Lynn Garrison

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Lynn Garrison
Lynn Garrison in cockpit 1966.jpg
Lynn Garrison in the cockpit of his Corsair N693M at the National Air Races in Reno, Nevada, 1966
Born (1937-04-01) April 1, 1937 (age 82)
AllegianceCanadian Red Ensign (1957-1965).svg  Canada
Service/branchEnsign of the Royal Canadian Air Force.svg  Royal Canadian Air Force Flag of the United Nations.svg United Nations Emergency Force
Years of service1954–1964
Rank Wing Commander
Unit 403 City of Calgary Squadron
Awards Paul Tissandier Diploma

Lynn Garrison (born April 1, 1937) is a Canadian pilot and political adviser. He was a Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot in the 403 City of Calgary Squadron, before holding jobs as a commercial pilot, film producer, director and mercenary. Later he became a political adviser in Haiti, and is now an author. With regard to flying, Garrison is known for his oft-repeated comment, "If it has fuel and noise, I can fly it."

Royal Canadian Air Force Air warfare branch of Canadas military

The Royal Canadian Air Force is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant, responsive and effective airpower". The RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, and operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff.

403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron

403 "City of Calgary" (Helicopter) Operational Training Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) located at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. It is equipped with CH-146 Griffons and provides operational aircrew training to the crews who will fly the helicopter. The squadron also conducts operational test and evaluation, develops aviation tactics and carries out operations in support of the 1 Wing mission. It also supports the local Army requirements of the Combat Training Centre. It was founded as No. 403 Squadron RCAF.

A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working independently, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of film production, such as selecting the script; coordinating writing, directing, and editing; and arranging financing.


Military career

Lynn Garrison in cockpit of RCAF Mustang, July, 1956 Lynn Garrison in cockpit of RCAF Mustang, July, 1956.jpg
Lynn Garrison in cockpit of RCAF Mustang, July, 1956

Throughout the Second World War, Garrison's family hosted student pilots from the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during their fortnightly leave. Contact with these pilots stimulated young Lynn's interest and by the age of four, he had decided he would be a pilot. During April, 1946 his parents purchased a ride for him in an ex-RCAF Cessna AT-17 operated by Kepler Aviation, at Calgary International Airport.

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan joint military aircrew training program during World War II

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), or Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) often referred to as simply "The Plan", was a massive, joint military aircrew training program created by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, during the Second World War. BCATP remains as one of the single largest aviation training programs in history and was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, air gunners, wireless operators and flight engineers who served with the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (FAA), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) during the war.

Calgary International Airport international airport serving Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary International Airport, branded as YYC Calgary International Airport, is an international airport that serves the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is located approximately 17 km (11 mi) northeast of downtown and covers an area of 21.36 km2 (8.25 sq mi). With 17.34 million passengers and 244,027 aircraft movements in 2017, Calgary International is the busiest airport in Alberta and the fourth-busiest in Canada by both measures. The region's petroleum and tourism industries have helped foster growth at the airport, which has nonstop flights to an array of destinations in North and Central America, Europe, and Asia. YYC Calgary International is also a hub for two major Canadian airlines: Air Canada and WestJet.

RCAF MENTOR 205 over RCAF Station Penhold, Alberta August 12, 1954 RCAF MENTOR 205 over RCAF Station Penhold, Alberta August 12, 1954.jpg
RCAF MENTOR 205 over RCAF Station Penhold, Alberta August 12, 1954

At the age of 17, Garrison joined the RCAF and trained at the RCAF Officer Selection Unit (Ontario) and Course 5411, 4 Flying Training School (RCAF Station Penhold, Alberta). During October, 1954, the Beechcraft T-34 Mentor was introduced to RCAF service in a quest to find a replacement for the Harvard. Courses 5409 and 5411, at Penhold, were chosen as the test classes for the type. It was decided that the T-34 was too easy to fly and was dropped from the RCAF in February, 1955. A total of 48 students participated in this experiment, including Garrison. After completing the course on Harvards he advanced to 2 Advanced Flying School (Portage la Prairie, Manitoba) for jet aircraft training (in the Canadair CT-133 Silver Star).

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

RAF Valley Royal Air Force training station on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales

Royal Air Force Valley or more simply RAF Valley is a Royal Air Force station on the island of Anglesey, Wales, and which is also used as Anglesey Airport. It provides fast-jet training using the BAE Systems Hawk and provides training for aircrew working with search and rescue.

Alberta Province of Canada

Alberta is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces. Its area is about 660,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi). Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905. The premier is Jason Kenney as of April 30, 2019.

Garrison received his wings on 6 April 1955 making him the youngest "winged pilot" in the RCAF since World War II, a record that still remains. Garrison's wings were presented by Wing Commander Joe McCarthy DSO, DFC, CD, a second world war veteran who was famous for attacking the Sorpe dam on the Dambuster's raid.

An aircrew brevet is the badge worn on the left breast, above any medal ribbons, by qualified aircrew in the Royal Air Force, British Army, Indian Air Force, Pakistan Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, South African Air Force and Sri Lanka Air Force.

