1953 – The Project Expands

Table of Contents

I New Brunswick
Airstrips
Aircraft
Operations
Partial list of characters
Image collections
Published articles
Tables and galleries
Proposed total list of Stearmans
Mac MacGlothin
The missing pilots

II Quebec

I New Brunswick

Airstrips

Main fields: Nictau (farm buildings purchased with the field were renovated), Boston Brook, Budworm City (constructed in 1952)

Remote fields: Horne’s Gulch (a portable camp for 50 men built by Fraser Companies Ltd.), Rose Hill (a portable camp constructed by Bathurst Power and Paper Company Ltd.), Charlo (owned and operated by FPL).

Among the seven Chief Pilots were Abe Sellards at Nictau and Herb Henderson at Budworm City. Chief pilots co-ordinate and motivate the spray pilots. They fly radio-equipped Stinson monoplanes and do not spray themselves. Stearmans do not have radios.

Nictau Airstrip Gallery

Boston Brook Airstrip Gallery

Budworm City Airstrip

Stearmans parked at Budworm City, NB, in the 1950s
Stearmans parked at Budworm City, NB, in the 1953.

Aircraft

9 Stinson 108’s – 1 owned by FPL, the rest leased, for observation
77 Stearmans
USA (59)
– 57 Central Aviation, Yakima, Washington
– 2 Ueding Air Service, Vincennes, Indiana
Canada (18)
– 7 Wheeler Airlines Ltd., St. Jovite, Quebec (prime contractor)
– 4 Leavens Bros. Air Services, Toronto, Ontario
– 2 Bradley Air Services, Carp, near Ottawa, Ontario (Russell L. Bradley)
– 5 Skyway Air Services, Langley, British Columbia

GALLERY: Helicopters 1953

Operations

Season: May 26th to June 30th, 1953

Operation Budworm – 1953: The 1952 program was deemed a success, so it was decided that a second battle would be undertaken in 1953. Meetings were held by officials of the New Brunswick government and representatives of the four major paper companies holding timber limits in the area. These were Bathurst Power and Paper Co. Ltd., Fraser Companies Ltd., Irving Pulp and Paper Co. and New Brunswick International Paper Co. These talks resulted shared funding and in the formation of a non-profit corporation, Forest Protection Limited, with Vernon Johnson of N.B.I.P. as President.

Insecticide and distribution: 1,100,000 gallons of Technical DDT dissolved in oil (Picco Hi-Solv #473), one pound to one U.S. gallon (or about 12.5% solution by weight) were purchased from Natural Products Limited, agents for Kolker Chemical Co. Limited of Newark, New Jersey. This was delivered in tank cars to the railhead at Dalhousie, N.B., December to March. Sixty percent of the DDT was drummed by FPL and the remainder was kept in bulk. At the three main fields, DDT was stored in 10,000-gallon tanks. At the three remote fields, tank storage for one day’s operations was provided and transfer was made from drums to storage during the spraying operations. “Almost 1,100,000 gallons of insecticide were sprayed over approximately 1,800,000 acres of forest, almost one-quarter of which received a second application.”

“The technique used this year … resulted in a great reduction in the cost of a single application.”

Dalhousie - DDT mixing plant_1957-58_Hi-29-1
DDT mixing plant, Dalhousie, northern New Brunswick, 1957-58. Canada Dept. Agriculture photo #40664-2. FPL files.

Contractors and subcontractors: Al Baxter of Central Aircraft was charged with providing “a fleet of fifty-five Stearman aircraft, and to sub-contract for another twenty from Canadian operators”, subject to approval from the Air Transport Board. However, Canadian operators objected, and, together with questions concerning Baxter’s financial dealings, in a compromise move, Tom Wheeler’s Wheeler Airlines Ltd. of St. Jovite, Quebec, was named prime contractor in place of Central, which would still supply 57 aircraft. Of the 57 Stearmans, only 22 were their own (out of 29 total aircraft), the rest were leased from Arizona, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, and Idaho. [Memorandum of visit with Central Aircraft, Yakima, Washington, March 31 – April 2, 1953. FPL files]

Question: Were all painted with the Central logo?

