View Full Version : World Wide Airways

18th Jun 2012, 12:42
An old departed friend Don McVicar ( ex ferry command WW2 ) ran this out of Montreal Canada doing aircraft deliveries worldwide and working on such things as the DEW line in the Canadian arctic and the railroad construction from Sept Isles to Schefferville Quebec.
He published some great books about those days such as "North Atlantic Cat" and "Distant Early Warning"
His daughter contacted me recently.
Anyone have any memories / photos of Ferry Command or WWA?

PS Great film here of the construction of the DEW line

1st Jul 2012, 19:20
Albatross....thanks for the DEW line video...a new one for me. I'm from the generation after McVicar's, so can't help with info, but I have 3* of the 5 books of his Airlife published in the UK (Ferry Command, North Atlantic Cat*, A Change of Wings*,Mosquito Racer* and More than a Pilot).
Mosquito Racer has some of the WWA story of airliner delivery flights.
I think his daughter runs this site listing some more of his books which I'm not familiar with
Ferry Command (http://www.donmcvicar.com/index.html)

He was a great story-teller and the books are most readable...part of the history of Atlantic Flying
Looks like his daughter has republished some of his work?
And wasn't this the first RAF Marauder which he ferried over?]Imperial War Museums (http://www.iwm.org.uk//collections/item/object/205210789)http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib/53/media-53758/large.jpg?action=e[/url]
AMERICAN AIRCRAFT IN ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICE 1939-1945: MARTIN MODEL 179 MARAUDER.. © IWM (CH 17449) (http://www.iwm.org.uk//collections/item/object/205210789)IWM Non Commercial Licence (http://www.iwm.org.uk/corporate/privacy-copyright/licence)

2nd Jul 2012, 01:05
Glad you liked the DEW line film.

Yes Don was a great story teller and a good man,

I don't know if he delivered that particular B-26 but who knows.
I don't recall if he ever nmade a list of all the aircraft he delivered during WW2 but there were many types.

2nd Jul 2012, 21:26
See Post 4 of the current "Feathered Lancaster" story in this section Ė a link leads you to the "Operation Goodwill 1946" thread from 2010 -

http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/410951-operation-goodwill-1946-merged-2.html (http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/410951-operation-goodwill-1946-merged-2.html)

Post 33 coincidentally mentions -

"Fate of TW870

In the heavy landing at Gander, the aircraft suffered damage to the centre section and undercarriage and was declared Cat AC on 29.8.46. In the event, probably due to cost and difficulty of repairs on site at Gander, and the large number of spare Lancasters in store, TW870 was re-categorised to Cat E and struck off charge on 31.10.46.

It remained virtually derelict at Gander until October 1950 when it was sold as scrap to Hercules Sales of Toronto, then to Freight Lift Inc (Doug Siple/Don McVicar). After the minimum work necessary, the aircraft was flown from Gander to Dorval (the engineer who rebuilt the Lancaster flew as flight engineer on the trip via Summerside to Dorval. He records that he didnít have much to do Ďas vandals had stolen most of the instrumentsí). At Dorval it was converted to become a fuel tanker, including the fitting of a streamlined nose section (this nose cone had once been part of Trans Canada Airlines Lancaster X Passenger Plane KB702/CF-CMT, and had been used as a chicken coup after CF-CMT was scrapped. It was rescued, cleaned up and fitted to TW870!) The plane was then transferred to World Wide Aviation. On 6.5.52 it was registered as CF-GBA and moved to Seven Islands, Quebec where it was used to transport fuel to the outposts of the Iron Ore Company of Canada. On one of these flights the pilot, Capt AR Iba, lost control during an overweight landing in a crosswind on a gravel airstrip at Menihek, and the Lancaster hit a rockpile, caught fire and was burnt out. Both crew members were unhurt. The manifest showed a load of 2,150 gallons of diesel, 300 gallons of petrol and 800 gallons of Avgas (source Bob Hornby).

Them wuz the days !

For more and slightly different information, see here:
 Lancaster Bomb Tragedy (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cannf/ct_news_lancasterbomb.htm)  

The further link "Lancaster Tragedy" tells the tale but seems to be 20 years out.


3rd Jul 2012, 19:12
Arthur Pearcy's book on Lend-Lease Aircraft confirms McVicar flew FK138, the RAF's first Marauder over on 2June1942

4th Jul 2012, 04:59
Thanks to you for this information!

5th Jul 2012, 01:34
On occasion I bent elbows with Don at the Green Hornet tavern in Dorval. He was a great raconteur. In addition to tankering fuel with the Lancaster, they'd also throw in about 800 pounds of cement in the nose compartment for the dam at Menehik.

The Connie on static display in the museum in Seattle? in Trans Canada titles used to be flown by World Wide, as CF-RNR. It's great to hear that his books may once again become available, I must persue that lead.

7th Jul 2012, 13:21
Good Gawd - The Green Hornet - now there's a name I haven't thought of in many a year. LOL.:D

13th Jul 2012, 00:56
Hello, this is Don McVicar's daughter, Donna, invited by 'albatross' to join this forum. It is thrilling to see here the interest in my dad's long and adventurous career in aviation. It is even more exciting to see the photo of one of the Widow Makers Dad wrote about in his first book, Ferry Command, posted here!

Last year I found out about publishing on the Kindle platform, and so a long-cherished dream to bring out Dad's books is coming true. Knowing him, I am sure he would be thrilled! I've been a professional artist since age 20, and Dad would frequently commission me to paint or draw various aircraft he'd flown.

Ferry Command was published by Airlife in 1981, but in 1991, Dad broke it up into two self-published books: Ferry Command Pilot and South Atlantic Safari. He added new material to both and gave them a little more 'spice.' (ahem)

It was Ferry Command Pilot I published last year on Kindle, using as the cover my painting of Dad's flight in a PBY over the Greenland icecap which he had commissioned from me. He focused on his Arctic explorations of the Crimson Route. He and Capt. Louis Bisson piloted Norseman ski-planes loaned to Ferry Command by the RCAF. Some very harrowing experiences indeed!

South Atlantic Safari focuses on Dad's delivery of the first RAF Marauder to Cairo, FK117. Soon after, he delivered FK138 to Prestwick, after solving some very serious problems with what he described as a "tricky aircraft."

Having the photo of FK138 to add to the historic photos used in South Atlantic Safari is truly a wonderful gift!

Despite being my dad's "copilot" when I was a kid, and growing up in World Wide's hangar playing on our aircraft, I will never be an expert in aviation as Dad was. My goal is to be a conduit of history, doing what I can to keep the stories alive for the generations to come.

I will be extremely grateful for any help, advice, or support that will get Dad's books back into publication.