Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes (9) Nova Scotia, CFB Greenwood Military Aviation Museum

CFB Greenwood Military Aviation Museum

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document every historical Warplane preserved in Canada.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these aircraft to provide and update the data on this website.  Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Warplanes in Canada would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at

Data current to 3 Jan 2021.

CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

 (Author Photo)

Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune (Serial No. 24113), (Serial No. 24117), USN (BuNo. 147969), VN 101, painted in RCAF dark blue.  This aircraft is on loan to the museum from the US Navy.

Canadian Forces Base Greenwood 

CFB Greenwood is one of two bases in the country using the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora and CP-140A Arcturus anti-submarine/maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft . Its primary RCAF lodger unit is 14 Wing Greenwood.  

The relatively fog-free climate of the farming hamlet of Greenwood was selected by the RCAF and RAF for an airfield as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), following the signing of that formal agreement on 17 Dec 1939.

The airfield for RAF Station Greenwood was constructed between 1940 and 1942 with the first training units arriving as part of No. 36 Operational Training Unit (OTU) on 9 Mar 1942.  Early training aircraft types included the Lockheed Hudson Mk. III, the Avro Anson, and the Westland Lysander, all from Britain's RAF.  By the end of Aug 1942 there were 36 aircraft, and 194 trainees out of a total of 1,474 RAF personnel.  By Nov 1942 the number of trainees had doubled and aircraft had expanded to 80.

In addition to the BCATP program, RAF Station Greenwood was involved in combat operations through maritime reconnaissance to counter U-boat activity in the western Atlantic.  These wartime anti-submarine patrols, combined with BCATP training, led to dozens of aircraft crashes throughout the first year of the base being operational, resulting in the deaths of Canadians, as well as 31 airmen from the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

On 4 Dec 1942, the Canadian Army provided an anti-aircraft searchlight battery, the 5th Special Mobile Anti-Aircraft Search Light Troop, to provide realistic night training to aircrews.

By the end of 1942, the BCATP was changing across Canada in light of Allied successes in Europe.  RAF Station Greenwood was selected to train aircrew on the de Havilland Mosquito, beginning 3 July 1943.  The last Hudson left the base on 3 Oct that same year.  Supporting the Mosquito BCATP training were the Airspeed Oxford and Bristol Bolingbroke. The base also became home to North American Harvards and Lockheed Venturas.

About 1942 the aerodrome was listed as RCAF Aerodrome - Greenwood, Nova Scotia.  At that time the field was listed as "all hard surfaced" and had three runways.

On 1 July 1944, RAF Station Greenwood transitioned to the RCAF, becoming RCAF Station Greenwood with No. 36 OTU (RAF) disbanding and No. 8 OTU (RCAF) forming in its place.  Under the RCAF, BCATP training continued unabated throughout the course of the Second World War, with a total of 57 airmen killed in 25 crashes between June 1942 and April 1945.  The BCATP program was disbanded on 31 March 1945.

A proposed British Commonwealth very long range (VLR) bomber group named "Tiger Force" was scaled down through the spring of 1945.  Following VE Day on 8 May 1945, the RCAF units that were to be part of Tiger Force were converted to the Avro Lancaster and returned to Canada for training and reorganization as part of a planned Allied invasion of Japan (Operation Downfall).

The RCAF disbanded No. 8 OTU on July 31, 1945, and created No. 6614 Wing at RCAF Station Greenwood the following day on 1 Aug 1945, with plans for the bomber wing to start training 24 Aug 1945 and to deploy its first Lancaster crews to the Pacific Theatre by Dec 1945.  The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the subsequent capitulation of Japan on 14 Aug 1945, resulted in No. 6614 Wing disbanding as part of Tiger Force on 5 Sep 1945.

Between the fall of 1945 and 31 March 1946, RCAF Station Greenwood maintained a nominal training complement of personnel and aircraft.  Effective 1 May 1946, the base was mothballed with numerous buildings being closed.  By the end of June the base was down to a skeleton staff of 72 personnel.  RCAF Station Greenwood would remain this way until 17 Feb 1947.  On that date the RCAF's AFHQ Organization Order 854 was executed which activated RCAF Station Greenwood on 1 April of that year.  RCAF 10 Group, Halifax announced in mid-October 1947 that No. 103 Rescue Unit would move from RCAF Station Dartmouth (now CFB Shearwater) to Greenwood by the end of the month.  No. 103 RU had been conceived in Jan 1947 at RCAF Station Dartmouth to aid aircraft in distress on Trans-Atlantic service.

