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Visit:   Canadian Wings

 

Photo Credit: DND

The Sabre was the RCAF's last fighter armed with guns alone. This 422(F) Squadron Sabre is having its guns harmonized at RCAF Station Uplands in 1953. This process ensures that all six machine-guns are aimed properly.

Chosen by the RCAF as its frontline day fighter in August 1949, the Canadair F-86 Sabre served in Western Europe as a deterrent to the Warsaw Pact from the early days of the Cold War until it was replaced by the CF-104 Starfighter beginning in 1962.

 

 

No.1 Air Division RCAF (Europe)

 >1 Air Div. Historical Reports

Few people living today realize how big the RCAF in Europe was at the end of September 1953. There were two flying bases in France and two in Germany, each with three Sabre squadrons, for a total of 300 aircraft, one of the strongest contributions to NATO and larger than the entire fixed wing inventory of today's RCAF.

The role of the F-86 Sabre was to provide air defense capability. On a rotational basis, starting half an hour before sunrise and ending half an hour after sunset, two Sabre squadrons kept aircraft and crews on 5 and 15 minute daytime alert status known as Zulu. Normally, one squadron from Germany and one from France were assigned to hold the alert for a one-week period. Fully armed, the Zulu planes represented a force that could be put into the air at a moment's notice. Occasionally a show of force on our side of the border became necessary, but normally the Zulu crews were scrambled and conducted intercepts and air combat manoeuvres against their sister squadrons.

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The Best Air Fighters in Europe

 
Pilots of 1 Air Division, flying the made-in-Canada Canadair F-86 Mark VI Sabre, were known as the best air fighters in Europe. One of the 422 pilots in this category was Flight Lieutenant Ernest Arthur Glover, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for action in Korea while attached to the United States Air Force in 1952.

Aerial gunnery competitition within the 4th Allied Tactical Air Force (4 ATAF) was sparked in 1956 when the Commanding General donated a cup for presentation to the top team of marksmen. Firing against teams of the American and French Air Forces, the RCAF easily claimed the laurels. The performance was repeated in March 1957. F/L John Ursulak was chosen team Leader. The others on the team were F/O Hank Henry, F/O Bob Paul, F/O Gerry Westphal and F/O Bill Norn.

Further proof of their success as air fighters was recorded by four consecutive winnings of the Guynemer Trophy for excellence in air-to-air gunnery. (1958 - '59 - '60 - '61).

F/L 'Hank' Henry had been encouraged to re-enlist in the RCAF by none other than Buck McNair, a Canadian Spitfire ace, who recognized the need within the Air Division for experienced and skilled pilots. Henry established his mark as a skillful sharp shooter during the 1958 Guynemer Trophy Gunnery Contest while serving with 422 (F) Squadron. His amazing 95 hits out of a possible 98 was a feat much talked about in air force circles.

More about the Guynemer Trophy
1958 1959 1960 1961

The Best Air Fighters

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1953
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Canadair Sabre Mark IV

19627 was flown by 422 Squadron and destined for the RAF as XB753. These were brand new Mk. IV Sabres that were to go to the RAF when the new Mk. V’s arrived. RAF markings are the Roundel, fin flash and serial number below the horizontal stabilizer. Squadron colours on the forward fuselage appear with the RCAF serial number above the RAF fin flash.

Photo Credit DND

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422 Tomahwk Pilots Leap the Pond

Operation Leapfrog IV

28 August

1953

 
The intent of Operation Leap-Frog Four was to relocate 414 (F) Squadron, Bagotville, 422 (F) Squadron, Uplands and 444 (F) Squadron, St. Hubert to Baden-Soellingen, Germany as No. 4 Fighter Wing. Most of the ground crew had already left for Germany, but a total of seventy two men, twenty four from each of the three squadrons, had been assigned the task of leap-frogging the Wing across the Atlantic.

When 422 departed Uplands on 28 Aug 1953 to Goose Bay, Labrador, the first leg of Operation Leap-Frog Four commenced. They were joined by the aircraft of 414 and 444 Squadrons at Goose Bay and leapt onward to Bluie West Greenland, Keflavik, Iceland, Lossiemouth, Scotland and Baden Soellingen, Germany, completing the operation on 4 September 1953. The official opening ceremony of RCAF 4(F) Wing, took place three weeks later, on 28 September 1953.


Image source:   The Canadair Sabre,  1986,  Larry Millberry,   page 109.
©All rights reserved

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422 Pilots - Leapfrog IV

 John Buzza
Al Adams Ernie Glover Don ParkerBill Christianson
Fred Axtell Ken Harvey Rod Pritchard Vern Cottrell
Dick Kiser Nels Levesque John RandleGord Ellis
Gord Brennand E. J. Lister Ernie Saunders John McLeish
Ray Carruthers Jim McKay Gerry SmithStu Smith
  Bill WearyGil Guerin

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The Story of Operation Leap Frog IV

 

 
S/L John Buzza, CD

Welcomed to Baden Soellingen,
4 September, 1953.


DND Photo
Air Commadore Keith Hodson welcomes S/L John Buzza

 
S/L W. J. Buzza was 422(F) Squadron O/C from 1 January 1953 to 7 June 1955.

His military career saw him rise from a boy airman in 1939 to a distinguished general in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent much of WWII as an air gunner, but was promoted and trained as a fighter pilot.

As a Wing Commander, Buzza later commanded 416 AW(F) Squadron in St. Hubert, Quebec (February to December 1960) and assumed command of 423 AW(F) Squadron from 2 August 1961 until May 1962 in Grostenquin, France.

More Information at
W/C (BGen) John Buzza.

 

 
Flight Lieutenant Ernest Arthur Glover,
DFC(RCAF), DFC(USAF)

F/L "Ernie" Glover was one of the pilots participating in Operation Leapfrog IV with 422 (F) Squadron in 1953. Glover was the last RCAF pilot to be awarded the Commonwealth DFC. He had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for action in Korea while attached to the United States Air Force and completed his tour of 58 combat operations on October 18, 1952.

 

Citation

 
"Flight Lieutenant Glover, while attached to the United States Air Force, Fourth fighter Interceptor Wing, in the Korean theatre, displayed the most commendable aggressive spirit coupled with excellent fighting ability. Because of his above average qualities as a combat pilot he was rapidly promoted to flight leader and whilst so employed, completed his duties with distinction, valour and merit. During his tour of duty he destroyed three MIG-15 aircraft and seriously damaged two others. This excellent record not only brings credit to Flight Lieutenant Glover, but has greatly enhanced the reputation of the Royal Canadian Air Force."

 
GLOVER, Flight Lieutenant Ernest Arthur (17484) - Air Medal (United States) - 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Date uncertain; under RCAF policies as laid down in 1952, Glover was not permitted to receive this award, as he had also been awarded an American DFC.

More details at
Canada Veterans Hall of Valour

 
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F/O Dick Kiser

F/O Dick Kiser was the first line pilot to join 422 in December, 1952. He was typical of the new RCAF "pipeliner pilots" who joined the Airforce in the early 1950's when Canada had committed to NATO to supply 12 fighter squadrons of F-86 Sabres as high altitude interceptors to counter the Soviet threat in the air over Europe.

After his initial training on Harvards, and subsequent advanced flying training and gunnery courses, he was selected for fighters and posted to the jet conversion base at Chatham, NB. After 13 hours of instruction on T-33's, he graduated to F-86's where he flew 50 hours before being posted to 422. F/O Kiser was assigned deputy flight commander to Ernie Glover whom became his mentor. Kiser served 2 1/2 years with 422, logging over 600 hours in F-86 Sabres.

 
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LAC Chris Templeton

Chris was among the first members of 422 (F) Squadron when it reformed at RCAF Station Uplands in January 1953 and was one of twenty four ground crew from 422 assigned the task of leap-frogging across the Atlantic with the Wing during Operation Leapfrog IV. Chris arrived in Baden Soellingen on 4 September 1953 and remained on the squadron till July 1956 when he was transferred to RCAF Station Namao, Edmonton, Alberta.