Joe McCarthy (RCAF officer) Canadian WW2 RAF pilot and Dambuster

Joseph Charles "Big Joe" McCarthy, was an American aviator who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force in Bomber Command during World War II. He is best known as the commander and pilot of Lancaster AJ-T ("T-Tommy") in Operation Chastise, the "Dambuster" raid of 1943.

Distinguished Service Order UK military decoration

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible.

Flight Lieutenant Joe McCarthy (fourth from left) and his crew of No. 617 Squadron (The Dambusters) at RAF Scampton, 22 July 1943. TR1128 Flight Lieutenant Joe McCarthy (fourth from left) and his crew of No. 617 Squadron (The Dambusters) at RAF Scampton, 22 July 1943. TR1128.jpg
Flight Lieutenant Joe McCarthy (fourth from left) and his crew of No. 617 Squadron (The Dambusters) at RAF Scampton, 22 July 1943. TR1128

After completing additional training in the F-86 at RCAF Station Macdonald, Manitoba, Garrison returned to 403 City of Calgary Squadron, where he served for 10 years from 1954 until 1964.

Canadair Sabre series of fighter aircraft

The Canadair Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft built by Canadair under licence from North American Aviation. A variant of the North American F-86 Sabre, it was produced until 1958 and used primarily by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) until replaced with the Canadair CF-104 in 1962. Several other air forces also operated the aircraft.

Manitoba Province of Canada

Manitoba is a province at the longitudinal centre of Canada. It is often considered one of the three prairie provinces and is Canada's fifth-most populous province with its estimated 1.3 million people. Manitoba covers 649,950 square kilometres (250,900 sq mi) with a widely varied landscape, stretching from the northern oceanic coastline to the southern border with the United States. The province is bordered by the provinces of Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west, the territories of Nunavut to the north, and Northwest Territories to the northwest, and the U.S. states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.

On April 1, 1958, Garrison piloted the last Canadian military flight of the Hawker Sea Fury. The specific aircraft was WG565, now displayed in Calgary.

Hawker Sea Fury carrier-based fighter aircraft

The Hawker Sea Fury is a British fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by Hawker Aircraft. It was the last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, and one of the fastest production single reciprocating engine aircraft ever built. Developed during the Second World War, the Sea Fury entered service two years after the war ended. It proved to be a popular aircraft with a number of overseas militaries, and was used during the Korean War in the early 1950s, as well as against the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba.

During April, 1958, RCAF Mustang 9281, 44-73973, was retired from service. Most of its RCAF markings removed leaving only the squadron crest. June, 1959 saw Garrison involved with coordination of an air show at McCall Field, Calgary. He repainted 9281 for display. Instead of restoring the maple leaf Roundel Garrison took the lid of a large jam tin and made a red circle for the center.

Mustang 9281 painted for 1959 air show MUSTANG 9281 painted for 1959 air show.png
Mustang 9281 painted for 1959 air show

Since then, photographs of this specific paint job have been used as proof the RCAF used RAF Roundels as late as 1959. The American Aviation Historical Society published an article, with various markings for Mustangs over their years of RCAF service. 9281 with its jam can Roundel was illustrated there.

Lancaster KB-976 flies over FM-136, July 4, 1964, Calgary,Alberta. KB-976 crewed by F/L Lynn Garrison, F/L Ralph Langemann, Capt. Joe McGoldrick, F/O Jimmy Sutherland and F/O Brian B. McKay Last official RCAF flight of Lancaster, July 4, 1964, Calgary,Alberta. KB-976 Captain Lynn Garrison;Co-Pilot Ralph Langemann.jpg
Lancaster KB-976 flies over FM-136, July 4, 1964, Calgary,Alberta. KB-976 crewed by F/L Lynn Garrison, F/L Ralph Langemann, Capt. Joe McGoldrick, F/O Jimmy Sutherland and F/O Brian B. McKay

On July 4, 1964, Garrison captained the last RCAF flight of the Avro Lancaster with Flight Lieutenant Ralph Langemann as co-pilot. Specially authorized by Minister of National Defence, Paul Hellyer, the flight was made more difficult by the fact that Garrison had never flown a Lancaster and had broken his ankle the previous day. Hellyer and Air Commodore John Emilius Fauquier DSO, DFC and Bar visited Calgary to witness the flight.

In his classic, Fighter Command Air Combat Claims, 1939–45 (1939–1940), John Foreman commented on the question of pilot temperament and ability. Foreman observed that Garrison had once remarked, "In every squadron there were, perhaps, four or five pilots who exuded confidence. They knew that they were going out to shoot. The rest knew sub-consciously, that they would make up the numbers, mill about, and get shot at". [1]

Post-military career

In 1960, Garrison obtained a contract to ferry 75 P-51 Mustang aircraft, retired from RCAF service, to their new owners in New York.

Lynn Garrison P-51D Mustang CF-LOQ at Calgary July 1962. Note Lancaster Memorial behind spinner Lynn Garrison P-51D Mustang CF-LOQ at Calgary July 1962. Note Lancaster Memorial behind spinner.jpg
Lynn Garrison P-51D Mustang CF-LOQ at Calgary July 1962. Note Lancaster Memorial behind spinner
Lynn Garrison 9261 wheels up Canastota New York Lynn Garrison 9261 wheels up Canastota New York.png
Lynn Garrison 9261 wheels up Canastota New York

Milt Harradence, took time off from his law practice to accompany Garrison on the trips. Flying without radios for much of the time, they navigated by following the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks eastward. Harradence and Garrison acquired two Mustangs as part of their compensation and registered them RCAF 9221 44-74435"CF-LOR" and RCAF 9223 44-74446 "CF-LOQ"; [2] the first of their type registered in Canada.

