Avro Employees and NASA

Or, Canadians putting America into Space


This was written by Christopher Gainor and transferred to HTML by R. Kyle Schmidt


Arrows to the Moon

How the engineers who created the Avro Arrow helped put Apollo on the moon


First Report - January 1996

Welcome to the first report on my book on the accomplishments of the British and Canadians who worked in NASA in the 1960s after the cancellation of the Avro Arrow Program. I plan to send out occasional reports on my progress with the book until it is completed. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, please contact me at my addresses at the end of this report.

Whatıs in a name?

Arrows to the Moon is the tentative title of the book, although this is subject to change, including suggestions from anyone receiving this report.

Also up for grabs is the label for the group that joined NASA from Avro. Owen Maynard calls them the NASA Canadians. Rod Rose prefers to call them the AC Connection, AC standing for Anglo Canadians. In my discussions so far, I have not found unanimous approval for either name, and so I shall be careful about using either. Any other suggestions?

Progress in 1995

I started research early in 1995. In May, I visited Ontario, where I conducted interviews with Owen Maynard in Waterloo, and Stan Galezowski in Tecumseh, near Windsor. In September, I drove up to Salmon Arm, B.C., to interview Bruce Aikenhead. I also visited Ottawa for research at the National Archives.

In November, I flew down to Houston and began touring Texas doing interviews and research. I visited the Apollo Archives at Rice University in Houston, and the branch of the National Archives in Fort Worth where the Mercury and Gemini papers are stored. I interviewed Peter Armitage, Dr. William Carpentier, Thomas Chambers, Dr. Owen Coons, Burton Cour-Palais, Bryan Erb, Dennis Fielder, Rod Rose and Leslie St. Leger. I enjoyed my three weeks touring Texas and meeting all the people I interviewed.

Plans for 1996

I now have many tapes to transcribe and documents to go through. I will soon begin writing parts of the book.

I plan to visit the Washington D.C. area to conduct research at NASA Headquarters, Langley and elsewhere. I also hope to interview the former Avro-NASA hands living in the Washington area and elsewhere on the Eastern Seaboard, including John Hodge, Robert Lindley, Frederick Matthews, and John Shoosmith. Because of heavy demands at my job in the early part of this year, I canıt schedule travel dates as yet.

I also plan to return to the Toronto area for more research and interviews with Owen Maynard and Stanley Cohn. I also hope to see David Ewart in California and Norman Farmer in Oregon during the coming year.

I will keep you posted on my progress with research, writing and publishing.

Still searching

Iım still looking for some of the Canadian and Anglo STG personnel who I donıt yet have addresses for, including David N. Brown, Richard R. Carley, Frank Chalmers, Jack N. Cohen, George Harris, John K. Hughes, John Meson, and George A. Watts. I have been given some leads on some of these people, but I have not yet been able to follow them up.

I also hope to contact relatives of Jim Chamberlin, Eugene Duret, Joseph Farbridge, Leonard Packham, Tecwyn Roberts and Robert Vale. As well, I will be speaking to other NASA personnel who worked with many of the people I am writing about. I spoke to Paul Purser when I was in Houston, and I hope to speak to others.

Thanks for your help

Many thanks to every one of you who have helped me in the past year by sharing information or agreeing to an interview. Special thanks to those who showed me such wonderful hospitality on my research trips.

If you wish to contact me, I can be reached through the following means:

1490 Thurlow Road
Victoria, BC
V8S 1L9

Or contact me through email at cgainor@islandnet.com


(250) 380-6358
(250) 387-4680(fax)
Created: March 5, 1996
Last Update: 27 January 1999 (Seperated reports)

Layout Copyright 1996-1999 R. Kyle Schmidt. Text Copyright 1996 Chris Gainor. Used with Permission.