 
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Canso Comments by 'Tomahawk422'  
(Chris Templeton)

Blog, "Save The Canso"
May 2011

I was transferred, to Sea Island, now Vancouver International, in 1957. I think we had 7 Cansos, 3 DC3's, 2 Otters and 2 Piasecki H21 helicopters. The boat school where all RCAF Canso pilots were trained was part of 121 Search and Rescue squadron where I was an aircraft electrician and got to work on all the aircraft; and I loved flying. I went up whenever I had a chance and was part of the crew on a med-evac trip to Prince Rupert on June 30, 1959 in Canso 11041. We had the misfortune to crash on landing in Seal Cove when the right nose door broke the front hinge and the door swung back and right through the fuselage. The aircraft front end was destroyed and the nurse on board was killed. The rest of us were picked up by a tug and some of the crew were injured, but luckily survived. The Canso's were replaced by the SA-16 Albatross in 1960 and I had the good fortune to be picked for the last official trip for the Canso in RCAF service when we ferried 11089 from Sea Island via Claresholm, Rivers, Lakehead and Toronto Downsview. It took us over 17 hours going east and we flew back in a new CP Air DC-8 in only 4 hours plus a bit.

 
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LAC Alban Amiro

I was an aero engine tech in 422 from 1953 to 1955.

 
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LAC Gerry Lemay

Gerry was posted to 4 (F) Wing, Baden-Soellingen, Germany and arrived aboard a North Star on August 20th, 1953. He served with 422 until September 1957 when he was transferred to RCAF Station Uplands, Ottawa, Ontario.

 

Gerry Lemay at the German-Canadian Air Force museum.
Photo credit:   S. Fagnan
November 2011.

Link to Baden Remembered - Archive of Stories   2012

Link to Gerry's Story - Facebook   2015
 
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1954 Operation Magnaflux
2 March 1954

On 2 March 1954, a formation of Canadian jets was caught in a snow storm over Maubeuge, France, desperately low on fuel. The Canadians were involved in a NATO exercise to test the RAF Air Defence system in Southern England. Although weather conditions were marginal, 44 Sabres took off from a French Air Force base at Cambrai, France. The RAF Air Defence System reacted with considerable vigor and many dog fights took place between the RAF and RCAF aircraft until only enough fuel remained for a return to Cambrai. Because the weather had deteriorated somewhat since take off, the French homer (DF) was hard pressed to handle the requests for homings by the RCAF flights, all of which were returning to base at approximately the same time. More details about this incident have been chronicled by two articles in the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum Newsletter dated March / April 2004.

Articles:

'Flame Out' (March / April 2004, page 2);

'Operation Magnaflux' (March / April 2004, page 4).

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Minimum Fuel Remaining
Operation Magnaflux
2 March 1954

 
F/O G. Brennand
422

With language problems at Cambrai and a low fuel situation with the aircraft, a disaster was fast approaching. F/O G. Brennand of 422 Squadron flamed out from fuel exhaustion over Belgium flying in Sabre 19679. F/O Brennand climbed for altitude, safely ejected into cloud at about 5,000 feet and later enjoyed the hospitality of of a local Belgian Police Force before returning to Cambrai by road transport. He was with 422 until August 1956 when he returned to Canada for instructional duties.

Category "A" Crash
Non Fatal

Ejction-History

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F/O Fred K. Axtell
422

Approximately one minute after F/O Brennand flamed out, F/O Fred Axtell of 422 Squadron also experienced fuel exhaustion over Belgium flying in Sabre 19637 (XB763). He too elected to bail out and survived the ejection as the pilotless Sabre disappeared into the snow flurries at 2,000 feet. Sabre 19637 (XB763) was destined for the RAF, but being flown by 422 Squadron at 4 (F) Wing at the time of the incident. The Sabre continued towards what proved to be a perfect belly landing, skidding across a snow covered field on its drop tanks. It had made a flat straight in approach, without pilot or canopy, near the village of Aniche, France.

Category "A" Crash
Non Fatal

Aircraft 19637 (XB763) had crashed with very little damage, but was classified as a Category "A" Crash and recovered by the 2 Wing Salvage Section on March 17, 1954 for write off in England.  A  'Category "A" Crash'  is assigned when an aircraft is destroyed, declared missing or damaged beyond economical repair.

More  XB763  Photos

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F/L E. Glover,   F/L G. Guerin,   F/O J. Adams
422/422/444

The three pilots remaining in the section, Ernie Glover, Gil Guerin and Jake Adams, managed to land safely at Cambrai. Glover and Guerin each had less than eighty pounds of fuel remaining, while Adams, who had joined the section as an outlier without a radio, experienced fuel exhaustion in the circuit, flamed out and landed 'dead stick'.

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F/O M.L. MacEachern
29 November 1954

F/O M.L. MacEachern of 422 Squadron ejected from 23003 when his engine failed on approach to Baden. The minimum safe height for ejection from the early Sabre seats was 3000 feet.

Ejected too low.
Category "A" Crash
Fatal

Memorial:   F/O Mervin Leverne McEachern

Post War Casualties   RCAF Association Archives

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January 1955

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Canadair Sabre Mark V

23043 wore these 422 Squadron colours in 1955.

The Mark V featured the more powerful Orenda 10 engine and was produced from 1953 to 1958. A total of 370 Mark V's were produced and used by the RCAF, with 75 being transferred to the German Luftwaffe in 1957. The famed Golden Hawks aerobatic team began in 1959 and used the Sabre Mark V for their maneuverability and prowess in the air.

 

 
F/O Ray Carruthers Ejects off Valencia
en route from Rabat

Live air-to-air gunnery practice for the RCAF in Europe regularly took place on a French Air Force weapons range over the Atlantic between 1954 and 1957. The range was located off the coast of Rabat, French Morocco. There were 12 F-86 squadrons in the Air Division at the height of the Cold War and all of these squadrons spent time in Rabat on gunnery exercises.

On 1 February 1955, Ray Carruthers of 422 was flying 23193 heading for Istris from Rabat en route to Baden Soellingen and cruising at 39,000 feet when his engine packed up. There was an explosion, then another on the way down at 12,000. At 6,000 feet it was time to get out. He was adrift in the Mediterranean for 11 1/4 hours before being picked up by the French steamer 'Sahara'.   The sea had just about claimed him by that time.

Log Book Entry:   "Engine failure near Valencia. Fire and bail out at 11:30 AM at 6000 feet. Thirteen hours in the water. Picked up by the French cargo ship 'Sahara', 0045, 02 Feb"
 

Sources:  CANAV Books, The Canadair Sabre

Canada's Air Forces On Exchange.

Information from 427.com

Rabat

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July 1955

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W/C   C. C. Lee, CD

Wing Commander C. C. "Cal" Lee became the O/C of 422 (F) Squadron on 14 July 1955 and held this position until 5 January 1956. In the early 1960's, he was the Commanding Officer of RCAF Station Portage la Prairie, the home of No. 2 Advanced Flying School for RCAF and NATO pilot training.

 
Operation Prairie Pacific

Map Source

Operation Prairie Pacific took place between 12 August 1954 and 11 September 1954 under the command of Wing Commander C. C. Lee. A cavalcade of fifteen aircraft, supported by one hundred airmen, consisted of five F-86 Sabres, five T-33 Silver Stars and five CF-100 Canucks. This was a public relations project visiting more than fifty western centres to introduce Canadians to the jet age and to gain further information on the deployment capabilities of the RCAF. The tour started in Winnipeg on 12 August with a display of formation flying, aerobatics and static displays on the ground. This was Canada's first chance to see the new Canadian built jet training aircraft and jet fighters equipping the Royal Canadian Air Force

Coast News, August 12, 1954
UBC Library

 
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Canadair Sabre MK VI

The fin-flash was replaced by the Canadian Red Ensign in mid 1955; the aircraft serial number was moved to below the ensign and camouflage was introduced to NATO assigned aircraft. 422 Squadron received the improved Mk VI Sabre in September 1955

 
The Mark VI version carried the two stage Orenda 14 engine with a 7,275 lb thrust rating. The wing leading edge slats were re-introduced while retaining portions of the Mk V wing configuration. The Mk VI therefore acquired a superb combination of engine and aerodynamics and was widely regarded as the best "dog-fighter" of its era.

