War Years - a new button on the Home Page : Save the Canso - Update
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The restoration is moving along very well and we want to keep everyone updated through this page.  Things may get a little slow from time to time (it's sort of like watching paint dry) but please keep checking back.

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War Years - a new button on the Home Page

by Doug Roy on 09/21/10

A few weeks ago I received an email from Mr. Mel Lowther from Kamloops, BC and below he tell the story of the 24 remaining Cansos leaving Iceland, returning to Canada in 1945!  Check out our new button on the home page "War Years" to see the camp sign at R.C.A.F. station in Reykjavik, Iceland during WWII.  

KWITCHERBELLIAKIN - it's pronounced "Quit Your Belly Aching" - later renamed Camp Maple Leaf.
Hi Doug.

My son found your web site and e-mailed it to me.

I was a airframe mechanic in the RCAF. On Feb. 12th 1945 I was posted to 162 squadron in Reykjavik Iceland We had 25 Canso's, On April 3rd we lost 11066. When the war ended we were busy preparing the 24 Canso's for their return flight to Canada.

Most of us stayed up till midnight to see them all take off. At midnight when the first Canso took off, the sun had just set below the horizon.They took off  3 minutes apart, when the last one took off the sun just started to rise.

I didn't know they had modified any to water bombers. Do you plan on restoring 11049 to a water bomber, or back to the original?

  I would like to hear from you.

Mel. Lowther


R163772 Lowther M.M.

Comments (11)

1. James M McRae said on 10/4/10 - 08:10AM
With regard to Mel Lowther's letter, 162 Squadron's establishment for aircraft was 15 Canso's, not 25. I have a list of the 15 Cansos and the pilots who flew them to Iceland in 1944. For their return to Canada in 1945 there were only thirteen serviceable aircraft to make the trip. I also have a list of those and the Captains who flew them. Altogether 57 Cansos served with 162 Squadron. Aircraft requiring major inspections were flown back to Scoudouc, New Brunswick and repacement aircraft brought back to Reykjavik.
2. Mel Lowther said on 12/18/10 - 05:49PM
Hi James. Thanks for noticing my error. I indicated all 25 aircraft were 162 Squadron, not true. Mel Lowther
3. Stephane Demers said on 10/1/11 - 04:27AM
Great to see another Canso being saved. My father "Joseph Jean Demers" served with 162 Sqn in Iceland and I still have his Sqn patch. He spoke fondly of the Canso and his time in Iceland. Good luck guys.
4. Pat Adams said on 7/28/12 - 11:08AM
My Father was a right fron gunner and flew in the Canso, he was in the 162 squadron of the RCAF. He was statione in Reyjavik Iceland, around 1945. His Name was Bev Glover. G
5. Patricia Adams said on 1/13/13 - 08:01AM
My Dad with the 162 squadron and flew in the Canso, I bleieve he was a spotter in the canso, or right front gunner. His name was Beverly Glover. I have pictures of him stationed in Reykjavik Iceland. This is my e-mail if you sholdneed more information ropa.adams@hotmail.com
6. Holly said on 1/16/14 - 03:03PM
My great uncle Francis Lawrence was a part of the 162 squadron, RCAF. He was a flight officer. His plane got shot down over the sea near Wick, Scotland. Anyone have any info on him or that squadron? He died June 14, 1944.
7. MARK GRATOON said on 1/8/16 - 06:15PM
My father SGT GUY GRATTON was a WAG in the 162sqdn. On APRIL 6 1944 HIS Canso plane crashed on a routine flight a few miles of coast of Iceland.There was a crew of 8 and 2 American Passengers / Two Airman did not survive.
8. Don Pratt said on 11/8/16 - 08:38PM
Holly: Your great uncle was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner in 162 Sqn, On June 11, 1944 he was part of the crew of Canso 9842 when this aircraft attacked a U Boat U 980 successfully sinking it. One June 13th Canso 9842 left Wick, Scotland for an anti U Boat patrol. At 0120 hrs a flash report was received of a U Boat sighting. The plane had attacked U 480 and was shot down. Only one of the crew survived who was subsequently rescued by a Norwegian whaling vessel.
9. michael hazard said on 1/14/17 - 06:26PM
my father was with the 162 sqdn he was leading aircraftsman,he flew with the canso
10. Val Hvidston said on 12/31/17 - 05:59AM
My father-in-law Gunnar Hvidston was stationed at Camp Maple Leaf at RAF Reykjavik, Iceland. He was an Aero Engine Mechanic who trained at Moose Jaw, Brandon and St. Thomas. He was at Goose Bay and Labrador then Iceland. His enlistment was July 1942 and he returned home July 1945.
11. K. Loftsdottir said on 8/16/21 - 11:39AM
Hi there! So I am a doctoral student in history and am also Icelandic. I am researching the Canadian occupation of Iceland in the Second World War and if anyone who has some family members that were in the 162 Squadron or were stationed in Iceland at some time in the war would like to chat that would be a very valuable source of information! Please leave a comment if you're interested.

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