Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 6, Jets, Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Golden Hawks

Canadian Warplanes, Jets,

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Golden Hawks

Data current to 5 Aug 2019.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Golden Hawks formation shot.

The Golden Hawks were an RCAF aerobatic flying team established in 1959 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the RCAF and the "Golden" 50th anniversary of Canadian flight, which began with the AEA Silver Dart in 1909. 

The Golden Hawks were initially planned to be a six-plane team performing for just one year, flying the Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5.  The Golden Hawks originally had eight pilots led by Squadron Leader Fern Villeneuve, but the Golden Hawks were so popular after their 1959 show season that the team was re-established for 1960.  The team, under the command of W/C Jack Allan, and the lead of S/L Villeneuve, included pilots: F/L James McCombe, F/L Edward Rozdeba, F/L Jeb Kerr, F/L Ralph Annis, F/L Sam Eisler, F/O Jim Holt and F/O William (Bill) Stewart.

In 1961, F/L McCombe became the leader of the team, as Villeneuve left the team when he married.  Two deaths altered the makeup of the team: F/O John T. Price joined the Hawks in 1959 after F/O Eisler died, and served as second solo.  When F/L Kerr died in a crash in Calgary, Alberta, F/O John T. Price moved to lead solo.

F/O Stewart's routine as lead solo was often the one most remembered since his low-level aerobatics looked to the crowd to be particularly dangerous.  The Golden Hawks continued performing for three more seasons until they were disbanded, ostensibly for financial reasons, on 7 Feb 1964, having flown a total of 317 shows across North America.

Not only did the team perform standard loops and rolls in very tight formation, they also introduced their own trademark maneuvers.  The Golden Hawks pioneered a two-aircraft head-on coordinated solo program which virtually every military team since has adopted in various ways.  They also invented the Card 5 Maneuver, where five aircraft fly in a card formation, two up front, one in the middle, two in the back.  They also created the Coordinated Two Aircraft 360, where two aircraft fly in opposite directions at low level at about 350 miles an hour, at about seven gravities, in a horizontal circle and pass each other on both sides of the circle.

 (Peter Handley Photo via Vintage Wings)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23314).  The legacy of the Golden Hawks lives on with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the Hawk One demonstration team established at Vintage Wings of Canada in 2009 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada.  (Wikipedia)

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabres, Golden Hawk formation over Niagara Falls.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabres, Golden Hawk formation, 1959.

 (DND Archives Photo, PCN-7043)

Canadair CL-13 Sabres, Golden Hawks over Toronto.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5s, four plane GH formation.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5s, four plane GH formation.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5s, four plane GH formation.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23066), Golden Hawks.

 (DND Photo, PCN 183)

Canadair CL-13 Sabres, Golden Hawk formation, 12 May 1959.  

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Golden Hawk formation diving away.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 23066), Golden Hawk.

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM281-S8-: CVA 180-5465)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 23066), Golden Hawk, Vancouver, 1969.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Golden Hawks formation shot.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Golden Hawks formation shot.

(RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Golden Hawks formation shot over the Rockies.

Golden Hawks Sabres on display

 (jiggs11 Photo)

 Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23053), Golden Hawks, mounted on a pylon in the Centennial Park, Zwick’s Island, Belleville, Ontario.

 (RCAF Photo)

 Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23164), Golden Hawks, mounted on a pylon at Germain Park,  Sarnia, Ontario.

 (Aldo Bidini Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23314), C-GSBR, Hawk 1, airworthy, with Vintage Wings of Canada, Hull Québec, Michael Potter, currently for up sale.

 (CF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23353), GH, coloured smoke shot.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23355), Golden Hawks, in service at CFB Chatham, New Brunswick.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23355), Golden Hawks, dedicated in 1986 as a gate guardian at the former CFB Chatham, New Brunswick.  This aircraft is now with the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23355), Golden Hawks, restored and currently preserved indoors at the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23641), Golden Hawks, mounted on a pylon in the town of Trenton, Ontario.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23649), Golden Hawks, mounted on a pylon in a park in the City of Brockville, Ontario.

 (Author Photos)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23651), Golden Hawks, on loan from the National Museum of Science and Technology since 25 July 1998, to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ontario.  This aircraft is on display indoors with plexiglas panels on the port side.

 (Alain Rioux Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23651), Golden Hawk.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23651), Golden Hawk, Canada 46-cent stamp.  (Library and Archives Canada Stamp, MIKAN No. 2266818)

 (Stahlkocher Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23042) that flew with the Golden Hawks is on display at the Technik Museum Speyer, in Speyer (Rhineland-Platinate), Germany.