 
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"We Know You're Up There"

On 1 August 1955 a massive atenna belonging to 61 AC&W Squadron started turning and the Canadian Ground Radar Interception site under the name "Yellowjack" commenced operation. It was the only long range radar unit in Europe capable of picking up targets flying at extremely high altitudes, with the best controllers hand picked from across the Canadian Pinetree Sites.

Yellowjack was a site close to the Chateau de Mercy in Metz and it's role was to provide radar control for 1 Air Division, RCAF aircraft and for other NATO aircraft as operational situations demanded and to augment the early warning capability of other NATO radars

Archives of Canada Historical Record 1956

Combat Operations Center

More Yellowjack

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1956
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422 Squadron Personnel
Circa November 1956

1 Ken McCrimmon, 2 Gil Hamel, 3 Gerry Dusseault, 4 Bill Ross, 5 Jake Mulhall, 6 Al Adams, 7 Paul Apperley, 8 Ernie Saunders, 9  S/L C. C. Magee, 10 Pete Semak, 11 Frank Konrad *, 12 Slim Lalonde, 13 Danny Gagnon, 14 Ray Carruthers, 15 Myron Filyk, 16 Dan Danford, 17 Doug Creighton, 24 Tieffenback, 25 Chip Silverda, 27 Shirl Peck, 28 Ollie Wellon, 29 Wally Gwozd, 30 Len Coleman *, 31 JT Price, 32 Johnny Taylor, 33 Bill Clare, 34 Robby Robinson *, 35 Howie Jacobs, 38 Martin, 44 Marc Paris, 45 WO2 Rooney, 46 Dave Smart, 53 Pelchat, 54 Gerry Girard, 55 Sgt Mac Donnell, 61 Robbie Robertson, 70 71 F/S Masters, 76 Bannerman, 77 Milt Brandon, 79 George Cripps, 84 Francis Ketcheson, 91 Les Snelgrove, 96 Edmonds, 100 George Bird, 101 Jack Buchner, 102  F/S Herb White, 104 Doug Fraser, 111 Paul Schwan, 114 Wally Janes.

*Post War Casualties   RCAF Association Archives

Tribute to 422 Squadron

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S/L C. C. Magee,
DFC, CD

S/L C. C. Magee was 422 Squadron O/C from 6 January 1956 to 9 December 1956. He is shown in the above photo wearing the elite Path Finder Force Badge, awarded for operational duty in the Path Finder Force during WW II.

 

 

London Gazette dated 8 December 1944

MAGEE, F/L Clyde Charles (J24264) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.582 Squadron, Award effective 1 December 1944 as per London Gazette dated 8 December 1944 and AFRO 337/45 dated 23 February 1945. Born 1915 in Toronto; home in London, Ontario; enlisted in Toronto, 10 September 1940. No citation other than "..in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations against the enemy."

Citation

Flight Lieutenant Magee has completed a first tour and volunteered to continue with an extended tour as captain of a Blind Marking crew. He has shown outstanding ability as a captain, and his keenness and energy in operating and improving his crew's capabilities are unsurpassed. He has shown himself to be an able and determined leader, undaunted by the heaviest opposition.

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Blind Markers

No. 582 Squadron RAF formed as a Pathfinder Squadron with Avro Lancasters in No. 8 (Pathfinder) Group on 1 April 1944. The Pathfinders flew ahead of and guided the main bomber streams to their targets, further assisting the strike force by perfecting techniques for precision bombing. It was the duty of the Blind Marking Crews to locate the target without ground visibility using special H2S radar and to set Ground or Sky Markers, or both, according to weather conditions, at zero hour minus 2 to 5 minutes.

 

 
London Gazette dated 23 March 1945

MAGEE, F/L Clyde Charles, DFC (J24264) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.582 Squadron - Award effective 15 March 1945 as per London Gazette dated 23 March 1945 and AFRO 721/45 dated 27 April 1945.

Citation

Since being recommended for his Distinguished Flying Cross Flight Lieutenant Magee has participated in 20 more very successful sorties as a Blind Marker, most of them being against the heavily defended targets in the Ruhr and Rhineland. He has set a fine example of captaincy and his keenness has been a source of inspiration throughout the squadron. He is strongly recommended for a non-immediate award of a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

Pathfinder Collection

 

1956
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The Air Division decided to support an air demonstration team in 1954. The concept was each wing would provide a team on a rotational basis. In 1956 No. 4 Wing provided the members of "The Sky Lancers".

 


DND Photo Credit:   F/O Louis Le Compte,
Senior Air Division Photographer
1 March 1956

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    Pictured from the top

    • F/O J.D. (Dale) McLarty (team leader) 414 Squadron flying in 23483.  

    • F/O J.H. (Jake)Adams (right wing) 444 Squadron flying in 23445.     

    • F/O E.H. (Ed) Welters (left wing) 414 Squadron flying in 23524.       

    • F/O F.K. (Fred) Axtell (slot) 422 Squadron flying in 23439.                

    • F/O L.C. (Les) Price (team solo), 444 Squadron, flying the chase plane.


 


Photo Credit: Les Price.
(L-R) Les Price, Ed Welters, Dale McLarty, Jake Adams and Fred Axtell.

More Photographs
1956

The four aircraft crashed on 2 March 1956 near Benfeld, France.

"The weather was not good that day, low ceiling, and they were practising in cloud. When the formation came out of a loop and out of cloud they were too close to the ground and all four went in together."

Bob Swartman
e-Veritas » Blog Archive 2007

 
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F/O F.K. (Fred) Axtell
2 March 1956
422

F/O Frederick Karl Axtell, serving with 422 (F) Squadron at 4(F) Wing in Baden-Soellingen, Germany was killed on 2 March 1956 in a tragic accident while practicing with the Sky Lancers aerobatic team over the Rhine valley. At approx: 2:20 p.m. the team of four sabres crashed simultaneously into the ground after pulling out of a loop in some low clouds near the Vosges Mountains southwest of Strasbourg. The surviving member of the team, F/O Les C Price wasn't flying that day; grounded because of illness. This accident put an end to RCAF aerobatic teams for several years.

Memorial:   F/O Frederick Karl Axtell

Memorial:   F/O John Hendrickson Adams

Memorial:   F/O Joseph 'Dale' McLarty

Memorial:   F/O Edward Welters

 
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Sky Lancers Memorial Plaque

In 2010 this plaque was discovered at a flea market in Bitche Lothringen, France by Mr. Armin Karcher. Mr. Karcher subsequently donated it to the Cold Lake Air Force Museum in Cold Lake, Alberta.

 
Memorial Album

Photo Courtesy of Armin Karcher
©All Rights Reserved 2010

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F/L Frank Konrad
December 10, 1956

F/L Konrad of 422 Squadron was killed when his aircraft 23533 flew into a hill.

Category "A" Crash
Fatal

Memorial:   F/L Frank Konrad


 

1957
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W/C G. G. Wright, Air Force Cross, CD

W/C G. G. Wright was 422 Squadron O/C from 10 December 1956 to 15 July 1959.
WRIGHT, F/L George Gordon (J10614) - Air Force Cross - No.112 Wing - Award effective 1 September 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2637/44 dated 8 December 1944. Born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan; enlisted in Saskatoon, 12 July 1941. Assigned to Ferry Command, then to No.168 Squadron to assist in conversion to Liberators and to conduct VIP flights. Made 70 Atlantic and six Pacific crossings. Award presented 1 December 1948. No citation found in Canada.

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Medal of Merit, First Class (Czechoslovakia)

WRIGHT S L George Gordon AFC J10614 Medal of Merit First Class Czechoslovakia No 12 Communications Squadron Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 2 November 1946 and AFRO 1075 46 dated 15 November 1946.