The other supplier of Stearmans was Skyway Air Services of Langley, British Columbia, under the ownership of Art Seller. Skyway supplied five Stearmans (two had been recently purchased from Tony Steinbock of Klamath Falls Air Service, Klamath Falls, Oregon). All of the aircraft will have aluminum covered fuselage. Mr. Seller stated that he would like to fly all his aircraft from the same field under the director of Johnny Anderson who was his senior pilot in 1952.  Mr. Seller intended to pay his pilots 10 cents per gallon sprayed and hoped that Wheeler would not pay at a higher rate. [Memorandum of visit, April 4 1953, with Mr. Art Seller of Skyway Air Services, Langley Prairie, B.C. FPL files]

The Stearmans had a range of 200 miles, and were flown by dead reckoning and without radios. They gathered first at Fort Wayne, Indiana, flew next to Watertown, New York, and then to Dorval Airport in Quebec.

36 Stearmans parked at airport in Quebec-Hi-170
36 Stearmans parked at an airport in Quebec on their way to New Brunswick from the West Coast, mid-1950s. This is Montreal-Dorval International Airport west of Montreal, called Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport since 1960. Note the four black-tailed Stearmans at the far right. [FPL files]
Operations: Forest Protection Limited set up headquarters in Campbellton, in northern New Brunswick, under the leadership of Barney Flieger. The HQ was linked by radio to eight observation aircraft, six operational airstrips, one vehicle and ten fire towers in the spray area.

“1953 would be the first crack at spraying for most of the eighteen Canadian pilots recruited.” Thus, a school for spray pilots was held for two weeks in April at the Wheeler facilities in St. Jovite.

In 1953, all Stearmans flew in pairs at a separation distance of 250 feet. Some 8,000 sorties were flown during the 35-day operation. All were equipped with 450 h.p. Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior engines.

“The spraying fleet began to arrive at New Brunswick airfields about May 20th. Calibration of aircraft was carried out within a week, and all aircraft were checked and ready for spraying by May 27th. Spraying began at the earliest field on May 26th and was completed at the latest field on June 30th.”

First aid crews were present at each field, and a doctor was employed full time during the operations. Fifteen mechanics kept the fleet flying. A helicopter stood by at the Chatham R.C.A.F. base in the event that a rescue was necessary.

Central Trailer_RichardArless_NictauNB_27May-2Jun1953-36
The Central Aircraft trailer. Image taken by Richard Arless at Nictau, New Brunswick, between 27 May and 2 June, 1953.
Central Trailer_RichardArless_NictauNB_27May-2Jun1953-37
Mechanic for Central Aircraft. Image taken by Richard Arless at Nictau, New Brunswick, between 27 May and 2 June, 1953. Olympia Beer is from the state of Washington.

There were six aircraft incidents: 4 accidents and 2 aircraft washed out; no pilots were hurt. See “The Missing Pilots” below.

Pilots earned over $1500 for the three-week season; many would leave immediately for the next job spraying cotton fields of the southern U.S. Dusting in the United States is described by Bart Halter in “Reflections of a Duster Pilot” in the book Stearman: A Pictorial History, Jim Avis and Martin Bowman, 1997 (see Books below). The only direct reference to the budworm spray program is the image of Central #15 and #16, which has an extensive caption. (The writer mistakenly indicates that the spray program took place “just a few miles from Nova Scotia”, however, it is much nearer to Quebec, which just north of the spray area.)

Biological operations: “The Forest Biology Division [of the federal Department of Agriculture] was a full partner in all the planning that was done in advance of the spraying operations and worked very closely with Forest Protection Ltd. during the spraying period. Staff at the Fredericton Laboratory handled the biological control phase of the program, were almost the first ones in the field and … conducted their own program of study during and after the spraying period.” According to the Bodsworh article in Maclean’s Magazine, there were 27 biologists, including six on loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Studies of development, population trends and defoliation were made on the Upsalquitch, Charlo and Tobique watersheds under the direction of Frank E. Webb. There is no evidence of decline in the New Brunswick population, and the several infested areas approximately doubled in 1953 (Balch, Webb and Morris 1954).

The average distance between flight lines was doubled to 250 feet to give half the dosage per acre. This permitted more rapid coverage to check budworm feeding before the new foliage was destroyed.

Partial Cast of Characters

The biologists:
R.E. (Reg) Balch, Director of the Dominion Entomological Laboratory in Fredericton
Frank E. Webb, appointed from the Fredericton laboratory to take charge of the biological surveys, timing of application and assessment of results
Ken R. Elliott, seconded in 1952 and again in 1953 from the Sault Ste. Marie office of the Dept. of Agriculture to be the liaison officer for spray technology and deposit assessment. He conducted the calibration studies, which are detailed in the missing Calibration Report.

