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RCAF High Flight Posters.

I have a digital image of the first poster which I received from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Last week I managed to acquire an original of that poster via ebay. There is an interesting story behind this poster.

When High Flight became famous starting in February 1942, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was deluged with requests for copies of the poem. As a result, they commissioned the creation of a poster with the RCAF crest and the poem itself in order to have something to send out. RCAF Squadron Leader Harold H. Booth was asked to create a sketch of a Spitfire to be included in the poster.
If you look in the lower right corner of both posters, you will see “H. H. Booth RCAF ’42.”

The initial print run of this poster produced 1,000 copies. The RCAF quickly went through those and required another print run. For the second print run they created a poster with John Magee’s picture and a short biography in addition to the poem. I’ve included a picture of that one as well.

I’ve included a picture of the cover of a book by H. H. Booth that I have in my collection, which shows many examples of his aviation artwork.

Finally, I included a copy of a letter from flight instructor Allan Bennett, No. 9 EFTS at St. Catharines. The letter is dated May 26, 1942. Mr. Bennett indicates that I knew John Magee, and that Magee was, “well liked by everyone during his course at this school.” I examined Magee’s logbook to see if he ever flew with Mr. Bennett, but could not find an entry.

(In case you’re ever interested, there is an entire file at the LAC which contains many of the written requests the RCAF received for copies of High Flight.)
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Today, December 11th 2015, marks the 74th anniversary of Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr.'s and Leading Aircraftsman Earnest Aubrey Griffin's tragic midair collision over England that took both of their lives.

We are looking forward to 2016, when we will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the writing of Magee's classic poem, High Flight.
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Several months ago, I submitted papers nominating John Gillespie Magee, Jr. for induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame (http://www.nationalaviation.org/). A couple of days ago, I got notice that my nomination had been accepted, and now John will be formally considered for induction. The NAHF sent me a very nice certificate.... apparently them even accepting a nomination means something!

They will have only four inductees out of 200 nominations for the Class of 2016, but I believe that this is way overdue and should be a no-brainer (they recite High Flight during every induction ceremony, after all).

#highflight   #johnmagee   #aviation   #flying  
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I have been invited to deliver my presentation on John Magee & High Flight at the annual convention of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (https://lnkd.in/et2H7bY), which runs from July 20th - July 26th. I don't yet know exact dates/times yet, but I anticipate giving at least two presentations. I will be appearing at the Authors Corner right after each talk, signing my book.

This year is the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain... I first attended Oshkosh on the 50th Anniversary! That visit marked the beginning of my journey to find John Magee.

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A gentleman in England found this and sent it to me. The clip certainly shows Spitfires from 412 Squadron (plane markings of "VZ"), which was Magee's squadron. And the planes shown are Spitfire MKIIs, which places the timeframe between June 1941 (when the squadron was formed) and October 1941 (when the squadron switched to the Spitfire MKV). The gentleman asked me if the pilot getting out of the Spitfire in the first few seconds of the clip could be John Magee. And... it could be! Tall and slim... hard to tell since he still has his oxygen mask on. At any rate, the clip will serve as a great reference for the upcoming movie on John Magee and High Flight!

Reviews! The book now has eight 5-star reviews on amazon.com! And they are truly wonderful reviews! The latest one is from none other than Hugh Magee, John Magee's last living brother! What a wonderful review it is! I've just got to share it:

By Hugh Magee on March 26, 2015
"Few modern poems have affected as many people as High Flight, the
lilting sonnet about the experience of flying an airplane, which was written by my brother, Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, shortly before his death in 1941. While there have been a number of books and memoirs about John published over the years, this new biography by Ray Haas is by far the most comprehensive -- even I, as John’s sole heir, learned some things I hadn’t known before!

Ray Haas has done us all a favour by assembling so much information about my brother and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his diligent and very thorough research into the subject, which includes, not only details of John’s short life, but the subsequent history of the High Flight phenomenon. Anyone who is fond of this famous poem should enjoy reading this book."

#highflight   #johnmagee   #touchingthefaceofgod   #highflightpoem  

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I am excited about reading "High Flight" and it was great having +Ray Haas in my class as well. Just got my autographed copy and you can get it on Amazon at: 
ww.amazon.com/Touching-Face-God-Gillespie-Flight-ebook/dp/B00NHBO0NW/ #HighFlight   #ShopLocal   #LocalAuthor  
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IT IS DONE!!!! 


Touching the Face of God: The Story of John Gillespie Magee, Jr. and his poem "High Flight" has been published!


It only took 24 years...


The book will be available on amazon.com in a few days; however, it can be ordered on my createspace.com store by using this URL:


https://www.createspace.com/4740065


It will take a few days to get the Kindle version completed.


Finally, at long last... I am a published author!

#highflight   #johngillespiemagee   #touchingthefaceofgod   #aviationpoetry   #spitfires  

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Can you believe it? The book is nearly done! I mean it! I've attached a picture of the proof copy in my hands! It feels and looks just like a real book!
 
I am in the process of making some changes, mostly minor, to the copy. I will then do the upload & review thing again, and assuming all is well, the book will hit the shelves!
 
Only took 24 years...
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