The Medal of Merit First Class Czechoslovakia was awarded for merit without active engagement in action with the enemy; an award from Czechoslovakia in connection with the liberation of the country in 1945.

Source:   London Gazette

Source:   airforce.ca

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F/O John Joseph Loyola (Robbie) Robinson
June 12, 1957

Mid air collision at 30,00 feet near Stuttgart, Germany.

While on a practice Zulu intercept, 23397 had a mid air collision with 23514 flown by F/O Van Oene, 421 Squadron. F/O Van Oene bailed out successfully and suffered only a cut forehead; Robinson, age 27, was killed.

Category "A" Crash
Fatal

Memorial:   F/O John Joseph Loyola Robinson

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Air-to-Air Gunnery Practice


DND Photo

Prior to 1957 live air-to-air gunnery practice for the RCAF in Europe regularly took place on a French Air Force weapons range over the Atlantic located off the coast of Rabat, French Morocco. In April 1957 the Canadian Squadrons in Europe continued to develop their proficiency at their new Air Weapons Unit in Decimomannu, Sardinia, Italy, devoting several weeks annually to live firing exercises.

 

F/O R.W. (Bill) Jupp,
August 31, 1957

Fuel Exhaustion while towing drogue at Sardinia,
23387 crash landed about 2.5 miles from Deci.

Category "A" Crash.
Non Fatal.

Photo Credit:   John Thomas.

Jupp experienced fuel exhaustion just as the flag was being released over the airfield. Looking ahead at flat terrain with no fuel remaining, there was nothing else to do but ride it in for a bit of a rough landing.

Story:   Jim Sommen circa 1960.

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Towing A Drogue

Live firing was conducted off the west coast of Sardinia at altitudes above 20,000 feet. The target was a drogue flag thirty feet long by six feet wide; made of a fiberglass cloth interwoven with metal fibres with a bullseye painted on it and towed behind another F-86 Sabre. This flag was attached to the tow aircraft by a cable and the cable was secured in the left speed brake well of the tow ship.

A section of four aircraft would take off, fly to the air-to-air gunnery range and space themselves above and abeam of the drogue flag. Taking turns, each pilot would dive his aircraft in a curve of pursuit toward the flag, watch while his range-finding radar acquired the target, and close in to 1,200 to 800 feet, smoothly tracking the target, firing for a few seconds, slipping past the flag and returning back up to the "perch". Each of the four firing aircraft was loaded and armed with .50 calibre bullets tipped with a different coloured wax. When the flag was towed back to the airfield, retrieved and inspected, the great hope was to find holes made by your colour of bullets.

Photo via SPAADS Gallery 2016

422 Pilots inspecting a drogue flag in 1961 to count the number of holes made by their colour of bullets.

Adapted from Cold War Pilots, Part 3

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F/O L. S. (Len) Coleman,
September 2, 1957

23493 flamed out and crashed near Alghero, Sardegna, (Sardinia) Italy.
F/O Coleman was killed attempting a forced landing.

Category "A" Crash
Fatal

Memorial:   F/O Leo Shelley Coleman

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F/O P.A. (Paul) Hayes,
December 22, 1957

23431 Hydraulic failure, crashed on take off.

Paul Hayes: "I had a major hydraulic failure on takeoff and I put it into the barrier off the end of the runway....one of those NATO alert scrambles....but I walked away." (YouTube   2013)

Category "A" Crash.
Non Fatal.

 Military History Night RCMI (YouTube 2013)

More about Paul Hayes


 

 
1958
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The Guynemer Trophy

A new trophy, named after the French World War 1 fighter ace Capt Georges Guynemer, was donated by the Marcel Dassault Company in 1958, to be presented to the top team of marksmen competing for supremacy within the Allied Air Forces Central Europe. The competition consisted of both camera-gun tests and live firing.

 
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The 1958 Guynemer Trophy Competition


Top:   F/O R.S. 'Bob' Paul, F/L Ron MacGarva, F/L C.J. 'Hank' Henry.
Front:   F/L W.H. 'Bill' Norn, F/O David Barker.

The five man air gunnery team from the RCAF's Air Division in Europe flew its Canadian built Sabres to a decisive victory to win the first Guynemer Trophy for air gunnery supremacy within Allied Air Forces Central Europe. Team members were F/L Ron MacGarva (Team Captain), F/L W.H. 'Bill' Norn, F/O Dave Barker, F/O R.S. 'Bob' Paul, and F/L C.J. 'Hank' Henry.

Canuck Fliers Are Top Gunners
Milk River Review archive

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F/L 'Hank' Henry

  • F/L 'Hank' Henry, from Maple Creek, SK, represented 422 Squadron of 4 Fighter Wing on the winning Canadian team. He was a natural sharp shooter in the Sabre and, regardless of which aircraft he flew, his scores were always impressive. The rules were simple in 1958:   Each pilot flew three trips. On each trip he carried 100 rounds in two guns and was only allowed two passes on the drogue. His amazing 95 out of a possible 98 on one trip was a feat much talked about in air force circles. (the last two shells jammed in the guns)

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  • F/O R.S. Paul, from Grande Prairie, AB emerged as the top scorer of the two week long competition by taking individual honours in both air-to-air cine gun firing and live machine-gun firing. No Squadron info available; represented 2 (F) Wing, Grostinquin, France.
  • F/L Ron McGarva, (Team Captain), from Balmoral, Manitoba, represented 439 Squadron of 1 Fighter Wing.
  • F/L William Norn, from Calgary, AB, represented 439 Squadron of No. 1 Fighter Wing.
  • F/O David J. Barker, from Lakeview, ON, represented 444 Squadron of 4 Fighter Wing.
  • More about the Guynemer Trophy
    1958 1959 1960 1961

    The Best Air Fighters

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    Baden Soellingen 1958


    Photo Credit: Baden Remembered
    Notes of interest
  • S/L R. G. Murray is shown seated front row centre immediately to the left of W/C G.G. Wright, 422 Squadron O/C.   Murray ejected from the aircraft pictured in the background (23406) on 20 May 1960 after a mid-air collision at 30,000 with 23701 from 421 Squadron. Both pilots ejected safely.
  • F/L 'Hank' Henry is seated in the front row, 5th from the right.
  • F/O Bill "Kiwi" McArthur, back row, 1st on the left, represented 422 Squadron on the winning Canadian teams competing for the Guynemer Air Gunnery Trophy in 1959 and 1960.
  • F/L Jamieson, back row, 4th from the right was the 422 Squadron Maintenance Engineering Officer until 1962.
  • F/O N.J. (Norm) Shruiff, front row, 2nd from the right.
  • ******

    F/O N.J. (Norm) Shruiff

    Norm was posted to 422 Sqn, No. 4 (F) Wing, Baden Soellingen, Germany in October 1958. He was killed in an auto accident near Baden, on April 12, 1959. Norm is pictured in the photo below, smiling after returning from a long flight (note long range tanks installed and mid morning shadows).

    Memorial:   F/O N J Shruiff

    ******


    Photo via http://www.firethorne.com
    RCAF 4(F) Wing, Baden Soellingen, Germany.

    More about Norm Shruiff

    ******

    Fuselage Markings

    On 10 January 1958, an aide to the Chief of the Air Staff was asked about the feasibility of putting the RCAF abbreviation on smaller aircraft. The idea was to replace the two-letter unit code with the abbreviation RCAF. Approval of the new marking scheme by the Air Council took place on 30 July 1958 and replacement of the two letter Identification code on all squadron aircraft was completed by mid 1960.

    Visit:   Canadian Military Markings 101

     
    1959
    ******

    S/L R. G. Murray, Air Force Cross, CD

    S/L R. G. Murray was 422 Squadron O/C from 16 July 1959 to 31 Aug 1960.
    MURRAY, F/O Robert Gordon (J14460) - Air Force Cross - No.8 OTU - Award effective 14 November 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2684/44 dated 15 December 1944. "This officer, for the last eighteen months, has carried out all tests and modifications on Mosquito aircraft. He has carried out many hazardous flights and has continually displayed exceptional skill and loyalty in the performance of his duties."

