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

Canadair CL-13 Sabre

Data current to 21 January 2020.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23360).

The Canadair Sabre jet fighter was built by Canadair under licence from North American Aviation.  It was a variant of the North American F-86 Sabre and was produced until 1958.  It was primarily used by the RCAF it was until replaced with the Canadair CF-104 Starfighter in 1962.  Several other air forces also operated Canadian-built Sabres.  (Wikipedia)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 1 (1), (Serial No.19101), Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (350), (Serial Nos. 19102-19199, 19201-19452), Mk. 3 (1), (Serial No. 19200), Mk. 4 (71), (Serial Nos. 19453-19463, 19491, 19575, 19579, 19582, 19584, 19585, 19590, 19597-19599, 19601, 19606, 19615-19617, 19619, 19624, 19627-19629, 19631, 19632, 19635-19637, 19639, 19642, 19643, 19647, 19649, 19650, 19652, 19653, 19655, 19657, 19659-19661, 19663-19665, 19667-19671, 19673-19675, 19677, 19679, 19680, 19682, 19684-19686, 19689, 19691, 19695, 19702), Mk. 5 (370), (Serial Nos. 23001-23370), CL-13B Mk. 6 (390), (Serial Nos. 23371-23760), plus one North American F-86A (Serial No. 49-1069), for a total of 1,184 of all Canadian Marks of the Sabre.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19144) formation.

 (J.J. Halley MBE Archives via Benoit Bouchard)

Canadair CL-13 Sabres with RAF Hawker Hunter and USAF Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star.  The Hawker Hunter F. Mk. I (Serial No. WW636) served with RAF No. 54 (F) Squadron.  The squadron used this Mark between February and September, 1955.

 (RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23757).

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 1 (Serial No. 19101), CK-R, ca 1951.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584475)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 1, RCAF (Serial No.19101), 30 Jan 1951.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 1 (Serial No. 19101), CK-R, ca 1951.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3388181)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 1 (Serial No. 19101), 20 Mar 1951.

  (RCAF Photo)

(RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19102), coded VC-AMN. This was the first production Sabre from by Canadair.  It was first used by No. 410 "Cougar" (F) Squadron at RCAF Station St. Hubert, Quebec.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584682)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19187), 20 June 1952.

 (DND Photos via James Craik)

In October 1951, HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21) loaded a cargo of 35 RCAF Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 aircraft at Norfolk Virginia, destined for Europe.   24 aircraft were concooned and transported above deck and 11 aircraft, uncocooned, were carried below deck.

(DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 3 (Serial No. 19200).

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 3 (Serial No. 19200).

 (Canadair Photo via Bill Cumming)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23321), c/n 1111.  This Sabre went to the West German Air Force in 1958.

 (DND Photo via  James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23042). 

 (DND Photo via  James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5, (Serial No. 23352), 439 Sqn. with Ex. Carte Blanch markings applied.

 (DND Photo via  James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23331).

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23019), factory fresh.

 (DND Photo via Mike Raymond Semrau)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23019), likely at the manufacturer's facility at Cartierville, near Montreal.  First flown on 6 November 1953, this Sabre served with No. with 422 'Tomahawk' Squadron at 4 (F) Wing, Baden-Soellingen, Germany.  It was withdrawn from service on 26 May 1960.

   (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23362) launching from CFB Chatham, New Brunswick armed withs 3.75-inch rockets. 

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23362), OTU, RCAF Station Chatham, New Brunswick, firing it's 3.75-inch rockets. 

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial Nos. 23211 and 23362), OTU, CFB Chatham, New Brunswick.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23211), OTU, CFB Chatham, New Brunswick.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

(DND Archives Photo, PC-1311 via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial Nos. 23235, 23338, 23243 and 23241), from Tactical Flight at RCAF Station Chatham, New Brunswick, are seen in a stepped up formation Echelon Port.  The four aircraft were participating in the International Air Display, Toronto.

(RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23360), formation.

(RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 23312), No. 411 Squadron, Downsview.

(DND Photo via Francois Dutil)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23209), No. 401 Squadron (Aux), St-Hubert Quebec, Oct 1956 to Nov 1958.

 (DND Photo via Francois Dutil)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23047), No. 401 Squadron (Aux), St-Hubert Quebec, Oct 1956 to Nov 58.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23079), OTU, CFB Chatham, New Brunswick, 1968.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23079), OTU, CFB Chatham, New Brunswick, 1968.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23190), CFB Chatham, New Brunswick, 1968.

 (DND Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23102), STU (Sabre Transition Unit).

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23335), night start, CFB Chatham, New Brunswick.

 (RCAF photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, being de-armed after an air-to-air gunnery exercise, by two Munitions and Weapons Technicians, LAC Roy Mann, M and W Tech, andn LAC Art Murphy, M and W Tech. 

  (RCAF Photo courtesy of the Canadian Aviation Preservation Association)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 formation, over Europe.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial Nos. 23226, 23310, 23057, and 23159), 1955. 

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23312), No. 411 Squadron, Downsview, Ontario, ca 1950s.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23314), now Hawk One.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23330), OTU, mid 1950s.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23315), No. 401 Squadron (Auxilliary), Montreal.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23360), three-ship formation.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 formation from Vancouver Auxiliary Squadrons, over the Rockies.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23045).

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 23060), on the way to Europe with the OFU.

(RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre cockpit, ca 1953.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4948365)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23415) in formation over St Hubert, Quebec.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23415) in formation over St Hubert, Quebec.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23534).

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23439) plus two, factory fresh.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23416).

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23413), Bluie, Greenland, May 1955.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23520), No. 422 Squadron, leaving the dispersal area for the last time.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, No. 422 Squadron, leaving the dispersal area for the last time.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabres, Golden Hawk formation, 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.

No. 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France, 1954-1967

No. 410 Squadron

No. 410 Tactical Fighter Operational Training Squadron, nicknamed the "Cougars", is currently located at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta.  The squadron was formed during the Second World War as an RCAF squadron under the RAF, at RAF Ayr, near Prestwick, Scotland.  No. 410 Squadron was the third RCAF night fighter squadron to be formed and was equipped with the Boulton Paul Defiant.  In May 1942 these were replaced by the Bristol Beaufighter.  The first official sortie of No. 410 Squadron was from RAF Drem, East Lothian, Scotland, on the night of 4 June 1942, when twelve Bristol Beaufort crews took off.   In October 1944, the Squadron was re-equipped with de Havilland Mosquito Mk. IIs, with which the first victory for the squadron was claimed/.  It went on to become the top-scoring night fighter squadron in the RAF Second Tactical Air Force during the period between D-Day and VE-Day.

