Key Second World War plane to visit P.E.I. as part of RCAF's 100th anniversary

A restored Canso airplane sits on the tarmac at the Fairview, Alta., airport. One of 13 such remaining planes will be on P.E.I. June 24-26. (Nola Keeler/CBC - image credit)
A restored Canso airplane sits on the tarmac at the Fairview, Alta., airport. One of 13 such remaining planes will be on P.E.I. June 24-26. (Nola Keeler/CBC - image credit)

One of the last examples of a Canso, a plane that played a significant role in the Second World War, will visit P.E.I. as part of the Royal Canadian Air Force's 100th anniversary celebrations.

"The Canso played a vital role in Canada's history," retired air force sergeant Debbie Reid told CBC News.

"It was used as a patrol bomber and submarine hunter during the war and it flew over [the] North Atlantic."

After the war, the plane was used by the air force for photo reconnaissance and search and rescue, said Reid, who is also president of the RCAF Association 201 Wing Charlottetown.

The plane was retired in November 1962.

About 3,600 Cansos were built worldwide, fewer than 1,000 of those in Canada. Only 13 remain.

off Shelburne, N.S., May 1945--Second World War-- Surrender of German submarine U-889 off Shelburne, N.S., May 1945. Aircraft is a Consolidated 'Canso' A flying boat of No. 161 Squadron, R.C.A.F.] (CP PHOTO) 1998 (National Archives of Canada) PA-116720
off Shelburne, N.S., May 1945--Second World War-- Surrender of German submarine U-889 off Shelburne, N.S., May 1945. Aircraft is a Consolidated 'Canso' A flying boat of No. 161 Squadron, R.C.A.F.] (CP PHOTO) 1998 (National Archives of Canada) PA-116720

The German submarine U-889 surrenders off Shelburne, N.S., in May 1945. The aircraft is a Canso from the RCAF's No. 161 Squadron. (National Archives of Canada/The Canadian Press)

The Royal Canadian Air Force was created 100 years ago, formed from two squadrons that flew during the First World War. The RCAF is holding celebrations to mark the anniversary across the country.

Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry and Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown will be at a ceremony at 2 p.m. Monday on the P.E.I. Flying Association tarmac off Brackley Point Road. People are asked to be seated by 1:45 p.m., and walkarounds of the plane will be possible afterward until 5 p.m.

A similar ceremony takes place at Summerside's Slemon Park on Wednesday. A fly-past with squadrons from Greenwood begins at 1 p.m., with a lecture following at 2 p.m. Aircraft tours will be offered from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

The detailed schedule for this week's events in P.E.I. tied to the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The detailed schedule for this week's events in P.E.I. tied to the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The detailed schedule for this week's events in P.E.I. tied to the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force. (CBC)