By 29 Oct 1947, RCAF Station Greenwood had a complement of 100-150 airmen and officers, 2 Canadian Vickers PBV-1A Cansos, 1 Noorduyn Norseman, and 1 Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly helicopter.  In Sep 1948, No. 103 RU at RCAF Station Greenwood deployed a Lancaster and Canso to Goose Air Base (now CFB Goose Bay) to work with RCN units on a northern exercise, followed in Oct 1948 with participation in joint naval manoeuvres with the RCN and the USN.

The Cold War was in its infancy during the late 1940s when Canada signed the North Atlantic Treaty with the western war-time Allies, becoming part of NATO.  RCAF Station Greenwood was selected as Canada's site for a maritime reconnaissance training unit for anti-submarine warfare, the No. 2 Maritime (M) Operational Training Unit, and the nation's first operational maritime reconnaissance squadron, 405 Squadron.

2 (M) OTU became operational on 12 Dec 1949, the same day that 405 Squadron reactivated, using modified Avro Lancaster bombers as maritime reconnaissance aircraft.  Part of 2 (M) OTU became 404 Squadron, the base's second operational maritime reconnaissance squadron on 30 April 1951, with the 2 (M) OTU continuing to train units at RCAF Station Greenwood.

The base was experiencing a crowding problem, thus the 2 (M) OTU was moved to RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island effective 14 Nov 1953.  The Lockheed P2V Neptune replaced Greenwood's Lancasters beginning 30 March 1955 as the operational maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

On 17 Jan 1955, No. 103 Rescue Unit received a Piasecki H-21 Workhorse helicopter, nicknamed the "flying banana".

The first Canadair CP-107 arrived at RCAF Station Greenwood on 1 May 1958.  The No. 2 (Maritime) OTU at RCAF Station Summerside created the No. 2 (Maritime) OTU Detachment at Greenwood to train Argus aircrews.  No. 405 Squadron became the first operational RCAF unit to receive the Argus in July 1958.  On 15 April 1959 404 Squadron received its first Argus and on 1 May 1961, No. 415 Squadron was reactivated at RCAF Station Summerside to become the third operational unit to fly the aircraft.  The Neptunes at Greenwood were transferred to 407 Squadron at RCAF Station Comox, British Columbia, starting in May 1958, replacing the last Lancasters.

On 1 Feb 1968, the RCN, RCAF and Canadian Army were unified into the Canadian Forces, and RCAF Station Greenwood name was changed to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Greenwood.  That year many decisions were made that reduced duplication among the services, with various units being reorganized, moved, or disbanded.  To alleviate further overcrowding at CFB Greenwood, 103 RU was moved to CFB Summerside, PEI.

By the mid-1970s, 6 of Greenwood's 18 Argus aircraft were mothballed and 242 personnel cut from all ranks.  By the late 1970s, the Argus was identified as a candidate for replacement and the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora was selected.  In September 1978, the Maritime Patrol and Evaluation Unit (MPEU) was transferred from CFB Summerside.  No. 415 Squadron flew the Argus out of CFB Summerside until the spring of 1981 when the unit transferred to Greenwood and converted to the Aurora.  The first Auroras replaced the Argus at Greenwood and Comox with 14 and 4 respectively.  Greenwood received its first Aurora on 27 May 1980, and the last one arrived on 10 July 1981.

The 1989 federal budget cuts to DND identified CFB Summerside as a candidate for base closure.  In 1991 the base was closed and the majority of military personnel were transferred to CFB Greenwood, with Summerside's only operational unit, No. 413 Squadron (successor to No. 103 RU) moving its Boeing CH-113 Labrador helicopters and de Havilland CC-115 Buffalo aircraft on 10 June 1991; the Buffalo were replaced by the Lockheed CC-130 Hercules shortly after 413 transferred.

