Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What this project is all about - Ferry Command WW II

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005

Ted Beaudoin
1090 Mill Hill - Laval, QC – H7W 1P4 – Canada
Tel: 1 - 450 – 681-7776 – Cell: 514 – 267-3726 - e-mail:

. a simultaneous world-rights offering for the coming book that
Captain Sheldon Luck
as an Indiana Jones of the air! Meet him again, in the coming book ....

As Luck Would Have It
(It will be a new and expanded version of the book first published as Walking on Air)
(1986, Vernon, B.C., Canada - ISBN 0-921531-00-1)

© By Ted Beaudoin, 2004

I could use some research assistance in the following project - which I have underwritten at my own expense until now, when I have run fresh out of cash to continue in any major way. I need names of men and women civilians who helped make the operation described below work so well, and so often, when it did, between 1939 and 1945. The information is scattered around the world, and if it doesn't come from those who participated, then perhaps their families may have some memorabilia about Ferry Command that I can borrow, reproduce (pay for if necessary when I get some more coin of the realm in my hands) and gfive due credit to.

Public tribute to the contributions these men and women made to Ferry Command in WW II is long overdue, and this is way of saying thanks for the freedom my children and I enjoy today.

If anyone would be interested in buying the book when I get it published, let me know ahead of time. It might help me sell the manuscript to a major aviation history or general audience publishing house.

To the project below:

I am re-writing, expanding and adding never-before-published black and white photographs of historical value to the original version of my book, in memory of one of my aviation heroes, Captain Sheldon Luck, (b. January 26, 1911 - d. May 9, 2004), the subject of Walking on Air.

Captain Luck never pushed the limits of his family name, thus living to become an old, but never a bold pilot. He spent 19,000 hours of his life in the cockpits of 53 different types of aircraft, enjoying an airborne career that took him from yesteryear's bush bi-planes to today's jets. Without a doubt, he was a one-off in aviation history.

He was also the 1st Chief Pilot of Canadian Pacific Air Lines. A member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, he was one of a handful of Canadian civilians in World War II to receive a King's Commendation, from England's King George IV, 1945, for his four years of service in Ferry Command - 1941 to 1945.

Walking on Air is a 300-page high-quality paperback book that sold more than 4,800 copies in 1986, most of them in Western Canada, mainly west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It will be considered as a fresh new book in more densely populated marketplaces today. There are fewer than 200 copies remaining in print, making it 200 copies shy of being a Canadian best seller.

As Luck Would Have It also offers, in three of its 11 chapters, a long-overdue tribute to the thousands of unsung men and women civilians from most of the 18 Allied Forces nations of World War II: they made possible the incredible operation of what became known as Ferry Command. Only a few handfuls of them are living today. By coming to the rescue of their Allied military forces in the world's darkest hour of need, these civilians helped deliver more than 11,000 bombers and fighters from North America, mostly through Canada, to where they were needed, when they were needed. In so doing, they helped helped shorten the war, and they firmly secured today's international air routes that we take so much for granted.

These civilians from all walks of life have yet to be fully recognized and publicly thanked by their governments. Their phenomenal contribution to the war effort gave the Allies a massive air fleet, forming an umbrella of nearly 11,000 bombers and fighters that sheltered, along with the Allied naval forces, OPERATION OVERLORD: D-Day, June 6, 1944, when the Allies started to reclaim Europe from the Nazis, and began the process that led to the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan in1945.

As Luck Would Have It
is also a tribute to many civilian women, many of them potential aircrew, highly-qualified pilots in their own right, but who were repeatedly denied flying privileges in bombers. They and the women in the civilian ground forces loved their men husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, nephews, and yes .. .often .. as part-time, riotous, raucous high-flying adventurous lovers too, in an age of aviation pioneering unlike anything this planet has ever seen before, and hopefully, will never need to see again as we teeter uncertainly on the edge of space, looking longingly to the big empty, the largest unexplored frontier of them all – our universe.

The chapter titles below are reproduced from Walking on Air and expanded to reflect new material


Preface to this new edition

(How the original version was written and why this one. Also, why and how it took me some CAN$20,000, seven years, seven manuscripts and 2,100 pages to complete the original 300-page book, and what happened after. What follows below are the chapter titles from Walking on Air in which I share with readers a variety of incredible adventures of Captain Sheldon Luck, adventures that led me to refer to him as an Indiana Jones of the air.)


1 - A fistful of firsts – flying fish to American markets from northern Canada to land an airline job

2 - Hopes and headlines – making headlines in the Saturday Evening Post

3- Search and rescue & other missions - searching for former U.S. President Herbert Hoover

4 - All for laughs – honest, it really was HARD work!

5 - Who influenced who? – what good is a chief pilot anyway?

6 - Visions in conflict – which of Canada's two national airlines would carry the nation's flag.

7 - Ferry Command, Part I: Spooling Up – launched with a team of big horses and
a railway department

8 - Ferry Command, Part II: In Flight – with civilians to the rescue,

one sawed-off propeller tip and very hungry international air carriers panting at the gate

9 - Ferry Command, Part III: Spooling Down - with 231 Telecommunications Squadron and

wiping out a small fleet of yachts in Bermuda

10 - Pilot of Fortune – after fame, what next?

More of the same - La Fama – launching Argentine's airline

11 - Challenges – pioneering a dauntingly dangerous hockey slapshot to water-bomb fires

Epilogue and Footnote to original book and

Closing Note and new Bibliography to this book