Lynn Garrison crew with UNEF Otter, Sinai Lynn Garrison crew with UNEF Otter, Sinai.png
Lynn Garrison crew with UNEF Otter, Sinai
1973 saw Lynn Garrison on coordinating committee for Federation Aeronautique Internationale conference in Dublin, Ireland, Gene Cernan, and John Young were guests. Lynn Garrison explains Triplane handling characteristics to Gene Cernan.png
1973 saw Lynn Garrison on coordinating committee for Federation Aeronautique Internationale conference in Dublin, Ireland, Gene Cernan, and John Young were guests.

In 1962, Garrison served with 115 Air Transport Unit of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), on the Sinai Peninsula, where he flew de Havilland Otters and Caribous. While with 115 ATU he acted as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Dr. Ralph Bunche's pilot. [3]

Kingfisher donated to North Carolina Battleship Commission USMC-101112-M-4752B-025.jpg
Kingfisher donated to North Carolina Battleship Commission

During the sixties, Irving P. Krick & Associates operated a successful cloud seeding operation in the area around Calgary, Alberta. This utilized 4 Harvard aircraft and ground-based generators that pumped silver iodide into the atmosphere in an attempt to reduce the threat of hail damage. Ralph Langeman,Lynn Garrison, and Stan McLeod, all ex-members of the RCAF's 403 Squadron, attending the University of Alberta, spent their summers flying hail suppression. The Alberta Hail Suppression Project is continuing with C$3 million a year in funding from insurance companies to reduce hail damage in southern Alberta. [4] They originally operated 4 Harvard MK 2 aircraft which would eventually find their way onto the American registry. They are listed here by RCAF ID/ Canadian Department of Transport registration and FAA N-number: RCAF 2957, CF-MFK, N47079; RCAF 2850, CF-MIV, N28500; RCAF 2755, CF-MSQ, N2755Z (Lost in fatal air show crash, Sand Diego, California), RCAF 3199, CF-MZI, N16730.

During 1963, Garrison, with authorization from Paul Hellyer and the help of RCAF 121 Search & Rescue Unit, assisted with the salvage of a Vought OS2U Kingfisher from Calvert Island. It had crashed there during a ferry flight to Alaska during World War II. The aircraft was brought to Calgary, restored by Vought Aeronautics and donated by Garrison to the North Carolina Battleship Commission where it is now displayed on the stern of the USS North Carolina, one of the surviving Second World War battleships.

In 1963, Garrison purchased the first Canadair CT-133 21001 for his growing collection of classic aircraft. The trainer, with 212 total flying hours, was stored at the repair facility in Lethbridge, Alberta. It is now displayed on a pylon near the old site for Edmonton, Alberta's Municipal Airport. As an interesting fact, Lynn's son, Anthony Lynn Garrison purchased the last flying RCAF CT-133648 upon its retirement. It was readied for a ferry flight to Texas but was lost on take off, from CFB Trenton, Ontario on July 16, 2009. An armament door opened during take off making the jet uncontrollable.

First RCAF T-33 21001 from Lynn Garrison collection First RCAF T-33 21001 from Lynn Garrison collection.png
First RCAF T-33 21001 from Lynn Garrison collection

In June 1964, Garrison purchased two Canadair Sabre Golden Hawks aircraft from the Government of Canada. One was originally dedicated for a project that would have seen Bob Hoover use it in an air show routine, alongside his ex-RCAF Mustang. The inability to acquire explosive charges, for the ejection seat, and insurance problems, made this impossible. It was then registered as CF-AMH and flown by Harradence and Garrison. Garrison operated the other Sabre (RCAF 23454) before it was sold to Russell O'Quinn's Flight Test Research in Long Beach, California. Canadair Sabre (American registry N186F), was converted to a QF-86E drone and crashed on recovery at White Sands, New Mexico on 17 May 1978.

On July 4, 1964, F/L Garrison, with F/L Ralph Langemann as his co-pilot, piloted the last official RCAF flight of the Lancaster bomber at the Calgary International Air Show, an event created and coordinated by Garrison. Neither Garrison or Langemann had ever flown a Lancaster before this historic flight. Garrison broke his ankle the night before. The aircraft was tagged KB-976 and after the flight, Garrison purchased the aircraft which is now on display in Kermit Weeks' Fantasy of Flight collection in Florida. Garrison later wrote an account of the flight and the creation of the Air Museum of Canada. [5]

In 1964, Garrison established the Air Museum of Canada. [6] Prior to the creation of the Museum, Garrison had accumulated a personal collection of 45 classic aircraft including:

Lynn Garrison's Hurricane, acquired in 1963, now flies in United Kingdom as G-HURI Hurricane-z5140.jpg
Lynn Garrison's Hurricane, acquired in 1963, now flies in United Kingdom as G-HURI