Further defence cuts and reorganization in 1995 moved No. 434 Squadron from CFB Shearwater to CFB Greenwood, bringing its Canadair CT-133 Silver Star and Canadair CE-144 Challenger combat support aircraft to the base.  This squadron was disbanded on 28 April 2002.  Later in 2002, No. 413 Squadron's Boeing CH-113 Labrador helicopters were replaced by the new Augusta CH-149 Cormorant helicopter.

Today CFB Greenwood remains Canada's largest operational air force base on the Atlantic coast, based on numbers of aircraft and personnel.  Along with CFB Gander and CFB Goose Bay, CFB Greenwood is being used as a forward deployment base for McDonnell CF-188 Hornet fighter/interceptor aircraft rotating in from CFB Bagotville as part of NORAD's concerns about civilian airline security along North America's east coast.  (Wikipedia)

CFB Greenwood, Greenwood Military Aviation Museum (GMAM)

Greenwood Aviation Museum Logo.  The museum was begun in 1992 after being initiated by base commander Colonel Kenneth Allen (1941-2017).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583111)

Avro Anson Mk. IV, RCAF (Serial No. R9692), 3 Jan 1944. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327287)

Avro 652 Anson Mk. II, PO E.E. Creed, RCAF, 23 Aug 1940. 

 (GMAM Photo)

Avro Anson Mk. II (Serial No. 7135), built at Amherst, NS, in 1941.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

RCAF Mule towing Avro Lancaster Mk. XN (Serial No. KB986), an Instructional Trainer A561, out of the hanger at 2 Maritime  Operational Training Unit (OTU), RCAF Station Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

 (Author Photos)

Avro Lancaster Mk. B.X (Serial No. KB839), painted as (Serial No. JB266).  Built in Malton, Ontario in 1944, this aircraft flew 26 bombing sorties from the UK with RCAF No. 419 "Moose" Squadron.  It was nicknamed "Daisy" after a dog in a popular comic strip.  KB839 sustained damage on two occasions but survived the war and later flew with No. 409 "Goose" Squadron in Canada.  It was modified with a longer (31-inch) nose to facilitate the installation of cameras for arctic mapping and reconnaissance duties, and the nose, dorsal and tail turrets were removed.  KB839 was last flown on 11 Mar 1964, and retired in Greenwood.  In the summer of 1987, its four engines and propellers were donated to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for use on FM213, coded VR-A, currently one of  only two flying Lancasters in the world.  The restoration crew have returned this aircraft to its wartime configuration by removing the 31-inches from the nose and extensively refurbishing the bomber.  An accurate reproduction of a Frazer-Nash nose turret and a dorsal turret have been added, and a tail turret is to follow soon.

This Lancaster has been painted as a 405 Squadron “Pathfinder” bird, coded LQ-G, named “Gutless Gert”, a 60-mission aircraft lost during an nighttime bombing raid on the night of 17/18th November 1943, against Ludwigshaven, a city on the Rhine in the industrial heartland of Germany.

 (RCAF Photo)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor (Serial No. 1634), coded AO-N, 1 Wing, 1952.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor (Serial No. AF662)

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Vertol Canada  CH-127 Workhorse (Serial No. 9591) and (Serial No. 9592), Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

Vertol Canada (Piasecki H-44) CH-127 Workhorse, USAF (Serial No. 60-5446), RCAF (Serial No. 9592).  9591 and 9592 were operated at Greenwood in the 1960s with No. 103 Search and Rescue Squadron.  Restoration is expected to be complete in 2019.

 (Author Photo)

Boeing Vertol CH-113A Labrador Helicopter (Serial No. 11308).   This Voyageur/Labrador with the Greenwood museum was built for Canada.  It did not serve as a Sea Knight for the US Marines.  It is a Boeing Vertol CH-46 variant, Model 107-II-28, manufacture number 4002 and was originally designated as a Voyageur (Serial No. 10408).   Later, when the Voyageurs were converted to Search & Rescue, it  became a CH-113A Labrador (Serial No. 11308).  (Allan Baillie)

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199833)

Bristol Bolingbroke Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 702), 20 Nov 1939. 

Bristol (Fairchild) Bolingbroke Mk. IVT, RCAF (Serial No. 9997), No. 404 Squadron, RCAF.  This aircraft is being restored to represent a British-built Blenheim, coded EE-H, flown by No. 404 Squadron out of Scotland with Coastal Command in the early years of the Second World War.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4118638)

Canadair CT-33 Silver Star, 18 June 1973.

