Bob's Gander History
by  Robert G Pelley

Messages and New Articles

Interesting link - a post-911 salute to Gander, starting with its wartime history:

26 February 2019
In Old Gander there were two companies that refuelled the airplanes landing there, namely Shell and Esso, along with Esso's predecessor, Intava.  Each company had its particular contracts. So how come one aircraft had trucks from two different companies around it?

The Gander refuelling puzzle
20 March 2019
While Gander was the stopping point for land-based airplanes, there were also two early places for flying boats, namely Botwood and Gleneagles, near Appleton. Around the same period a marine base was being built on Gander Lake just below the airport.  What was the relation between these water-landing sites?

The Botwood - Gleneagles Story
12 April 2019
American servicemen in Gander lived in a pretty rugged wartime base environment. There was no smokeshop, corner store  or "5 and 10" when one needed to buy different sundries or knickknacks.  The solution was a PX, a Post Exchange.

The American Post Exchange in old Gander
18 May 2019
For most people, transportation in the history of Gander refers basically to airplanes.  But without the train, the Newy Bullet, there would not have been a Gander.

    Gander and the Railway
11 June 2019
Photos of the old Gander terminal tend to show the same airline companies. Occasionally another airline is found.

Rare Airline photo from Gander
06 June 2019
Planes going through Gander, both during the 2nd World War and after, were often used in magazine ads. But one might wonder why the ad was made in the first place: information, propaganda or advertising?
Hudson ad - early 1941
15 July 2019
What was Gander really like in 1950?  Most of the time, this view is given by people who actually lived there. But sometimes it is nice to get view of someone who visited just to answer that question

A very complete magazine article on Gander in 1950
10 August 2019
Gander was known for its ferry activities during World Wae 2.  But what about after?  Did military ferry operstions contine after the war?

1 Overseas Ferry Unit
16 August 2019
Sometimes a very average-looking envelope, when looked at more closely, can give hints of great history and interesting facts.

An interesting WWll envelope
04 Sept 2019
09 March 1941 : The first American weather personnel of 8th Weather Squadron,  under Captain Clark Hosmer, arrived at “Gander Field" to support the later arrival of the US 21st Reconnaissance Squadron.  They knew about clouds, warm and cold fronts, isobars  and weather ballons.  But they still had a lot to learn about Gander's weather!

Checking the guard posts a wintery wartime day in Gander
09 Sept 2019
On 20 February 1941 : Sir Frederick Banting was killed in a Hudson bomber that had departed Gander for overseas, crashing  near Musgrave Harbour, around  40 miles from Gander. The secret report of the official court of inquiry was made in four copies, but no copies have ever been found. This has lead to speculation as to the cause of the crash.  The present article, based on contemporary related documents including a magistrate's investigation, engine manuals, parts lists and Hudson lll pilots instructions, attempts to offer a possible cause of this crash.

The Banting crash - possible causes
15 Oct 2019
Just off the northern end of runway 21-03, Gander's longest, there is a remarkable old building.  By all logic, it should be long gone by now. It is weather-beaten, unkempt, gutted and the target of bad graffiti artists. But it remains a witness to another time.

Gander's oldest standing building