No. 410 Squadron supported the Allied forces during the Normandy Landings and the Battle of the Bulge, flew nightly patrols during this time and many of its pilots gained ace status.  Two members of No. 410 Squadron, Flight Lieutenant (F/L) Currie and Flying Officer (F/O) Rose, were the first members of the RCAF to see the German V-2 rocket in flight.  The squadron flew 2,972 sorties and accumulated 28,150 hours of flight time.  By the end of the war, members of the squadron had claimed 75 34  75 34 enemy aircraft destroyed, 2 probably destroyed, and 9 damaged.  Operational losses included 17 aircraft and personnel losses included 32 aircrew, of whom 10 were killed, 20 presumed dead, and two were made prisoners of war.  Non-operational casualties included 14 aircraft lost and 30 personnel, of whom 29 were killed, 1 injured.

The Squadron moved through a series of RAF bases, but by 5 April 1945 the Cougars were back at RAF Amiens-Glisy.  The final move of the war occurred on 9 June 1945, when the squadron relocated to RAF Gilze-Rijen in the Netherlands.  The squadron was disbanded in June 1945.

No. 410 Squadron was reactivated on 1 December 1946 as an Air Defence squadron flying de Havilland Vampire F.3 aircraft, and was re-formed from a defence role into that of a fighter role at St. Hubert near Montreal, Quebec on 1 December 1948.  From May 1949 to August 1951, the Blue Devils aerobatics team formed, to demonstrate the abilities of the new Vampire aircraft at formation flying.  The squadron later converted to the Canadair CL-13 Sabre and was deployed to Europe, initially flying from RCAF Station North Luffenham in the UK, and then at RCAF Station Marville (No. 1 (Fighter) Wing) in France.  The squadron had been the first regular force fighter unit to fly the Vampire aircraft and was the first to fly the Sabre and the first to join No. 1 (Fighter) Wing of No. 1 Air Division in Europe.

When No. 445 All Weather (Fighter) [AW(F)] Squadron arrived from Canada, however, No. 410 Squadron was deactivated at Marville on 1 October 1956 and reactivated as an all-weather fighter squadron at Uplands near Ottawa, Ontario on 1 November of that year, flying Avro CF-100 Canucks.  When the CF-100s were removed from service in 1961, the McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo interceptor was introduced for North American air defence.  No. 410 Squadron converted to these aircraft and the squadron continued to fly Voodoos until defence cuts led to the squadron being deactivated on 31 March 1964.

In 1968, No. 3 OTU (Operating Training Unit) based at CFB Bagotville was tasked with training pilots and navigators for the three operational RCAF Voodoo squadrons.  It was later renamed No. 410 Squadron. No. 410 Squadron moved to CFB Cold Lake, Alberta in 1982, changing aircraft to become the training unit for Canada's then new McDonnell CF-188 Hornet fighter.  Currently, No. 410 Tactical Fighter Operational Training Squadron trains between 20 and 22 pilots a year on the Hornet, more than any other RCAF squadron.

 (John Yoxhall Photo via Al Robb)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19159), (Serial No. 19176), and (Serial No. 19180), No. 410 Squadron, North Luffenham, England, Dec 1952.

 (John Yoxhall Photo via Al Robb)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19159) and (Serial No. 19180), No. 410 Squadron, North Luffenham, England, Dec 1952.

No. 439 Squadron

No. 439 Squadron was formed as No. 123 (Army Co-operation) Squadron in early 1942 for army training operations in eastern Canada during the Second World War.  It was  being renumbered No. 439 Squadron RCAF in late 1943 when it transferred to England.  The squadron briefly flew Hawker Hurricane fighters before receiving the Hawker Typhoon.  It flew ground attack missions with the Second Tactical Air Force (2nd TAF) in support of the Allied advance in northwestern Europe from mid-1944 to the end of the war in May 1945.

Disbanded shortly after the end of the Second World War, the squadron was reformed in 1951, operating the Canadair CL-13 Sabre from England and France until 1963, when it was disbanded.  It was quickly reformed as 439 Reconnaissance/Attack Squadron, operating the Canadair CF-104 Starfighter.  After moving to Germany in 1967, 439 Squadron underwent several redesignations before assuming a ground attack mission at CFB Baden-Soellingen as 439 Tactical Fighter Squadron.  After converting to the McDonnell CF-199 Hornet fighter in the mid-1980s, the squadron participated in the Gulf War.  It assumed its current title in 1993, operating the Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopter.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23734), No. 434 Squadron colours.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2, No. 439 Squadron, BW-1, Greenland.

(RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19188), No. 439 Squadron, ca 1952.

 (DND Archives Photo, PC-81)

Canadair CL-13 Sabres, No. 439 Squadron, lined up on the tarmac at Uplands in Ottawa.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23470 being offloaded at Trenton to join the Golden Hawks in the fall of 1960.  This Sabre carries the 439 Squadron IG code.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23469), 439 Squadron.

No. 441 Squadron

No. 125 (Fighter) Squadron was formed on 20 April 1942 at Sydney, Nova Scotia and flew Hawker Hurricanes as part of RCAF Eastern Air Command.  It was renumbered No. 441 Fighter Squadron when it transferred overseas to RAF Station Digby, Lincolnshire, England, on 8 February 1944.  The Squadron was posted to airfields in England, France, and Belgium throughout the Second World War, flying the Supermarine Spitfire.  When the squadron returned to England it was disbanded on 7 August 1945.

No. 1 (F) Wing, Canada's first NATO fighter wing, was initially located at North Luffenham, England since its French base was not ready.  The first of the wing's three fighter squadrons (all squadrons flying Canadair CL-13 Sabres), No. 410 Squadron, arrived at North Luffenham in November 1951.  The squadron and its aircraft, along with those of No. 441 Squadron, were ferried across the Atlantic to Glasgow, Scotland aboard HMCS Magnificent.  The personnel of 441 arrived by ocean liner in February 1952.  In May–June 1952, No. 439 Squadron flew from RCAF Station Uplands via Bagotville, Goose Bay, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland, in an exercise known as “Operation Leapfrog”.