In 1963 Garrison acquired a number of Hawker Hurricanes, from farmyards in Alberta and Saskatchewan, for inclusion in his collection. He planned to create Canada's first flying aviation museum. Unfortunately, there was no interest in the community. One of these now flies as G-HURI while Hurricane 5389 is now under the stewardship of the Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society and is under restoration in Wetaskiwin, AB. During December 2013, BONHAM’S Auction House, in the United Kingdom, offered one of Garrison’ Hurricanes for sale, expecting between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000. Their brochure commented, "We understand that 'G-HURI' as offered here is one of two such Hurricanes acquired at one point by Lynn Garrison who, in 1964, established the Aircraft Museum of Canada." [7]

Lynn Garrison's Spitfire AR614 now in Paul Allen Flying Heritage Collection, Seattle, Washington Spitfire AR614 Paul Allen Collection.jpg
Lynn Garrison’s Spitfire AR614 now in Paul Allen Flying Heritage Collection, Seattle, Washington

In 1963 Garrison purchased Supermarine Spitfire VB AR-614 from the British Ministry of Defence and had it transported to Calgary, Alberta for his personal collection. It has now become a part of Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection in Seattle, Washington.

After 50 years in storage, on August 11, 2012, Garrison’s ex-Spartan Air Services PR.35 Mosquito (RS700 CF-HMS) was transferred to the Bomber Command Museum, Nanton, Alberta for restoration by the Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society with half of the $1,650,000 funding provided by the City of Calgary. [8]

Garrison became involved in air show promotion with the Calgary International Air Show in 1963, 1964 and 1965. In 1966 the show was moved to Red Deer, Alberta. In 1966 he created the Los Angeles International Air Show which ran until 1969. Garrison was also involved in the Irish International Air Shows of 1970 and 1971 and the 1968 Las Vegas International Exposition with Danny Kaye.

Lynn Garrison leads A-7s of VA-147 before first deployment to Viet Nam, July 7, 1967 over NAS Lemoore, California F4U 7 AND CORSAIR 11.JPG
Lynn Garrison leads A-7s of VA-147 before first deployment to Viet Nam, July 7, 1967 over NAS Lemoore, California

Located in Calgary, Alberta, the Glenbow Museum, Canada's largest, was formed in 1966, when Eric Harvie donated his vast historical collection to the people of Alberta. Eric Harvie served during World War One with Garrison’s father. The museum has included a manikin with Garrison’s flying suit and helmet in its permanent "Warriors: A Global Journey Through Five Centuries" collection which documents the stories of warriors throughout the ages. In 1964 Harvie purchased a surplus RCAF Sikorsky H-5 S-51 helicopter for Garrison's collection. It remains on display in Calgary.

Garrison relocated to the Los Angeles area during 1966 and incorporated the American Aerospace & Military Museum, Inc. with Walker Mahurin, Mira Slovak, Chuck Lyford and Mickey Thompson on the board. Prior to the purchase of a house he spent a year in the Holiday Inn Motel, Montclair, California. Mahurin obtained displays from the USAF. The first, a HGM-25A Titan 1 missile, Serial SM-7361-4500, was delivered, and stored behind the motel, where it remained for over a year after Garrison purchased a house in adjacent Claremont. Ed McMahon, an ex-Marine Corsair pilot, and Johnny Carson’s nightly TV sidekick, was involved with the museum project. As a result, Johnny Carson heard about the missile and used it in a joke, one night, commenting on “people who forgot luggage at motels, but here was a guy who forgot a Titan Missile!” The resulting media uproar saw the USAF retrieve their property. [9]

From 1965 through 1969, Garrison was president of Craig Breedlove & Associates. Breedlove held the World Land Speed Record five times in 1965 with a top speed of over 601.1 miles per hour. During 1968, Garrison started to package a deal that saw Utah's Governor, Calvin Rampton provide a hangar facility for the construction of a supersonic car. Bill Lear, of Learjet fame, was to provide support, along with his friend Art Linkletter. Playboy magazine hoped to have the car painted black, with a white bunny on the rudder. TRW was supplying a lunar lander rocket motor. A change in public interest saw the concept shelved for a period of time. The group also negotiated for the use of the late Donald Campbell's wheel-driven Bluebird CN7 record-breaker. [10]

Bluebird CN7 Bluebird (6315531707).jpg
Bluebird CN7

In 1968, the Indian Air Force donated Consolidated B-24 Liberator HE-771, stored at Poona, to Garrison for inclusion in his aircraft collection. It was to be ferried back to the United States in company with the B-24 given to Strategic Air Command. Garrison was busy with Roger Corman's film Von Richthofen and Brown , in 1970, so he turned it over to the RAF. Ultimately, it ended up in Kermit Weeks' museum in Florida.

Garrison published aviation magazine, AVIAN, from 1966 to 1969 with contributions from actor and pilot Richard Bach, Ernest Gann, Ray Bradbury and others. AVIAN started a tradition, with its first issue, including an aviation-oriented poem. The first issue featured "Planes that Land on Grass" by Ray Bradbury while the last issue, Vol, 2, No. 6 featured Lynn Garrison's Remembrance which has been used over the years by pilots’ groups such as Fighter Pilot University.

