George R. Howsam papers, 1920-1981

Navigate the Collection

Using These Materials Teaser

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke...
More about accessing and using these materials...


Howsam, George R.
9 Linear Feet
6,750 Items
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The George R. Howsam Papers span the years 1920-1981, although the bulk of the material dates from 1930-1948. They consist of correspondence, legal papers, photographs, printed materials, writings and speeches, clippings, and miscellaneous, The collection principally relates to Howsam's career as Air Vice-Marshall in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and has a few items regarding Howsam's employment as a manager for Sicks' Breweries Ltd. and his service as Co-Ordinator of Civil Defense in Alberta. Subject areas represented within the collection include: Alberta Civil Defense, Royal Canadian Air Force Training before and during World War II, and Royal Canadian Air Force lectures.

Although the Correspondence Series primarily relates to Royal Canadian Air Force activities, personal letters are included within the series. The series offers insight into the professional life of a Canadian airman in the 1930's and 1940's, and also the network of people Howsam worked and associated with before, during, and after World War II.

The Pictures Series documents Howsam's professional military life, ranging from several personal military photographs of Howsam as a young man to photograph albums detailing such subjects as awarding of medals, “presentation of wings” for Canadian Airmen in 1941, and building of the Royal Canadian Air Force Station at Yorktown, Saskatchewan (the No. 11 Service Flying Training School, 1941). Also included is Howsam's report titled, " Some Continental Flying Boats," 1932, which includes photographs and descriptions of seaplanes designed to take off from the water.

Howsam served as a lecturer and speaker for the Royal Canadian Air Force Staff College, and these activities are reflected in the many folders of lectures and speeches that Howsam prepared for use in the Staff College courses from 1930-1944. These lectures are included in the Printed Materials Series and the Writings and Speeches Series.

The Clippings Series offers insight not only into World War II but also to Alberta Civil Defense, and the threat and precautions of nuclear war, 1959-1961. Howsam's work at Sicks' Brewery is documented in the Legal Papers Series, which includes a printed brochure from the brewery, letters, balance sheets, and also information regarding oil and gas investments.

Biographical / historical:
Date Event
1895, Jan. 29
Born, Lake Scugog, Ontario
Enlisted in 116th South Ontario Battalion, Accepted into Royal Canadian Expeditionary Force, Promoted to Lieutenant
1918, Sept.
Joined Canadian Air Force, stationed in France and Belgium flying bombing missions for various government departments
Worked with Royal Canadian Air Force photographic survey, NW Canada
Worked for Canadian Air Board (mapping early radio communications, aircraft and radio equipment, flying)
Senior member, Royal Canadian Air Force 1st Aerobatics Team, (Siskin) Display, Cleveland, OH
Joined the Royal Canadian Air Force Staff College, England, Director of Civil Administration
Staff member CGAO Operations at Air Force Headquarters
SASO, MD2 Toronto
OC 2, Army Co-operation Squadron, Ottawa
SASO, No.4 Training Command, Regina
Director of Training for Royal Canadian Air Force, Ottawa
Directed and organized the funding of the building of the Service Flying School, Yorktown, Saskatchewan
AOC Air Staging Route to Alaska
AOC No.4 Training Command, Calgary
Chairman, Organization Committee, AF HQ, Ottawa
Retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force as Air Vice-Marshal
Director, Sicks' Breweries Ltd. and Sicks' Edmonton Brewery, President of the United Services Institute of Edmonton
Co-Ordinator of Civil Defense, Alberta
1960, Oct.
Canadian Delegate to Emergency Measures NATO Assembly, Paris

George R. Howsam was awarded the following awards of merit: Legion of Merit in Degree of Commander (United States, 1945), Order of White Lion (Czechoslovakia, 1946), and Commander de l'orde de la Couronne (Belgium, 1948). His works include: " Rocky Mountain Foothills Offer Great Chance to Guilders" (1923), and " Industrial and Mechanical Development: War" (1931).

Acquisition information:
The George R. Howsam papers (1920-1981) were donated to the Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library in 1990 by Peter Howsam.
Processing information:

Processed by: John Gribble; Assisted by Dave Daily and Sandra Hack Polaski

Completed July 10, 1993

Encoded by Stephen D. Miller

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

Air Pilots, military -- Canada -- Education
Air forces -- Canada
Sicks' Breweries
Howsam, George R.
Canada -- Air defenses, Military
Alberta -- Civil defense
Canada -- Royal Canadian Air Force
Canada. Royal Canadian Air Force -- History -- World War, 1939-1945


Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in the George R. Howsam papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and consult a Reference Archivist.

Before you visit:
Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.