1957

1957 – THE BIG YEAR

New Brunswick

Airstrips: Boston Brook, Budworm City, Charlo, Dunphy, Juniper, Tabu, Taxis, Grog Brook, Horne’s Gulch, MacFarlane, Nictau, Renous, Rose Hill, Sevogle. No new airstrips were built.

Aircraft
22 Cessna
190 Stearman, based on a 4-page list with parts unreadable or missing. The 4-page list is presented at the end.

This was the biggest operation of all 15 years, thirty times larger than the first in 1952, and included 24 contractors from the US and Canada. A total of 5,195,000 acres were sprayed in New Brunswick, about 30% of the province. Twenty-two airfields in New Brunswick and Quebec accommodated about 200 Stearman sprayers and twenty-five Cessna observation planes. The FPL mixing plant was moved to Dalhousie on the Chaleur Bay to take advantage of its winter port facilities.

The Charlo airstrip was established as the operational headquarters. A full-time dispatcher, “Rusty” Mulcahy, was assigned to keep up-to-date records on the disposition of each spray plane.

On our way to NB, stopover at LethbridgeAL_23May1957-Tom Wilson
Five Skyway Air Services Stearmans on their way to NB, stopover at Lethbridge, Alberta, 23 May 1957. This was provided by Tom Wilson.

Stearmans parked at Charlo NB
Stearmans parked at Charlo Airstrip, 1957. One can just make out the waters of the Bay of Chaleur and beyond that, the hills of the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec. The airstrip is now a community park. [FPL Files]
Stearmans at air show, Charlo NB, 1957
The airshow at Fredericton International Airport, 1957. [FPL Files]
Dunphy airstrip, located on the southern edge of the New Brunswick spray area, was the first to go into action, on June 4, followed by a gradual move northwards as the biologists gave the go-ahead. The entire operation came to an end in New Brunswick on July 4, when twenty aircraft operating out of Renous sprayed their last acre.

Accidents: On June 20, the first fatality of the budworm project occurred. Pilot Elwyn G. Behnke, from Eagle Point, Oregon, and of Medford Air Services crashed into thick forest three miles south-southwest of Budworm City.

“After operations had ended, 5 planes from a squadron of 12 were forced down near Penniac” (just north of Fredericton) “on July 5 … as they were returning to the U.S. All the pilots escaped serious injury as heavy fog and lack of fuel were the main cause of the accident.” [Seto, unpublished report to FPL]

