W. Roy Maxwell

Before becoming the first director of the Ontario Provincial Air Service, Maxwell was well known in aviation circles as the manager of Laurentide Air Services.  He was a true pioneer, making the first flight to Hudson Bay (with George Doan as his engineer), the first volume carriage of mail and the first ambulance flight in Canada, all in 1920 and the first flight to James Bay in 1922.  During his tenure as Director, the Air Service demonstrated the value of aircraft as an improved method of protecting and conserving forests.  However, Maxwell, colourful character who wore natty clothes and high leather boots and drove a blue Cadillac, attracted attention and, inevitably, criticism.  When the Liberals became the governing party in Ontario in 1934, Maxwell found himself the target of a Royal Commission into his conduct and into the operation of the Service.  Though there was no evidence of impropriety, Maxwell resigned from the Service in 1935.

He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1935, reaching the rank of Wing Commander.

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