No. 441 Squadron reformed at RCAF Station St. Hubert, Quebec, on 1 March 1951 and went to No. 1 (F) Wing, then located at RAF North Luffenham, in Rutland, England on 13 February 1952.  The squadron was temporarily situated at 3 (F) Wing Zweibrücken on 21 December 1954, before moving to their intended destination, RCAF Station Marville, France.  The Squadron was disbanded on 1 September 1963 at Marville and then reformed as No. 441 Squadron on 15 September 1963.  The Squadron then moved with No. 1 (F) Wing to CFB Lahr, Germany, in April 1967.  In 1971 the squadron moved to CFB Baden-Soellingen and changed its name to 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron.  They disbanded again in 1986 and then finally reformed at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, on 26 June 1986.

On 6 July 2006, No. 441 Squadron was once again disbanded.  The Squadron's crew amalgamated with 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, and re-formed as 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron.  The squadron's colours and battle honours were placed in Sydney, Nova Scotia, where it first operated.

 (DND Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19274), flying from RAF North Luffenham, before transferring to No. 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France.

 (DND Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19274), flying from RAF North Luffenham, before transferring to No. 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France.

 (DND Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19274), flying from RAF North Luffenham, before transferring to No. 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19150), No. 441 Squadron, North Luffenham, England.  The aircraft is being prepared for a launch.  The pilot is climbing aboard and technicians are applying ground power for the start. 

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19127), No. 441 Squadron.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23659), No. 441 Squadron, 4 (F) Baden-Soellingen, Germany.

 (DND Photo via Mike Paradie)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No, 23017), No. 441 Squadron.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23650), No. 441 Squadron, 4 (F) Baden-Soellingen, Germany.

No. 445 Squadron (Avro CF-100 Canuck)

No. 2 (F) Wing, Grostenquin, France, 1954-1967

No. 416 Squadron

No. 416 Squadron RCAF was formed at RAF Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1941 as a fighter squadron for service during the Second World War and was based at various RAF stations in Scotland, England and continental Europe. The squadron was disbanded in March 1946.

416 Squadron was reformed in 1952 at RCAF Station Uplands in Ottawa, Ontario for operations in Europe as part of Canada's Cold War presence.  The squadron was located at RCAF Station Grostenquin, France.  By 1957, the squadron was relocated to Canada at RCAF Station St. Hubert near Montreal as an air defence squadron flying the Avro CF-100 Canuck all weather fighters.  In 1962, the CF-100s were replaced with the McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo and the squadron was moved to RCAF Station Chatham, New Brunswick, where they flew the interceptor until the end of 1984.  416 Squadron thus became the world's last front-line unit flying Voodoos.

In 1988 the squadron relocated to CFB Cold Lake, Alberta as a Tactical Fighter Squadron flying McDonnell CF-188 Hornet fighters and later merged with 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron to reform 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron in 2006.  The squadron's nickname was City of Oshawa, Lynx.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5, RCAF (Serial No. 19250), coded AS250, No. 416 Squadron at No. 2 (F) Wing, RCAF Station Grostenquin, France, 1953.  

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2, RCAF (Serial No. 19338), 2 (F) Wing, coded AS338, No. 416 Squadron at No. 2 (F) Wing, RCAF Station Grostenquin, France, 1953.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23125), 416 Squadron, Exercise Carte Blanche, June 1955.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23632), 416 Squadron.

No. 421 Squadron

It was the last RCAF fighter squadron to be formed in the UK during the Second World War.  Initially established at RAF Digby in April 1942 with Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VA, the squadron moved to RAF Fairwood Common in May and received the Spitfire Mk. VB.  The squadron's motto was Bellicum cecinere ("They have sounded the war trumpet"). Its badge was, in front of two tomahawks in saltire, a Red Indian warrior.  During 1942 the squadron was under 10 Group and flew its missions from RAF Warmwell, RAF Bolt Head, RAF Ibsley, RAF Zeals and RAF Charmy Down.  In January 1943 the squadron joined No. 127 (Canadian) Wing and moved to Redhill Aerodrome airfield.  Late in the spring of 1943 the squadron received the Spitfire Mk. IX and flew under the command of Wing Commander Johnnie Johnson.

In preparation for the Normandy landings, No. 127 Wing was assigned to RAF Second Tactical Air Force.  On 16 June 1944, the squadron, along with the other squadrons of No. 127 Wing, was the first to be moved to Normandy and flew air superiority missions.  After the allied breakout and quick advance towards the Reich, No. 421 Squadron was based in Evere, Belgium by October 1944.  During December 1944 the squadron received the Spitfire Mk. XIV.  In 1945 the unit participated in the liberation of the Netherlands, before moving into Germany.  At the end of the war the unit had achieved over 90 aerial victories.

Having been disbanded shortly after the war the squadron was re-activated on 15 September 1949 at Chatham, flying de Havilland Vampire fighters from bases in the UK and later flying Canadair CL-13 Sabres from Grostenquin, France.  In 1962, the |Squadron was equipped with Canadair CF-104 Starfighters and in 1967 the squadron moved to Zweibrücken, West Germany, becoming part of 1 Air Division RCAF (later renamed 1 Canadian Air Group) based at CFB Baden-Soellingen, West Germany.  During the early 1980s it was equipped with McDonnell CF-188 Hornets.  At the end of the Cold War, the squadron was disbanded and its aircraft and personnel returned to Canada.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23648), coded AX-648, 421 Squadron.

No. 422 Squadron

No. 422 General Reconnaissance Squadron was initially formed at RAF Castle Archdale near Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, in April 1942.  It was a flying-boat squadron, flying Consolidated PBY Catalinas and Short Sunderlands to patrol the North Atlantic for German U-boats.  They were redesignated as a Transport Squadron in June 1945, and disbanded in September 1945.  The squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Uplands, near Ottawa in January 1953 as 422 Fighter Squadron.  The squadron went to 4 (Fighter)Wing based at RCAF Station Baden-Soellingen in August 1953.  It became part of the CAF in 1968.  The Squadron was based at 4 (F) Wing until its deactivation in July 1970.  The squadron was reactivated as 422 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in January 1977, and remained a helicopter squadron until it was disbanded again in August 1980.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23721) 422 Sqn. in front of the maintenance hangar at 4 Wing.

 (DND Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23499) of No. 422 Squadron, Norway, 1963.

 (422 Potpouri Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23392), coded TF392, No. 422 Squadron.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, No. 422 Squadron, leaving the dispersal area for the last time.