The soldier sleeps – in distant foreign lands,
Beneath the ice or shifting desert sands.
An airman in the sun-split clouds.
The sailor in his watery shroud.
Their sacrifice, in time is lost,
With scant appreciation of the cost
Lest we forget.
  Lynn Garrison [11]

Other activities

In April 1960, Garrison and Harradence became a founding directors of Monarch Savings & Trust, Ltd.,

23424 one of 2 ex-Golden Hawk Sabers purchased by Garrison in July, 1964 Ex-RCAF Golden Hawk Canadair F-86 23424 purchased by Lynn Garrison for his collection, July 1964.jpg
23424 one of 2 ex-Golden Hawk Sabers purchased by Garrison in July, 1964

the last financial institution of its type chartered by the Province of Alberta. In 1963, Garrison also took time away from flying to coordinate Roy Farran's successful campaign for a seat on Calgary City Council.

In 1982, Garrison created The Haitian Children's Fund, a charity to focus on the needs of Haiti's young. During the 2004 Gonaïves hurricane disaster, Garrison coordinated all container donations into Haiti for Prime Minister Gerard Latortue's government. Immediately after the January 12, 2010 earthquake disaster, the fund distributed 10 containers of emergency medical supplies. At the present time, the charity coordinates transfer of young Haitian cardiac patients to the Star Hospital, in India, for free treatment.

During 1989–1992, Garrison operated The Yellow Bird – Galerie d'Art Haitien, a Santa Monica art gallery specializing in Haitian art.

Film projects

In August 1980, as producer and director of a television segment for a series on paranormal subjects, Lynn Garrison set out to film the secrets of Voodoo.

Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov.jpg
Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov

Accompanying him were Burt Lancaster and Samantha Eggar. Lancaster was slated to be the host of the series. During an effort to dig up a buried zombie in a cemetery of Desdunes, the team was almost killed by angry peasants. This exciting visit was the foundation for Garrison's 38-year involvement with Haiti.

In 1990 Garrison collaborated with Lou Lenart. Lenart led the first Israeli Air Force attack in May 1948, flying Bf 109s) to create First Strike, a feature film based on Israel's Operation Babylon, the June 7, 1981 attack on Iraq's Osirak nuclear plant. Garrison re-wrote the script and was to direct the aerial sequences utilizing the Israeli Air Force. Walt Disney Productions took over the project and it is still under consideration. In 1994–1995, Greystone Communications Group gained access to all Russian wartime footage. They planned an aviation series for the History Channel and retained Garrison and Bill Casale to develop the concept. Greystone also received permission to place a five-man crew on board the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov for a Mediterranean shake-down cruise in 1995. Garrison was to head this team. The DIA approved this concept but the project was delayed until 1996 and by this time Garrison had moved on to other things.

Ireland, the Irish Air Corps and film industry

Camera crew from Richthofen & Brown, 1970. Peter Peckowski and Peter Allwork in cockpit of Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama. Jimmy Murakami,Shay Corcoran, Lynn Garrison Lynn Garrison crew Richthofen & Brown, 1970.jpg
Camera crew from Richthofen & Brown, 1970. Peter Peckowski and Peter Allwork in cockpit of Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama. Jimmy Murakami,Shay Corcoran, Lynn Garrison
Miles-built S.E.5 replica from Lynn Garrison's collection flown by Charles Boddington, five seconds before a fatal crash on September 15, 1970 Miles built SE5 replica for The Blue Max film September 15, 1970 immediately before fatal crash of Charles Boddington during filming of Richthofen & Brown.jpg
Miles-built S.E.5 replica from Lynn Garrison's collection flown by Charles Boddington, five seconds before a fatal crash on September 15, 1970

Between 1964 and 1965, Garrison worked with the Irish Air Corps to establish a collection of World War I replica fighter aircraft, facilities and support equipment at a facility at Weston Aerodrome, Leixlip, Ireland. This was originally put together in support of 20th Century Fox's 1966 film The Blue Max . [12] The aerial fleet included a sole Caudron 277, two Fokker DR 1s, three Fokker D VIIs, two S.E.5As and two Pfalz D IIIs (all full-scale replicas) four de Havilland Tiger Moths, three SV4C Stampes, a Morane 230 and six Curry Wot 3/4 scale S.E.5As.

Lynn Garrison and author Richard Bach with Helio Courier G-ARMU used for Von Richthofen and Brown, 1970 Von Richthofen LYNN GARRISON - DICK BACH.jpg
Lynn Garrison and author Richard Bach with Helio Courier G-ARMU used for Von Richthofen and Brown, 1970

Garrison and the Irish Air Corps continued their relationship and the Corps provided aircrew and engineering staff to support films and television commercials Garrison worked through to the late 1970s. Garrison was also responsible for coordinating the first demonstration of the Marchetti SF-260 Warrior at Baldonnel. As a result of this presentation the Corps acquired a number of Warriors. At the time he was in partnership with James Baring, heir to the Barings Bank estate. Baring was also a well-known demonstration pilot who flew in a number of Garrison's film projects along with John Fairey, of the Fairey Aviation family. Garrison later established new techniques for obtaining aerial footage, creating new camera mounts and special effects.

Irish Air Corps pilots filming Roger Corman's Von Richthofen and Brown, 1970. Lynn Garrison is second from right, front row. PILOTS RICHTHOFEN & BROWN 1970.jpg
Irish Air Corps pilots filming Roger Corman's Von Richthofen and Brown, 1970. Lynn Garrison is second from right, front row.

