Bob Hallowell

Bob Hallowell

Wing Commander C.R. (Bob) Hallowell (Ret’d)

Bob was born in Brantford, Ontario on 7th February 1930, son of Reverend Charles Meredith Carew Hallowell and Frances Brownlee. He was raised in Brantford, Thorndale, Preston (Cambridge) and Guelph, Ontario. He also served as an Air Cadet in Preston and Guelph from 1943 to 1944.

Bob is predeceased by his parents and first wife, Jean Catherine Rowan as well as his sisters Joan and Mary. He is survived by his loving wife, Joyce, his children Matt (David) and Tara (Gord) Rickaby and his grandchildren Kate and Mark and stepsons and their wives Steven Mohan and Juanita Munroe and Kevin Mohan and Lynn Harries as well as a number of nieces and nephews. He will be fondly remembered by the Madge and Rosenke families.

In 1946, Bob commenced employment with the Ontario Department of Lands & Forests – forest fire protection in the summer and timber management in the winter – in Sault Ste. Marie, White River and Wawa districts. When he terminated his time with them in 1950 he had become the youngest licensed log scaler in the Province of Ontario.

The Korean War encouraged Bob to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. He graduated from the Aircrew selection centre, RCAF Stn Crumlin in September 1950, went on to Pilot Training in Gimli, Manitoba and received his Wings and Commission in September 1951. From there he went to Bombing & Gunnery School at Macdonald, Manitoba and then on to jet conversion on the Vampire at Chatham, New Brunswick. He was posted to 421 Sqn. at St. Hubert, PQ in February 1952 where he flew the F-86 Sabre. From there, in September 1952, it was overseas with Leapfrog 2 to Grostenquin, France. He was posted back to St. Hubert in October 1953 to form #1 Overseas Ferry Unit. In 1955, Bob received his permanent commission, was promoted to Flight Lieutenant and posted to Training Command. He served as Instructor and Flight Commander at Portage La Prairie from 1956 – 1958 before being posted to Central Flying School, Trenton.

In 1959 the Central Flying School moved to Saskatoon and the Red Knight became air borne!!! Initially, it was a one year aerobatic display, but Bob convinced the “powers that be” to make it a permanent display. He also designed the familiar Red Knight logo. The 1959-1960 season saw him take to the skies as the first official Red Knight, entertaining crowds throughout Canada and the United States with his seemingly impossible manoeuvres. A number of Red Knights followed, until the final performances in 1969.

Further postings took him to 422 Sqn. Baden-Baden where he was promoted to Squadron Leader. Once the Sabre tour finished he moved on to Grostenquin and upon closure of that base, on to Marville. 1965 saw him at Staff College in Toronto and then on to Commanding Officer of Defence Photo Interpretation Centre at Rockliffe. In 1968, he was promoted to Wing Commander on the last RCAF list before unification. He was then posted to Canadian Forces Head Quarters and in 1969 he became Commanding Officer of 412 Sqn., Uplands. He spent 1971 to 1974 as Commanding Officer at Radar Station Sioux Lookout before heading to “the hole” at North Bay as Senior Staff Officer, Intelligence & Security. In August 1976, he was transferred to United Nations Emergency Force Headquarters in Ismailia, Arab Republic of Egypt, as Chief Air Staff Officer. He returned to North Bay in February 1977 and in July of that year was transferred to Comox as Base Operations Officer.

Bob retired in early 1980 and spent the next two years bush flying out of Comox and Campbell River …his favourite airplane – Beaver on floats!!! He spent thirty-one years flying various aircraft and loved every minute of it. Bob is a Charter Member of 888 (Komox) RCAF Wing and served as President in 1988. During his tenure he was instrumental in obtaining the property on which our Wing now sits and is proud to be one of the dedicated members who took part in the construction of the Wing and the Air Cadet Buildings.

A Celebration of Life and Poppy Service will take place at 888 (Komox) RCAF Wing, 1298 Military Row, Comox at 1pm on Saturday, 4th July 2014.

Comox Valley Record

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