Showing 7 results

Authority record

Shulemson, Sydney Simon ; 1915-2007

  • The Air Force Museum of Alberta
  • Person
  • 1915 - 2007

Born 22 October, 1915 in Montreal, Quebec, Sydney S. Shulemson spent the better part of his early years living and working in the Montreal area with his family, Mr. and Mrs. Saul Shulemson. Upon graduating from high school Shulemson was accepted into McGill University where he briefly studied Engineering before the Great Depression forced him to drop out and find a job. Working briefly for a New York based advertisement agency, he eventually moved on to work for his uncle at a Montreal print company until the outbreak of the Second World War.

On September 10, 1939 Shulemson enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, graduating and earning his Wings and first commission in 1942. He was quickly placed with No. 404 Squadron in Scotland which was tasked with coastal patrol and defence. During his service, Shulemson developed the 'ship buster' technique, a low level rocket based attack used against enemy ships. Using his engineering skills, he created a mathematical formula in which the pilot could know at what speed, altitude, and angle he should fire his rockets, thereby slipping them under the water and up and into the hull of the ship. Prior to this invention, the Bristol Beaufighter, despite having wing-mounted rockets equipped, could not successfully destroy enemy convoys.

Due to the success of the 'ship buster' technique, Shulemson was tasked with training other squadrons and by 1944 had been promoted to Flight Officer before finishing his military career as Squadron Leader. After the Second World War, Shulemson aided the Israeli Air Force during its formation in 1947, finding viable aircraft as well as recruiting talented pilots, including George 'Buzz' Beurling, to the cause. He married in 1989 at the age of seventy-four to Ella Shulemson after years of bachelorhood. He passed away 25 January, 2007 due to a heart attack. He was ninety-one.

For his bravery and ingenuity during the war, Shulemson became the most decorated Jewish Canadian during the Second World War receiving the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 39-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star with France and Germany clasp, Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with bar (CVSM), the War Medal, CDA and the LSM.

McNab, Ernest Archibald ; 1906-1977

  • The Air Force Museum of Alberta
  • Person
  • 1906 - 1977

Born March 1906 in Rosthern , Saskatchewan, Ernest Archibald McNab attended the University of Saskatchewan before enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1926. At the outbreak of the Second World War (WWII) McNab was promoted to Flight Commander on 1 November, 1939 and was placed in charge of No. 1 Squadron. It was at this time he led a Hurricane Squadron during the Battle of Britain, and was credited with being the first Canadian to shoot down an enemy aircraft, and the first RCAF member to earn a medal of valour. Following this, McNab was further promoted to Wing Commander (7/10/1940) and subsequently Group Captain (1/6/1942). He retired from the RCAF in 1957, and passed away 10 January, 1977. For his dedication and skill as a pilot he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and Czechoslovak War Cross.

Lally, Conrad Tolendal ; 1882-1941

  • The Air Force Museum of Alberta
  • Person
  • 1882-1941

Born 3 April, 1882 in Toronto, Ontario to Conrad Colhurst Lally and Lucy Wells, Conrad T. Lally spent his childhood in Toronto before leaving Upper Canada College at the age of fifteen. Shortly thereafter, Lally became involved in finance and banking and moved to Banff, Alberta in 1906 where he opened up the first Imperial Bank of Canada Branch in the area. In 1907, only one year later, Lally moved to Wainwright, Alberta to open a convenience store. Sometime between 1907 and 1915 Lally became mayor of Wainwright. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1915 Lally, who was then thirty-three years old, enlisted in the Royal Flying Corp and paid his own way to travel overseas to England, leaving Canada on the 25th December, 1915.

After training with 28 Training Squadron, upon graduation (24/06/1916) Lally was appointed Flying Officer and was posted to 24 Flying Squadron. He was further promoted to the rank of Captain and moved to 25 Squadron (11/04/1917). His duties included reconnaissance, bombing raids, and active engagements with enemy aircraft. In December 1917 Lally and his observer, Lieutenant J.E. Cole, were shot down and wounded, but both quickly recovered. On 13 September, 1918 Lally was once again hit by enemy fire and crashed his aircraft into a tree where he sustained serious injuries to his head and face. A telegram back home to his mother shortly after the incident stated that it was just a 'scratch' and 'not serious.'

After the First World War Lally returned to Wainwright where he received the position of 'Postmaster.' At the outbreak of the Second World War Lally attempted to enlist once again, but turned down the counter-offer to serve as a flight instructor. Conrad T. Lally died 5 August, 1941 after suffering a heart attack. He was fifty-nine years old. For his dedication and skills during the First World War he was awarded the Military Cross and Bar, Air Force Cross, British War Medal 1914-1920, Victory Medal, and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm Leaves. He was credited with shooting down five enemy aircraft.