    London Gazette 1944

    The Air Force Cross is awarded to an officer or a Warrant Officer for an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying, but not while in active operations against an enemy.

     

    Guynemer Trophy Competition

    F/O Bill "Kiwi " McArther

    422

    29 August 1959

    The R.C.A.F. was tops again in 1959. Canada's NATO Air Division for the second consecutive year won the coveted Guynemer trophy emblematic of live air-to-air gunnery supremacy within the seven nation NATO Command of Allied Air Forces Central Europe. The overall R.C.A.F. team standing was not as wide a margin as the first year, winning by 270 points. In addition to capturing the trophy the Canadians swept individual scoring honours, taking the first three places.

    Top:   F/L William Norn, F/L Ron McGarva, F/O David Barker.
    Front:   F/L Alfred McDonald, F/O Bill McArthur

    Top score of the meet was posted by F/O David Barker, a 23 year old Sabre pilot from 4 Fighter Wing Baden-Soellingen, Germany, whose hometown is Lakeview, Ont. Taking second and third individual scoring places were F/L William Norn, 25, of No. 1 Fighter Wing, Marville, France from Calgary and F/L Alfred McDonald, 31, of No. 3 Fighter Wing, Zweibrucken, Germany, from Barrie, Ont.

    F/L Ron McGarva, 37, of 1 Fighter Wing, Marville, France, from Balmoral, Manitoba, the team captain, received the trophy presented by General Leon Johnson, USAF, Deputy for Air at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. The two week firing competition and trophy presentations were held at the French Air Force base of Cazaux, near Bordeaux, France.

    F/O Bill "Kiwi" McArthur represented 422 Squadron in 1959.

    More about the Guynemer Trophy
    1958 1959 1960 1961

    The Best Air Fighters

    Archives Canada,
    29 August 1959

    ******


     
    422 Nominal Roll Photo Collage


    Photo Credit: Ray Morrison

     
    Photo collage Compiled by CPL Joe Prior.

    S/L Murray assumed command of the squadron in 1959 and F/O Simpson became the Squadron Adjutant. "The Adj" probably had a deciding vote along with Joe Prior and S/L Murray about whose photos went on this poster. There is speculation that only photo ID without hats became available, starting in 1959. This may have influenced the composition and halted additional modifications. Since there were lots of new faces from that period onward, only a fortunate few were preserved here for posterity.

    More Information at Baden Remembered

     

     
    CPL Tom Obrien.

    "Shorty"

    I appreciated you bringing the collage to my attention. They have the wrong name under my photo. I am the 5th in on the 3rd full row with Ted Scherling's name under it. My name is under Ted's Picture. (bottom full row, 6"th" from the right).

     

    F/L Ron Russell

    Ron was the son of a member of the RAF and he was born in Alexandria, Egypt on June 2, 1930 while his father was on a foreign posting. At the age of 18 he enlisted with the RAF and served from 1948 to 1950. In 1951 the young pilot became a member of the RCAF and his first tour was as an Instructor on Harvards fom 1953 to 1956.

    In 1957 he transitioned to F-86s and was posted to 422 Fighter Squadron at 4 Wing based at Baden Sollingen. His next posting took him to Air Division HQ in Metz, France where he remained until 1961. From Metz he went to Cold Lake, Alberta and by 1965 had become the Chief Flying Instructor. In 1965 Ron headed back to Germany as Deputy Squadron Commander of 427 Squadron on CF-104s. He continued on 104s flying in Zweibrucken and Decimmannu, Sardina. Ron was Chief Operations Officer of the Tri_National(Canada, Germany,Italy) Air Weapons Unit for which he was honoured by being made an honourary pilot in the Italian Air Force.

    Read more at:
    Colonel Ron Russell, November 2009.

     

     

    Sabre 23419 shown in 422 squadron colours.

     

    Photo Courtesy of S. Fagnan 2014

    Schwartzwald Flieger 1958

    © Al Wilson 1958

     

    Flight Sergeant Herb White

    In 1958 4 Wing cartoonist Al Wilson depicted Flight Sergeant Herb White, 422's NCO I/C, clenching his fist and facing a difficult situation. With L14 log book in hand, White is gritting his teeth and shaking his head - "NO WAY" - at "Bruce the Moose", mascot of 419 All-Weather Fighter Squadron. Bruce is in the cockpit of MK VI Sabre 23419, vigorously checking out the flight controls and apparently saddened by Herb's refusal to let him continue.

    Link to 422 Cartoon
    Al Wilson
    1958

     

    LAC Ray Morrison

    I was with 422 from 1958 to 1961 as a Telecom (Com Air) Tech. Boss was Sgt. Vern Nelson and Cpls Gord Foster and Bill Polley. I have pix of the squadron in Sardinia and Bertrix. Name and rank at the time was LAC Ray Morrison. Retired and living the good life in Comox.

    ******

    In 1961 Ray rescued the 422 Squadron photo collage compiled by Cpl Joe Prior and today has it hanging in his home office.

     

    LAC Jack Milner

    I was with 422 Squadron from October 1958 until April 1962 as an E Tech (A). That's six months longer than I expected, thanks to the Berlin Wall going up in August 1961. What started all of this for me was browsing the internet early January 2011 and finding the 422 Squadron nominal roll poster with my picture on it. When I arrived at the squadron, a lot of the original photos had been removed, with lots of empty spaces as people were rotated back to Canada and their photos removed. My picture didn't appear until about mid 1959 when S/L Murray was the OC. I didn't pay much attention to it because it was somewhat out of date and there were a lot of people there in 1959 and later that didn't appear.

    I spent most of my time with the squadron working out of "B" Flight tent where they nicknamed me "Jack the Rat". Sgt. Art Stratton had come into the tent one day looking for Cpl Jim Sommen and asked if anyone had seen him about. I said facetiously " he just went around the corner with a rat in his mouth." Art did a double take and then he growled at me "You're the Rat, Jack!" For some reason, probably rain, almost everyone from "B" Flight was in the tent at the time and I immediately became known as "Jack the Rat". It wasn't derogatory at the time and I laughed a lot about it.

    When the time came for my 422 beer mug, Tom Turner questioned whether that was the name I wanted inscribed on my mug. Yes, Tom. That's what the guys called me and that's the name they will remember me by. I don't regret it.

    From 4 Wing I went to C.E.P.E. Detachment, RCAF Ancienne Lorette, near Quebec City, until it closed in 1964; Cold Lake for 10 Years with   A.E.T.E.   and lastly, CFB Edmonton. I retired from the military in 1977 (effective March 1978), subsequently graduating from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in May 1979 with a diploma in Instrumentation Engineering Technology. This opened the door to a career in that field with Dow Chemical Canada until June 1998. I am now retired and living in St. Albert, Alberta.

    ******

    Same name;   Same rank;   Same trade.

    In the late 1960's and early 70’s there were two Jack Milners at CFB Cold Lake who had previously been posted to 4 (F) Wing, Germany, but not together. An enterprising individual identified them by their contrasting hair colour and nicknamed William John Milner as   "White Jack"   and John Joseph Milner as   "Black Jack".   Both became known by these nicknames while at Cold Lake, but only WJ was from the Sabre era with 422.

    "The Quest"
    1996

     

    LAC John Holley

    Hi Jack .....This is John Holley from 422 Squadron.....I do remember you .....I am now living on Vancouver Island in Comox..am in reasonably good health,,golfing a couple times a week with some old geezer buddies,,,,,out at the base course.....after all these years I am still with the same woman.. Other than that not a lot going on............


    LAC Russ Hennessy

    Hello Jack:     I was a Telecom tech in 422 Squadron with you, you were in B Flight with Red Schneider and many others like Gerry Yeager. Went back to Moose Jaw in 65, then got out and moved to Edmonton; now retired in Victoria BC


    LAC Bob Nesbitt

    Stationed in 4 wing 1959-1963. First 1 1/2 was in wing maintenence and 2 1/2 years 422 squadron until they disbanded.

