Friday, July 8, 2011

Buzz Beurling

Bob Dubois has also written an article on Buzz Beurling on the Messager site: http://www.messagerverdun.com/

It is mentioned in the article that there was an airport in LaSalle near the Natatorium wich is the first time I hear about this as it would be an interesting event to add to our archives (SHGV). I welcome any information.

Guy

21 comments:

Les F said...

Do you mean 'near Lasalle (as in Lasalle Blvd) or do you mean in 'Lasalle' as in 'Ville Lasalle'
I could almost understand an 'airstrip' rather than an 'airport' .....because all you need to land a light aircraft of those times would have been a relatively short tract of land ,.and given the lay of the land in those days from Lasalle blvd, near where the Nat is sincoe the 30's then ,.you could have taken off and landed easily btwn Lasalle Blvd & Champlain but was there in fact an 'airstrip' there or ???

Les F said...

....fromwhat I recall over the years in topics like this ,there was an 'airstrip' in what we know as VCHS playing field in the back of the school,..........way before the school was there.of course, this I could see as being confused with 'being near the Natatorium' but the time frame does not jive at all....I really think there were 'airstrips' Anywhere a plane could land ,'Which" could be anywhere with a 'strip' of field ........... that's my opinion, what do you think?

Guy Billard said...

As shown in my album no 47, there was the Verdun Flying (Gliding) Club that had 12 to 15 members of wich Buzz may have been a member. The photo shows the glider wich could fly at 150 feet for a distance of 1000 feet towed by a car and was at the Verdun High School on Manning street. This is the only record of any flying incident in Verdun that I have found so far. .

Guy





Les F said...

That's pretty neat Guy...good info.

Ken Park said...

The air field in La Salle was situated on the site that later became the La Salle golf course. I can remember a wooden shed with wheather beaten paint sign refering to the air service that existed at one time. The shed was used to store golf equipment. This area was situated west of the old race track above the old power house . Ken

pauline garneau said...

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ULAtAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XowFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3061,1091482&dq=airport+on+lower+lachine+road&hl=en


airport lasalle

Les F said...

Thanks Ken, I remember the golf course well,as I lived on 9th av in Lasalle for a while, that makes sense as it was a great plot of land, I had thought I heard at some point that the Golf Club house was at one time a country home for Molson (or something like that). Also in the early 70's they pushed centrale st right starihght through the old gold course property,& from one end to the other was a perfect 1/4 mile length (if you went through the stop siign in the center) & we often did a spot of racing,(no danger at the stop sign as it was usually night time and we would have someone lookout for us being a flat area you could see any type of approach of traffic from any direction, including the gendarmes of the day who regulalry tried to catch us........but that is another story..lol
I have some old shots of the LAsalle Golf Course somewhere & I will post them again if I can find them. Thanks for the info...........................................

Les F said...

Hi pony , I wonder where this 'crystal pool at the waters edge was,.I can even begin to think of where it could be in front of the golf course property as Lasalle Blvd,was literally only feet away from the river,where the current was strong ,so maybe this pool was actually on the golf course property ?
It would be neat to find photos of that...

Guy Billard said...

So we now know that there was an airport in LaSalle in the 30s. This is major new information to add to our archives.We now have to find photos of the airport.
Guy

Les F said...

Wouldn't Lovell''s Diirectory have an address if the airport was there,Then maybe we could chase down some photos somewhere,perhaps in the City Hall of Ville Lasalle ??

Ken Park said...

Directly across from the Nat. before Roland and Stevens where built that land was known as Monteiths (sp) farm.I remember watching gliders being towed by a car. I do not think the field was long enough to get airborn but my memory is a little fuzzy about those good old days. I hope this info helps stir up other peoples memories. kw10110 ken

Les F said...

Great recall Ken , Thanks for that update........................................ Les

Guy Billard said...

Ken,
About what year would that be. That would also be close to the Verdun High School on Manning, woudn't it. This would tie in with the activities of the Verdun Flying Club I mentioned on the 11th. That whole section was undeveloped in the early 30s.
Guy

pauline garneau said...