The Irish Film Act of 1970 set the foundation for an expanding Irish film industry by providing advantageous tax advantages for film productions and resident foreign creative individuals, like Garrison. The Film Act of 1970 was the result of an initial collaboration between Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Jack Lynch and Garrison who had shared a semi-detached house. The Film Act of 1970 became the basis for other national film acts throughout Europe.

Lynn Garrison, Don Stroud crash September 16, 1970 SV4.C Stampe Lynn Garrison crash September 16, 1970 SV4.C Stampe.jpg
Lynn Garrison, Don Stroud crash September 16, 1970 SV4.C Stampe

Garrison supplied the airfield, equipment and personnel for the Roger Corman movie, Von Richthofen and Brown . He directed the aerial sequences and flew the camera aircraft, a Helio Courier. On September 15, 1970, Charles Boddington, a veteran of The Blue Max and Darling Lili shoots, was killed when his S.E.5 spun in during a low-level maneuver over an airfield. The following day, during the last scheduled flight on the shooting schedule, Garrison and actor Don Stroud were involved in a low-level sequence across Lake Weston, in a Stampe-Vertongen SV.4, when a jackdaw flew through the propeller's arc struck Garrison in the face, knocking him unconscious. The aircraft then ran through five power lines, snap rolled and plunged into the lake inverted. Garrison and Stroud were rescued from the waters; Stroud was uninjured but Garrison required 60 stitches to close a head wound.

During the September 1970 filming of Owen Crump's film, Zeppelin , Garrison's unit lost an Alouette helicopter and S.E.5 in a mid-air collision over Wicklow, Ireland with a loss of five people including Burch Williams, brother of 20th Century Fox executive Elmo Williams. For the film Tora! Tora! Tora! , Garrison and Jack Canary created the large fleet of "Japanese" aircraft. Some of these aircraft still make appearances at air shows. [13] Garrison also worked on Darling Lili , Barry Lyndon , Ryan's Daughter and the TV series "Twelve O'Clock High".

Other film projects

In 1981, Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace (惑星ロボ ダンガードA(エース) su?) was a Japanese science fiction anime series created by Leiji Matsumoto. It was licensed by Jim Terry Productions as part of the Force Five promotion as "Danguard Ace". English dialog was written for re-dubbing by Garrison who then combined a number of episodes into a feature length presentation which gained a cult following on the Showtime network during the 1980s. This series was the forerunner of the 2010–2011 Transformer craze.

Mercenary activity

Garrison became a mercenary, flying as a combat pilot in various conflicts, then later acting as a military and political advisor, allegedly with the support of a number of US Government agencies and various U.S. senators.

During the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970), Garrison joined a group of mercenaries fighting for the Biafrans in their effort to create an independent state. [14] Lynn Garrison was originally dispatched to Biafra on a mission aimed at researching ways to neutralize the Nigerian Navy frigate Nigeria. This vessel was blockading Port Harcourt, disrupting the export flow of petroleum, required to support the break-away state Biafra's survival. Discovering his expertise as a pilot, the Biafrans asked Garrison for his assistance in that area. On August 20, 1967 he flew one mission in an almost unserviceable B-26 against the Kano airfield, destroying 3 Mig-17s. At this point the concept of simple COIN aircraft, utilizing existing light aircraft was born with the support of Garrison's associates, James Baring and John Fairey, of the Barings Bank and Fairey Aviation Company families. Count Gustav von Rosen would initiate the concept, finally seeing action in May, 1969. Garrison's RCAF experience paid off with his destruction of a number of Soviet-sponsored aircraft. May 22, 1969 Port Harcourt a Mig-17 and IL-28; May 24, 1969 Benin, a Mig-17 and IL-28; May 26, 1969 Enuga a Mig-17 and IL-28. This raid saw Swedes Gunnar Haglund and M. Lang each destroy a Mig-17. [15]

Operation Tiger Claw (October 17–20, 1967) was a military conflict between Nigerian and Biafran military forces. On October 17, 1967 Nigerians invaded Calabar led by the "Black Scorpion", Benjamin Adekunle while the Biafrans were led by Col. Ogbu Ogi, who was responsible for controlling the area between Calabar and Opobo, and Lynn Garrison a foreign mercenary. The Biafrans came under immediate fire from the water and the air. For the next two days Biafran stations and military supplies were bombarded by the Nigerian air force. That same day Lynn Garrison reached Calabar but came under immediate fire by federal troops. By October 20, Garrison's forces withdrew from the battle while Col. Ogi officially surrendered to Gen. Adenkule.

In May 1969, Carl Gustaf von Rosen formed a squadron of five Malmö MFI-9 MiniCOIN small piston-engined aircraft (armed with rocket pods and machine guns) known as the Babies of Biafra, which attacked and destroyed Nigerian jet aircraft on the ground and delivered food aid. [16] Garrison coordinated the attacks, destroying an Ilyushin Il-28 bomber and a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 fighter aircraft during the first attack against Port Harcourt airfield on May 22, 1969. He led attacks on Benin airfield, May 24, Enuga airfield, May 26, to neutralize the threat of Soviet-made jets, then put the Ughelli Delta One power plant out of action on May 28 as the first, of what would become an ongoing assault against the SHELL/BP infrastructure.

