Bob's Gander History
by  Robert G Pelley

Messages and New Articles

Special message

This site is generally not used for social messages. 
However, sometimes exceptions are warrented.
Some of you may remember Dave Gilen. 
Dave was a member of the RCAF back in the late 50s-early 60s.
However, most will remember him as a top-notch hockey player.

At one point he was transferred out of Gander but it was close to the play-offs.
Somehow it seems, Dave was suddenly needed for air force work in Gander.
Funny though that this rush period coincided with the playoffs -
and Dave had just happened to bring his skates!

For those who knew him, his 69th wedding anniversry is 23 September,
(Dave and Flo)

Book Recommendation!

"North Atlantic Crossroads: The Royal Air Force Ferry Command Gander Unit, 1940-1945"
By Darrell Hillier

 Tales of search and rescue, aircraft salvage, medevac missions, and VIP visits highlight the activities
of the Ferry Command Gander unit, notably the work of its aircraft maintenance department,
headed by the incomparable John Joseph “Joe” Gilmore.
Postwar, the boom in commercial air travel transformed Gander,
setting the airport on its way to becoming the crossroads of the North Atlantic.

Available on Amazon Canada

For more information visit

06 March 2021

For the longest time Gander was a busy airport.  In wartime it was imperative to keep the runways open for obvious military reasons.  After the war, civilian carriers took up the load. Help was needed when a large aircraft could not be towed or moved with its own power.

Paul Bunyan to the rescue.
01 May 2021

On this website we have looked in detail at major airlines such as Pan American World Airways, Trans World Airlines and Trans Canada Airlines (Air Canada).  Now is the time to look at one of the shorter lived airline companies.

American Overseas Airlines in Gander
09 May 2021

The original construction of the airport during the late 1930s has been fairly well covered.  The present article has for objective to add other details, especially with respect to the early runway lighting and aids to landing.

Gander 1940: Technical details
30 May 2021

Sometimes the nicest things are the smallest.  Sometimes they come from unexpected places. This is certainly the case with this item.

A Wonderful wartime artifact
09 July 2021

A lot has been written about the very early history of Gander. But it nice to see a short article written by an "outsider" with a professional eye who comes upon Gander for first time.  It is even better when another professional takes the time to summarise it all.

Gander 1941
29 July 2021

RCAF airmen "up on the mainland" knew there much important mlitary activity going on in Gander.  But to most, it did not like look like the choicest of postings. Someone needed to put their minds to rest.

Welcome to Gander - 1944
04 August 2021

And now the sory of a pilot who could manoeuvre two-engine and four-engine heavy bombers better than most fighter pilots could a small Spitfire. But this chap got no medals, not even a recommendation.  He never saw combat. He did however manage to get himself court martialed and was finally killed in a crash.

One of Canada's best pilots flies in Gander
20 Sept 2021

Just a short, but interesting, article from a 1938 aviation magazineee about Gander in late 1938 when construction was underay.

Gander 1938