Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Ulysses Stanley Wagner (1908-2002)

Bush pilot, business executive, athlete.

Born at Pueblo, Colorado on 2 March 1908, son of Louis Wagner and Wilhelmina Winkler, he came to Winnipeg at an early age and attended Laura Secord School, Greenway School, and Kelvin High School. In 1927, while employed with the Ford Motor Company, he took flying lessons at Western Canada Airway’s Flight School at Kirkfield Park.

In 1931, he formed Northern Air Transport to fly passengers and supplies to Manitoba mines and communities. Three years later, he joined Canadian Airways Limited as its pilot and base manager at Kenora, Ontario. He became superintendent at Sioux Lookout in 1938 and was transferred to Canadian Pacific Airlines central division in 1942. Six years later he became the first employee of Central Northern Airways, which later became TransAir Limited. He held various positions before being named General Manager and Vice President of Operations. A founding member of the Winnipeg Flying Club, he was a leader and life member of the Western Canada Aviation Museum.

He was a member of the Winnipegs, the City Senior Hockey Team which won the Allen Cup and later, the gold medal in hockey at the 1932 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York. In 1987, he was inducted with his teammates into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

He died on 11 October 2002 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. Wagner Lake, south of Lynn Lake, was named is his honour.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 October 2002.

“They will never be forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2002, pages A8-A9.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 July 2016

Memorable Manitobans

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