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About the author:
Captain Donald McVicar was a true aviation pioneer. He lived boldly in the Golden Age of Aviation. He earned his private pilot's license at 21 in 1936, flying a deHavilland Moth in his homeland of Saskatchewan, Canada. He mastered dozens of types of aircraft in his long, exciting career. While getting the hours to obtain his commercial license, he became Winnipeg's first air traffic controller with ATC Licence #9: before they had even built the tower. In 1941, he joined the Royal Air Force Ferry Command in Dorval, Quebec. As a Captain-Navigator, and already an experienced radio operator when he joined up, he was known as a "triple threat" and in 1943 was awarded the King's Commendation and the Order of the British Empire for his" valuable services in the air." Some of those services included a 1942 exploratory flight to the Arctic along with RAFFC Capt. Louis Bisson and USAAC Col. Charles Hubbard, where he landed his single-engine Noorduyn Norseman farther north than anyone had ever flown; and the first RAF delivery of a Martin B-26 Marauder "Widow Maker" to Africa. After the war, he founded his own airline, World Wide Airways, and ran it for two decades from Dorval until essentially forced out of business by political pressure from on high. Capt. McVicar had the guts to do what many fail to do: write it all down and get it published, beginning with "Ferry Command" in 1981 and ending with "Through Cuba to Oblivion" in 1994. He passed away in 1997 at his Dorval home, not far from the airport where he made aviation history.
South Atlantic Safari
Capt Donald M McVicar OBE
F/L E.E. Ted Biss RCAF
Cover design or artwork by
Donna McVicar Kazo
Donna McVicar Kazo
In 1981, Captain Don McVicar, KC, OBE, published "Ferry Command" which described his dangerous flying adventures in the service of the Royal Air Force Ferry Command, a secret organization based at Dorval airport, near Montreal, Canada. It was the first of thirteen well-received volumes of his turbulent life in the Golden Age of Aviation. When "Ferry Command" sold out, its publisher, Airlife in Great Britain, did not print a second edition, so Capt. McVicar divided it into "Ferry Command Pilot" and "South Atlantic Safari" adding new material to both, and self-published them in 1990.
While "Ferry Command Pilot" is a tale of the Arctic and brutal flying over the frigid North Atlantic, "South Atlantic Safari" soars over the warm Caribbean, the jungles of South America, the equatorial South Atlantic, touching down on the burning deserts of Egypt. Capt. McVicar must master the sleek but dangerous B-26 Marauder which had earned the nickname "Widow Maker" due to its high accident rate. He is charged with delivering the first American-built bomber to the battle front of the RAF in Africa.
Capt. McVicar's writing style was very much cherished by aviation enthusiasts from all walks of life, who often remarked that they felt as if they were right there in the cockpit with him, wrestling the temperamental aircraft to keep it from falling from the sky.
This edition marks the return of the second half of this classic tale of a secret but vital wartime organization to the world. "Ferry Command Pilot" was published by Words on Wings Press in June 2015 to commemorate what would have been Capt. McVicar's 100th birthday.
The foreword is written by the navigator of that historic B-26 Marauder delivery to Africa, F/L E.E. "Ted" Biss, RCAF.
The addition by the author of little-known histories of three other ferrying organizations--the British Air Transport Auxiliary, Consairways, and Pan American Air Ferries--adds even more historical value to this tale, as does a comprehensive index compiled by the editor, Donna McVicar Kazo, along with a list of all RAFFC aircrew and groundcrew mentioned in the book.
Some photographs were supplied by William VanDerKloot, producer/director of "Flying the Secret Sky, The Story of the RAF Ferry Command" as the tale of his father, Capt. William VanDerKloot's service as Prime Minister Winston Churchill's pilot is interwoven with Capt. McVicar's.
- Publication Date:
- 0692515763 / 9780692515761
- Page Count:
- Binding Type:
- US Trade Paper
- Trim Size:
- 6" x 9"
- Black and White
- Related Categories:
- History / Military / Aviation