Air Reserve Squadron Web Pages.
A forum on the web for past members of the
2 Air Reserve Wing who served at CFB
On the web since July, 2001.
Personnel Contact Updated November 3/02 NEW
Updated October 12/02
Photos from the 400 Sqn 70th Anniversary celebrations on Oct 4&5 are now posted.
Terry Hill has provided a few photos in the new "Wing, RSU & Family Day" Gallery. Also a few new ones in "What We Look Like Today".
Squadron Songs Updated June 17/02
"Three German Soldiers" has been added, thanks to Air Cadet Andy Fiedler.
Recollections Updated August 1/02
"1981 - One Last Action Packed Year" segment of the "On Guard" series is now posted. Lots of meat in this one!
Links Updated October 5/01
Updated July 27/02
The Spring 1977 edition of our own 2ARW newsletter "The Reservist" is now posted, courtesy of Diane Miller & Paul Lamar. The RCAF had its own monthly magazine from 1948 until 1965. I've begun to post interesting articles from The Roundel.
Please refresh your browser often. I'm updating frequently!
Alas, the days of air force planes based & flying in Toronto are
sadly gone. Canadian Forces Base Toronto is also now just a memory. It's been
about 20 years since I was active with the 400 Air Reserve
Squadron. But I still have profound memories of the people & events
which have left an impact on my life! I would like this site to serve as a
resource for those who served with these units, particularly to my comarades who were there in the 1970's & 1980's when
the Otters & Kiowas flew. Perhaps you are trying
to find an old buddy? Try the Personnel Contact page & submit your info to
join the email list. Current members of 400 Squadron at CFB Borden can also
join & keep us apprised of any reunions, happenings or gatherings, etc. Do you have photos or stories you wish to share
from your time there? Contact me. This site can only thrive with the input of
many. I'd like to dedicate this venture to all those who can remember
"where were you when Otters flew" and to the memory of Andy Gyorffy and the memory of Wally Sweetman.
Steve Vuglac sent the following:
Any notices will be placed here on the Home Page.
Sergeant Barry Tromblay....ex RCAF Wartime, 400
Squadron RCAF (aux) passed away
My name is Bill Bishop and I joined the squadron in 1958 as AC1 and left in
1963 as A/Cpl. (With a name like Bill Bishop what other e-mail addy would I
I am open to contact from any current or past members of the squadron.
Although I've lost all my squadron photos, I think I'll be able to add to
your song book. Just give me a couple of weeks.
I'm not sure how I'm able to contact past members from your Contact list. I’m
particularly interested in contacting Gerry Stewart.
Tremendous site. Keep on keeping on !
Eugene Pieterse has been forwarding me your news and I recognize a lot
of the names (however the faces in the photos sure have changed!) I was
an Air Frame Tech in 411 Squadron around 1979/1980. I think I remember
driving around in your convertible with Antonelle in
I worked in the aerospace industry on and off for 13 years (DeHavilland
and Pratt & Whitney) but have run my own information brokerage for the
past 10 years. Currently, my primary client is a transportation
engineering consortium. I lived in
and was glad to come home to
If anyone wants to get in touch with me, I can be reached at
Thanks for posting some pictures for those of us unable to
attend. I think
the last time I saw Marlene and Ron was at Doug Watkin`s cottage over 10
years ago. And I must say you look dashing in your Hamilton Fire Dept.
Anyways, I had family obligations and couldn`t make it. As you may or may
not know, Carmine Naccarato is my brother in law ( he married my sister) and
our original intention was to come up together for the parade and reception.
We decided that we won`t miss a future event ( 75 anniversary?).
Talk to you later..Richard Simpson
Thanks for the kind words. I hope that we met the expectations of all the former members. It was important that we did it right for all of you.
that the reunion is done for this year, my hope is that all ex-members get an
opportunity to come for a visit. Our door is always open and it would be
a shame if we didn't keep in touch. I'll continue to send you photos and
stories about what is happening here in the wonderful
In closing, I want to wish you and your lovely wife continued success in all your endeavours. We'll be sure to see you again soon. Take care.
Dave A. Fisher
Hey Fred, watch out when you pictures of Fred M in his flight suit, with budget cuts and all they probably will want it back ( in case you are chuckling when we first moved to Borden we were asked why a member who had died still had a uniform. We politely mentioned that the individual was buried in it, they could however have it back but we will only supply the shovel.) It is great to see that Fred still fits his flight suit, wish I could say the same.
Hope to see you on the 4th
Cheers, Jim Greig
Baron Von Kuzyk!
