Many thanks to Larry Milberry of CANAV Books for sharing this photo, which he took at the unveiling of a monument at Little Norway Park, Toronto. This monument commemorates the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s training camp, known as Little Norway, located first in Toronto and later at Muskoka Airport, Gravenhurst, during World War II.
At the far right of the photo, Norway’s Crown Prince Harald salutes. To his right, standing on the platform in a light-coloured suit, is Barney Danson, Minister of National Defence of Canada. Beside Minister Danson stands Per Hysing-Dahl, former Royal Norwegian Air Force pilot and then member of the Norwegian Parliament.
The monument can still be seen today at Little Norway Park, 659 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3N2
On VE day in May 1945, members of the Royal Norwegian Air Force and Canadian Armed Forces gathered in Gull Lake Park, Gravenhurst, for a Drumhead Service celebrating the end of the war in Europe. Lest we forget.
Photo from the Gravenhurst Archives.
We would like to wish a happy Nation Day to all our Norwegian friends!
We are sorry to report that Kaare Nevadal, former Royal Norwegian Air Force veteran, passed away at his home in Rockford, Illinois, on March 13, 2021. Just last October, Kaare had turned 100 years of age, an event which was celebrated by friends and neighbours in the community.
As noted in our October 9, 2020 post, Kaare was born near Bergen, Norway, in 1920. After the Nazis invaded Norway, Kaare escaped by boat to the Shetland Islands, and enlisted in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. He was sent to Canada, where he trained as a radio operator and air gunner at Little Norway in Toronto. During his training in Toronto, Kaare met his future wife, Muriel Jones.
Kaare was transferred overseas with R.A.F.’s Norwegian Squadron 331. He flew combat missions over the North Sea from bases in Iceland and Scotland. He and Muriel settled in Rockford, Illinois, after the war, where Kaare worked in the insurance industry. He was very active in the community, serving in leadership roles in organizations including the Lutheran Church and Rockford Kiwanis Club.
Kaare is survived by his children, Sandra Rogers and Mark Nevdal, and their families in the USA, as well as family members in Norway.
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Dagfinn Magne Stai on February 12, 2021, in Toronto.
Mr. Stai was born in Norway in 1920, and joined the Royal Norwegian Air Force during WWII. He was sent to Canada and trained at Little Norway. Mr. Stai became a navigator, and served overseas with Norwegian Squadron 334 of the Royal Air Force.
While training in Toronto, he met his future wife, Grace. The pair settled in Canada after the war. They were married for 75 years and raised three daughters.
In October 2019, at age 100, Mr. Stai was awarded a Commemorative Medal for his wartime service by the Norwegian government, in a ceremony at the Little Norway Memorial, Gravenhurst. In the photo below, former Norwegian Ambassador Kari Anne Ovind congratulates Mr. Stai on his award.
Dagfinn Magne Stai leaves daughters Trish, Karen and Sonja, their partners, grandchildren, and family in Norway. Rest in peace.
Kaare was born near Bergen, Norway, in 1920. After the Nazis invaded Norway during World War II, Kaare escaped to Britain and enlisted there in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. He was sent to “Little Norway” in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for training as a radio operator and air gunner. It was at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto where Kaare met his future wife, Muriel Jones.
Kaare was transferred back to Britain as a member of a Norwegian squadron of the British Royal Air Force. At first, he was stationed in Iceland, flying missions in Northrops and Catalinas over the North Sea. The squadron subsequently transferred to Scotland, where they operated Sunderlands until the war ended.
Post-war, Kaare and Muriel lived in Norway for a time, before immigrating to Rockford, Illinois, in 1948.
We at Old Stone Books hope that Kaare has a very happy 100th birthday, with many more to come!
Candis Jones and I are deeply honoured to receive Distinguished Fellowships from the Norway Canada Institute of Huntington University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
The Fellowships were awarded in recognition of “Distinguished Contributions to Norwegian-Canadian Military History,” through our book Exile Air: World War II’s ‘Little Norway’ in Toronto and Muskoka.
As the author of Exile Air, I am fully aware of the historic and allied relationship between Canada and Norway. I am deeply honoured that my writings about “Little Norway,” the Royal Norwegian Air Force training base, which was established during WWII in Toronto and Muskoka, have been recognized by the Norway Canada Institute. I commend Dr. Kevin McCormick, President and Vice-Chancellor, and Huntington University, for their roles in launching the Norway Canada Institute as a means to promote and celebrate our two nations, our shared military history, and the countless contributions made by Canadians and Norwegians across the globe.
Candis Jones, photographer and photographic-editor for Exile Air, notes: “The story of ‘Little Norway’ and the young servicemen and women of the Royal Norwegian Air Force who trained in Canada during WWII is remarkable. It is especially important to my family as my Father in Law, Lieutenant Harald Olafson, was a flight instructor at Little Norway. I’d like to thank the Norway Canada Institute for focusing on important stories, such as this one, which bring into focus the ties that bind both nations together. Canada and Norway have a long history of cooperation, and it’s inspiring to see positive stories from both countries, along with the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups, being promoted at an international level.”
Congratulations to CANAV Books on its upcoming 40th anniversary!
Toronto’s Larry Milberry established CANAV Books in 1981 as a publishing house focusing on Canadian aviation history. Since then, CANAV Books has published 36 Canadian military histories, including the widely-respected Sixty Years — RCAF & CF Air Command 1924 – 1984.
Larry Milberry is posting a history of CANAV Books on his blog, which you can read at www.canavbooks.wordpress.com
At Old Stone Books, we’d like to thank CANAV Books for its excellent contributions to Canadian aviation history for the past four decades. We wish it many more years of success ahead!