Major Francis Birch

61 AC&W SQDN/AIR CMD HQ RCAF
1955–1978

19 years old On training at RAF Locking advance radar course then off to Metz, France

  • ‘55 – RCAF Aux – AC 2. Nov ‘55 – txfr to RCAF Reg -AC1
  • ‘56 – Clinton BEM 140 , RTG 45 – LAC
  • ‘57 – 3 FW(G) Zwiebruken – GCA CPN-4
  • ‘57- RAF Locking DECCA Type 80, FPS -6 training
  • ‘57-‘60 – 61 SQDN Metz France
  • ‘60-‘63 Lac St Denis (Cpl) + training Keeseler AFB Biloxi FST-2 TRNG
  • ‘63-‘64 Moisie-FPS-27 installation working with Westinghouse
  • ‘64-’65 Beausejour (Sgt) FPS-20/FPS-6
  • ‘65-’67 Beaverlodge – FPS 20/FST-2
  • ‘67-‘68 Penhold (F/O) SSTO
  • ‘68-’69 Keebler AFB – USAF Computer Main -BUIC GSA-51 (Capt)
  • ‘69-’70 St Margaret’s – Capt Computer Main O
  • ‘70 – TCHQ Wpg ( Maj) systems systems analyst/programmer
  • ‘Sep 75 AIR COMMAND – RCAF
  • ‘Nov ‘78 – Public Service CS2 – SSTO – Retired in 1978 from Military
  • Worked as a civilian for Air Command for the next two years.

1 September 1975 awarded certificate as a Founding Member of Air Command Headquarters, the best damn Command in the Canadian Forces. Signed by LGEN W.K. Carr, CMM. DFC, CD First Commander Air Command. SIC ITUR AD ASTRA.

“SIC ITUR AD ASTRA” meaning is “thus one goes to the stars: such is the way to immortality”

Presentated to Major F. J. Birch at his retirement:

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

The Canadian Armed Forces acknowledges with sincere appreciation your faithful and devoted service in promoting its aims and upholding its ideals during your years of service

After retirement from military, Frank went to work in the private sector in the computer industry with (Digital Equipment of Canada)DEC which as purchased by Compaq, which as later purchased by HP.[image 6]

20 years with DEC/COMPAQ/HP working offices in Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, London, other locations across Canada and in Los Angeles. Worked as manager for various department positions in Service, Software, Manufacturing, plus Program Manager jobs across Canada and United States in LA. He retired from HP in 2002. After two years working his own consulting company in Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa, Frank finally stopped working full-time. Following that, for a while he worked part time for Hully Gully in London, Ontario in Marines Sales division. Fun work for this avid fisherman!

Personal Family History

Frank was born and raised in Winnipeg. His grandmother, Mary Winch was a great supporter/volunteer of the Charleswood Legion as the first President of the Women’s Auxiliary. While in Metz, France, he met and then married Annette Gionet in 1958. Annette was a fighter control operator for the Canadian Armed Forces. They had 5 children – Barbara, Diane, Allan, Linda and Carol. Sadly, Annette was sick for a long time and passed away at an early age of only 46 years old. There are now 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. 2 of his grandchildren went to serve in military and 1 is in policing.

Later in life, Frank met a lovely lady, Mary while living/working in Toronto. It didn’t matter that they were cities apart as she lived in Ottawa. They got married and have been together 30+ years. Happily still living independently in their own home in London, Ontario.

Frank is now 86 years old and still living a great life with good health. He is still being very active, volunteering for years and as member of:

  • 427 RCAF Association
  • Secrets of Radar Museum
  • London Amateur Radio Club

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