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bH8tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FJkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6096,2013498&dq=monteiths+farm+in+verdun&hl=en

Not an airport

pauline garneau said...

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=RacxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QKgFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4690,2028909&dq=monteiths+farm+in+verdun&hl=en

Les F said...

Hi Guy, perhaps when you are at SHGV you might be able to find and old 'city planning map' for that decade,every city would have a dedicated plan,& it might just show an old property useage or actually be named as an airstrip ,it certainly would name the big farms around there. You just might find a bunch of info,,,or maybe Lovell's might show something,but not everyone gave info to Lovell's .....Maybe we will find out a bunch more or maybe family names who owned property around there in those days,& from there we might find a family who actuallu has photos....Good Luck

Guy Billard said...

There was previous mention of the Monthief farm where there was either a fire or an incident that happened. Seems to me there was an article wirtten by one of the Monthief descendants. I have a map from the late 90s or early 1900 wich shows the Greenshield land and to the left is the John Crawford lot. There is no mention of the Monthief farm. Perhaps it was on the Crawford land. Hopefully we will make interesting discoveries on the LaSalle airport. Unfortunately I cannot depend on the City of Verdun archives having gone through that route. However, I will keep it in mind.
Guy

pauline garneau said...

http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviation%20history/WW2/aces/George%20Beurling.htm


George Beurling was born in Verdun, Quebec in 1921. His parents had high hopes for George, wanting him to go to University and study medicine.

Mostly George wanted only to fly,

"Ever since I can remember, airplanes and to get up in them into the free sky had been the beginning and end of my thoughts and ambitions".

This was borne out in his school marks, which were barely above passing. He had taken his first flight by age 9, and hung around LaSalle Road airport outside of Verdun every chance he got. He often made the chances, skipping school to watch airplanes and do odd jobs for the mechanics. When he was sent to his room he spent hours building model airplanes. He sold these creations and used the money to buy flying lessons. The only books he was interested in were about flying, especially tales about the WWI aces. He studied the tactics and aerial battles of WWI, discussing them and arguing with anyone who had the time. Other kids bullied him because of his obsession with flying, and when he was chased home one day his father bought boxing gloves and taught to fight. He also said, "George I don't want you to look for a fight, but I don't want you to run away."

His home life made a distinct impression on him and his personality. His father was a devout Presbyterian church goer, but something early in his adult life made him switch allegiance to a stern Evangelical sect called the Exclusive Brethren. They had absolute faith in the Bible. For the Beurlings there were daily bible studies, frequent reading of the Scriptures and weekly attendance at church. The Brethren were dead set against pleasures of the flesh, or for that matter, most other pleasures. It took years before they got a radio, and tobacco and alcohol were shunned. To that end, George never did take up drinking, smoking or swearing.

Still, George managed to have fun in and around Verdun and on his relative's farm. He was athletic and became a good swimmer, although he didn't participate in team sports.

One day at the Verdun airport, one of the pilots offered to take him up for a spin in an airplane if he got his parent's permission. He rushed home and asked them. His mother jokingly said, "Sure George, you can go to the moon." He got his first flight and was totally hooked on flying. He first took the controls of an airplane when he was 12, and soloed in the winter of 1938. He saved up enough money to afford a weekly lesson, but it was too slow for him. He quit school in grade 9 and left home, taking a train to Gravenhurst, Ontario. There he got a job hauling air freight into the bush for mining companies. It was dull work, but he got many hours of flying time logged and was responsible for navigating as co-pilot, building up a great store of practical experience in "seat-of-the-pants" flying. After getting his pilots license he headed west to Vancouver hoping to get a commercial license. Then he planned to join the Chinese air force flying against the Japanese invading Manchuria.

Les F said...

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Ken Park said...

shgverdun Manning ts about five blocks east of the Nat. I think my recolitions would be about the early 40s or mid 40s. I eventualy worked at the Nat. in the late 40s kw10110 ken

Les F said...

Check one of these maps for the Monteith Farm,this is a map we posted quite some time back:

You can click on it to enlarge it I believe,also here are the rest from the same series of maps of Verdun