The companies:
Vernon E. Johnson, President of New Brunswick International Paper Company (N.B.I.P.)
Barney W. Flieger, N.B.I.P.’s Forest Advisor, director of Operation Budworm 1953, and a former professor of forest engineering at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton
B.A. (Bev) McDougall, assistant to Barney Flieger

Nictau:
Abe Sellards, Chief Pilot (a boyish 25-year-old from Arizona)
Bob Thompson, control tower
Ed Batchelor, Langley, B.C., a slight former R.A.F. pilot
Greg Quaadman, pilot from California

Budworm City:
Harry Talbot, traffic control officer from Montreal
Herb Henderson, Chief Pilot, from Yakima, Washington
Ron Wells, pilot from B.C.
Sandy MacDonald, pilot from B.C.

Boston Brook:
Edwin J. “Mac” McGlothin, owner/operator of Farm-Air Company (California) [See “Mac” McGlothin below.]

After the season: “In the fall of 1953 the scientists recommended the spraying of a little over a million acres in New Brunswick the following spring, with the Miramichi region to the southeast the principal target. This called for the building of two new airstrips — at Renous and Sevogle”, further south than the Upsalquitch area to the north.

Stearmans #121 N1085N #125 N56938 spraying_RichardArless_AC-237-anot_edited-1
A pair of Farm-Air Stearmans — #121 N1065N and #125 N56938 — spraying over the hilly northern New Brunswick forest, 1953. Richard Arless Associates. [Forest Protection Limited files]

Image collections from two Montreal photographers, and publications – Forest Protection Limited files

The Black Album, Part 1

▪    Dwight Dolan, Nictau, June 7-13, 1953. Images scanned from printed contact sheets containing image sizes of 35 mm, 2¼ inch square and 4 x 4½ inches and rolls of 35mm film. Album title and photo stamp below. Dolan worked from the Nictau and Boston Brook airstrips.

The Black Album, Part 2

▪    Richard Arless and Associates, Nictau, May 27 – June 2, 1953. Images scanned from 8 x 10 inch printed contact sheets containing images of sizes 3¾ x 4¾ and 2⅔ x 2¼ inches. One sheet was labelled Patapedia on the back, but that airstrip did not become active until 1954, so it is placed there. Album title and photo stamp below; the latter indicates that this is job #7140. Arless worked mostly from the Nictau airstrip.

▪    “Mac” McGlothin, Boston Brook airstrip. There are some colour images from Boston Brook airstrip by the pilot/owner of Farm-Air Company “Mac” McGlothin that are from 1953. His company is based in West Sacramento, California. More information below.

Publications on the 1953 spray program

Articles
▪    Dwight Dolan, Montreal, Quebec, for the article “Lutte contra un fléau de la fôret” [Fight against the scourge of the forest], La Patrie [The Homeland], August 16, 1953 [FPL files].
▪    Richard Arless Associates, Montreal, Quebec, for the article “The Worm That’s Wrecking Our Forests”, by Fred Bodsworth, MacLean’s Magazine, September 1, 1953.
▪    Another article, “Battle of the Budworm”, by Virginia Irwin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Missouri], August 16, 1953, also contains images, but the photographers are not credited, although they are possibly Arless and Dolan.

Books
Stearman: A Pictorial History, Jim Avis and Martin Bowman, 1997, Motorbooks International, Chapter 4 (page 82-102), “Reflections of a Duster Pilot” [Bart Halter]. An image on page 88 shows #15 and #16 at a strip in New Brunswick, presumably 1953, but location not known. See below for image.

Reports
B.W. Flieger. 1953. Spruce Budworm Spraying Project in New Brunswick, 1953. Bi-monthly Progress Report, Vol 9, No. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1953), p. 1-2. Science Service – Forest Biology Division, Department of Agriculture. [Available as <atlantic_bimonthly_1953-v9(1-6).pdf>]

R.E. Balch, F.E. Webb  and R.F. Morris. 1954. Results of spraying against spruce budworm in New Brunswick. Bi-monthly Progress Report, Vol 10, No. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1954), p. 1-2. Science Service – Forest Biology Division, Department of Agriculture.