A pleasant surprise to stumble across your web site. I served with 400 Squadron from 1981 - 1984 including one overseas tour in Lahr in 1983. I retired as a corporal, aeroengine and cross-trained airframe on Kiowas (although I still remember the Otter, particularly our formation flight of eight Otters to
In subsequent years, I graduated from
These days I am pursuing a quiet life in a log house in the country
Congratulations on the site.
I welcome hearing from old friends. I can reached at email@example.com
"I would like to hear from anyone who was with
400 from 1941 to 43. I welcome contact from air or ground crew that were at Odiham, Dunsfold, Trebelzu or Portreath.
I would like very much to be at the 70th anniversary ceremonies but am expecting to be laid up at that time by surgery. If it gets cancelled for any reason I'll make the big effort to get there.
Thanks. Per Ardua,"
Barry Hubbard sent the following:
"To you who remember C.R.(Bob) Dingle....deHavilland FTE and 400 Sqn SNCO
Flt Sgt)then CFR'd to a Flying Officer in 2 ARWHQ....his obituary is in the
TORONTO STAR newspaper dated 27th June 02....the memorial service will be
held in Brockville with internment in Kingston....Bob was 73 years old..."
Condolences to a departed Squadron member.
Jim Homeniuk sent the following:
Hi Fred &
Thanks for the update. It's nice to hear about former Sqn members and where they are currently working and living and of course lots has transpired since many have left for other pastures.
We at 400 Sqn are preparing the helicopters for 'OP Hurricane' in the high
Give my highest regards to all the former members of 400 & 411 Sqns, 2 Tass, 2RSU.
Jim Homeniuk, MCpl
400 Tactical Helicopter Sqn
I'd like to thank Chuck Almasy for putting Jeff Neilly in touch with an old friend who was trying to find him. Thanks Chuck!.
More from Dave Fisher:
The 400 Squadron History book is still available from the Sqn Orderly Room. The number is 1-800-371-6213
400 is busier than it has been since WWII. We are about to take part in 2 major operations in the Arctic and out West plus the upcoming visit from the Pope. To add to that, almost fifty 400 Sqn members are getting ready to go to Bosnia! There won't be too many of us left in Borden during the summer. I'll send more pictures are they become available. Take care and I'll keep in touch.
"I just finished viewing the "Squadron 400" web page and was
very pleased with the work and dedication that has been put into keeping alive
the memories of flying the "real" work horse aircraft of days gone bye. - Thanks for the memories.
I am a retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer [CWO3] and I had the pleasure and privilege of flying the Beaver [2200 hours] and the Otter [2800+ hours] during my 26 years military service. - Of all of the aircraft that I flew during those years I have the most fond memories of the "Otter". - She was the best "true" work horse aircraft that I ever flew. - A really GREAT ole' gal. - I managed to fly her in the Alpine mountains of Italy, all over Europe, several Asian countries and in combat in Viet Nam."
US Army Otter-Caribou Association
Paul Lamar was with 411, from 1975 to 1978. He was
also with 414 in 1979. He'd like to contact the following folks:
Brian Pilkington (411), Rick Kurtzer (411), Fred Machado (411), Bob Milson (411), Harold Chung (411),
Eugene Pieterse (411), Toni Varone (411), Betty Aitkens (411), Tom Burns (400), Stephanie Mann (400),
Debbie Girard (2ARW), Oleh Stebelskyj (411), Diane Miller (2ARW), Janet Holmes (2ARW).
I only have current contact info for a couple of them. So, if you can help, please email Paul Lamar.
Anyone like to get together beside our old hangars at Downsview? John Harper, a former 411 Sqn member & the current Education Services Director at the Toronto Aerospace Museum would be pleased to have a gathering of Air Reserve alumni sometime at the Museum, which is next door to our old haunts at the former base. Ken Moores would like to see this happen, so if you are interested: Email Ken Moores.
Michael Du Boulay
writes: "I learned how to play the highland bagpipes in 400 Sqd Pipe Band back in the days when they practiced at the
"Hunt Club" at Avenue Road and Eglinton. I
wore the RCAF tartan for 9 years. While in
Condolences to Stephanie Mann whose father passed away earlier in February.
Recently saw the 1995 movie "Iron Eagle 4" with Lou Gossett Jr & Al Waxman. Thrilled to see shots of our Downsview hangars in this flick. In one scene near the end, you can see some of the letters of "DOWNSVIEW" still above the hangar, over Lou Gossett's shoulder! A neat bit of nostalgia.
Dale (Puppy Tags) Reed has relocated to Calgary. We miss you Dale, but Colin Steadman now has you as a new neighbour!
Congratulations to Marlene "Mother Marl" (formerly Marl Buchanan of 400 Sqn) Peters & husband Ron Peters (formerly of the 2 RSU) on the occasion of their 10th wedding anniversary. I had the pleasure of meeting with them, and some other veterans recently. Thanks for the invite! Marl has promised a ton of photos, so hopefully we'll share them at this site.
