Our first Air Force

Formed, disbanded and resurrected, 401 Squadron has been at the heart of Canada’s air defences for a century. Much of the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 401 Squadron can be seen in a quick glance around Klersy’s, the unit’s lounge in its hangar at 4 Wing Cold Lake in Alberta. There are...
  • Not Forgotten: Air Force, Part 42

    December 12, 2010 by Hugh A. Halliday
    As the Second World War reached its conclusion, many problems confronted the victors, from disarming defeated enemies to repatriating millions of men and women to their homelands. However, many thousands would not be going home. They included the Allied aircrews lost on operations—and in most...
  • The Search For The Magnetic Pole: Air Force, Part 41

    October 24, 2010 by Hugh A. Halliday
    On July 19, 1947, a Canso aircraft took off from Royal Canadian Air Force Station Rockcliffe on a quest to define the unsteady location of the North Magnetic Pole. The Arctic mission, which would encounter everything from gales to menacing ice to unchartered terrain, was...
  • Arctic Investigations: Air Force, Part 40

    August 25, 2010 by Hugh A. Halliday
    “It is considered that North West Air Command should examine the Northwest Territories in the interests of the safe and efficient conducting of air, land and sea rescue operations in the future. Such action is considered to be in line with the recent Cabinet Decision...
  • Burma Campaign Veterans To Be Honoured

    July 1, 2010 by Legion Magazine
    It has been 65 years since the end of the Second World War, and this year’s commemorations in Ottawa for VJ-Day (Victory over Japan Day) will include special focus on Canadian veterans of the Burma...
  • Lancasters Hit Civvy Street: Air Force, Part 39

    June 19, 2010 by Hugh A. Halliday
    Many Second World War aircraft became object lessons in beating swords into ploughshares. Once the Cold War developed, many such ploughshares were hastily reconverted to swords. Such was the case of the Avro Lancaster in Royal Canadian Air Force postwar...
  • The Problems With Vampires: Air Force, Part 38

    April 24, 2010 by Hugh A. Halliday
    In April 1945 there was a new kid on the block. The De Havilland Vampire jet, which had been test-flown as a prototype on Sept. 20, 1943, was in mass production, and soon the Royal Canadian Air Force would acquire one for winter trials at...