Elliott, K.R. 1953. Rate of flow calibration and spray dispersal tests for the 1953 forest spraying program in northern New Brunswick. Canada Department of Agriculture, Forest Bill. Division, Ottawa.

This calibration report by Ken Elliott, like the one from 1952, probably contains an official list of the spray aircraft. If anyone has or can point me to a copy of this article, please contact me!!!

“Battle of the Budworm”, by Virginia Irwin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Missouri], August 16, 1953

St Louis Post-Dispatch_16Aug1953-1St Louis Post-Dispatch_16Aug1953-2x-St Louis Post-Dispatch_16Aug1953-3

A page from “The Worm That’s Wrecking Our Forests”, by Fred Bodsworth, MacLean’s Magazine, September 1, 1953

MacLeans_1Sep1953-1

Gallery: “Lutte contra un fléau de la fôret” [Fight against the scourge of the forest], La Patrie [The Homeland], August 16, 1953

Stearmans in New Brunswick – 1953: Tables and Galleries

The 57 Stearmans that worked in New Brunswick in 1953 are divided up into three categories:

1) Central – Table 1 – Galleries 1, 2, 3
2) Other US – Table 2 – Gallery 4
3) Canada – Table 3 – Gallery 5

Table 1 – Central Aviation Stearmans in New Brunswick in 1953. [For smartphone, turn sideways]

Tail # Reg’n. Location Colour/logo Tail Style Image Comments
7 N57315 Nictau Pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y Also present in 1952
8 N1262N  ? Pale body, yellow tail, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y Colour image from 1953? Also present in 1952
10? Nxxxx8 ? Aluminum colour, yellow tail, CENTRAL on fuselage, but year is not confirmed Normal-top N
13 N5155N ? All pale Normal-top Y This year? Not recorded again. Circular logo above N-number, angry cat below.
15 N1308N ? All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y From Stearman: A Pictorial History: An image on page 88 shows #15 and #16 at a strip in New Brunswick.
16 N58850 ? All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y
18 N1723B Budworm City, Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage N-over Y
19 N1728B Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage; yellow tail Normal-top Y
20 N4811V Nictau All dark, with white lettering, numbers; CENTRAL on fuselage; wings and stabilizers seem paler Vertical Y This is the only Central Stearman that is completely dark.
21 N1731B Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y Became Baxter #13
23 Nxxxxx Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y N-number not distinguishable from images
24 Nxxxxx Nictau Dark tail, pale sides, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal Y
25 N62955 Nictau Dark tail, pale sides, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal Y Flew again in 1955 (1954 also?)
26 N1310N Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y Flew as #6 in 1952
28 N49377 Nictau Dark front, pale sides and rudder (yellow?), paler stabilizers and wings, CENTRAL on fuselage with dark strip above Normal-top Y Did not spray again in New Brunswick.
30 N64782 Nictau Pale tail (yellow?), paler sides, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y
34 Nxxxxx Budworm City, Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage with an anterior black stripe Normal-top Y These are the only two Central Stearmans that I know of with a black stripe on the side, except for #28 above that has a dark stripe above the company name.
35 Nxxxxx Budworm City, Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y
36 Nxxxxx Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y
37 Nxxxxx Boston Brook Aluminum sides, hint of a pale yellow tail, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal Y-col
41 N4787V Boston Brook Yellow sides and tail, tail with black leading edges; CENTRAL on fuselage Normal Y-col One black-and-white image shows Central #41 and #44 parked together. Both appear to have the same design features and pattern.
44 Nxxxxx Boston Brook All pale, tail with black leading edges; CENTRAL on fuselage Normal Y
45 Nxxxxx Boston Brook All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage N-over Y Pictured flying together with #52
46 N49292 Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage N-over Y Was Central #17 in 1952
47 Nxxxxx Budworm City, Nictau Dark tail area, vertical stabilizer and rudder, but pale horizontal stabilizers, CENTRAL on fuselage N-over Y Similar to #48
48 N61078 or N81078 or … Nictau N-over Y Similar to #47
49? N62575? Budworm City, Nictau Y Similar to #47 and #48 but no visible marks on vertical stabilizer
50 N68181 or N66181 or … Budworm City N-over Y “CALI-?” on top left wing
51 N59258 Nictau Black nose, pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y Will be Farm-Air #117 in 1957
52 N57047 Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage Normal-top Y
57 Nxxxxx Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage ? Y
“6” Nxxxxx Nictau All pale, CENTRAL on fuselage ? Y Has a “6” on the fuselage below the upper wing; no view of tail

