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Aldo Missio
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Group Build: 100 years of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

May 31, 2024 · in Aviation · · 12 · 159

Greetings modeling colleagues. I'm hoping you will join me in a honouring the 100th anniversary of the . I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the RCAF, so I'm dedicating it to my father and mother. Aldo Missio Sr. was a meteorological officer from Kirkland Lake, a mining town in Northern Ontario, and Joan Burke, an air force nurse from St. Jaques, a small outport fishing village in Newfoundland. They met at an RCAF base in Portage-la-Prairie Manitoba, eventually heading off to a posting with 4th Fighter Wing based at Baden-Soellingen Germany, where Aldo Jr. was born in 1958. At the time, the wing was flying Sabres and CF-100's. (I haven't been able to find my dad's slides of those aircraft - sigh). The C/O of the base was Buck McNair, a WWII Spitfire ace with 16 victories.

While my dad was never a pilot, he loved aircraft from a young age, as you can see from a few pages I've included from his scrapbook, which was almost exclusively devoted to aircraft (maybe I'll have to post more of these pictures - really capture the aviation of the time). With a physics degree from Queen's University, Kingston Ontario, he was able to serve in an important capacity. Met officers were critical to air operations, especially at a time before weather satellites.

My mom told me she saw a picture of a military nurse when she was eight years old, and knew that's what she wanted to be.

So while we all rightly admire the brave pilots of our air forces, I'd like to give a shout out to all the valuable contributions from all the supporting positions which help to keep them in the air.

The RCAF in 1924 had a few old Curtiss Jennies, Avro 504's, curtis and Felixstowe flying boats and aircraft of similar nature, performing mostly civilian duties such as fire patrols. But by the end of WWII, it was the fourth largest allied air force, flying many of the most current British and American planes. It had been crucial in training over 130,000 pilots and ground crew for the allies through the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Almost 250,000 men and women were enlisted (from a country of 12 million). Many paid the ultimate price - 17,000 killed in action, 10, 600 of those in bomber command.

Today's airforce is of course a fraction of the wartime size, and even the substantial force operated during the height of the cold war. However, it continues to serve an important role for the country as it evolves with every new deployment of modern types such as the F-35.

I hope you enjoy these pics, and look for my initial subject in the group builds - an RCAF C-47 serving in the Burma campaign.

Happy modeling from Aldo.

Reader reactions:
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20 additional images. Click to enlarge.


12 responses

  1. An important point to note regarding Canada's World War II contribution is that all of those 250,000 who served on operations were volunteers, since it had been determined that what few draftees existed were not allowed to be sent to war without their personal agreement. That was the result of a political division that's existed as long as Canada has.

  2. I’ve got several Canadian subjects that I’ve been meaning to do. I’ll pick one and join!

  3. Congratulations on creating this Group, Aldo! Really great that you dedicated ot to your parents. Loved reading your writeup and the pics are wonderful - please post more.

    • Thanks Spiros. I really should do the scrapbook. Some really cool pics of familiar wartime birds, plus never quite made it prototypes and popular mechanics "planes of the future".

  4. A great subject to remember your parents for their hard work at the RCAF, Aldo @aldog
    Your article is nice to read and supported with some valuable information, thanks for that.

  5. This is very good motivation to get back to my long term 1/48 CF-100 Hobbycraft kit and all the scratch building to get it to look like a well detailed CF 100.

    • Totally awesome. I had that kit as a kid, done in NATO camo.

      If I could only find the 1/72 version for a more reasonable price than the $70 I just saw on ebay.

      While I am starting with the Dak, I feel like I should pay tribute to the planes of my birthplace. Maybe a Sabre. But I already have some kits and RCAF decals in my stash, including markings for Buck McNair's Spitfire. He was my Dad's C/O in '58.

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