Avi­a­tor with Har­bour Grace con­nec­tion en­ters na­tional hall of fame

Er­rol Boyd was the first Cana­dian to com­plete a trans-At­lantic flight

The Compass - - News - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON editor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

VAN­COU­VER, BC — A Cana­dian avi­a­tion pi­o­neer whose story has strong ties to a Con­cep­tion Bay North com­mu­nity will soon be hon­oured for his ac­com­plish­ments as a pilot.

Er­rol Boyd (1891-1960) will be in­ducted into Canada’s Avi­a­tion Hall of Fame (CAHF) at a cer­e­mony in Van­cou­ver on June 15.

Born in Toronto, Boyd served with the Royal Naval Air Ser­vice in the First World War and took part in anti-Zep­pelin op­er­a­tions over the United King­dom. Upon com­ple­tion of the war, he trans­ported mail along the St. Lawrence River.

Fol­low­ing some record-set­ting flights to Ber­muda and Haiti, Boyd came to Har­bour Grace in Oc­to­ber of 1930. He left the town in a Bel­lanca WP-2 mono­plane named Maple Leaf look­ing to be­come the first Cana­dian to com­plete a transAt­lantic flight.

He de­parted from Har­bour Grace on Oct. 9 and made an emer­gency land­ing on Tresco Island in the Isles of Scilly the next day. Three hours later, Boyd and his nav­i­ga­tor Harry Con­nor ar­rived at their fi­nal des­ti­na­tion at Croy­don Air­port in Lon­don. Among those wait­ing to greet the pair was Sir Richard Squires, a Har­bour Grace na­tive who at that time was the prime min­is­ter of the Do­min­ion of New­found­land.

Ac­cord­ing to CAHF historian John Chalmers, a flare pis­tol car­ried on Boyd’s his­toric flight is stored at the Con­cep­tion Bay Mu­seum in Har­bour Grace.

Boyd later founded the Air Scouts of Canada, a group that laid the foun­da­tions for the Air Cadet or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Boyd and three other in­ductees will join 224 ex­ist­ing mem­bers in the CAHF.

“The CAHF is proud to hon­our these four well-de­serv­ing in­di­vid­u­als for their sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to Cana­dian avi­a­tion, and to Canada’s de­vel­op­ment as a na­tion,” CAHF chair­man Rob Sheri­dan said in a news re­lease.

“Our 2017 in­ductees come from back­grounds that span the width of Canada’s unique avi­a­tion in­dus­try. Avi­a­tion has brought Cana­di­ans to­gether as a coun­try, un­like any other form of trans­port. Our new in­ductees re­flect that co­he­sion through their pi­o­neer­ing activities and spirit.”


Er­rol Boyd, seen here in the cock­pit of a plane dur­ing the First World War circa 1915, will be in­ducted into Canada’s Avi­a­tion Hall of Fame later this month.

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