GALLERY 1: Central Stearmans in 1953 Part 1: All dark (#20) and dark-tails (#24, #25, #47, #48, #49?, #50)

GALLERY 2: Central Stearmans in 1953, Part 2 (up to #30): #6? (the Central mystery  Stearman), #7, #8, #13, #15, #16, #18, #19, #21, #23, #26, #28, #30 (also #20, #24, #57)

GALLERY 3: Central Stearmans in 1953, Part 3 (up to #57): #34, #35, #36, #37, #41, #43, #44, #45, #46, #51, #52, #57 (also #7, #49?, #68)

Table 2 – Other U.S. Stearmans in New Brunswick in 1953. [For smartphone, turn sideways]

100N58065?NictauAluminum body, no company logo, dark vertical stabilizerNormal-top: N-number and tail number white on darkY-colMedford Air Services, Medford, Oregon Became Simsbury #102 in 1955, #96 in 1957, 1958, 1966

Tail # Reg’n. Location Colour/logo Tail Style Image Comments
68 N9955H Boston Brook Dark blue aluminum body and vertical stabilizer, pale yellow wings and horizontal stabilizers, no company logo Vertical (yellow), orange tail number Y-col Ueding Flying Service, Vincennes, Indiana
69 N54945 Boston Brook Grey body and wings, orange/red tail assembly and wingtips Normal-top, white N-number, black tail number Y-col Ueding Flying Service Also flew as Ueding #20 in 1958
100 N58065 Nictau Aluminum body, no company logo, dark vertical stabilizer, scrapes on sides Normal-top: N-number and tail number white on dark Y-col Medford Air Services, Medford, Oregon Became Simsbury #102 in 1955, #96 in 1957, 1958, 1966
121 N1065N Boston Brook? All pale, with black leading edges on vertical stabilizer and wings, no company name on sides Vertical Y Farm-Air Company, West Sacramento, Calif? Also flew as Farm-Air #1 in 1955 and #121 in 1957, 1958.
122 N52068 N? Farm-Air Company
123 N53084 Boston Brook Yellow, FARM-AIR on sides, black leading edges on vertical stabilizer and wings(?) Vertica, l Y-col Farm-Air Company. Also flew as Farmer’s #3 in 1958. To RAF/RCAF.
125 N56938 Boston Brook? All pale, large N-number on sides. No N-number, large “125” on base of stabilizer. Y Farm-Air Company. Also flew as Farm-Air #125 in 1955 and 1958. To RAF/RCAF.

GALLERY 4: Other U.S. Stearmans, 1953: #68, #69, #100, #121, #123, #125

Table 3 – Canadian (Wheeler) Stearmans in New Brunswick in 1953. [For smartphone, turn sideways]

Tail # Reg’n. Location Colour/logo Tail Style Image Comments
61 CF-EQS Nictau Yellow?; black markings; WHEELER logo on side in black caps; black stripe along side  Normal-top Y Wheeler Airlines Ltd., St. Jovite, Quebec
62 CF-EQT Nictau Grey; black lettering, red wingtips; WHEELER logo on side in black caps; black stripe along side   Normal-top N  Wheeler Airlines
63 CF-EQU Nictau  —  Normal-top? N  Wheeler Airlines
64 CF-EQV Nictau Grey; black lettering, red wingtips; WHEELER logo on side in black caps; black stripe along side   Normal-top Y-col  Wheeler Airlines
65 CF-EQW Nictau  —   Normal-top N  Wheeler Airlines
66 CF-EQX Nictau  —   Normal-top? N  Wheeler Airlines
67 CF-EQY Nictau Yellow?; black markings; WHEELER logo on side in black caps; black stripe along side   Normal-top Y  Wheeler Airlines

GALLERY 5: Wheeler Stearmans (Canada): #61, #67

Proposed complete list of 1953 Stearmans

Proposed Stearmans for Spruce Budworm project 1953, based on the 20 Central Stearmans from 1952 (bold “52“) and the 77 Central and other Stearmans from 1953 (bold “53“) images and records are in the figure below. An “x” in the column indicates the absence of the particular aircraft that year.

