A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Michael Cain
Date: 2020 Feb 28, 13:20 -0800
Perhaps some of you would like to join me in wishing fair winds and following seas to another giant of navigation, my friend Ron Peel, DFC, Member, Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame, who departed the pattern on February 10 at age 97.
By 19, Ron was an observer (navigator/bomb aimer) in Bomber Command (9 Sdn, Wellingtons). He completed his tour of 30 ops over Germany and occupied Europe in 1942, this after recovering from severe burns received in a flying accident. He began his civilian career before the war was over, being seconded from the RCAF to Trans-Canada Airlines in 1943 to help the company establish navigation practices and procedures in connection with its role running the Canadian Government Trans-Atlantic Air Service. Post-war, Ron became TCA's first chief navigator. He spent his entire career at TCA/Air Canada, much of it dedicated to the advancement of air navigation (he was also a pilot, his last qualification being that of 747 first officer).
Ron loved the art and science of navigation and dedicated his life to it. Over five decades, he shared his passion with thousands of RCAF and TCA/Air Canada navs and pilots and, through the Canadian Power and Sail Squdrons, countless sailors as well. (I expect more than a few of these people owe their lives to Ron.) He loved celestial navigation deeply, and prided himself on his skill in it. "Not many WW 2 navigators used astro very much," he once wrote me. "A pity. It was often the only way to determine one's position deep in Germany during the early days of the war."
Learn more about Ron through his entry in Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame - https://nationalpost.remembering.ca/obituary/ronald-peel-1078455401 - and his National Post obituary: https://nationalpost.remembering.ca/obituary/ronald-peel-1078455401 (he flew the Harvard he's pictured in at about age 90, making the pilot sick with his aerobatics).
Rest in peace, my friend - we're forever in your debt.