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 24Nov 2019.

 (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.

 (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 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. 23019), factory fresh.

   (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 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, 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. 439 Squadron

(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. 23469), 439 Squadron.

No. 441 Squadron

 (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 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

 (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.  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.

 (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 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)

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

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

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

 (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.

No. 423 Squadron (Avro CF-100 Canuck)

No. 430 Squadron

 (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

 (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

 (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

 (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.

No. 434 Squadron

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

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

No. 414 Squadron

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

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

No. 422 Squadron

 (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

 (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 (Serial No. 23421), No. 444 Squadron, No. 4 (F) Wing, being serviced ca 1950s.

 (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

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

Canadair CL-13 Sabre (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.

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Survivors in Canada, data current to 8 Feb 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]

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.