• By: Eric Murphy

Deadly Skies Over Ottawa

Photo courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, edited for fit. 

The Canadian War Museum’s newest exhibition brings visitors into the lives of nine high-flying First World War fighter pilots, commanders and civilians.

Pilot trainer Marjorie Stinson.
One of the nine profiles, Marjorie Stinson was a teenaged American flying instructor who trained young pilots early in the war.

The Deadly Skies – Air War special exhibition brings together more than 80 artifacts to tell its stories. From a young Canadian’s goggles to one of the silver cups Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) commissioned for himself after an aerial victory, the new collection explores the mind of fighter pilots who faced death nearly every time their plane’s wheels left the ground.

Beautiful graphic novel style images are woven into the exhibition alongside the artifacts to tell the nine men and women’s stories. These include the legendary tale of the Red Baron himself, the story of James Moses, a six-nations pilot and recollections from Ada May Smith, a young girl who witnessed a bombing raid’s aftermath in Great Britain.

The Red Baron's silver cup.
The Red Baron’s silver cup.

The Museum staff chose artifacts from all sides of the conflict. Aside from the Canadian and German pieces mentioned above, they’ll also be showcasing Ottoman officers’ pilot uniforms, historic documents and photos which will be on display for the first time.

For anyone looking for a more interactive experience, visitors are encouraged to try their hands at the balloon observation mission, aerodrome flight assembly and ace academy flight experience. Each will test your skills and thirst for adventure.

The Deadly Skies special exhibition is open until January 29, 2017. You can find out more at warmuseum.ca/deadlyskies.