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Anniversaries in 2022
Selected Events in Canadian Aerospace History

25th Anniversary (1997):

Retirement of the CC-137 Husky (Boeing 707) from CAF service.

31 Jul 1997. 1 Canadian Air Division is created, Air Command headquarters moves to Ottawa, and the office of Chief of the Air Staff is recreated.

07-19 Aug 1997. Bjarni Tryggvason becomes the sixth Canadian astronaut in space for mission STS-85 to deploy the CRISTA-SPAS pallet. As a Payload Specialist, he tests the next-generation Microgravity Isolation Mount (MIM), a unique Canadian device that he codesigned.

30th Anniversary (1992):

VU-32 is disbanded at Shearwater and replaced by 434 Sqn.

VU-33 is disbanded at Comox and replaced by 414 Sqn.

22-30 Jan 1992. Astronaut Roberta Bondar becomes the second Canadian, and first Canadian woman, in space aboard Discovery (STS-42).

03 Jul 1992. Astronauts Marc Garneau and Chris Hadfield are selected by the Canadian Space Agency to become the first Canadian Mission Specialists. A month later, the two begin training in Houston.

03 Jul 1992. The airlift of supplies into Sarajevo, coordinated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, begins. The Canadian contribution, dubbed Operation Airbridge, continues until 31 Mar 1995.

22 Oct – 01 Nov 1992. The third Canadian Space Agency astronaut in space, Payload Specialist Steve MacLean, oversees the CANEX-2 set of Canadian experiments on mission STS-52, in particular, the Space Vision System (SVS) using Canadarm, now on its 29th mission. The geodesic satellite LAGEOS is deployed out of the cargo bay of Columbia. He was the second Canadian to perform a spacewalk.

50th Anniversary (1972):

The Boeing CC-137 Husky (Boeing 707) replaces the CC-106 Yukon as the long-range passenger and VIP transport for the RCAF. Two are modified for air-to-air refuelling capability.

9 Nov 1972. The Anik A1 communications satellite is launched. Canada is the first country with a domestic communications satellite in geostationary orbit.

No. 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron was re-formed at CFB Lahr, flying the CH-112 Nomad helicopter.

No. 414 Squadron moved to North Bay, ON, flying the CF-100, CC-117 Falcon and the CT-133 in the Electronic Warfare role.

60th Anniversary (1962):

20 Feb 1962. RCAF Avro CF-100 Canucks observed the launch of US astronaut John Glenn and monitored infrared rays and radio emissions in conjunction with USAF aircraft at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

6 Apr 1962. The Consolidated Canso was withdrawn from RCAF service.

Sep 1962 RCN Air Arm's first and last jet fighter, the F2H-3 Banshee was retired without replacement.

21 Jul 1962. A new endurance record was set by a Canadair CC-106 Yukon aircraft of the RCAF which was airborne 23 hrs, 51 mins and covered approximately 7,000 miles (11,265 km).

15 Sep 1962. No. 447 (Surface-to-Air Missile) Squadron was formed at La Macaza, Quebec. The squadron was the second RCAF SAM unit equipped with the nuclear-armed Lockheed CIM-10B Bomarc surface-to-air missiles for North American air defence.

28 Sep 1962. The Canadian built Alouette satellite was launched at Vandenberg, California by a Thor Agena B rocket. WIth the launch of satellite Alouette 1, Canada becomes the third nation after Russia and the USA to build its own satellite.

23 Oct-28 Nov 1962. RCAF Air Defence Command units were on alert during the Cuban missile crisis.

1 Oct 1962. 1962 No. 425 All-Weather (Fighter) Squadron became operational at Bagotville, Qc, flying the CF-101B Voodoo interceptor.

No. 409 All-Weather (Fighter) Squadron in Comox converted to McDonnell CF-101B fighters.

17 Dec 1962. No. 427 (Fighter) Squadron was reactivated at No. 3 (Fighter) Wing at Zweibrücken, Germany as No. 427 (Strike Attack) Squadron, and re-equipped with the Canadair CF-104 Starfighter.

31 Dec 1962. The four Avro Canada CF-100 squadrons with No. 1 Air Division (419, 423, 440 and 445 squadrons) were disbanded.

1962. The first Abbotsford Airshow was held at Abbotsford, BC. From modest beginnings, it had become the largest annual airshow in Canada by 1965.

75th Anniversary (1947):

Feb 1947. A para-rescue jump course was inaugurated at Edmonton, Alberta.