 (DND Archives Photo, PL-55764)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, 422 Squadron, having its six .50 cal machine guns harmonized at night at RCAF Station Uplands in 1953.  The procedure ensures that all six machine-guns are aimed properly.

No. 423 Squadron (Avro CF-100 Canuck)

No. 430 Squadron

No. 430 Squadron RCAF was formed during the Second World War as the "City of Sudbury" squadron in 1943.  Initially created as an army co-operation squadron, 430 Squaderon was redesignated as a fighter reconnaissance unit later that year.  The unit was stationed in England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, and flew photo reconnaissance missions in support of planning for the Normandy landings.  After D-Day, missions included before-and-after photography of attacks on V-1 flying bomb launch sites and support for ground forces.  430 Squadron was disbanded in Germany in August 1945.

In the Cold War period, the squadron was reformed in November 1951 at RCAF Station North Bay, Ontario, flying the Canadair CL-13 Sabre.  It was given the nickname Silver Falcon.  430 Fighter Squadron went to 2 (F) Wing RCAF Station Grostenquin, France, in September 1952. The squadron was located at Grostenquin until deactivation in September 1962.  430 Fighter Squadron was reactivated at 3 (F) Wing, Zweibrücken, Germany, in February 1963, and transitioned to the Canadair CF-104 Starfighter.  The squadron moved to No. 1 (F) Wing, Lahr, Germany, in February 1969 until it was disbanded in May 1970.

The unit reformed again in 1971 as a French-language CF tactical helicopter squadron at CFB Valcartier, Quebec, and known officially as 430e Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères.  There it operated the Bell CH-136 Kiowa helicopter, and the Bell CH-135 Twin Huey helicopter in support of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.  The unit transitioned to the Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopter in 1994.

 (DND Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6s of No. 430 Squadron, on Zulu alert at RCAF Station Grostenquin, France, June 1960.

The Sky Lancers

Pilots from all three Sabre squadrons at No. 2 (F) Wing flew with the aerobatic team, the Sky Lancers.  The team was formed in March 1955 and performed throughout Europe until October 1955.  The following year the team was based at No. 4 (F) Wing.  In 1956, No. 4 (F) Wing at Baden-Soellingen, Germany provided the members of the Sky Lancers.  On 2 March 1956, while practicing their routine over the Rhine valley, the Sky Lancers crashed near the Vosges mountains south west of Strasbourg killing four of the five team members.  This accident put an end to RCAF aerobatic teams for several years.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4948820)

Canadair CL-13 Mk. 6 formation, RCAF Sky Lancers, 1955. 

 (DND Photo)

 (DND Photo)

 (DND Photo, F/O Louis Le Compte)

Canadair CL-13 Mk. 6 Sabre, RCAF (Serial No. 23439) and other Sky Lancers in formation, 1 March 1956.   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.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Mk. 6 Sabre, RCAF (Serial No. 23408), Sky Lancer ca 1955.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, RCAF (Serial No. 23524), Sky Lancers, 1956.

Pilots from all three Sabre squadrons at No. 2 (F) Wing flew with the aerobatic team, the Sky Lancers.  The team was formed in March 1955 and performed throughout Europe until October 1955.  The following year the team was based at No. 4 (F) Wing.  In 1956, No. 4 (F) Wing at Baden-Soellingen, Germany provided the members of the Sky Lancers.  On 2 March 1956, while practicing their routine over the Rhine valley, the Sky Lancers crashed near the Vosges mountains south west of Strasbourg killing four of the five team members.  This accident put an end to RCAF aerobatic teams for several years.

No. 3 (F) Wing, Zweibrücken, Germany, 1954-1968

No. 413 Squadron

No. 413 Squadron was created as the third RCAF squadron attached to RAF Coastal Command.  It was equipped with Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boats.  The squadron gained fame for the actions of Squadron Leader Leonard Birchall, who detected a large Japanese task force approaching Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).  This allowed time for the defenders to prepare, and foiled what could have been a major blow to the Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean.  The squadron was disbanded in February 1945.  It was reformed at RCAF Station Rockcliffe on 1 April 1947, and took over the duties of No. 13 (Photographic) Squadron.  It served in this role until 1 November 1950.  The squadron was reformed again on 1 August 1951, as a fighter squadron at RCAF Station Bagotville, Quebec.  It was equipped with the Canadair CL-13 Sabre before deploying to Zweibrücken.  The squadron stood down on 7 April 1957, and was then reformed on 1 May 1957 operating the Avro CF-100 Canuck at Bagotville.  The squadron was again disbanded on 30 December 1961.  The squadron was reactivated at CFB Summerside, PEI on 8 July 1968, as a Transportation and Rescue Squadron.  With the closure of CFB Summerside, the squadron was relocated to CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia on 10 June 1991.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23180).  Strapped in the cockpits of their Sabre aircraft Pilots of No. 413 Squadron are on two minute readiness awaiting the signal flares which will send them into the air to intercept 'enemy' raiders.  413 Squadron was on an exchange exercise with the Dutch Air Force, to test mobility and cross-servicing in the late 1960s.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19138), No. 413 Squadron.

No. 427 Squadron

No. 427 Squadron was formed as a bomber squadron at Croft, England on 7 November 1942 and spent its wartime entirely in England as a part of No. 6 Group RCAF, RAF Bomber Command.  427 Squadron flew Vickers Wellington Mk. IIIs and Mk. Xs from its first operational mission on 14 December 1942, a minelaying sortie to the Frisian Islands, until May 1943 when it was relocated to Leeming, North Yorkshire.  The Squadron was re-equipped with Handley Page Halifax Mk. V aircraft, and then flew intensely until early 1944 when it replaced its inventory with Halifax Mk. III aircraft.  This fleet saw the greatest number of missions and in slightly more than a year's time they were then replaced by Avro Lancaster bombers prior to the end of the Second World War.  The Lancasters were used for Prisoner of War repatriation until the end of May 1946.  427 Squadron was stood down on 1 June 1946.

The squadron was reformed on 1 August 1952 at RCAF Station St. Hubert, Quebec, as 427 Fighter Squadron, flying Canadair CL-13 Sabres, and was transferred to No. 3 (Fighter) Wing at Zweibrücken, Germany, in March 1953.  The Squadron was selected as the first European RCAF squadron to receive the Canadair CF-104 Starfighter in the nuclear strike role.  The squadron was stood down from its day-fighter role on 15 December 1962 and reformed as 427 (Strike-Attack) Squadron two days later.  On 1 February 1968, unification integrated 427 Squadron into the new CF.  The squadron was again disbanded on 1 July 1970.  427 Squadron was reformed as 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at CFB Petawawa, Ontario, where it continues to serve.

