A version of the Beech Model 18, the C-45 was affectionately nicknamed the "Bug Smasher"by its pilots.
The C-45 was a very pleasant aircraft to fly, but extremely demanding to land, especially in a crosswind. You
simply could not relax until the engines were shut down and the wheel chocks in place.
|From circa 1962 to 1970, select Canadian Army pilots received a sixteen to eighteen week multi-engine conversion and instrument rating qualification Course (also referred to at times as the Dual Conversion Course) on the C-45 aircraft, either at 1 AFS CJATC Rivers MB (1 AFS moved to Rivers from Saskatoon in Sep 1962 and subsequently to Portage la Prairie in Aug 1964 and was re-named 3 FTS) or, later, 3 FTS RCAF Station/CFB Portage la Prairie MB. This website article has tried to capture as many of those Courses as could be found archivally, including Course photos, dates and Army Course members on those Courses. Regrettably, there will be many Courses missing and errors and omissions occurring due to the vast amount of time that has lapsed from present day to when these Courses occurred, plus the disappointing results of archival searches to fill in the blanks. It is sincerely hoped that anyone viewing this article who can add to it or otherwise amend what has been shown, will do so.|
Course (no number available at present), 1 AFS Rivers MB, 3 Dec 62
L to RF/C DB Paton, F/C EA Cummings, Capt EJ Grant, Capt GC Walker, F/C Thivierge.
Course 6201, 1 AFS Rivers MB, 21 Jan 63
L to RSLT LT East, SLT JB. Klassen, Capt FJ. Wagner, Capt CH Reid, SLT RK Hamilton, SLT DJ Mcbride.
Course 6401, 1 AFS Rivers MB, 31 Dec 63-10 Mar 64
Front Row L to RF/O Gagnon, F/O Clement, F/O Lynch, F/O Bernard, F/O Whitman.
Rear Row L to RF/O Meyers, Capt Nethercott, Capt Lewis, F/O Olson, F/O Lecompte.
Course (no Course number available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, early Oct-Dec 64
Course (no Course number available at present), 3 FTS Portage La Prairie MB, Feb/Mar-Jun 65 (approx)
Front Row L to RLt George Hawey, Capt Andre Berger, Capt Joe Thibedeau, Lt Phil Lacey, Capt Fred, Capt Fred MaCague.
Rear Row L to RLt Ron Davidson, Lt Ken Birch, Capt ? Opowitch, Lt John Bennett, Lt Jim Maurstad, Capt Bob Brinkhurst, Capt Bill Casey.
MissingCapt Marty Chesser.
Course 6407, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 8 Nov 65-4 Feb 66
L to RO/C J Grotkopp, O/C HJ Russell, F/O MN Pomerleau, F/O WJ McIntosh, O/C TP Nevison, LT RW McCann.
Course 6501, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 7 Feb-29 Apr 66
L to RO/C JG Graham, O/C J O'Connell, Lt JA Lowe, O/C JR Wood, O/C PA Zebruck, O/C CV McIntyre.
Course 6502, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 4 Apr-24 Jun 66
Rear Row L to RO/C Triffo, F/O Belzil, O/C Germain, LT Brocklehurst, Capt Brown.
Front Row L to RF/O Hemus, F/O Brown, F/O Wright, F/O Munroe, F/O Westlake.
Course 6505, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 29 Jul-17 Oct 66
L to RO/C Peaver, O/C Baker, Capt White, O/C Owen, O/C Jennings, O/C Gauthier.
Course 6507, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 17 Oct 66-10 Jan 67
Course 6602, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 28 Mar-15 Jun 67
Rear Row L to RCapt P March, F/O B Reid, F/O P Vanderbasch, F/O A Anderson, F/O D. Sprusten, F/O K Williams, Capt P Dudley.
Middle Row L to RP/O J Wood, F/O W Miller, F/O F Lofto, F/O W Tucker.
Front Row L to RO/C R ainlley, F/O B Cunniff, F/O A Strynadka.
