“It is important to keep the association viable today to honor the rich history of the CRA and to lobby for government support for the CRA today,” said club president Bill Sergeant.
She was a familiar sight to anyone traveling between Barrie and Angus.
And now she’s home.
The bright red Canadian Armed Forces jet plane graced the front yard of 441 (Huronia) Wing, the RCAF Association building on Highway 90 west of Tiffin Street.
The Red Knight T-33 – a world-renowned jet-aerobatic artist – is long gone and the wing clubhouse closed in 2008.
While a brick and mortar facility may no longer exist, association members still meet once a month, in person or online through Zoom, according to club president Bill Sergeant.
“Members can hear first-hand accounts of activities in which members of the Canadian Armed Forces and veterans have participated,” he says. Barrie today. “We have guest speakers on current aviation issues. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have told us about recent deployments in which they have participated.
“We also had guest speakers who were in Holland when it was liberated by the Canadian military in 1945 explained to us what the conditions were then and why they love Canada and Canadians for what they did. then, ”he adds.
“It is important to keep the association viable today to honor the rich history of the CRA and to lobby for government support for the CRA today. “
Having received its charter from the RCAF Association in 1959, 441 Wing has been in continuous service since then and was operated from a few locations before moving to the Highway 90 building in the early years. 80. It should be noted that prior to this the building housed a garden supply retailer.
The squadron currently has 70 members and typically receives a handful more each year, says the sergeant.
“These include members of the RCAF from 16 Wing Borden, important local people who wish to support aviation in Canada, and the family and friends of Air Force veterans,” he adds.
Over the years, the 441 (Huronia) Wing, the RCAF Association has sponsored two squadrons of Royal Canadian Air Cadets – 102nd Squadron Silver Fox Barrie and 714 Squadron from Wasaga Beach – and also formed an affiliation agreement with Unit 6 of the Korea Veterans Association, allowing the KVA to have a meeting place.
There were Battle of Britain celebrations, dances for special occasions throughout the year such as New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day, as well as charter and awards dinners and celebrations. Christmas receptions.
“For Remembrance Day, the Wing was one of three places Veterans could go to enjoy a meal, marching band and camaraderie after the Remembrance Day parade in downtown Barrie, ”said Staff Sgt. “A big hit with air force members from CFB Borden and 16 Wing Borden were the TGIF dinners on Fridays of each week. “
The important social aspects of Wing membership continue as they meet monthly at Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 147 in Barrie.
“We are an extended family who reach out when or when needed,” he says. “Last week we celebrated one of our members’ 91st birthday at Orillia Rama Regional Airport by having lunch with him, then he and four of us took a flight in a de Havilland Beaver seaplane. over Orillia and Lake Simcoe.
“We also supported the families of the deceased members by attending their celebration of life.”
If you’re interested in taking a look at this T-33, it and dozens of other aircraft are on display at CFB Borden.
“The T-33 has had a real positive impact on the squadron. It was a landmark that most of the people in this region knew and used as a reference point for navigation when giving directions to the base, ”said the sergeant.
“It was really hard to see the plane take off,” he adds. “It was originally given to the wing by the Department of National Defense with several streaked requirements for its disposal. The Wing worked with 16 Wing Borden and successfully returned the T-33 to Base Borden and set it up on a pedestal adjacent to the Royal Canadian Air Force Academy, which is part of the 16th Wing.