Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame to Honor Four Inductees and Belt of Orion Recipient

The Hall's 2011 inductees are: John W. Crichton, Donald T. Hamilton, Richard W. (Dick) Ryan, and William J. (Bill) Wheeler.


William J. (Bill) Wheeler (1931 - ) is a founding member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) and served as editor of its quarterly Journal magazine for 45 years. Under Wheeler’s editorship the Journal became a foremost magazine of Canadian aviation history. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art, and a former art teacher, Bill encouraged Canadian artists by displaying their work on the cover of Journal. In producing the magazine he shared thousands of photographs and hundreds of previously unpublished stories with his readership. Bill Wheeler's enthusiasm and support of the CAHS was instrumental in building the Society to 12 chapters across Canada, and in 2001, the CAHS received the Belt of Orion award from the CAHF.

The 2011 Belt of Orion recipient, Hollinger Ungava Transport Ltd. (HUT), was established in 1948 as a private airline to supply air transport services to the Iron Ore Company of Canada during construction of the 573-kilometer Québec North Shore and Labrador railway from the port of Sept-Îsles, Québec to Schefferville, Québec. HUT operated in support of exploration for iron ore by hauling fuel, and all food, supplies and equipment to the 7,000 workers building the railroad. HUT made its mark as a unique aviation operation in serving this purpose. Using a fleet of 10 workhorse Douglas DC-3 aircraft and employing 80 pilots and over 100 mechanics, radio operators, technicians and support staff, Hollinger Ungava Transport flew up to 70 flights a day at its peak.

Tickets to the 2011 annual dinner and ceremony are $225, and also include a one-year Friend of the Hall membership. A tax receipt will be supplied for each ticket sold.

Brief History of The Hall:

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame is located in the hangar at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, south of Edmonton. Founded in 1973, Members have come from all across Canada and have led extraordinary lives as military and civilian pilots, doctors, scientists, inventors, aeronautical engineers and administrators.

The Hall strives to increase the public’s understanding and interest in aviation history by making its displays, archives, records and artifacts accessible to current and future generations. The heroism and courage embodied in the Members of the Hall serves to kindle the spirit of adventure in Canada’s youth.

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