     

    LAC Don Rideout

    I was there at the same time '59 to '63; Maintenance for two years, then 422 till they got rid of the Sabres. Went to Cold Lake for ten years, then North Bay and retired 1979. Stayed in the Bay.


    LAC Carl Fletcher

    I was in Log Control for 422 Squadron from 1960 to '63. Sgt Murray was in charge of Log Control; others there were Redden, 419 Squadron and Isnor 444 Squadron. I have been retired for many years and live in Truro, N.S. I miss the PaPa club [in Karlesruhe] and Fasching at the Kurhaus in Baden.

    About Fasching in Germany


     

    LAC Jim Craik

    Hi, my name is Jim Craik former CRS Tech. with 422 (1962 until disbandment). I was in 4 Wing from May 1962 until May 1966 and played four years with the Raiders. Always interested in any R.C.A.F. aircraft photos especially the Sabre

    ******


    Photo Credit: Ray Morrison
    1959 - 1960

    ******



    Photo Credit: Ray Morrison
    Deployment - Bertix, Belgium

    The Belgium - Canada Agreement was signed for the use of St. Hubert and Bertrix airfields on April 29, 1958. NATO faced an enemy with the capability of delivering a nuclear attack. This called for the provision of additional airfields to permit air forces to deploy squadrons.   1 Air Division assigned 422 Squadron the deployment airfield at Bertrix, Belgium. Unoccupied during 1958, the airfield runway was in usable condition and construction continued during 1959.

    Archives of Canada 1957/58

     
    July to October 1959

    Under SACEUR's plan for the deployment of squadrons, the fields at Rocroi, France and Bertrix and St. Hubert in Belgium were used during the summer and early fall months for the first time. Based on this experience, plans were formulated for regular exercise of these deployment fields. The Bertrix airfield was used by 422 (F) Squadron during emergency deployment exercises until 1963.

    Archives of Canada 1959

    ******

     


    Photo Credit: Ray Morrison
    422 Sardinia Flight Line

    Sardinia was the ideal location for the establishment of an Air Weapons Training Installation envisaged by NATO. In April 1957, an AWU (Air Weapons Unit) for air-to-air gunnery practice by the Royal Canadian Air Force was established at the Decimomannu airfield.   NATO Air Division pilots went there for live firing practices over the Mediterranean.

    More About Decimomannu Airbase

    ******

    The Lloyd Chadburn Trophy;
    November 29, 1959

    The Lloyd Chadburn Trophy symbolic of top aerial gunnery marksmanship within Canada’s European based NATO Air Division was presented to No. 4 Fighter Wing on November 29, 1959 . The presentation was made by Air Commodore Peter Gilchrist, Air Division Chief of Staff. "The Trophy" is won annually by the Wing whose squadrons register the highest marks during air-to-air gunnery exercises at the AWU.

    Source

     

    December 1959

    Exercise Polar Bear/Tall Timber was played for the first time. It was designed for the exchange of training flights between 1 Air Division and Royal Norwegian Air Force and played every two weeks on a continuing basis. The duration was four days and normal flying training or participation in Air Defence exercises was carried out during this period. A section of 4 F86 aircraft from 422 (F) Squadron initiated the exercise by visiting RNoAF Station Rygge.


     

    1960
    ******

    F/O Peter Howe,
    February 26, 1960
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen

    F/O P.G. (Pete) Howe, 25, a Sabre pilot from 422(F) Squadron, RCAF 4(F) Wing Baden-Soellingen Germany, Home: Hamilton Ontario, a member of the 4th ATAF eight-man ski team at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1960. Skiing 12 yrs. Southern Ontario Championship, member of 4th ATAF winning team in 1959.

    Ski Championships, 1960

    Globe and Mail Archive.PDF   2009

     

    Colonel (retired) Peter Graham Howe Memorial Flight

     

     

     

    F/O BATCOCK, Clive Charles (135671) - Air Force Cross

    No.422 Squadron, No.4 (F) Wing

    Canada Gazette dated 29 October 1960

    and AFRO 222/60.
    On March 2, 1960, while taking part in a practice air fighting mission in a Sabre aircraft, Flying Officer Batcock's aircraft suffered an engine failure. At that time, he was positioned about 50 miles from base at 42,000 feet with sky completely undercast beneath him. The cloud extended from an uneven base from 1,000 to 5.000 feet and was unbroken to 30,000 feet. Beneath the cloud, visibility was limited by rain and fog. Under these conditions, Flying Officer Batcock, with serious risk to his life, completed a superb forced landing at his home base. Throughout the descent, he remained calm and collected and followed all recognized procedures to cope with the emergency situation with precision and accuracy. Flying Officer Batcock could have, without condemnation, abandoned the aircraft. However, a free-falling aircraft would have been a definite menace to his home base and other populated areas in the vicinity. Flying Officer Batcock's skill, courage and sense of responsibility saved a costly aircraft and the lives of others who might have been endangered by a falling aircraft. His devotion to duty, skill and courage have served as an inspiration and splendid example to fellow aircrew. He is highly recommended as being most worthy of the Air Force Cross
    A 4 Fighter Wing Sabre aircraft experienced total engine failure approximately 50 miles from base at an altitude of 42,000 feet. The aircraft was guided down through approximately 25,000 feet of cloud to a successful forced landing by the co-ordinated efforts of the 4 Fighter Wing Approach Controller and Flight Sergeant MacMillan, the Ground Controlled Approach Controller

    On 2 March 1960, at 4 Fighter Wing, Germany, Flight Sergeant MacMillan displayed outstanding professional skill and team work in monitoring the position of a disabled aircraft and accurately relaying this position to the Approach Controller. Flight Sergeant MacMillan's actions contributed to the safe landing of this aircraft and thereby prevented what could have been a major, and possibly fatal accident.

    This airman appears to have been recommended for an unspecified award for services arising from events that led to AFC to F/O C.C. Batcock. It is believed that he and F/O Peter G. Zinkan received Chief of Air Staff commendations (no honour can be found in Canada Gazette or Air Force Routine Orders).

    Source: Canada Gazette dated 29 October 1960 and AFRO 222/60.   airforce.ca

     

     

    Flying Officer Peter G. Zinkan

    Born in Toronto; age 23; enlisted in RCAF, September 1956; trained as jet pilot. Posted in July 1958 to No.422 Squadron, No.4 Wing. Selected in May 1960 for Flying Control duties and sent to No.61 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron.
    Press Release issued in October 1960.

    On 2 March 1960, at 4 Fighter Wing, Germany, Flying Officer Zinkan displayed outstanding professional skill which contributed to the safe landing of another aircraft and thereby prevented what could have been a major and possibly fatal accident.

    A 4 Fighter Wing Sabre aircraft experienced total engine failure approximately 50 miles from base at an altitude of 42,000 feet. The weather at the time was unfavourable. Cloud extended from a ragged ceiling of 1,000 to 5,000 feet in a continuous layer to 30,000 feet. Beneath the cloud, rain and haze restricted the visibility. On being advised of the engine failure, Flying Officer Zinkan joined the disabled aircraft and flew in a chase position. Throughout the descent which followed, Flying Officer Zinkan provided sound advice to the pilot of the disabled aircraft, monitoring his heading attitude and speed, handled most of the numerous radio transmissions and continuously checked the aircraft for evidence of fire. Flying Officer Zinkan's presence provided moral support as well as assistance to his comrade in effecting a successful forced landing on Soellingen airfield.

    Source:   airforce.ca

     

    ******

     

  • April 1960

    Sardinia Airlines Departure Lounge
    (422 Dispersal)

    Weather Delay

    Photo Credit: Ray Morrison


    LAC Bob Hawes, Sgt. Art Stratton and LAC Jim Farraway waiting for a break in the weather.

