June, 1948, Aircraft and Airport
The official opening of the Brandon Municipal Airport, which coincided with the inauguration of Trans-Canada Airlines service to that city, was marked with an airshow and special ceremonies on May 29. Favoured with ideal weather, the Brandon show attracted more than 5,000 persons to the airport to witness one of the best displays seen in Western Manitoba as the RCAF and Canadian Army combined to present the program.
Mayor Frank T. Williamson presided for the official opening ceremonies, and declared that Brandon Municipal Airport is dedicated to serve not only the city, but the entire district of Western Manitoba as a terminal for world air traffic. He pointed out that the occasion climaxed more than two years of hard work by the city council and Brandon Chamber of Commerce to put Brandon on the Dominion’s air map, declaring: “It is direct evidence of a progressive city council working with progressive citizens.”
The mayor welcomed TCA to Brandon, and extended a special welcome to the municipalities which will be served by the airport. He particularly embraced the rural municipality of Elton, within whose boundaries the airport is located.
Replying to the Mayor’s speech, W.F. English, vice-president of TCA, in turn presented Mayor Williamson and Stan Delves, president of the newly appointed airport commission, with ash trays made from aircraft pistons in the TCA shops at Winnipeg. The trays were specially engraved to commemorate the inaugural flight.
RCAF and Army Take Part
Six Harvards from 402 Winnipeg Auxiliary Squadron opened the show with a demonstration of formation flying under command of W/C R.J. Clement. Later three Mustangs from 401 Fighter Squadron, Rivers put on a display, followed by a mass jump of 30 paratroopers from three Dakota transports.
A special thrill for the crowd came when an army glider piloted by Lieutenant G. Gunton, also of the Rivers school, was cut loose and landed on the field. Air cadets from Brandon district squadrons were taken up in the glider, while sea cadets from Brandon corps were carried in the towing plane.
Four aircraft from the Winnipeg Flying Club and a number of private planes from Western Manitoba were on hand for the show, and among aircraft on display were the de Havilland Chipmunk, P-51 Mustang, DC-3, Seabee, Stinson Voyager, Aeronca Champion and Super Chief, Cornell, Piper Cubs and Tiger Moths. The TCA DC-3 aircraft carried some 100 persons on courtesy flights during the day, including civic officials and their wives.
This article originally appeared in the June, 1948 edition of Aircraft and Airport magazine.