  • The 1953 records marked “53?” in orange are extrapolated from their presence in 1952, and may not be correct.
  • Two Central Stearmans changed numbers from 1952 to 1953; these are outlined in black: N1310N was #6 in 1952 and #26 in 1953 and N49292 was #17 in 1952 and #46 in 1953.
  • Two different Central Stearmans have the same number in both tears: N58680 was #15 in 1952 (confirmed) and N1308N was #15 in 1953, based on the Avis and Bowman image (not confirmed).
  • Skyway Stearman CF-GAR was #22 in 1952 but is extrapolated to be #78 in 1953, in accordance with Skyway’s number scheme.
  • An unidentified Central Stearman with a “6” on the nose has been tentatively placed as #6.
  • There are significant gaps in the numbering scheme, which is a result of a lack of photos (e.g., #22 and #27). Larger gaps are probably the result of numbers not being assigned because a logical series has ended (e.g., Central aircraft numbers end at #57 and the Wheeler aircraft numbers start at #61). This becomes a common practice throughout the budworm spray projects over the years.
  • Only two of the five Bradley Stearmans listed flew in 1953, but their identities are not yet known.
  • The presence of the single Medford Stearman N58065 #100 is included based on a Richard Arless image from 1953 and a possible MacGlothin colour image.
  • The Farm-Air aircraft here are numbered #121 to #125, but in later years were numbered #1 to #5; their presence in 1953 is not confirmed.
  • Locations, not all confirmed: N = Nictau, BW = Budworm City, BB = Boston Brook.
  • Sources: A = Richard Arless, D = Dwight Dolan, M = Mac MacGlothin, A&B = the Avis and Bowman book.

1953 final list

Mac McGlothin

Mac was “one of the first American pilots that flew the Stearman from the United States to New Brunswick. He retells the story:

“In 1953, I flew the first of many trips to N.B. in a Stearman. It had an open cockpit and turned out to be a great adventure. Most of us had previous experience in flying budworm control in the U.S.A., so the actual job was not that much of a change. We were all professional agricultural pilots. We had subcontracted with Central Aviation of Yakima, Washington, and supplied 4 airplanes for the project.” [Likely Farm-Air Company, West Sacramento, California] “The big event was flying 35 hours in an open cockpit from the West Coast to N.B. We were amazed at the remoteness and primitive conditions but soon found out, living in the bush was great…” [Seto, unpublished report to FPL]

Pilots and crew at camp, probably 1953, with Stearman. Mac McGlothin is in the black hat. [FPL Files]
Pilots and crew at camp, probably 1953, with Stearman #1. Mac McGlothin is in the black hat. [FPL Files]

The Missing Pilots

The first mishap of the season came on June 6. “A pair of pilots, flying out of Budworm City, failed to find their way back to the field on the last flight of the evening. The Stearmans had no radio communication.

“Tension rose at Budworm City … The other five airfields were alerted by radio to light up their fields with barrels of blazing oil. Budworm City chief pilot Herb Henderson, wearing cowboy boots and chewing on the but end of a dead cigar, climbed into a Stinson and circled high above the Budworm City field, with lights glowing, in the hope that he might be seen and act as a beacon for the lost pilots.

“One pilot, Ron Wells of Chilliwack, B.C., was lucky. As he circled in the dusk looking for a landmark, he was spotted from the ground by Alphonse Guimond, paymaster for Fraser Companies Limited at St. Quentin, who had the presence of mind to direct passing cars to illuminate his father’s pasture with their headlights. Wells landed in the pasture without mishap. His partner, Sandy MacDonald of Vancouver, was not so fortunate. Low on fuel, he made an approach to a field near Robinsonville in the dark, hit a fence, and flipped over, with damage to his aircraft but not to himself.

“There was great relief when the two missing pilots turned up safe and sound. Recalls Barney Flieger: “I was afraid both had been killed in a collision and I was hopscotching around when I found out they were okay.””

This is likely Farm-Air Stearman #124, N65806, upside down in a field. See story above. A lightening of the image revealed the Farm-Air logo on the fuselage. [FPL Files]
This is likely Farm-Air Stearman #124, N65806, upside down in a field, piloted by Sandy MacDonald. See story above. Lightening the image revealed the Farm-Air logo on the fuselage. [FPL Files]

II Quebec

DDT on 1000 acres via Stearman (number not known) [Blais et al. in Prebble 1975]. Probably Patapedia Airstrip.