Bagotville; 75 Years of Air Defence, a new book by Marc-Andre Valiquette will be launched at the base’s 75h anniversary air show in June 2017. “For two years, I have embarked on this adventure because of the historical importance of the subject,” Marc-Andre told me. “The story of CFB Bagotville over the past 75 years is formidable; I honestly think that we have to share it and to pass it on to future generations. Preserving the stories of the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force through the writing of books is not just a passion for me; I feel it is also a duty.”
Valiquette who is 58, started his pilot course in 1975 at Chicoutimi College (Saguenay) and then entered the Canadian Forces to become a military pilot. He trained in Southport, Manitoba and then on the CT-114 Tutor aircraft in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan until an internal ear problem cut short his flying career.
Staying in aviation he then studied Aerospace technical design and manufacturing graduating from École Nationale d’Aérotechnique (Edouard–Montpetit College) in 1983. For 28 years he worked with CAE with the simulator in-field installation group as a manufacturing engineer and for the final seven years, a project manager on military simulators.
As a writer Valiquette’s work has been published in numerous magazines, he authored a four volume series, Destruction of a Dream, the Tragedy of Avro Canada and the CF-105 Arrow as well as a 425 Squadron history Je te plumerai.
Bagotville 75 Years of Air Defence is 512 pages. The bilingual publication is filled with photographs and stories from 1942 RCAF Air Base Bagotville to CFB Bagotville 2017. The hard cover is printed and bound in Canada by Friesens and will launch June 19th. The pre-sale price is $60. Marc-Andre dug deep saying, “What surprised me is that there is so much to tell, I could have written a thousand page book! Each era has its stories, more unbelievable than the other!”
The Bagotville Station was built in July 1942 to provide a training base for pilots and to protect the Alcan and hydro-electric facilities in the area during World War II, hence its motto “Defend the Saguenay”. Closed at the end of the war, it re-opened in 1951 as a training base for the squadrons serving with the Canadian Division in Europe and to support air defence operations of the newly formed Canadian and American forces that would become NORAD in 1958. Following implementation of the Wing concept, 3 Wing was reconstituted at Bagotville in 1993. Today with more than 1,600 employees, military and civil, the base of Bagotville is one of the most important employers of the area. It is an important part of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region and has a rich aviation history.
There will also be a $300 Limited Edition of 75 copies numbered and signed by the base’s commanding officer. The edition will be bound in a leather cover, embossed and fit into a book box complete with the base crests in silver inlays along with one of 249 coins that will be made. The coin will also be available separately at $15.
For more contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credits: (cover) Master Seaman Steeve Picard.