 (RCAF Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19423), No. 427 Squadron, 3 (F) Wing, Zweibrücken, 1954.

 (RCAF Photo, PC-196)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19427), No. 427 Squadron, 13 Feb 1953.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19451), St Hubert, 427 Sqn ready for Leapfrog 3.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2, 427 Squadron. 

No. 434 Squadron

No. 434 Squadron was first formed at RAF Tholthorpe in the UK, on 13 June 1943, flying the Handley Page Halifax Mk. V bomber.  On 13 August 1943 it flew its first operational sortie, a bombing raid across the Alps to Milan, Italy.  In May 1944 the unit received Halifax Mk. IIIs to replace its Mk. Vs.  The squadron was adopted by the Rotary Club of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and to show its connection to the city adopted the nickname "Bluenose Squadron", the common nickname for people from Nova Scotia and a tribute to the schooner Bluenose.  An image of the schooner appeared on the squadron badge.

The squadron moved to RAF Croft in December 1943 and re-equipped with Avro Lancaster Mk. Is and Mk. Xs in December 1944.  After VE Day, the squadron was earmarked for Tiger Force to carry on the war against Japan, but was never deployed to the Far East.  The unit was disbanded at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on 5 September 1945.

During the Second World War, the unit flew 198 missions, including 179 bombing, 17 mine laying, one diversionary and one sea search.  This was made up of a total of 2,582 individual aircraft sorties, including 45 prisoner of war airlift sorties.  It flew 14,622 operational flying hours and dropped 10,358 tons of bombs plus 225 mines.  The squadron accounted for seven enemy aircraft destroyed along with two probable and four damaged.  434 Squadron suffered 75 aircraft lost, 484 aircrew operational casualties, including 34 killed, 313 presumed dead, 121 made prisoners and 16 who evaded capture and escaped.  The non-operational casualty total was eight killed, plus one member who died of natural causes.  Unit personnel received six bars to the DFC, 108 DFCs, six DFMs, one BEM and seven MiDs.

The squadron was reformed flying the Canadair CL-13 Sabre and stationed as part of 3 (F) Wing at RCAF Station Zweibrücken, Germany, on 7 March 1953, but was stood down on 16 June 1962.  It was re-activated on 8 April 1963 as a Canadair CF-104 Starfighter unit in the strike/attack role and disbanded again on 1 March 1967.  434 Operational Training Squadron formed at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta as the Canadair CF-116 Freedom Fighter operational training unit on 15 February 1968.  The squadron later gave up OTU duties to 419 Squadron and became an operational squadron, moving to CFB Bagotville, Quebec on 15 July 1982 later moving to CFB Chatham, New Brunswick, in July 1985.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23752).

 (James Craik Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre pilots, 434 Sqn Sardinia, 1960-61.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23707), No. 434 Squadron.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23466).  No. 434 Squadron deployed to 2 (F) Wing in the summer of 1962.  The runways at 3 (F) Wing were closed to prepare for the arrival of the Canadair CF-104 Starfighters.  The Sabres were flown from there to Preswick in the UK for disposal.

No. 440 Squadron (Avro CF-100 Canuck and Canadair CF-104 Starfigher)

No. 4 (F) Wing, Baden-Soellingen, 1953-1993

No. 414 Squadron

On 13 August 1941, No. 414 Army Co-operation Squadron was formed at RAF Croydon, England, flying Westland Lysander and Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk aircraft.  On 28 June 1943 the squadron's name was changed to 414 Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron to reflect its role.  During the Second World War the squadron was based at numerous airfields in England and in continentental Europe flying Supermarine Spitfires and North American P-51 Mustang fighters.  During this period, the squadron provided photo reconnaissance, intelligence and ground attacks for both the Dieppe Raid and the allied Invasion of Europe.  It accounted for 29 enemy aircraft destroyed and 11 damaged, 76 locomotives and 12 naval vessels destroyed.  After the war ended, the squadron disbanded at Lüneburg, Germany on 7 August 1945.

On 1 April 1947, No. 414 Photographic Squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario.  The squadron flew the Douglas CC-129 Dakoa to photograph 323,754 square miles (838,520 km2) of Canada's North.  When this task was completed it was disbanded on 1 November 1950.  On 1 November 1952, No. 414 Fighter Squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Bagotville, Quebec.  The following summer on 24 August 1953 as part of "Leap Frog IV" the squadron moved to 4 (F) Wing, flying the Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 4.  On 14 July 1957 the squadron was disbanded to make room for the arrival of No. 419 Squadron flying the Avro CF-100 Canuck.

On 5 August 1957, the squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Norh Bay, Ontario, where it operated as an all-weather fighter squadron flying the CF-100 Canuck and the McDonnell CF-1-1 Voodoo until 30 June 1964 when it was disbanded once more.  The squadron was reformed on 15 September 1967 at RCAF Station St. Hubert, Quebec in its new role as an electronic warfare squadron flying the CF-100.  In August 1972 the squadron moved to CFB North Bay where it remained for the next twenty years flying the CF-100, Boeing CC-117 Globemaster and EF-101.  In 1992 the squadron was split into two parts with one part going to CFB Comox, BC as No. 414 Composite Squadron and the other part going to Greenwood, Nova Scotia, as 434 Composite Squadron.  In 1993 the squadron changed its name to No. 414 Combat Support Squadron when it was equipped with the Canadair CT-133 Silver Star.  The Squadron was disbanded in 2002 when its duties were contracted out to a civilian company.

On 7 December 2007 approval was received for the squadron to stand up again, this time as 414 EWS (Electronic Warfare Support) Squadron.  Flying from 3 Wing Bagotville, the squadron is based in Ottawa and is composed of military Electronic Warfare Officers who fulfill the combat support role, flying on civilian contracted aircraft.  The squadron was re-formed at Gatineau Airport, Quebec, on 20 January 2009 to operate the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet provided by Discovery Air Defence Services.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23063), No. 414 Squadron.