    137 Transport Flight

    137 Transport Flight was transferred to 1 Air Division as a component of 30 Air Material Base at RAF Langar, England on 20 October, 1952. It was tasked with transporting personnel and supplies as well as dis-assembled aircraft, ferrying aircraft to and from overhaul and rebuild facilities in England and test flying the aircraft that had been so refitted. The unit had on its strength six Bristol 170 Mk.31M Freighters used to transport squadron ground staff to and from Sardinia.

     

    Photo Credit: Ray Morrison

    A Moment at the Beach in Cagliari, Sardinia.

     


     

    Flying Officer
    J. E. W. B. "Ed" Gagosz


    Died: March 20, 1960
    Royal Canadian Air Force
    Age: 25
     
    Automobile accident.
    Memorial:
    F/O J E W B Gagosz

    ******

    Flying Officer
    James Franklin Baxter


    Died: August 18, 1960
    Royal Canadian Air Force
    Age: 22
    Night flying, dove to ground in 23748.
    Memorial:
    F/O James Franklin Baxter

    ******

    Both are buried in the RCAF Choloy War Cemetery, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. It is the final resting place for many Royal Canadian Air Force members and their families who died while serving in Europe as part of 1 Air Division between 1953 and 1967.

     

    Funeral,
    August 24, 1960

    F/O Baxter's parents were there from Canada for the funeral and his mother broke down when the firing party fired the first volley.

    "That first volley has a bit of a story. Sgt. Fred Brasnett had rehearsed and executed the commands with the firing party many times prior to the sad day. He always maintained the same cadence with his sequence of commands and the firing party was conditioned to this. However, on that day for some reason, Fred paused before giving the executive command "Fire!" The firing party paused too, but only momentarily.   Anticipating, everyone fired the first volley in unison without the command. Immediately more attentive to the command structure, both the firing party and Fred were flawless for the second and third vollies. Outside of the firing party, I don't know if anyone attending noticed the absence of the "Fire!" command. I for one was relieved that I was not alone when the triggers were all pulled as one."

    Jack Milner


    List of Graves

     

    1960
    ******

    W/C F. J. Kaufman, CD

    W/C Frederick J. Kaufman was 422 Squadron O/C from 1 September 1960 to 28 February 1963.   In October 1968 he returned as a Colonel, assuming the duties of 4(F) Wing Commanding Officer until July 1970. From July 1970 until July 1971 he was Deputy Commander of 1 Canadian Air Goup.

    ******

     

     
    The Guynemer Trophy
    Cazaux, France
    September
    1960

    On Monday September 5, 1960, the third annual Allied Air Forces Central Europe air-to-air firing competition for the Guynemer Trophy began at the French Air Force firing range at Cazaux. It continued until September 17 with eight teams participating: First French Tactical Air Command, Belgian Air Force, RAF Germany, First Canadian Air Division (winners for the last two years), Royal Netherlands Air Force and NATO-assigned units of the Royal Danish Air Force, French Air Defence Command and RAF Fighter Command.

     
    The Trophy Winners
    No. 1 Air Div
    RCAF


    Painting:   Sharp Shooters
    Artist: Chris Stone (Air Cdre, RAF Retd)

    ©All Rights Reserved 2001

    The line up of pilots strapping in for the shoot were (from right to left):

    • Neil "Bud" Granley 444 Sqn
    • Gerard Tremblay 439 Sqn
    • Bill McArthur 422 Sqn
    • Alan McMullen 427 Sqn

    The 422 Squadron pilot in 1960 was F/O Bill McArthur. He was the second highest scoring member of the Canadian team that year for the Guynemer trophy; the Top Gun was F/O Alan McMullen from 427 Squadron; the Team Captain was F/L Dick Spencer from 430 Squadron.

    Regards,

    Chris Stone

    ******


    Photo via James Craik

    The Hunters shown in this 1960 photo taken at Cazaux airfield belong to the Belgian Air Force team, and to their right are Dassault Mystère IVs of the French Air Force team. The Hunters of the RAF team from Germany are not in the picture. Their line-up positions on the ramp were to the left of the Canadian team, and thus below and to the right of the photographer. Other Air Force teams competing for the Guynemer Trophy that year were the Danish, Dutch, German and RAF (from UK).

    ******

    The test involved flying a curving approach toward a drogue flag thirty feet long by six feet wide; made of a fiberglass cloth interwoven with metal fibres and towed by another jet aircraft. The entire pass took mere seconds.

    Aces of The Air 1960


    Top: Gerard Tremblay (439), Bud Granley (444)
    Kneeling: Bill McArthur (422), Richard Spencer (430), Allan McMullen (427).

    For the third year in succession The RCAF team won the Guynemer Trophy in the annual AIRCENT air firing competition held at the French Air Force Base, Cazaux, France. It was presented on September 17, 1960 to F/L Richard Spencer, Captain of the RCAF team, by General Maurice Challe, Commander of the NATO Allied Forces in Central Europe.

     
    More about the Guynemer Trophy
    1958 1959 1960 1961
    The Best Air Fighters

    Ottawa Citizen

    June 1960

    ******

     
    Summer 1960.

    A Hawker Hunter of RAF 4 Squadron Visits 422 Dispersal.

    View RAF 4 Squadron Colours


    Photo via Baden Remembered.
    RCAF Groundcrew Inspecting the Visitor

    Top:   Cpl Chuck Flower
    Standing l-r:   Sgt Vern Nelson, F/Sgt Jack Ramey, (1) not identified, Cpl Don Ramsay, LAC Lorne "Benny" Benson, (2) not identified, LAC Tom Turner, Cpl Wood, Cpl Joe Mosten, LAC Tom Goss,
    Kneeling l-r:   (3) not identified, Cpl Wally Praud, LAC Pete Bedard, LAC Jack Milner , LAC Ron Hiltz

    In 1960 the Hawker Hunter represented some of the highest technology available in jet fighters, something these RCAF airmen were curious about.

    The Hunter was armed with four 30 mm ADEN cannon, contained in a single pack that could be removed from the aircraft for rapid re-arming and maintenance. The RAF proved the high quality of the aircraft and its armament installation by winning the fifth annual Guynemer Trophy on June 22, 1962 with a massive blasting of the final flag. The flag was still in one piece, but thoroughly annihilated by the 30 millimetre projectiles.

    30 mm ADEN Cannon

     

    Events Dating the Photo:

    F/Sgt Jack Ramey replaced F/Sgt Herb White as 422's NCO/IC in 1960.

    Cpl Chuck Flower arrived at 422 in the spring of 1960 from Camp Borden, Ontario. Later in his air force career Chuck was Commissioned (CFR) as an Aircraft Engineering Officer.

    Sgt. Vern Nelson passed away in May 1962 and is buried in the RCAF Military Cemetery in Chaloy, France.

     

     
    1961
    ******

    S/L Bob Hallowell


    Photo Credit:  www.canadianwings.com

    Bob Hallowell, an experienced instructor and former 421 Squadron Sabre pilot from Guelph, Ontario, became the RCAF's first "official" Red Knight in 1959. Hallowell had already begun preparing for his third season in 1961, but received a short-notice posting to Germany. Hallowell flew with 422 (F) Squadron there and the ground crew always knew him as "The Red Knight" when giving him a start.

    Source:  Canadian Wings

    RCAF Then and Now 2014


     

    BGen (ret'd)Paul Hayes
    OMM, CD


    "Tomahawk 28"
    422

    Paul Hayes is a retired Canadian Air Force Brigadier General with over 1600 hours on the F-86 and more than 7,500 hours in his logbook. He wrote the book "Achtung Saberjetz - Flying the Canadair Sabre with the Luftwaffe", mentions his 1961 posting from 422 squadron and describes the last two and a half years of his NATO service attached to JG73 (Jet Fighter Wing 73) of the West German Air Force. The role of the Canadian pilots in this assignment was to bring German pilots flying the Canadair Sabre up to NATO operational status.

