JOHN MCGRAIL VE3NQ QCWA # 12279 (SK)
Education / Employment History
John grew up in Outremont (Montreal), Quebec and attended schools there
1935 – He received the Commercial Radiotelegraph Certificate of Proficiency
1935 - John spent the summer as a wireless operator aboard several ships.
1936 - He joined Canadian Marconi Radio Stations CFCF AM and CFCX - Short Wave. Maintained the transmitters and operated Trans-Canada Network Master Control. When CBC was formed in 1936 he continued for 10 months until they had their own facilities , effectively being one of the first three CBC Network Master Control operators.
1937 - Installed the broadcast facilities and Ground-Air Control at Boucherville for the Imperial Airways Short Empire Caledonia 2 and Cambrai Flying Boats.
1940 - Joined Canadian Pacific Air Services as Radio Supervisor at St Hubert, QC and later Gander, Newfoundland.
In 1941 CPAS at Gander was renamed RAF Ferry Command. He was Communications Specialist aboard a B-24 Liberator searching for the German Cruiser Prinz Eugene, the day the HMS Hood was sunk. Following a Celestial navigation course, John flew many ferry flights on B-24 and Mosquito via the North and South Atlantic routes.
In 1942 he was radio-navigator on a B-24 ferry flight from San Rafael, CA to Australia via Oahu, and Fiji. This was a first. Even the Pan Am flights only went to New Zealand.
1943 - He was radio-navigator on a Hudson bomber on a Ferry Command route trial from Western Canada via the North Pole to Scotland. Pilot was Don MacVicar VE4PH
1946 - John returned as Chief Engineer for radio station network from 250W to 50 KW. 1947 - Joined Canadian Commercial Corpn (Ottawa) soon to be Department of Defence Production in the Electronic Purchasing Division.
1950 - John became General Manager of World-Wide Airways in Dorval, QC, working for Don McVicar (now VE2WW) when WWA were doing supply flights for the Mid-Canada Line and later DEW Line.
1954 - John joined Raytheon Canada (Waterloo) as Contracts Sales Manager.
1957 - He joined Canadair (Montreal) and was posted to California as Resident Purchasing Manager working on the F5 aircraft program for Canada and Netherlands.
1972 - Retired. In 1977 he returned to Canada.
Amateur Radio History
1935 - John was first licensed in Montreal as VE2BP
1957-1977 Operated as VE3NQ/W6 in California
John joined QCWA and received his “50 Year Licensed” Golden Certificate and lapel pin in 1986
He died August 30, 2003 at age 90 years.