The exercise was a Defence and patrol ex for the RCR. The area was Algonquin Park, adjacent to Petawawa Range Area.
1 AOP Flight was deployed to Bonnechere Airport in support of RCR. The flight deployed with tents, photo van, CP, Maint van, Herman Nelson heaters, etc.
All 4 a/c were deployed on wheels and skis. The flight flew both day and night missions in support. Air photos could be requested, the flight flown, photos developed and air dropped within 1 hr.
During the exercise I was on a mission to check on the patrols. As I passed over Zig Zag Lake, I spotted a patrol come out of the bush and cross part of the lake. When they saw me they threw out an orange smoke marker. As the Code was RED = PROBLEM, YELLOW = OK, I called the C P and asked about the orange. They said they didn’t know but I’d better check on them.
So I did a slush recce and had to land in the centre of the lake to avoid freezing in slush.
I shut down and walked over to the patrol with water coming over my flight boots and asked what the problem was. He replied "no problem" so I asked about the orange smoke. He showed me the container that said yellow smoke and then went with the patrol into the bush.
I went back to the a/c and tried to start but the battery was dead. So, I pumped down the wheels and went out to hand crank. After several tries, I gave up and tramped BATERY in the snow.
About an hour later, Al Doucet flew over and dropped a message bag and flew on. I went over and looked at the message.
It read: "Two TTs in Batery".
An hour later, Dale Saxon landed with an a/c tech who said, "I will hand crank". I told him I had tried but he said "Pilots don’t know how to do it". So he tried several times with no luck and said he would go back and get a battery. I said, "BRING SOME LUNCH!"
Two hours later, he and Saxon returned, and changed the battery but did not bring LUNCH.
We got off Zig Zag Lake... cold, wet and ready for dinner.
The rest of the exercise was uneventful.
Col Frank Bayne
Ex Cold Spear, Bonnechere Ont, 19 Jan 1961.
The RCAF dropped in from time to time but their role was ???? My memories... Most flights were "liaison" or recce’s with interested RCR or Bde personnel. We also provided photo recce’s for requests.
Of note as passengers... Bde Comd, BGen Leech and Brigade Major Pat Grieve.
- Dale Saxon
1 AOP Flt Base Camp, Ex Cold Spear, Bonnechere Ont, Jan 1961.
Our 1 AOP Flt “HQ” on Bonnechere Airfield. Shown were our livings quarters... bell tents.
We were 3 or 4 to each. These tents were fire hazards and the rule was….someone had to remain awake all night, watching the heater,
or as our group did, forget that and freeze, in our so called Arctic Sleeping bags. The temp. ran 30-35 below zero most days, so use your imagination!
- Dale Saxon