence and Peter D. Norman. In 1973, Peter D. Norman sold seven aircraft to the City of Calgary for one dollar.

Where did the other fifty plus aircraft disappear to?

It should be pointed out that none of the aircraft acquired were ever sold or transferred to The Air Museum of Canada – ever! So the entire Peter D. Norman transfer was legally meaningless.

They were stolen from the citizens of Calgary and sold [for huge profit] to other worldwide museums, where you will still find them flying today.

What is most interesting about this official Bill of Sale is the fact the Lancaster Mk. X, serial number FM136 is not listed as sold to the City of Calgary? Also a second Hawker Hurricane and Spitfire AR614. The huge question remains. Was this a simple oversight by Calgary lawyers, or was it done for the purpose of later selling these multi-million dollar aircraft privately?

The historical fact is Lynn Garrison purchased two complete Canadian-built Lancaster Mk. X aircraft and had both delivered to Lynn Garrison serial FM136, and the Alberta Aviation Museum – KB976.

This story begins on 15 October 1948, when No. 403 [Fighter/Bomber] Auxiliary Squadron was formed at Calgary, Alberta, ex-No. 3 S.F.T.S. base from World War two days, disbanded 28 September 1945. The squadron began flying the North American Harvard Mk. II in August 1949 and used the unit code “AD” until 1951. The unit code was changed to “PR” from 1952 to 1958.

Winter of 1951, Harvard #2772, taken on charge by RCAF 10 January 1941
and off charge 14 December 1960. [author collection]

This 1951 air to air image shows the Harvard Mk. II’s in formation flying over the snow covered Calgary farm country. The title City of Calgary would not become official until 3 September 1952, however it was used on the white nose along with the Wolf head as early as 1950. These were the days, when postwar aircraft carried impressive markings, bright yellow Harvard, white radio direction dome, white tail, white wing-tips, and white nose cowling with black and red wolf nose art badge.

Lynn Garrison was born in 1937, joined the RCAF at Calgary in 1954, entered pilot training aged 17, receiving his wings at RCAF Station Portage-la-Prairie [6 April 1955] aged 18 years. The youngest pilot in the RCAF, since World War Two, a record that still stands today. He flew these Harvard aircraft a number of hours until they were struck off charge in March 1959.

In November 1950, No. 403 Squadron began to fly the North American Mustang Mk. IV, which remained on charge until October 1958.

Image Lynn Garrison – the good old days in Calgary.
[note the white tail, wing-tips and spinner, same markings as the Harvard]

Garrison –

“Milt Harradence and I flew P-51 Mustangs with No. 403 City of Calgary Squadron from 1954 to 58. Although a generation apart, we became very close friends. When I obtained a contract to ferry 75 surplus RCAF squadron Mustangs, [1960] Milt joined me to complete a number of those trips.”

Lynn Garrison original newspaper image signed by Calgary Alderman Milt Harradence 1961.


Lynn Garrison image 1960, on old Runway 29, McCall Field, Calgary, Alberta.


Eight of the P-51 Mustangs ferried to New York had been on charge with No. 403 City of Calgary squadron and had been flown by both Milt Harradence and Lynn Garrison. This is P-51D, serial 9279 seen at McCall Field, Calgary, USAAF # 44-73877. It was taken on charge by RCAF on 23 January 1951 and off charge 29 April 1958. Other Mustang aircraft were in long-term storage at RCAF Station Macleod, Alberta and RCAF Station Carberry, Manitoba.

The history of the Mustang ferry flights is covered in detail in Garrison’s new book, which contains many unpublished photo images. The following photo is published for the first time from the collection of Garrison, an original image RCAF “Golden Hawks” Government of Canada, taken near Calgary [flight to Banff] in 1962. Copy obtained from Milt Harradence archives and used with permission of Lynn Garrison.

This is the P-51D Mustang, ex-USAAF serial 44-74435, which was RCAF serial #9221, Canadian civil registration CF-LOQ. The photos were taken at Calgary airport on 19 July 1962.  In the background of one photo you will see the Calgary Lancaster bomber Lynn Garrison saved and placed on the pedestal. 

Civilian P-51D Mustang CF-LOQ -2 at Calgary July 1962 via F.W.WunschCivilian P-51D Mustang CF-LOQ at Calgary July 1962 via F.W.Wunsch

Credit for both photos go to F.W. [Bill] Wunsch of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

As partial payment for ferrying 75 surplus RCAF P-51 Mustang aircraft to New York, both Garrison and Harradence received their own ex-RCAF Mustang, 26 September 1961. In 1962, the Golden Hawks came to Calgary and Milt Harradence appeared in a few RCAF images taken flying formation with the team. (Garrison’s fellow RCAF class member Ed Keogh was a team member) This is the free Mustang Harradence received for the 1960-61 ferry flights, ex-U.S. P-51D-30-NA, serial 44-7446, RCAF serial 9223, registered as CF-LOR, and still airworthy today in the United States. Lynn Garrison obtained ex-U.S. P-51D, serial 44-74435, RCAF serial 9221, registered as CF-LOQ. This fighter crashed in Calgary 29 April 1966, was rebuilt, and later sold to an American owner. Crashed in Texas with major damage on 23 October 1970. Parts used in other ex-RCAF Mustang restoration.

Another Mustang 9598 was acquired by Garrison, in Carberry, Manitoba. This was loaned to RCAF Station Lincoln Park as a gate guardian, in 1961, and disappeared while Garrison was flying with 115 ATU, UNEF Egypt in 1962. It now flies under a swapped serial number 9560 as Glamorous Glen 111 in the States. 9560 had been scrapped by Garrison in 1962,

Next time

The Calgary Lancaster FM-136

More on Lynn Garrison here…

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