“My career as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has been the gift of a lifetime. It has allowed me to travel across Canada and beyond – to all corners of the world. The amount of work that Canada did for the United Nations was colossal. No other country has done more. Sadly, most of our efforts, especially in the Middle East, have ended in dismal failure. “
Mac, as he is affectionately known, began the first stage of his career in 1953, when, at the age of 16, he became Air Craftsman Class Petty Officer 2nd Class, RCAF Auxiliary in Montreal. After enrolling in St. Lambert PQ High School in 1954, Mac applied to become a regular crew member of the RCAF, where he was sent and passed selection for pilot training. in London, Ontario and with other young Canadians, began his official career as a NATO pilot. From London he traveled to Claresholm, Alta. For flight school in 1955 and finally to Portage La Prairie, Man., For the Advanced Flying School (Jets) in 1956. There he was promoted to officer. aircraft and received its wings.
After Wings Parade, the RCAF chose Mac to become a flight instructor aboard a Harvard aircraft. Once he completed the instructor course in Trenton, he transferred back to Claresholm, Alta. He has taught airmen from Canada and Europe to train NATO pilots. In the summer of 1958, the Canadian government chose to close the Claresholm base and Mac was transferred to Air Transport Command, flying North Star Aircraft in late 1958 from Dorval PQ
The North Star was the RCAF’s primary long-range transport aircraft in use around the world. Domestically, 426 Squadron has covered the Arctic and regular military flights from coast to coast. Overseas, there were daily scheduled flights to Europe on behalf of NATO and weekly flights to Egypt and the Middle East for the United Nations.
Europe and Middle East flights continued until November 1965.
In 1960, Mac was the first Canadian pilot to land in the Congo and continued to fly across Africa until the end of 1962.
During a six-month stint at the helm of North Stars search and rescue in Torbay, Newfoundland, Mac had one of the highlights when he flew a Lancaster (the one that resides at the Hamilton Museum) in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, on her last official RCAF flight.
In 1964, Mac made the first flight to Cyprus to begin the transfer of Canadian troops for UN peacekeeping missions.
Mac flew the North Star with United Nations flags on his tail from 1958 until the North Star was retired in December 1965. He retired from the RCAF in 1969 after 16 and a half years of service.
An illustrious career for a true Canadian patriot whom we are proud to call one of his.