Aviator with Harbour Grace connection enters national hall of fame
Errol Boyd was the first Canadian to complete a trans-Atlantic flight
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.