Stearmans organized by tail/project number – 1957

Farmers Air Service, Klamath Falls, Oregon
Flew out of Boston Brook (BB on list)
#1 N62775
#2 N53399
#3 N58680
#4 N53483
#5 N56773
#6 N4712V?
#7 N4758?V
#8 N4769V
Baxter Aircraft Inc, Washington
Flew out of Boston Brook (BB on list)
#9 N1734B?
#10 Nxx29B
#11 4232V?
#12 N68?441
#13 N173?18
#14 N1307N?
Piller Air Service
Flew from Renous (RN on list)
#15 N71?52N
Bemie? Aircraft Service
Flew from Nictau (N on list)
#16 N6x40x
#17 N56x56
#18 Nxx523
#19 Nx028V
Ueding Flying Service, Vincennes, Indiana
Flew from MacFarlane (Mac on list)
#20 Nxxx45?
#22 Nxx896?
#22 Nxxxxx
#23 Nxxx94?
#24 Nxxx97?
#25 Nxx85V?
#26 8?5?19H
#27 Nxx35N
Arizona Aviation, Arizona
Flew from Nictau (N on list)
#28 N56?736
#29 N6?310N
Quaadman Dusters, Corcoran, California
Flew from Budworm City (BW on list)
#30 N59?443
#31 Nxx184
#32 N68456?
#33 Nxxx13
#34 N63461
#35 Nxx455
#36 N6x458
#37 N62630
West Coast Air Service
Flew from Renous (RN on list)
#38 N1659N
#38 N5852B
Aero Agricultural Service
Flew from Tabu (Tabu on list)
#40 N5214N
#41 N66301
#42 N75669
#43 N57935
#44 missing from list
Russell Dusting Company
Flew from Nictau (N on list)
#45 N4747N
#46 N6x358
#47 N59727
#48 N5216N
#49 missing from list
Tri-Valley Dusters
Flew from Nictau (N on list)
#50 N46818
#51 N57449
#52 N4881N
#53 N67517
Aerial Crop Service
Flew from MacFarlane (Mac on list)
#55 N69881
#56 N50087
#57-#59 missing from list
Hicks & Lawrence Ltd., Ostrander, Ontario
Flew from Renous (RN on list)
#60 CF-JOV (typo, should be JOU)
Wheeler Air Lines Ltd., St. Jovite, Quebec
Flew from Rosehill (RH on list)
#61 CF-EQS
#62 CF-EQT
#63 CF-EQU
#64 CF-EQV
#65 CF-EQW
#66 CF-EQX
#67 CF-EQY
Airspray Ltd., Wetaskiwin, Alberta
Flew from Rosehill (RH on list)
#68 CF-IAD 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#69 missing from list
Bradley Air Services Ltd. Carp, Ontario
Flew from Juniper (Ju on list)
#70 CH-HKZ
#71 CF-FBD
#72 CF-DZC
#73 CF-DQP
#74 CF-IBA
Leavens Brothers Air Services Ltd., Essex, Ontario
Flew from Juniper (Ju on list)
#75 CF-FRY
#76 CF-FRW
#77 CF-FRZ
#78 CF-GAR
Skyway Air Services Ltd., Langley, British Columbia
Flew from Juniper (Ju on list)
#79 CF-xxx
#80 missing from list
#81 CF-DFC
#82 CF-DQL
#83 VF-FBU
#84 CF-JLS 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#85-#87 missing from list
Medford Air Services, Medford OR
Flew from Taxis (T on list)
#88 N57415
#89 N70036
#90 N1054N
#91 N5158N
Simsbury Flying Services, Simsbury, Connecticut
Flew from Tabu (Tabu on list)
#92 N1241V
#93 N2535R
#94 N60723
#95 N58067
#96 N58065 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#97 N60255 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#98 N53?899
#99 N9386H
#100 missing from list
#101 N58065 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7 1957? Medford? Simsbury?
Farm-Air Company
Distributed between Budworm City (BW on list) and Dunphy (D on list)
#101 N56237 BW
#102 N49366 BW
#103 N1323N BW
#104 N1074N BW
#105 N56803 BW 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#106 N64736 BW
#107 N50329 D
#108 N9129H D
#109 N68138 BW
#110 N53236 Location crossed out on 1957 list, entered in pen “June 30 @ Pabos”, an airstrip in Quebec
#111 N56416 D
#112 N56184 D
#113 N5057V D
#114 N53179 D
#115 N61522 BW
#116 N68468 D
#117 N59258 D
#118 N54929 BW
#119 N75590 D
#120 N56621 BW
#121 N1065N BW
#122 N52068 D
#123 N53084 BW
#124 N56806 D
#125 N49411 BW
#126 N52740 BW
Numbers end at #126 and restart under Marsh at #201.
Marsh Aviation Co. Inc., Mesa, Arizona
Distributed among the following airstrips: T – Taxis, RH = Rosehill, SV = Sevogle, RN = Renous, D = Dunphy
#201 N53025 T
#202 N53033 T
#203 N56383 T
#204 N56305 T
#205 N59x5x T
#206 N64385 T
#207 N68162 T
#208 N75623 T
#209 N64386 T
#210-#220 missing from list
#221 N61433 RH
#222 N54899 RH
#223 N64758 RH
#224-#230 missing from list
#231 N53090 RH
#232 N67884 RH
#233-#237 missing from list
#238 N51965 SV
#239 N1345M SV
#240 missing from list
#241 N4685N T
#242 N5190N T
#243 N5274N T
#244 N5192N T 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#245 N5195N T 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#246 N53091 T
#245-#250 missing from list
#251 N66005 SV
#252 N54653 SV
#253 N52117 SV
#254-#260 missing from list
#261 N1558M SV
#262 N1521M SV
#263 N48769 RN
#264 N1715M RN
#265 N73444 SV
#266 N75517 SV
#267 N58477 RN
#268 N75360 SV
#269 N75361 SV
#270 missing from list
#271 N53429 RH
#272 N66283 T
#273-#277 missing from list
#278 N4762N ?
#279 N4812V RH
#280 missing from list
#281 N1148N RN
#282 N56907 RN
#283 N4786V RN
#284 N4740N RH
#285 blank
#286 N1142N SV
#287 N1145N SV
#298 N58978 SV
#289 N58715 SV
#290 missing from list
#291 N4789V RH
#292 N49377 RH
#293 N4774V SV
Earlmart Dusters
#294 N63543 SV 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#295-#300 missing from list
Farmers’ Crop Dusters / Vince Dusters
Location possibly Charlo Airstrip.
Here the lower left quarter of the folded sheet is missing. Ditto marks under Marsh Aviation continue for 24 more entries, but #301 is on a crease that obscures the company name. If there are no missing numbers, then they would be #302-325. Some of the registrations are gleaned from the colour images from the FPL files. Some are or may be Vince Dusters and some are Farmers’ Crop Dusters.
#301 N5015V D (brown body) Vince Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#302 N5013V (brown body) Vince Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#303
#304
#305
#306
#307
#308
#309
#310 N53154 Farmers’ Crop Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#311 N48792 Farmers’ Crop Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#312 N66961 Farmers’ Crop Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#313 Nxxxxx Farmers’ Crop Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#314 N63585 Farmers’ Crop Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#315 N67203 Farmers’ Crop Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#316 N53040 Farmers’ Crop Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#317 N56910 Vince Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#318
#319 N56435 (dark body) Vince Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7
#320
#378 N66658 (dark body) Vince Dusters or Farmers’ Crop Dusters 1427829442_camera_ios7_ios_7

The black-and-white CBC Newsmagazine film about spraying from Budworm City in 1957, called “Canada’s Forests: Budworm Infestation and DDT” (8:51) can be found in the CBC Digital Archives. The reporter was Kingsley Brown and the broadcast date was July 7, 1957. Mentioned are:

  • Chief Pilots Bob Yates and Charlie Alcock
  • Earl Fitzgerald, Area Project Supervisor and unofficial “Mayor” of Budworm City
  • Mike Gordy of Simcoe, Ontario, pilot of Wheeler CF-EQS
  • Pat Korpatniki of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, pilot of Airspray CF-IAD
  • View of Marsh #243 N5274N in air (not spraying)
  • View of parked Airspray Stearman #69 CF-IAD and possibly Wheeler #61 CF-EQS
  • Views of 4 Wheeler Stearmans flying together spraying and ferrying

Quebec

DDT on 1,255,000 acres, Stearman. “In the peak year of operations (1957) 80 spray aircraft and 12 inspection aircraft operated from 9 airstrips constructed for this purpose.” [Blais et al. in Prebble 1975] Webb et al. (1961) state in Table 2 that 107 Stearman sprayed in Quebec. Airstrips used were Patapedia, Cap Chat, Laverendrye, Nouvelle, Lesseps and Pabos. The latter two airstrips were constructed for the 1957 project. Spraying ended on July 5.

The List of Stearmans and Pilots