[ Baden Soellingen ]

CF-100 Operations

1957 - 1962

O n the fifth of August 1957, 419 AW (F) Sqn landed at 4 Wing under their CO W/C "Sam" MacBride. They came the northern route, and tragically lost one airplane and her crew near Seven Islands, Quebec. It was a bad start for operation "Nimble Bat" across the Atlantic.

Little did the unsuspecting Sabre squadrons realize what was in store for them. From that day until their disbandment, the Moose boys cleaned up Deci in the rocketry department, and rarely fell from the top in the hockey and football finals.

As was the case for most operational squadrons, the first few weeks were spent acclimatizing, and getting the picture of their new hunting grounds. Unlike Canada, Germany seldom, if ever, has what can be called a clear day. The normal European weather (if there is such a thing) has a visibility of about three miles in haze and some clouds. In winter, thick fog and an overcast cloud layer are the norm. Under these conditions, the all-weather capacities of the CF-100 and its pilots soon be came apparent. It was then that the base began to realize that there was really another fighting squadron on the base, in spite of the fact that they flew rather different looking machines. "Moose's" prowess in Baden's environment was to put the CF- 100 in a class all its own when it came to "dirty" weather, and night flying duties.

Undoubtedly a large part of the "Moose's" prestige evolved from Deci camp in Sardinia. The "big camp", situated about thirty miles from the southern Sardinian coast, was the testing ground for all flying fighters of Air Div, and it was here that 419 showed its worth. Many were the trophies that found their way into the cabinets of 419, and many were the heavy heads that found their way back to their barracks after a hard night of celebrating. It can be said that the "Moosemen" did far more than the average share of celebrating. After all, what other squadron could boast of a 90.61% shoot?

The CF-100s were withdrawn from operational service in Germany on December 31, 1962.

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