     

    Photo Credit:  Vintage Wings via Paul Hayes
    Paul Hayes is flying No.2

    Vintage Wings of Canada

    Edmonton Journal, 2011

    ******

     

     
    Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

    July 6, 1961


    F/O G. Brooks
    422

    The RCAF's Guynemer Trophy team was today officially declared winner of the fourth annual air gunnery competition for the fourth consecutive year

     

      A photo of five RCAF aircraft at Leeuwarden is shown on page 179 of Larry Millberry's book,   'The Canadair Sabre', but the pilots are not named. The aircraft can be identified by their tail insignia as being from: 444 Squadron, 434 Squadron, 422 Squadron and two from 430 Squadron.

    ******
    1961 Team Members

  • F/L Richard Spencer, team captain, represented 430 Squadron (23700).
  • F/O R. K. Flavelle represented 430 Squadron (23733.)
  • F/O G. Brooks represented 422 squadron (23726).
  • F/O J. M. Swallow represented 434 Squadron (23752.)
  • Pilot from 444 Squadron (23722) not identified.
  • F/O B. B. Reid from 421 Squadron has been identified as a member of this team, but an aircraft from his squadron doesn't appear in the photo above.
  • As in previous years, each team was comprised of four pilots, a spare pilot and five aircraft. The spare aircraft was prepared for every mission and the team of five aircraft taxied out with only four taking off. If one of the regulars had to abort prior to take off, the spare immediately joined to complete the shoot.

    Source of Names

    ******

    Chronology of The Winning Team

    On June 5, 1961, a selected team of air and ground crew left for the air firing range and base in Sardinia from 4 (F) Wing where they underwent rigorous training in preparation for the Guynemer Trophy air-to-sir gunnery at the end of June and early July.

    The team arrived at Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, on June 26 from Sardinia. The Canadians and their F-86 Sabre jets amassed a total of 1,352 points, 247.5 more than their nearest rivals - the Belgian Air Force team - which scored 1,104.5 points. The Netherlands came third, with 1,040.5.

    They were officially declared winner of the fourth annual air gunnery competition on July 6, 1961. The following day Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands presented the Guynemer Trophy and 36 silver medallions to the victorious RCAF air-to-air gunnery team. Along with the trophy and medallions, he also presented the Prince Bernhard Plaque to the RCAF team captain, F/L Richard Spencer, who won the plaque as the top scorer in the competition, amassing a total of 440.5 points out of a possible 800. The third highest individual scoring honour in the competition was recorded by F/O R. K. Flavelle of the RCAF.

    Photographs,
    1961

    Archives Canada,
    1961

    More about the Guynemer Trophy
    1958 1959 1960 1961

    The Best Air Fighters

    ******

     

    Squadron Leader Patrick Higgs
    16 Oct 1961

    S/L Patrick J. Higgs of 422 Squadron ejected safely from 23724 when his engine flamed out on GCA at 4 (F) Wing. The aircraft landed in a field nearby causing nil property damage.

    Category "A" Crash.
    Non Fatal

     


     

    1 Air Division Trophy Shoot Competition

    422 Sqn - Air-to-Air Gunnery

    A 1961 Record High

    25.26%


    Photo Credit:   DND
    Sardinia October/November 1961

    Last Minute Arrival of the Photographer

    An Air Weapons Unit photographer was not available when the record of 25.26% was confirmed late on Friday afternoon. He arrived belatedly Saturday morning and everyone who participated could not assemble. The ground crew wearing optional dress of the day were waiting on the flight line to board a Bristol Freighter returning to Baden. Sgt Brooks' crew, in fatigues, had started to launch the aircraft for the flight home and some were already taxiing for take off. Others who were scheduled to depart later in the day were still at the barracks awaiting bus transport.

    Click.


    Names courtesy of   "Jack The Rat"

    In the list above there are spelling errors with some of the names;   the individual ranks were penned in after typing.   The list was typed on a portable typewriter in the early '60s when I knew and remembered most of the names and ranks. Omissions and errors meant starting over again. Fifty some years later the list is historical, mistakes included.

    ******

     
    422 Squadron Call Sign 1961

    "JACKET"

    With the policy of Interceptor Day Fighter (IDF) aircraft flying in two plane sections only, more individual section call signs were needed, so the call signs overlapped among squadrons, making it imperative that sections use the squadron call sign as a prefix to all transmissions. Example:

    Prefix: JACKET
    Individual Section: JULIETTE
    Call Sign: JACKET JULIETTE

    Archives of Canada 1961

    ******

     
    No Frills Medicare

    A Doctor and a Medical Assistant (Med A) accompanied the squadron when it was deployed to Sardinia or Bertrix.   In 1960 - 61, F/L Strath was our "Doc" and Jim Milne was the Med A.

    In the absence of Dr. Strath, Jim dispensed medication with advice and humour as required. LAC Marc Ethier sought relief while in Bertrix, suffering from a bad cold. Jim handed him some aspirin and three prophylactics with the advice "Go sweat it out."

    Dr. Strath, in Sardinia, attentively strapped up a painfully sprained ankle with wide strip adhesive tape for support and sent the patient back to regular duties on the flight line.

     

    1962
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    LAC Bob Hawes

    Bob was with 422 Squadron from October 1958 until the spring of 1962 as an AE Tech. The official 1967 programs for the Centennial Red Knight team showed Bob Hawes and Greg Moore as the Crew Chiefs. In 1969 the Crew chiefs were Larry Hunt, who continued on from his 1968 duties, while Bob Hawes returned to the team after a one-year absence..

    Source:  Canadian Wings

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    F/O "CB" Lang


    Photo Credit: blog.hawkone.ca

    In 1962, "CB" Lang was chosen to be part of the famed Golden Hawks precision flying team and selected to fly in the difficult slot position. He remained with the Golden Hawks until the team was disbanded in 1964.

    Log book records for Aircraft 23314 reveal the aircraft was flown in the fall of 1962 through the 1963 workups by Golden Hawks lead solo F/L Ed McKeogh and opposing solo F/L Dave Barker for formation, solo and co-solo aerobatics as well as slot pilot F/L C.B. Lang and right winger F/L Al Young for formation and solo aerobatics.

    ******

    In 1966, a decision was made to create a new display team to celebrate Canada's 100th birthday. Lang was named team leader and the Golden Centennaires flew 98 shows in Canada, seven in the United States and two in the Bahamas. Lang retired as a Lt. Colonel (RCAF) in 1980 and passed away on April 22, 1984. Final resting place: Lister Community Cemetery Central Kootenay, British Columbia, Canada

    Creston Valley Advance, January 24, 2011.

    Hawk One History

     

    1963
    ******

    S/L Higgs accepting Command from W/C Kaufman.
     
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    S/L   Patrick   J. S. Higgs, CD

    On 1 March 1963, just prior to the end of the Sabre era, S/L P.J. Higgs became 422's Officer Commanding and subsquently promoted to Wing Commander. Higgs was the last officer with 422 (F) Squadron to hold this position, having served with them from 1961 until its deactivation in 1963.   The final operational flight was executed on April 11, 1963 and the squadron was deactivated as a Sabre squadron on April 15, 1963. Several days later, the F-86's were ferried from Baden Soellingen to Prestwick, Scotland for disposal

    Visit:   Pat Higgs (Wing Commander Ret'd)

    Remembrance

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    March 1963

    422 Pilots on strength at Shut Down


    Photo Credit: Gene Miklossy via James Craik

    ******

     

     

    Link:   Baden Remembered / History / The Sabre

     

     
    Symbolism

    On the 4(F) Wing Crest there are three erect golden lances flying banners to represent the three founding Fighter squadrons. The dark-coloured circle is symbolic of the Black Forest, with the Rhine River flowing across it.

    "If a stranger kept the point of his spear forward when he entered a strange land, it was a declaration of war; if he carried the spear on his shoulder with the point behind him, it was a token of friendship. Bestowed only on the valiant and well deserving soldier. The golden lance is the emblem of knightly service and signifies devotion to honour."

    Source: Armorial Gold Heraldry Symbolism Library

     


     


    Photo Credit   Hans-Jürgen König
    http://www.rcaf.de

    “AUF WACHT” (On Watch).

     

    End