"Despite adversity, he dramatized to the world the value of the bush plane, and his total contribution to the brilliance of Canada's air age can be measured not only by the regard in which he is held by his peers, but by the nation as a whole.”
The aviation career of Clennell Haggerston “Punch” Dickins began in the military just like many others during the early part of the 1900's. After the First World War, Dickins joined Western Canada Airways and achieved several aviation firsts which helped unlock the secrets of Canada's Arctic.
He flew the first flight across the unmapped Barren Lands of the Northwest Territories, and he piloted the first aircraft on the prairie airmail circuit of Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. Dickins then became the first pilot to fly the full length of the Mackenzie River, some 2000 miles in two days, and flew the first prospectors into Great Bear Lake where uranium was found.
In 1936, he flew an historic 10,000 mile air survey flight of Northern Canada. During his aviation career he flew more than 1,000,000 miles across the uncharted north in weather often unforgiving of human error. He was named by the government as one of the most outstanding Canadians in this nation's first century, and was christened "The Snow Eagle" and "Canada's Sky Explorer".
Born: 12 Jan 1899, Portage la Prairie, MB
Died: 3 Aug, 1995
Awards: OC, OBE, DFC