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Bulk, 1907-1995 (Creation)
1892-1995, bulk 1907-1995 (Creation)
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Robert Archibald Logan was born on in Middle Musquodoboit, N.S. on August 17, 1892. Born to small land-owning farmers, he helped his mother on the farm whilst attending school. On his graduation, he attended the Technical University of Nova Scotia to become a Dominion Land Surveyor. When war broke out in 1914, he learned to fly an airplane at his own expense, and became the first Canadian civilian pilot to earn a commission in the British Royal Flying Corps. During the war he distinguished himself as a pilot and navigator, and was involved in training other pilots. On Apr. 8, 1917, he was shot down behind enemy lines by an aerial attack led by Baron von Richtoven. He and his observer survived the crash and spent the rest of World War I in 6 different German POW camps, including Schweidnitz. He began to study languages during his internment, which began an interest that continued for the rest of his life.
When the War ended, Logan participated in a Canadian government expedition by boat into the Arctic, and helped to establish the first air landing fields in the far north, including on Ellesmere Island. He also became involved in the new field of aerial surveying, which led him to south-central Africa for two years. Upon his return to the USA, he was employed by Pan-American Airways, where he investigated potential landing sites for the airline through travels that took him from Alaska to Argentina, and was Operations Manager for Pan-Am in Argentina and Brazil.
In 1933, he participated in the "Jelling" North Atlantic voyage with the Lindberghs, which investigated fueling and landing sites for Pan-Am’s cross-Atlantic routes. He also began and managed a gold mining operation in Nova Scotia during this time. He was then hired by the Irish national airline Aer Lingus Teoranta, and was its general manager until World War II necessitated the shutdown of its operations.
During WWII, Logan worked for the RCAF as a Command Navigation Officer in Nova Scotia, and Lt. Colonel and Director of Intelligence in Ottawa until the USA entered the War. In 1941, he participated in a secret Arctic expedition to Greenland and Iceland with the US military for the establishment of northern military airbases. After that, he continued work with the American military, and was sent on an another special mission to the South Pacific in 1943 with Rear Admiral Richard Byrd (who he knew from their mutual association with the Explorer’s Club in New York), again to research potential airfield and fuelling sites for the US military. Due to a leg injury during this expedition, he was given a medical retirement discharge, and retired as a Colonel.
After Logan retired from the military, he devoted most of his time to writing. His research and writing spanned a great deal of topics, such as genealogy, history, astrology, philosophy, mineralogy, writing systems, and fiction. He also compiled and published a two-volume Cree-English dictionary, and had it distributed to many academic libraries across N. America at his own expense.
Logan remained active in these pursuits well into the later years of his life, and his achievements have been noted by organizations like the International Biographical Associations of the UK and the USA, and the Explorer’s Club. He died shortly after his 100th birthday in 1992, in Duluth, Minnesota.
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