Gordon & Bill Straith - 1920
Gordon & Bill Straith - 1920
Gordon is the son of William and the father of Dean
Collection of Dean Straith, 8-31-08
Grandson of William A. Straith

from Dean Straith, 9-3-08
Grandson of William A. Straith
1891. William P.A. Straith, born November 9, 1891, North Keppel, Ontario. Moved to Winnipeg approximately 1900.
1908. Built and flew the first airplan 8, 8, 1908. Continued to build and fly early experimental aircraft through 1920.
1918. Owned and operated Western elevator and Motor Co., Winnipeg.
1921. Managed Canadian Airport from 1921 to 1927 using three AVRO 506 K aircraft.
1928. Built Mallard biplane in 1928 with some thought of marketing a very successful aircraft.
1931. Employed by Northwest Airlines, September 1931, as a first pilot.
          Flew Madison to Chicago.
          Flew from Fargo to Winnipeg and Bismark to 1933
1933. Flew Billings to Spokane, 1933 to 1934
1934. Flew Spokane to Seattle, 1934 to 1937
1937. Made inagural flight, Trans Canada Airlines, 1937 to 1941
          Blind Flying Instructor, Chief Pilot instructor and Western Division Superintendant.
1941. Aero Observer School #5, Winnipeg, 1941 to 1944.
1944. Worked as Ooperation Manager for a South American Airline in Bogota, Columbia.
          Aero Insurance Underwriter, 1944 to 1947.
          Flight Safety Engineer and Underwriter.
1947. Was killed while flying a company AT-6 aircraft at Raton, New Mexico. Probable cause of accident was due to anoxia from           flying at high altitude without oxygen.

Canada's Pioneers
     An EB historian has been at work in Canada. The December 1939 issue of Canadian Aviation publishes little-known facts about Canadian pilot training in the "Last Great War," by Frank H. Ellis. This he follows with "Early Echoes" in the March 1940 issue.
     He mentions our own "Fritz" Ericson and the manufacture of "Canucks" (Curtiss JNs) in his yarn. And then publishes illustrations of scale models of the first six airplanes in Canada's history---the Red Wing, flown by "Casey" Baldwin at Lake Keuka, 1908; McCurdy's Silver Dart of 1909, the first airplane to be flown in Canada; a tractor biplane designed, built and flown in Vancouver (1910-11) by William Templeton, William McMullen and Winston Templeton; a Curtiss pusher purchased by EB William Stark, , of Vancouver, and flown by him 1912-15; the two-seater, dual-controlled pusher biplane designed, built and flown by William A. Straith in Winnipeg prior to the last war and a single-seater Curtiss-type pusher constructed and flown by EB Author Frank H. Ellis and Thomas G. Blakely in Calgary, Alverta, 1914-15.
     And then there is the detailed story "Pioneer Flying in British Columbia," again by Ellis, published at considerable length in the British Columbia Historical Quarterly for October, 1939
     Here is the full tale of every Early Bird who ever flew in British Columbia (1910-1914--- Charles K. Hamilton (with his Aerial Clipper), J. C. Mars (with his airship), Alys McKey, William Stark, John M. Bryant, William McMullen, William Templeton, Winston Templeton, C. F. Walsh, P. O. Parmalee, Clifford Turpin, James V. Martin, Glenn L. Martin and Weldon B. Cooke.
     With this start, one presumes he can depend on Author Ellis to complete the history of the pioneers of Canadian aeronautics.
     After that, there's the United States to be covered. Authors, arise!
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir

Winnipeg Tribune


       PLANE BUILDER DIES: Bill Straith, widely-known western flier who was killed Friday in a plane crash in New Mexico, was the first man to design and build a plane in Winnipeg. He is shown above beside the first plane he turned out in 1928  
Bill Straith,
Veteran Flyer,
Dies in Crash
     William (Bill) Straith, 56, one of the most prominent flyers in western Canada, was killed Friday in a plan crash in New Mexico, according to word received by his sister, Miss A. Louise Straith, Ste. 4, 314 Beverly st.
     No details of the accident were available Friday.
     "Bill" Straith began his flying career before 1910 when he built and flew his own aircraft. In 1928, as managing diredctor of Canadian Aircraft company, he designed, built and flew, the first aircraft to be contstructed in Winnipeg. Later he put on the first display of fireworks, from an airplane in flight, ever seen in Winnipeg.
     In 1937 he took over the duries of chief pilot instructor for T.A.C. after spending seven years as a pilot for Northwest Airlines in the United States. Three years later he became district traffic manager for T.C.A. , Winnipeg. In November of the same year he was appointed operations manager of No. 5 Air Observers school in Winnipeg.
     Collegiate at Owen Sound, He was then employed by the Bell Telephone company and the O-- Sound Municipal Light and Power Company until 1910, and he came to Winnipeg.
     From 1910 until 1914, he was with the Otis Fenson Elevator Company here. He was mechanical superintendent for the Boyd Electric Company, Brandon, from 1914 to 1915, then returned to Winnipeg to Join McLean and Co., mechanical engineers. After less than a year with this firm, he took a position with the Pioneer Motor and Elevator Co.
     In 1918 he formed his own firm, the Western Elevator and Motor Co.
     He held various offices with organizations in Winnipeg including vice-president of the Metal Trades council; member of the execu-- of the Manufacturers association, prairie division; president of the Electrical association; president Winnipeg Contractor Dealer association. He was also a Mason and member of the I.O.O.F.
     He is survived by his widow and two sons in Seattle.


Straith Family
Contributed by Dean Straith, 9-4-08

     My dad's name: Gordon Straith, wife: Willadean Straith, sons: Dean Straith and Stephen Straith and daughter: Sheryl Anne Straith (Deceased).
Best regards,

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