No. 422 Squadron

No. 422 General Reconnaissance Squadron was initially formed at RAF Castle Archdale near Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, in April 1942.  It was a flying-boat squadron, flying Consolidated PBY Catalinas and Short Sunderlands to patrol the North Atlantic for German U-boats.  They were redesignated as a Transport Squadron in June 1945, and disbanded in September 1945.  The squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Uplands, near Ottawa in January 1953 as 422 Fighter Squadron.  The squadron went to 4 (Fighter)Wing based at RCAF Station Baden-Soellingen in August 1953.  It became part of the CAF in 1968.  The Squadron was based at 4 (F) Wing until its deactivation in July 1970.  The squadron was reactivated as 422 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in January 1977, and remained a helicopter squadron until it was disbanded again in August 1980.

 (DND Archives Photo, PL-55764)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, 422 Squadron, having its six .50 cal machine guns harmonized at night at RCAF Station Uplands in 1953.  The procedure ensures that all six machine-guns are aimed properly.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23140), F/O J.S. Randle, No. 422 Squadron.

No. 444 Squadron

No. 444 Fighter Squadron was formed in March 1953 at CFB St. Hubert, Quebec, and moved to CFB Baden-Soellingen in Germany.  The Squadron was disbanded in 1967.  It was re-formed as 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at CFB Lahr, Germany in 1972 as part of CFE until 1991.  It stood up again at CFB Goose Bay, Labrador, in 1993.

444 Squadron flew the Canadair CL-13 Sabre from 1953 to 1962, the Canadair CF-104 Starfighter from 1962 to 1972, the Hiller CH-112 Nomad helicopter from 1961 to 1972, the Bell CH-136 Kiowa from 1972 to 1991, and the Bell CH-135 Twin Huey from 1993 to 1996.  444 Combat Support Squadron is currently equipped with three Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters.  Its primary mission is to provide rapid response to local emergencies during flight operations and military exercises taking place at 5 Wing.  In its utility role the squadron carries out tasks such as range support, search and rescue, and assistance to civil authorities.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 4 (Serial No. 19702), No. 444 Squadron, A.J. Bauer at the controls.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23115), coded VH-115, No. 444 Squadron.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre (Serial No. 23421), No. 444 Squadron, No. 4 (F) Wing, being serviced ca 1950s.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23635), No. 444 Squadron maintenance.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23472) of No. 444 Squadron at SAL for overhaul.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23472), home in the No. 444 Squadron dispersal area.

 (RCAF photo via Fred Paradie)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23407), flown by F/O Ray Baltins, 444 Squadron, lost 4 July 1962.

There is a brief note in Larry Milberry’s book on the Canadair Sabre that suggests one of our pilots might have “crossed over” with his Sabre.  Investigating this story, I spoke with Flying Officer (Retired) Ken Hagarty, who had been looking into the subject for many years.  Flying Officer Hagarty was an RCAF Canadair F-86 Sabre pilot flying with 413 Squadron operating out of 3 (F) Wing based in Zweibrücken, Germany from January 1952 to June 1954, and then with 416 Squadron operating out of 2 (F) Wing based in Grostenquin, France, from June 1954 to June 1955, and the OFU from 1955 to 1956.  Ken had heard a report of a 4-ship flight of Sabres from 444 Squadron operating out of 4 (F) Wing based in Baden-Söllingen that was up on a training flight.  Ken stated, “One of the Sabre pilots, Flying Officer F. Ray Baltins reported that he had landing gear problems and that he was turning back to base.  Flying Officer F.R. Baltins was never heard from again.”
Flying Officer Raimond Baltins (RCAF S/N 134969) was born in Latvia on 4 June 1937.  He completed OTU Course Number 79 at CFB Chatham, New Brunswick (10 August to 31 Dec 1959).  F/O Baltins flew with 444 Squadron from January 1960 to the time he went missing on 4 July 1962.  He was flying Sabre (Serial No. 23407), which was officially struck off strength (SOS) on 11 September 1962.
When he did not return to base and there was no report of a crash, a rumour spread suggesting he might have crossed over.  Considering the era, this would have been extremely unlikely, and there is an unconfirmed report that the wreckage of Flying Officer Baltins’ Sabre was later located in the Vosges Mountains in France.  Flying Officer Baltins had immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1949.  In 1964, his mother created an award for his old Air Cadet Squadron in Montreal, Quebec (Canadair Squadron).  His name is listed on the memorial in the airpark at Trenton.

No. 419 Squadron

No. 419 Bomber Squadron was formed at RAF Mildenhall, England in 1941 as part of No. 3 Group, Bomber Command.  The squadron moved to RAF Middleton St. George when it became part of No. 6 Bomber Group, Bomber Command, and remained in England until 1945.  The squadron operated Vickers Wellington and then Handley Page Halifax and finally Avro Lancaster bombers during this period.  It was the third RCAF bomber unit to be formed in England.  It started operations in January 1942, converting almost immediately to Wellington Mk. IIIs and moving north to Leeming as part of the new 6 Group in August 1942.  Here in November it was re-equipped with Halifax Mk. IIs, which it flew for the next 18 months on the night offensive against Germany.  After three quick moves it settled at Middleton St. George in November and stayed there for the rest of its service in Bomber Command.  In April 1944 the squadron began to convert to Avro Lancaster Mk. X which had been produced in Canada and flown across the Atlantic.  The squadron remained continuously on the offensive until 25 April 1945, when it flew its last sortie.  Squadron personnel flew a total of 4,325 operational sorties during the war from Mannheim to Nuremberg, Milan to Berlin, and Munich to Hanover, inflicting heavy damage on the enemy.  As a result of its wartime record, 419 Squadron became one of the most decorated units under the RCAF during the war.  Over a span of roughly three-and-a-quarter years it logged 400 operational missions (342 bombing missions, 53 mining excursions, 3 leaflet raids and 1 "spoof") involving 4,325 sorties.  One hundred and twenty nine aircraft were lost on these operations.  It flew back to Canada in June 1945 and was disbanded at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on 5 September 1945.

419 was reformed on 15 March 1955 as 419 All-Weather Fighter Squadron, and moved to the 4 (F) Wing shortly thereafter.  The squadron was equipped with the Avro CF-100 Canuck.  419 Squadron was disbanded 31 December 1962.  The unit was reformed at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta on 2 May 1975 as 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron.  During 1977, the squadron began to participate in tactical exercises in addition to its training role.  In April 1987, 419 Squadron paid its last official visit to 4 Wing, when four CF-5s and approximately 50 "Moose-persons" made the trans-Atlantic crossing to Baden-Soellingen using air-to-air refueling, as part of Exercise "Rhine-Moose".