Pleased to pass on that Mary Lou & Cam Almasy had their first child, a baby boy named Connor, on October 22/01. Congratulations, especially from Uncle Chuck. Thanks to Chuck & Carm for the info
The latest issue of "Airforce" magazine has an article on the Air Reserve today. From the magazine, I see that MWO Jim Grieg & WO Dave Fisher are still serving with 400 Sqn. Dave also recently served in Bosnia as part of the 400 Sqn peace-keeping contingent. Congratulations on their long service!
Heard today (Oct 13/01) that there was a change of Command parade today at 400 Sqn at Borden. Had I known about it earlier, could have gotten the word out. Perhaps some of us "old-timers" may have wanted to get together there.
I'm still in shock over the events that occurred on September 11th. My sympathy goes out to all those Americans, Canadians, and others who perished - as well as to those who must deal with the aftermath. An air attack of North America in this day & age seemed inconceivable. This wasn't always the case, as in the 1950's when air attack seemed very real. At that time, "Nike" surface to air missiles were deployed to protect such places as the steel mills of Pittsburgh & the industries of Niagara Falls. In Canada, nuclear tipped BOMARC missiles helped protect Ontario & Quebec, along with many squadrons of jet fighters. North American Civil Defence systems, air raid sirens, fall-out shelters, and teaching school kids to "duck & cover" were common precautions. As the decades passed & the Cold War ended, the defences faded away along with the threat. The Cold War was won - North America was not attacked during all those years due to our strong deterrence.
Today we have proven to be vulnerable from an air attack. Not in the manner envisioned in other decades, not from foreign air forces, but instead vulnerable from our own domestic airliners. It now doesn't seem so far fetched that an Air Canada plane could slam into the CN Tower, Skydome, or an American target. While it is an unpalatable thought to shoot down commercial airliners, there's indications that US jets would have done so, had they enough time. Even the obsolete aircraft flown by Canadian Air Reserve squadrons (such as P-51 Mustangs) once upon a time in Hamilton, Toronto, & Montreal could have brought down today's airliners. Those Nike missiles mentioned earlier could have, as well. Even a soldier armed with a "Blowpipe" type hand-held surface to air missile, could have hit the plane headed for the Pentagon. But even if you cause such a plane to miss its intended target, if it has chemical, biological, nuclear or radioactive substances aboard, many could still die.
As a former military man & a present firefighter, I'm not advocating a return to an "armed camp" society. But there's no substitute for a strong defence. Terrorism is the current threat. Certainly it would be folly if airport & airline security were not beefed-up. The traveling public will have to get use to the inconvenience. And if airline security makes that form of attack near impossible, it's likely that determined terrorists will find weakness in other areas (perhaps by ship or rail, or by tainting water supply) for the delivery of destruction. It's difficult to perceive & protect against every threat. The Hazardous Materials Team at the Fire Department, forinstance, plans scenarios on how to respond to an attack by anthrax & other potential hazards. Vigilance is necessary in our society.
Had these terrible events taken place in Canada, we do not have the military assets to "strike back". Long taken for granted the need for collective security arrangements like NORAD & NATO now become paramount, especially to Canada. I read in the summer edition of "Canadian Defence Review" that over the next three years, the Canadian Air Force will have its aircraft reduced from 505 aircraft to 282, including the reduction of our CF-18 fighters from 122 to 80 aircraft. Military budget cuts are nothing new & have been on-going since the 1960's. Perhaps our security & defences should become a priority right across the board. Weakness is often exploited. It's been proven that it can happen on this continent. It's no longer a case of "what ifs" but potential "when's".
Although the Otter had served for nearly 30 years with the RCAF & CAF, I'm unaware of any mounted as monuments. It also seems that there are few museums, if any, which have one. Strange!
Recently learned of the
passing of Bob Procyshen, 400 Squadron Commanding
Officer 1981-1984. Sources state
that he died in a helicopter crash in the Maldives (not in the U.S. as stated
previously). He was not piloting the chopper. Bob can no longer "buy us a
round", as suggested in one of the songs. We can toast his memory, though.
Is it true that "Doug Burley drinks on trains?" No, "he trains on drinks". Some humour scrawled in a bathroom at the old Dowsview hangar - which I was reminded of. Thanks Lads!
Web site created by "Freddy The K Communications"
”Charlie’s Angels” at the 400 Squadron 70th Anniversary reunion on Oct 4&5, 2002. Fred Kuzyk, Ken Moores, & Al Hooper. Actually, all three were present at the reunion but didn’t quite look like this! This is another Halloween photo from 22 years earlier. Click here to see more photos from the 2002 reunion.
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