415 Squadron Association
COLONEL ARTHUR R. NIELSEN, Ret. CA
After enduring complications from severe sepsis, Arthur “Art” Rosmark Nielsen was called home to be with the Lord on October 24, 2023 at the age of 80. Art was born September 13, 1943 to Jorgen and Ingeborg Nielsen in Svendborg, Denmark. The Nielsen family immigrated to Toronto Canada for his dad’s company. Art graduated from Lorne Park High School in 1962. He was selected to attend the Royal Military College, in Kingston Ontario, where he majored in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, Art was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy. After flight school, he joined the Anti-Submarine Warfare community and flying off the Canadian Aircraft Carrier, Bonaventure. In 1972, he was assigned to an ASW position with the US Navy in Norfolk, VA, where he met the love of his life, Carol Holley. They were married in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba in 1974. To this union two sons were born, Michael and David.
During his 34 years of military service to Canada, Art served as CO of both PFS and VU 33 Squadrons. He also served two tours on 415 Squadron; the first as the Squadron Operations Officer (1983-84) and the second as the 22nd Commanding Officer (1989-91). In 1991, Art was promoted to Colonel and posted to the Joint Staff at NDHQ as Director of Operations Training and NBC Defence. Then in 1994, he assumed the duties of Chief, Exercise Division at NORAD Headquarters in Colorado Springs. Art and Carol decided to retire to Colorado Springs in 1996.
Art became active in local community service serving on various boards as well as the local branch of the Retired Canadian Air Force Association. In retirement, Carol and Art enjoyed cruising and visiting many “warm” ports of call.
Art is survived by his wife of 49.5 years, his sons Michael (Nicole) of Colorado Springs and David (Keeley) of Phoenix and four grand children: Jackson and Evelyn of Colorado Springs, and Maeve and Kelsey of Phoenix. Art is also survived by his brother, Steffen of Hawaii.
A memorial service and reception were held on January 4, 2024, at 10:30 am, at Forestgate Presbyterian Church, 970 Northgate Blvd. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Art’s name to Springs Rescue Mission of Colorado Springs.
The Government of Canada has announced that the CP140 Aurora will be replaced by the P-8A Poseidon. It is expected that a new fleet of 16 aircraft will be fully operational by 2032. The following opinion piece written by Ernie Cable posits that Canada made the right choice when choosing the Boeing P-8A, developed from the BOEING 737-NG (New Generation) airliner.
415 SQUADRON 80TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
The year 2021 marked the 80th anniversary of the formation of 415 Squadron. The squadron was stood up on 20 August 1941 at Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Thorney Island on the English south coast. It was the fourth Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) squadron assigned to RAF Coastal Command and Canada’s first Torpedo Bombing squadron.
In 2018 there were initial discussions between 415 Squadron and the 415 Squadron Association on how best to celebrate the 80th Anniversary. A number of proposals were considered and a reunion was envisioned for the May-June timeframe of 2021. Unfortunately with the onset of the COVID pandemic and the growing number of related restrictions, it became clear that a reunion would not be possible. By early 2021 it was determined that a smaller celebration might be possible in the late fall. To this end the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick LeBlanc, scheduled an Anniversary Mixed Dinner to be held on 28 October 2021. Despite ongoing COVID restrictions and many operational challenges this special event took place in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
Bernie Thorne, a former 415 Commanding Officer and member of the 415 Squadron Association, attended the Anniversary Mixed Dinner and provided the following report - “415 Squadron held a mixed dining in on 28 October to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Squadron formation. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick (Panda) Leblanc graciously welcomed retired Swordfish as well as the lodgers working with the squadron (434 Sqn and the Block 4 Implementation Flight). Capt Jennifer Bass organized a wonderful evening, decorating the room beautifully, and sourcing catering from a favorite restaurant in Middleton. Wine at the tables, wonderful food (my selected main of roast pork belly was delicious), desserts, and lots of good cheer were had even following all the prescribed COVID rules for Nova Scotia. Major (Ret’d) Rick Anscomb showed up in full mess regalia and was awarded the CO’s nod for best turned out on parade. Honorary Colonel Sandra Snow, mayor of Kentville, and Maj Keith Fugger, CO 415 Sqn designate, also came to be with the Swordfish. In these days of less social interaction, it was wonderful to see friendly faces in good cheer; I can hardly wait for the next chance to be together again. “
We all hope that the pandemic will soon abate and once more allow opportunities to celebrate the rich history of 415 Squadron and its recent long range patrol force development successes, as well as, the current serving members, who continue to serve with honour and devotion. AD METAM