It was disbanded in 1995 when the Canadair CF-116 Freedom Fighter was retired.  The squadron was reformed again at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, on 23 July 2000 to conduct advanced lead in fighter training for Canadian and NATO pilots using nine BAe Systems CT-155 Hawk trainers.

The name Moose, which is used in the squadron's emblem and motto, is derived from the nickname of the first commanding officer of the squadron, Wing Commander "Moose" Fulton. The tradition of squadron commanders bearing the nickname "Moose" was instituted after Fulton's death during operations. Squadron personnel are affectionately known as "moosemen". This tradition continues to this day.  Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski of 419 Squadron was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 12/13 June 1944 during a bombing mission over Europe. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Survivors in Canada, data current to 8 Dec 2019.

 (Author Photo)

Edmonton, Alberta, Alberta Aviation Museum, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 1 (Serial No. 19101), PX-101.  Indoors.

 (Author Photo)

Oshawa, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23047), Oshawa Airport, Ontario.  Mounted on a pylon.

 (jiggs11 Photo)

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

 (The A-Team Photo)

Sidney, British Columbia, Army Navy Club Grounds, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23060).  Mounted on a pylon.

 (RCAF Photo)

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

 (Author Photo)

Base Borden Military Museum, CFB Borden, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23228).  Mounted on a pylon. 

 (monkeys4ever Photo)

Peterborough, Ontario, 428 Wing RCAFA, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23245), formerly at Clinton, Ontario.  Mounted on a pylon. 

 (Author Photo)

National Museum of the RCAF, CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23257), previously painted in Golden Hawks colours, currently all silver.  Outdoors. 

Canadian Air Land Sea Museum, Markham, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23301), International Vintage Aircraft Inc., formerly at Picton, Ontario, silver.  Outdoors

 (Aldo Bidini Photo)

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

 (Author Photo)

Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23355), Golden Hawks, formerly at CFB Chatham, New Brunswick.  Indoors.

 (Author Photo)

Trenton, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23641), Golden Hawks.  Mounted on a pylon.  

Brockville, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23649), Golden Hawks.  Mounted on a pylon.

 (Author Photo)

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23651), Golden Hawks colours, on loan from the National Museum of Science and Technology since 25 July 1998.  Indoors.

 (Robin Sipe Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. VI (Serial No. 23692), c/n 1482, Reg. No. N3844E.  This Sabre was purchased from Courtesy Aircraft.  It was last operated by the South African Air Force, and is currently in storage in Seattle, Washington, in very good, original, unrestored condition.  The aircraft is to be moved to Fort St. John, BC where it will be restored to ground running, taxi capable condition in the short term, with long term plans for full restoration to flying status.  The Aerospace & Technology Museum of British Columbia.

Wreck:

NBMHM, CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23292) wreckage of tail fin and main landing gear.  Outdoors.

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

Canadair CL-13 Sabre data bank:

             The North American F-86 Sabre was first flown on 1 October 1947 and the aircraft quickly proved to be a highly successful design. In 1949, with the formation of NATO the Canadian government made the decision to re-equip the RCAF’s front-line fighter squadrons with modern aircraft and the F-86 Sabre was type selected.  Consequently, an agreement was reached between North American and Canadair Limited of Montréal to manufacture 100 F-86As in Canada.  Canadair built the Sabre under licence in Canada, with the first one entering RCAF service in August 1950.  The Mk. 1 was powered by a General Electric J-47-GE-13 engine.  This aircraft is preserved in the AAM, Edmonton, Alberta, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 1 (Serial No. 19101), PX-101.

            The RCAF operated only one F-86A.  F-86As were also used by RCAF personnel on exchange with the USAF in Korea.  The single North American F-86A Sabre was powered by a General Electric J-47 - GE-13 engine.  One is preserved in the ASMC, Calgary, Alberta, North American F-86A (Serial No. 47-606), unveiled June 1999, painted as (Serial No. 23175).  This Sabre was previously on display in the Seattle Museum of Flight, Washington.

            After the first prototype, designated CL-13 Sabre Mk 1, Canadair immediately began production in earnest with an improved Mk. 2 model.  The Mk. 2 was essentially an F-86E with an “all flying” tailplane to provide better flying characteristics as well as a flat windscreen.  The Mk. 2 was also powered by a General Electric J-47-GE-13 engine.

            The Canadair Sabre was the RCAF’s most numerous post-war fighter.  The Sabre was flown with the RCAF’s No. 1 Canadian Air Division in Europe (at one time there were 12 Squadrons of them able to take to the air at the same time).  The aircraft was the last Canadian fighter to use guns (six .50 calibre machine guns mounted in the nose) as its primary weapon.  During the Korean War, Canada supplied the USAF with 60 CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (USAF F-86E-6). 

            One Mk. 2 is preserved at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, Québec, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 2 (Serial No. 19118), painted as 19318.  It previously was painted as 19430 while on display at CMR, St. Jean, Québec.

            The Mk. 3 Sabre was powered by an Avro Orenda 3 engine.  In 1952, Jacqueline Cochran, then aged 47, decided to challenge the world speed record for women, then held by Jacqueline Auriol.  She tried to borrow an F-86A from the USAF, but was refused. She was introduced to an RCAF Air Vice-Marshal who, with the permission of the Canadian Minister of Defence, arranged for her to borrow 19200, the sole Sabre Mk. 3.  Canadair sent a 16-man support team to California for the attempt. On 18 May 1953, Ms. Cochran set a new 100-km speed record of 1050.15 km/h (652.5 mph).  Later on 3 June, she set a new 15-km closed circuit record of 1078 km/h (670 mph).  While she was in California, she exceeded 1270 km/h in a dive, and thus became the first woman to exceed the speed of sound.[1]  This historic Mk. 3 is preserved with the R-AM, Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 3 (Serial No. 19200).  It was previously held by the WCAM in Winnipeg, Manitoba, up to 2000.

            The next major production model was the Sabre Mk. 4, which originally was to have been powered by an Orenda designed engine but to retain commonality with the F-86E, it also carried the J47-GE-13.  Various design improvements were incorporated throughout the aircraft.  438 Mk. 4 Sabres rolled off the assembly lines.

