Words on Wings Press is proud to announce the new editions of Don McVicar’s aviation books, which are being published for the first time as paperbacks. Each book will be 6″ by 9″ and illustrated with numerous photos, drawings, and maps, some of which will have never been publicly published before.
Captain Donald McVicar was a true aviation pioneer. He lived boldly in the Golden Age of Aviation. He earned his private pilot’s license at 21 in 1936, flying a deHavilland Moth in his homeland of Saskatchewan, Canada. He mastered dozens of types of aircraft in his long, turbulent aviation career. While getting the hours to obtain his commercial license, he became Winnipeg’s first air traffic controller with ATC Licence #9: before they had even built the tower.
In 1941, he joined the Royal Air Force Ferry Command in Dorval, Quebec. As a Captain-Navigator, and already an experienced radio operator when he joined up, he was known as a “triple threat” and in 1943 was awarded the King’s Commendation and the Order of the British Empire for his “valuable services in the air.” Some of those services included a challenging 1942 exploratory flight to the Arctic along with RAFFC Capt. Louis Bisson and USAAF Lt.-Col. Charles J. Hubbard, where he landed his single-engine Noorduyn Norseman farther north than anyone had ever flown. He wrote vividly of this experience in Ferry Command Pilot. Another first was his delivery of the first American-built warplane to the RAF in Africa, which was a treacherous Martin B-26 Marauder “Widow Maker.” He described this journey, and other aviation adventures, in South Atlantic Safari.
After the war, he founded his own airline, World Wide Airways, and ran it for two decades from Dorval until essentially forced out of business by political pressure from on high. Capt. McVicar had the guts to do what many fail to do: write it all down and get it published, beginning with Ferry Command in 1981 and ending with Through Cuba to Oblivion in 1994.
He passed away in 1997 at his Dorval home, not far from the airport where he made aviation history.