It’s taken 10 months of detective work by Canadian and international genealogy sleuths to reveal a happy conclusion in the case of a downed Canadian WWII RCAF airman, Morley Ornstein. What better timing for this to happen than on the same month, 78 years ago, when Ornstein enlisted in the air force in October 1942. After he turned 18, Ornstein, a graduate of Harbord Collegiate in Toronto, joined up.
I started writing this feature story to find out who “Blackie” was, after some former Camp Naivelt alumni told me about a wooden statute shaped like an airplane wing that used to sit in a place of prominence at the Toronto-area summer camp during the Second World War. The staff built it to honour the memory of a beloved sports director and camp counsellor — who everyone called “Blackie”. He had been a pilot serving with the British RAF, and was killed in action overseas during the Second World War. No one remembered his name, though.