            The Sabre Mk. 5 was the first production model with a Canadian engine utilising the Avro Orenda 10 engine rated at 6,355-lbs thrust.  The bigger Orenda engine necessitated a larger diameter opening in fuselage frames and stronger engine mounts.  An important structural modification was the introduction of a fixed leading edge to replace the automatic slats on earlier versions.  This change was designed to enhance the high altitude performance of the aircraft. Small wing fences were also introduced at the 70% span position.  These modifications were successful but also resulted in a corresponding decrease in low speed handling characteristics. 370 Mk. 5 aircraft were built.

            The Mk. 6 Sabre was powered by the two-stage Avro Orenda 14 engine with a 7,275-lb thrust rating. Max Speed: 606 mph (975 km/h); Cruising Speed: 489 mph (787 km/h); Service Ceiling: 54,000 ft (16,458 m); Range: 1,486 m (2,391 km), Weight Empty: 10.618 lbs (4,818 kg), Gross: 14,613 lbs (6,634 kg).  Span: 37 ft 111/2 in (11.57 m) Length: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m) Height: 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m) Wing Area: 287.9 sq ft (26.74 sq m).  Armament: Six .50 calibre machine guns and provisions for tanks, bombs, & rockets (unguided).  Cost: $360,000.

            The wing leading slats were re-introduced while retaining portions of the Mk. 5 wing configuration.  The Mk. 6 therefore acquired superb combat manoeuvring.  With this combination of engine and aerodynamics, the Mk. 6 was widely regarded as the best “dog-fighter” of its era.  The RCAF’s Golden Hawks team initially flew Mk. 5, but were soon equipped with the excellent Sabre Mk. 6.[2]  The Golden Hawks flew in aerobatic display shows throughout the country until their disbandment in February 1964.  Canada’s last Sabre was retired in 1970, although Starfighters had begun to replace them in late 1962.[3]

 (Author Photo)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23363), Reg. No. N8686F, serving as an Experimental aircraft for the Boeing Company, visiting CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, 1978.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre survivors:

Sidney, British Columbia, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23060), Army Navy Club Grounds.

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

CALSM, Markham, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23301), International Vintage Aircraft Inc., formerly at Picton, Ontario, silver.

BBMM, CFB Borden, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23228).

CWHM, Mount Hope, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23651), Golden Hawks colours, on loan from the National Museum of Science and Technology since 25 July 1998. 

Oshawa, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23047), Oshawa Airport, Ontario. 

Peterborough, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23245), formerly at Clinton, Ontario, 428 Wing RCAFA, mounted on a pylon. 

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

NAFM, CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23257), Golden Hawks. 

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

Vintage Wings of Canada, Hull Québec, Michael Potter, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23314), C-GSBR, Hawk 1 project.

BGMM, CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23292) wreckage of tail fin and main landing gear. 

ACAM, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5 (Serial No. 23355), Golden Hawks, formerly at CFB Chatham, New Brunswick.

AFHM&AP, CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23605), 439 Squadron colours, camouflaged, formerly on display at CFB Lahr, Germany in 444 Squadron colours (returned to Canada July 1981), previously served in the German Air Force, JC-373, Nauhausen, Germany. 

ACAM, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23760), C/N 1815, Western Canada Aviation & Space Museum, formerly served with the Pakistan Air Force, Masroor AB, Pakistan, served as a decoy, silver. 

Brockville, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23649). 

CA&SM, Ottawa, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23455).  Kingston, Ontario, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23221), formerly at Royal Roads Military College (RRMC), now at the Royal Military College (RMC), mounted on a pylon. 

BADM, CFB Bagotville, Québec, Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23605), painted as (Serial No. 19454), previously on display at CFB Baden-Soellingen, Germany, formerly ex-German Air Force C/N 1605, Koln, Germany.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre survivors outside of Canada:

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23042), Golden Hawks, displayed in the Auto-Technical Museum (ATM), Speyer, Germany, ex German Air Force BB+283 (Serial No. 1613).  

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. unknown, (Serial No. unknown), German Air Force Markings, Deutsches Museum, München, Germany.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, German Air Force (Serial No. unknown), coded JC+101, Hermeskeil, Germany. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Mk. 5, German Air Force (Serial No. 840), JB-111, coded BB+239, International Luftfahrt Museum, Schwenningen, Germany. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, JB+110, German Air Force Markings, Militarhistorisches Museum, Dresden, Germany. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, (Serial No. unknown), coded BB+150, ex BB-250 (Serial No. 895), (01-01).

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 1591), German Air Force Markings Luftwaffe Museum, Berlin-Gatow, Germany. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 1603), German Air Force Markings, Luftwaffe Museum, Berlin-Gatow, Germany. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. unknown (Serial No. unknown), Uetersen, Germany. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, JA-112, Serial unknown, German Air Force Markings, Wittmund German AFB. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6 (Serial No. 23363), Haydon-Baillie Aircraft and Naval Collection, UK. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Museum of Flight, Seattle Washington, USA. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Blaine Golden Age Aircraft Museum, Minnesota, USA. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Medford Air Victory Museum, New Jersey, USA. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Nellis AFB, Nevada, USA, Reg No. N86EX, ex SAAF (Serial No. 380). 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5, Reg. No. N86FS, Mojave, California, Flight Systems, Mojave, California, USA. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 5, Reg. No. N91FS, formerly operated by Flight Systems Incorporated at the Mojave Airport, Global Aerospace of Newport Beach, California, USA. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, Reg. No. N38453, restored as USAF F-86F (Serial No. 51-13487), flown by Al Hansen, it flew for the South African Air Force as (Serial No. 378).  It was registered by Flight Systems in October 1983 and then to Global Aerospace in September 1992. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Reg. No. N106JB, SAAF colours, War Eagles Museum, Santa Teresa, New Mexico, USA.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. unknown, (Serial No. unknown), Kempten Park Technical College, RSA, South Africa. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Mk. and unknown, (Serial No. unknown), Snake Valley, South Africa. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Mk. and unknown, (Serial No. unknown), Swartop, SAAF Museum, South Africa. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Mk. unknown (Serial No. unknown), coded 13-1, Italian Air Force Museum, Vigna di Valle, Rome, Italy,

Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Mk. unknown, (Serial unknown), Museo Storico, Italy. 

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk. 6, C/N 1792, (Serial No. unknown), Pakistan Air Force Museum, PAF Faisal, Karachi, Pakistan.

[1] Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadair_Sabre.

[2] Internet: Http://www.rcaf.com/aircraft/fighters/sabre/index.php?name=Canadair%20Sabre.

[3] Internet: Http://www.rcaf.com/aircraft/fighters/sabre/index.php?name=Canadair%20Sabre.