8294 Art Jordan: Back in a ‘Dak’ at 70

Feature photo: A very happy Art Jordan gives the thumbs up from the cockpit after the flight (credit Mike Bourget)


Above: Daughter Joanne looks on as Art and Lois board ‘Z’ for Zulu (credit Mike Bourget)

Art Jordan family hatches quite the birthday surprise

Edited by WJO

19 August was a very special day for 8294 HCol, LCol(Ret’d) Art Jordan.  A graduate of the RMC Class of 1970, Art went on to pilot training in both Moose Jaw, SK. and Gimli, MB before being posted to 429 (Bison) Squadron, which was then located in Winnipeg MB.  It was in Winnipeg that he learned to fly, and became operational, on the venerable Dakota, commonly known as the “Dak” or in RCAF parlance, the CC-129.  In just over three years he flew all over the country hauling all kinds of cargo, passengers, Navigator students and Air Cadets, and amassing just over 2100 hours; something that would be unprecedented today.

As Art’s 70th birthday approached, the family racked their brains on how to celebrate his life and achievements.  They remembered that in discussions about his happy and diverse 29-year career, the conversation would always include his time at 429 Sqn on the Dak.  A plan was hatched.  Get him back in the air.  Fortunately, there is a Dak at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton on which members can rent rides.  Through some discussion and logistical planning the event was booked.  On Sunday 19 August, nine Jordan family members and spouses, representing three generations of Jordan’s, boarded the CWH Dakota, ‘Z’ for Zulu, painted in the Canucks Unlimited colours for an hour long flight into history.

The CWH pilots Bill and Sten flew Art and the family from Hamilton along the shore of Lake Ontario to Toronto where they circled around the CN Tower.  At one point son Arthur remarked that it was of no surprise that Art Sr. had amassed 2100 hours on the Dak, as its cruise speed is slow enough to be the landing speed of the Hercules!

While insurance and Transport Canada regulations did not allow Art to actually sit in the pilot’s seat and “yoke-up” for a portion of the flight, the smile on his face throughout the day was something else!

While that particular Dak at the museum never saw military service, they have it painted as a Homage to the two Burma Star Squadrons, 435 and 436, who flew the Dak out of Burma during World War Two.  After his time at 429 Squadron, Art was re-trained to fly the Hercules out of 436 Squadron.  Son Arthur was a Navigator with 435 Squadron, also on the Hercules, flying out of Winnipeg where his Dad started his operational flying career.

Above: From the left,  Mike Bourget (son in law), Nora Jordan (granddaughter), Paige Thurlbeck (granddaughter), SLt(Ret’d) Joanne Jordan (daughter), Cody Thurlbeck (grandson), Maria Jordan (daughter in law) LCol Arthur Jordan (son) HCol, LCol(Ret’d) Art Jordan, Lois Jordan (Art’s lovely wife) (unknown photo credit)


  • Jim Simpson

    August 27, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Art: What a wonderful way to spend a 70th birthday. We both got our start on Dak’s, you as a pilot and me as student navigator in Winnipeg in the summer of 1969 with Russ Crum, Claude Naud, Fred Reid and other members of our RMC Class of 1970. It was a thrill every trip to climb up those steep steps and walk bent over to the front of the airplane where the nav stations were established. Flying at just under 150 knots was great because it was not easy to get lost across the prairies. I am sure that you remember many of those nav student trips while stationed in Winnipeg. Too bad we missed each other in Trenton on 436 SQN as I left in the summer of 1973 to go back to RMC prior to your arrival on Squadron. Have another great 70 years!!

  • Morley Hunter

    August 27, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    You’re looking great Art. I’m always jealous of my Class of 70 friends who had better eyes than me and got into pilot training. I had an uncle who was a WO in 435 Sqn in Burma, I have his yearbook. Mind you , he fixed them, didn’t fly them. My dad got his wings at the end of WW2, but didn’t get back to Europe . He was a dispatch rider earlier in England, but crashed, and the army sent him home. He said it was more fun to drive a motorcycle (Snorting Norton) than fly a plane!

  • Paul Corriveau

    August 27, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Bravo Art, à toi et toute ta famille rayonnante de joies.
    Bonne continuation, prochaine étape est 80…
    Je me souviens

  • John Laidler

    August 28, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Your wonderful family has your back, Art! Can’t think of a more appropriate 70th birthday surprise. Happy Birthday with best wishes for tons more!

  • Gerry McIntosh

    August 29, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Art.. always wondered what happened to you. I guess flying the Dak was more fun than bailing out of a Tutor. I remember you were the first in our group to be a Father. (you told us that day in ground school in Gimli!). Best of luck for the next 30 years. Gerry

  • Peter van Haastrecht

    August 30, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Art – What a fantastic way to recognize your 70th B’day & start of your flying career. Your family must love you! Must have brought back great memories.
    I remember fondly our times together flying Daks in Winnipeg & Hercs in Trenton. Wishing you & all the very best.
    Pete van H. Class of ’69
    PS It’s quite evident that the years have treated you kindly.

  • Don Timperon

    September 15, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Congratulations Art! Zoe and I just returned from 3 1/2 weeks in Newfoundland where we visited, among other places, St John’s and Gander. Standing at Signal Hill, you can see YYT (Torbay). It reminded me of flying approaches into the YYT in the Dak with winds 20K gusting 30K and ceiling/vis at 100’& 1/4 mi in fog! Not supposed to happen according to meteorologists! The Dak may have been slow but for IFR approaches it was a wonderful stable aircraft! I have the same nostalgic feelings for the Dak. Best wishes to you and your family and welcome to the eighth decade!
    Don T. Class of ’69

  • Joe Paquette

    December 12, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    How wonderful to see your smiling face on my computer this morning Art. You are looking almost as good as the sweet bird you were flying. She sure created some fine memories, not the least of which was Jim Webber and I celebrating the stand-up of 429 (Bison)Squadron with a low level formation flypast. My logbook also notes that you did my Proficiency Check November 6, 1973 (just a few years ago??). All the best.
    Happy 70th.