Malmo MFI-9 Biafra Baby two-view silhouette Malmo MFI-9 Biafra Baby two-view silhouette.svg
Malmö MFI-9 Biafra Baby two-view silhouette

The operation effectively neutralized the Soviet-sponsored jet element, changing the balance of power. Someone remembered: During August, 2017 the American intelligence community was drafting a study: ANALYSIS: POTENTIAL USES OF LIGHT CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT IN MINI-COUNTER INSURGENCY (MINI-COIN) ROLES They found the Biafran action among some dusty files and asked Garrison for details of what had actually happened in 1969. They were trying to convince decision-makers expensive, sophisticated weapons weren't required to counteract small threats.

Their first e-mail contact to Garrison said, in part:

" ... the idea that we would release half-million-dollar weapons---or more---against hostiles in battered pickups that they traded for a goat is astounding. Certainly such things can be done, but it is tantamount to using a shotgun to kill a fly.

I pointed out to the planners at USNORTHCOM the example of your Biafran squadron, and they were rather amazed that simple light sport aircraft---with no advanced electronics, no GPS-guided munitions, nothing whatsoever that resembles the high-tech approach of an F-22 or F-35---were able to take on a decently-funded Russian-supported air force with MiG fighters and Ilyushin bombers, and show the world that all of that advanced approach ultimately meant nothing. Using the Malmo MFI-9 aircraft, your squadron destroyed half of the Nigerian bomber force, and a disconcertingly high number of MiG fighters." [17] [18]

And so Garrison wrote a brief reply, in part:

"At tree-top height we popped over the perimeter, I then dropped a few feet to flash across the grass at a shattering 135 mph, throttle against the stop, leaning forward in the harness as though this would add speed. In recalling those moments, I would swear that my spring undercarriage bounced on a grassy hump as I rushed towards my target.

Complete surprise.

No gunfire!

Close, very close - about 300 yards - pointed directly at a MIG-17. With a whoosh my 12 explosive-tipped Matra 98mm rockets accelerated away.

Several hit the MIG.

The jet erupted in a giant fireball. At least two rockets hit an Il-28. This collapsed, broken where it sat. There were eruptions further along, among the other aircraft.

None of our aircraft took hits. Surprise was total,

I found myself destroying at least one target on each strike. I had experience, while, with the exception of one Swede, the others didn’t. I understood the value of getting close, then closer! My 10 years flying fighter aircraft was finally bearing fruit." [19]

The war saw some 4,500,000 people displaced. Over 1,500,000 starved to death, half of these were children.

Each year, on May 30, the IPOB - Independent People of Biafra - coordinate the Biafran Annual Remembrance Day. Since the Biafrans think Lynn Garrison is dead, he has been included, over the years. The 2018 remembrance activities were marked by publication of articles, one entitled: "Biafra Fallen Heroes: The Heroic Deeds Of Lynn Garrison In Focus" [20] [21]

Later in 1969, Garrison flew in the last military conflict involving propeller-driven fighters (P-51 Mustangs and the Vought F4U Corsairs) during the Football War between El Salvador and Honduras. [22]

Lynn Garrison with RCAF 9281, 1956. Subsequently, flown during 1969 Football war. It was returned to the U.S. by Jerry Janes and flown as "Cottonmouth". MUSTANG RCAF 9221.jpg
Lynn Garrison with RCAF 9281, 1956. Subsequently, flown during 1969 Football war. It was returned to the U.S. by Jerry Janes and flown as "Cottonmouth".

At the time, Garrison owned an ex-French Navy Corsair which had operated in Vietnam and during the 1956 Suez Crisis. He purchased it after its retirement from French service and it was transported to the United States for him by the U.S. Navy, stored at Norfolk, and then transferred to California where he was based. [23] It was later used in the TV series Baa Baa Black Sheep. Later, Garrison was retained by LTV Aerospace president Paul Thayer to do a Bob Hoover aerobatic show to promote Vought's new jet fighter, the LTV A-7 Corsair II but the idea was dropped due to insurance requirements. Garrison went on to do many low-level aerobatic displays in the Corsair, but as a private operator.

Haitian activities

By August 1991, Garrison was back in the political arena and back in, arguably, a military role as a personal advisor to Haiti's military ruler, Lieutenant General Raoul Cédras, [24] the US Senate and, allegedly, the DIA and CIA. [25] He acted as the interface between the American embassy and Cedras after diplomatic relations were severed. His code name was "'The Shadow".

