Clennell Haggerston Dickins

Clennell Haggerston Dickins, "Punch," aviation pioneer (born at Portage la Prairie, Man, 12 Jan 1899; died 2 Aug 1995). Dickins grew up and was educated in Edmonton, Alberta. He enlisted in the 196th Battalion of the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1921, and after being sent to England he joined the 21st Reserve Battalion. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry in the Royal Flying Corps during the SECOND WORLD WAR.

In 1927 he joined Western Canada Airways and dramatized the value of the bush plane, flying vast distances across northern Canada. During one of his historic flights in northern Canada he flew more than 6 000 kilometres in 37 hours over a 12 day period. He piloted the first aircraft on the prairie airmail circuit and as part of his surveying and mapping expedition of 1928-29 flew the first prospectors into the Great Bear Lake area. In October 1928, he made the first flight that established the Winnipeg-Regina-Calgary-Edmonton-Saskatoon-Winnipeg airmail route. On 1 Jul 1929, he became the first pilot to reach Aklavik on a postal flight and subsequently was made manager for the Mackenzie region for Canadian Airways.

As operations manager of FERRY COMMAND in the Second World War, he managed six BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN schools. He joined DE HAVILLAND AIRCRAFT as director in 1947, and developed a successful worldwide sales organization. He was awarded the MCKEE TROPHY in 1928 for organizing aerial services in remote regions, and was named an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1936 and Officer of the ORDER OF CANADA in 1968.