01 Apr 1947. No. 412 (Composite) Squadron was redesignated from No. 12 (Communications) Squadron (originally stood up on 30 Aug 1940), at Rockcliffe, Ottawa, Ontario.

01 Apr 1947. No. 103 (Search and Rescue) Flight was formed at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, a section of 101 KU. Later that year, the unit moved to Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

05 Apr 1947. The RCAF acquired its first helicopter, a Sikorsky H-5, RCAF (Serial No. 9601).

15 Apr 1947. The first Canadian-built transport aircraft entered scheduled service when a TCA Canadair-built Douglas DC-4M-1 North Star flew from Goose Bay, Labrador to Prestwick, Scotland in 8 hrs, 39 mins.

26 Jul 1947. Start of the RCAF's first trans-Pacific VIP flight, carrying General H.D.G. Crerar and his party on a Far Eastern Mission. They were flown by No. 412 (Composite) Squadron in Consolidated Liberator C Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. 574).

16 Aug 1947. The DHC-2 Beaver prototype was test flown at Downsview, Ontario, by Russell Bannock.

Dec 1947. The first engine was tested in new Cold Weather Test Station for jet engines set up at Fort Churchill, Manitoba, by the National Research Council.

80th Anniversary (1942):

04 Apr 1942. S/L LJ Birchall and crew of a Consolidated Catalina of No. 413 Squadron sighted a large Japanese naval force steaming to attack Ceylon and gave warning before being shot down and taken prisoner. S/L Birchall was awarded the DFC for this action.

18 May 1942. No. 423 (Coastal) Squadron was formed at Oban, Scotland, equipped with the Short Sunderland flying boat.

30 – 31 May 1942. Nos. 405, 408, 419 and 420 (Bomber) Squadrons participated in the first 1000 aircraft attack on Germany, directed at Cologne.

02-8 Jun 1942. Nos. 8, 111 and 118 Squadrons moved to Alaska to join No. 115 Squadron to work with US forces to defend against the Japanese.

25 Jun 1942. No. 425 (Bomber) Squadron, the first French Canadian squadron, was formed at RAF Dishforth in Yorkshire, England, flying Vickers Wellingtons.

19 Aug 1942. Six fighter and two Army Cooperation squadrons of the RCAF supported the Canadian attack on Dieppe, France.

25 Sep 1942. S/L KA Boomer, CO of No. 111 (Fighter) Squadron, destroyed a Japanese Nakajima A6M2-N (Rufe) floatplane fighter over Kiska, Alaska – the only RCAF air combat in the North American theatre of war.

14 Oct 1942. P/O GF Beurling flying a Supermarine Spitfire of No. 249 Squadron (RAF) destroyed three enemy aircraft over Malta but was himself shot down and wounded.

15 Oct 1942. No. 426 Squadron was formed at RAF Dishforth, England.

15 Oct 1942. No. 424 (Bomber) Squadron was formed at RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, England, as the sixth RCAF Overseas bomber squadron.

05 Nov 1942. The Canadian government expropriated the facilities of the Aircraft Division of the National Steel Car Corp. at Malton, ON, and began their operation as a crown corporation, Victory Aircraft Ltd.

07 Nov 1942. No. 428 (Bomber) Squadron, also known as the Ghost Squadron, was the ninth long-range heavy bomber Article XV squadron formed overseas during the Second World War, at RAF Dalton in Yorkshire, England.

07 Nov 1942. No. 429 (Bomber) Squadron was initially assigned to No 4 Group at RAF East Moor. It was reassigned to No 6. Group, RCAF, and flew until it was disbanded on 31 May 1946.

11 Nov 1942. No. 431 (Bomber) Squadron, nicknamed the "Iroquois" squadron, was formed at RAF Burn, in North Yorkshire England. The squadron was initially equipped with Vickers Wellington B Mk. X medium bombers and assigned to No. 4 Group, RAF.

A Full Listing of Historical Events in Canadian Aerospace History may be found here:

RCAF and Canadian aviation history Part One: 1909 - Aug 1939
Illustrated chronology of RCAF and Canadian Aviation events from 1909 to 1939.

RCAF and Canadian aviation history Part Two: Sep 1939 - Dec 1945
Illustrated chronology of RCAF and Canadian Aviation events from 1946 to present.

RCAF and Canadian aviation history Part Three: 1946 - 1950
Illustrated chronology of RCAF and Canadian Aviation events from 1946 to present.

RCAF and Canadian aviation history Part Four: 1951 - Present
Illustrated chronology of RCAF and Canadian Aviation events from 1946 to present.

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