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CT-133 Silver Star painted as (Serial No. 21393), painted low visibility grey.

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CT-133 Silver Star (Serial No. 13345), painted as (Serial No. 133434) low visibility grey, mounted on a pylon.

 (Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation Photo)

 (RCAF Photo)

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus (Serial No. 10721).  ca 1970s.

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CP-107 Argus Mk. 1 (Serial No. 10717), entered service at RCAF Station Greenwood in 1958 and was struck off strength in 1980 as a permanent monument at the air park.

 (Author Photos)

Canadair (Bombardier) Challenger CC-144 (Serial No. 144616).  No. 434 Combat Support Squadron at CFB Greenwood used Challengers in an electronic warfare role from 1995 to 2000, predominately working with the Royal Canadian Navy.  This Challenger came from No. 412 Transport Squadron in Ottawa before it was retired in 2014.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3388267)

Consolidated PBY Canso A (Serial No. 11040), AK-D, RCAF, No. 408 (Goose) Squadron, 2 Apr 1951.  

Consolidated PBY-5A Canso.  Steps are being taken to acquire a Canso.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584477)

Douglas Dakota and Consolidated PBY Canso, RCAF, 7 Feb 1951.

 (Author Photo)

Douglas CC-129 Dakota (Serial No.44-76590).  Built in 1944 as a Douglas C-47B Skytrain for the USAAF, it was transferred to the RAF in 1945 and assigned to RCAF No. 436 Sqn (Serial No. KN451) in Feb 1946.  It went to the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa in 1964, and to CFB Greenwood in 2006.  It is painted  as an aircraft flown by 103 Rescue Unit from 1946 to 1968.

 (RCAF Photos)

Lockheed CP-122 (P2V-7) Neptune. 

 (Author Photos)

Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune (Serial No. 24113), (Serial No. 24117), USN (BuNo. 147969), VN 101, painted in RCAF dark blue.  This aircraft is on loan from the US Navy.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3589737)

Lockheed 414 Hudson, 30 June 1943.

Lockheed 414 Hudson or Lockheed V-146 Vega/Ventura (TBC).

 (RCAF Photo)

Lockheed CC-130E Hercules, (Serial No. 130319) in flight. 

 (Author Photo)

Lockheed CC-130E Hercules (Serial No. 130328), 436 Squadron.

 (Ken Mist Photo)

Lockheed CP-140A Arcturus. 

 (Author Photo)

Lockheed CP-140A Arcturus (Serial No. 140119).  The CP-140A Arcturus was flown primarily at Greenwood for Arctic and coastal surface patrol missions and pilot training.  140119 was one of three CP-140As ordered in 1991 after the initial purchse of the CP-140 Aurora.  Retired in 2014, 140119 was added to the GMAM in 2016 

 (Author Photos)

The CU-161 SAGEM Sperwer (Sparrowhawk) (Serial No. 161028).  The Sperwer is a French unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  It is remotely piloted and can cruise at altitudes of over 4,876 metres (16,000 feet) for as long as five hours.  It can send back images of targets up to 150 kilometers from its operators on the ground.  The Canadian Forces operated the Sperwer in Afghanistan between 2003 and its last mission on 18 April 2009 when it was replaced with the Israeli-built IAI Heron.

Supermarine Spitfire replica.

This aviation handbook is designed to be used as a quick reference to the classic military heritage aircraft that have been flown by members of the Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and the Canadian Forces. The interested reader will find useful information and a few technical details on most of the military aircraft that have been in service with active Canadian squadrons both at home and overseas. 100 selected photographs have been included to illustrate a few of the major examples in addition to the serial numbers assigned to Canadian service aircraft. For those who like to actually see the aircraft concerned, aviation museum locations, addresses and contact phone numbers have been included, along with a list of aircraft held in each museum's current inventory or on display as gate guardians throughout Canada and overseas. The aircraft presented in this edition are listed alphabetically by manufacturer, number and type. Although many of Canada's heritage warplanes have completely disappeared, a few have been carefully collected, restored and preserved, and some have even been restored to flying condition. This guide-book should help you to find and view Canada's Warplane survivors.

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