1929 – Wop May and Vic Horner fly badly needed medicine to Little Red Bay

Already a celebrated war ace (and one of the contenders for the title of “shot down the Red Baron”), Wilfred R. “Wop” May cemented his place as one of Canada’s greatest aviators when he and Vic Horner flew an Avro Avian from Edmonton to Little Red Bay (in Alberta) in the middle of winter to deliver medicine to treat a potentially fatal outbreak of diptheria. They succeeded in their quest, and were quite surprised to find themselves hailed as heroes when they returned to Edmonton.

This experience inspired May to create a new aviation company, Commercial Airways, to open up air services to northern Canada. Securing the contract to fly the mail kept them afloat until private freight and passenger flights got established. The company was eventually absorbed by Canadian Pacific Air Lines, which May continued to work for after the merger.

Referenced in:
Wop May — The Gumboots
Wop May — Stompin’ Tom Connors
Roy Brown and Wop May — John Spearn