Lynn Garrison with Haitian Corps d'Aviation Marchetti and crew, September 1990 Lynn Garrison and crew with Haitian Corps d'Aviation Marchetti S-211 prior to flight in 1990.jpg
Lynn Garrison with Haitian Corps d’Aviation Marchetti and crew, September 1990

In June 1992, Garrison, working with Colonel Pat Collins, the Military Liaison Officer with the American embassy, wrote a White Paper visualizing modification of the Forces Armeés d'Haiti (FAdH) into what they called, an Army of the People. This would see the FAdH undertake many projects to support Haiti's population including road building, school and hospital construction, revival of the nation's nation's 23 airfields and interdiction of drug traffic from Central and South America. Mobile medical/dental clinics were to be a major factor in the program, staffed by military personnel. A team of 700 Canadian and American military engineers and technical staffers, was dispatched to Haiti on the USS Harlan County, 11 October 1993, but left Haitian waters when its captain, Commander Butcher, perceived dangers not seen by Colonel J.T.F. Pulley, 7th Special Forces chief on board. [26] [27]

During his 3 years with the Haitian military, Garrison managed to defuse a number of situations that could have been disastrous. Perhaps his most important act was the key role he played in derailing President Clinton's planned invasion of Haiti, during September, 1994, to return exiled President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Prior to the American occupation of Haiti, Operation Uphold Democracy, 19 September 1994, the borders were sealed and air traffic suspended. Garrison's friend, journalist Colonel David Hackworth, one of America's most decorated war heroes, and author of the best-selling book About Face , wanted to cover the Haitian situation. Garrison sent someone to the Dominican frontier to pick up Hackworth and bring him to Port-au-Prince.

Lynn Garrison Mosquito CF-HMS arrives Calgary, February, 1964 Lynn Garrison Mosquito CF-HMS arrives Calgary, February, 1964.png
Lynn Garrison Mosquito CF-HMS arrives Calgary, February, 1964

In a last ditch effort to avoid a full scale, violent invasion of Haiti, on September 18, President Clinton sent a three-man team, made up of Jimmy Carter, Sam Nunn and Colin Powell to negotiate with military leader General Raoul Cedras.

The American negotiators used Lynn Garrison's office, located adjacent to that of Cedras, as the focal point of their communications with President Clinton's team. It was in Garrison's office that the American team installed their scrambled telephone.

Garrison secreted himself in an adjoining room to listen in on the American negotiations, utilizing tape recorders which were defeated by the American ‘white noise’ units..

In his book, ‘Hazardous Duty.’ Hackworth recounted the final moments before the Clinton attack on Haiti, in which Garrison's intercession effectively derailed the invasion with its predicted potential civilian casualty count of 25,000. [28]

The 1994 return of President Jean Bertrand Aristide was predicated upon the existence of a restructured FAdH, to act as a counterbalance to his predicted thrust for a dictatorship. To this end, the US military was sending instructors and new equipment, including fast-boats and aircraft, to support the concept. Soon after his return to Haiti, Aristide unconstitutionally attempted disbandment of the FAdH, which, until now, exists on paper and is protected by Article 263 Titre XI de la Constitution de la Republique d'Haiti.

Garrison was accused of running the public relations campaign against former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide [29] after he accused Aristide, prior to leaving the country, of ordering the murder of eight political opponents.


Haitian President Michel Martelly distributes free soccer balls February, 2014 Haitian President Michel Martelly distributes One World Futbol soccer balls, Jacmel, Haiti February, 2014.jpg
Haitian President Michel Martelly distributes free soccer balls February, 2014

In 1992, Garrison was named Haitian Consul to the United States, an appointment he retained in 2010. Garrison has now retired but is writing a third book: HAITI: Coup de Grace, due for release in the near future. He remains a resident of the United States but has continued to work on the project he created in 1987, the Haitian Aerial Reforestation Project (HARP) to scatter tree seeds by aircraft.

In January 2010, Garrison helped to coordinate the airdrop of food and other aid in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. On October 20, 2010, even as the cholera epidemic was reported in central Haiti, Garrison was on the way to the area with a truckload of re-hydration solutions to combat the epidemic.

Garrison's Haitian Children's Fund is coordinating distribution of donated One World Futbol soccer balls in Haiti as part of a Chevrolet sponsored worldwide project to acquire and distribute containers of these undeflatable balls to Third World countries. [30] President Michel Martelly, a soccer enthusiast, is personally assisting with distribution in Haiti.

Diplome Paul Tissandier Diplome Paul Tissandier.png
Diplome Paul Tissandier


In 1973, Garrison was awarded the Paul Tissandier Diploma by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale for his contributions to world aviation. He was recommended by the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association.


Garrison's ancestors migrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania in 1728. Some moved on to Kentucky and then to Marion county, Illinois. Garrison's great grandfather, William Lloyd Garrison, served with the 40th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. He lost his leg in the Battle of Shiloh, and was subsequently released from service on October 18, 1862. [31] In 1904, his son, William Garrison, took the family to homestead in Westlock, Alberta, making the 1500 mile journey in covered wagons. Ivan Garrison, Lynn's father, was born February 22, 1897 in Enterprise, Illinois. He would serve with the 4th Field Ambulance of the Canadian Army Medical Corps during the First World War, and with the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, during the Second World War. His brother Tim Garrison resided in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.

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  • Garrison, Lynn. Aristide: The Death of a Nation. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Leprechaun Publishing Group, 2004. ISBN   978-0-9704636-7-8.
  • Garrison, Lynn. Voodoo Politics: The Clinton/Gore Destruction of Haiti. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Leprechaun Publishing Group, 2000. ISBN   978-0-9704636-2-3.
  • Garrison, Lynn. EVOLUTION: 90 MPH to Supersonic in 30 years. Portland, Oregon: Bitz Publishing, 2016. ISBN   978-1-4942507-1-3.