Course 6701, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, Feb-Apr 68
Course 6702, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, Feb-May 68
L to RMathias, Filteau, Anglesey.
Course (no Course number or photo available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, 22 May-30 Jul 68
Course 6704, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, graduation Sep 68. No photo at present
Course 6705, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 10 Jun-4 Oct 68
Rear Row L to RLt(N) Brock Horseman(later LGen Comd Air Command), F/L Blair Wilkinson, SLt Robby Robertson, F/L Jim Caffrey, Lt (N) Gil Shepherd.
Front Row L to RF/O Dave Riley, F/O Bob Hawes, F/O Doug Mosher, F/L Shorty McFarlane, F/O Andy Poirier.
|Note: Capt John Dicker, the only Army Officer on this Course, is not shown in the above Course photo as he already had his Army Flying Badge and had departed Portage for Ottawa, on posting prior to the Graduation/Wings Parade, to join his new unit, 412 (T) Sqn CFB Uplands. He is shown in the insert photo along with fellow student Gil Shepherd and Instructor F/L Mike Martinelli while at Saskatoon SK undergoing ILS training. A larger coloured photo of the insert is attached also, for the viewing of those with weaker eyes.|
Course 6707, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, early Sep 68-11 Feb 69
Rear Row L to RRD Gillan, CD Patrick, EP Mousseau, TE Adkins, DW Anderson .
Front Row L to RPL Murphy, BT Bourne, BE Woods, IP Martin.
|Note: The two Army Officers on this Course (Gillan RCIC and Ireland RCA) were awarded the Canadian Army Flying Badge after successfully completing the Course.|
Course (no Course number available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, 2 Jul-13 Dec 69
Course 6906, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 1Sep-19 Dec 69
Rear row L to RCapt AV Coroy, OCdt G Wellstead, OCdt W Vermue, Lt D McGrath, OCdt E Michaud, Capt R Rogers.
Front row L to ROCdt J Burrell, OCdt J Pollock, Capt A Bryski, OCdt J Graham, OCdt M Rush.
|Capt Vic Coroy with a C-45. The photo was taken at Randolph AFB, USA on 3 Dec 1969. "We had three C-45 on a long cross-country navigation trip with an opportunity to conduct let downs at various unfamiliar airfields." The photo was taken by Capt Dick Rogers.|
Course (no Course number available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, prior to or during 1970
Course 7001, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 5 Jan-18 Mar 70
Rear Row L to RMr. Dennis Webster - Met, Capt Jim Forrestel - Flt Planning/Flt Conduct, Capt Jon Pellow, Capt Gerry Gower, Maj Fred Ayers, Capt Jack Farncombe,
Front Row L to RCapt John MacGregor, Capt Pete Armstrong, Capt Gord Vandyke, Capt Wally Johnson, Capt Fraser Webb, Maj Gord Mastine.
CFFIS Refresher Course 69/6, CFFIS Portage La Prairie MB (no Course date available at present but likely winter/spring 1970)
L to RLt JD Shaw, Lt RS Drader, Capt DJ Briggs, Capt RE Horton, Capt GC Walker, Capt, LG Bolton, LT DJ Trotman, Capt JJ Marion.
C-45 Refresher Course 69/11, 3 FTS Portage La Prairie MB (no Course date available at present but likely spring 1970)
L to RLt JE Rawlings, Capt ET Whalen.
C-45 Refresher Course 69/10, 3 FTS Portage La Prairie MB (no Course date available at present but likely summer 1970
L to RCapt ? Shepherd, Capt RJ Grant, Maj NS Robertson, Capt ?.
Course No. (not available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, dates (not available at present)
Course No. (not available at present), 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, dates (not available at present)
|Note: It is obvious that this article is a work in progress with changes occurring on a regular basis ie, amendments, new Course data, Course photos etc. It is hoped that our viewers will take an active role in making this article as complete and as accurate as humanly possible, notwithstanding the number of years intervening. All input greatly appreciated.|