Canadian Warplanes 6: Canadair CL-13 Sabre, Sky Lancers

The Sky Lancers

(RCAF Photo via James Craik)

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.

(RCAF Photo)

On 2 Mar 1956 tragedy struck when four of the five Sky Lancers were flying in a formation loop when they crashed near Strasbourg, France not far from their home base of 4 Wing Baden.  Sitting on the wing, left, the leader of the 4 Wing Aerobatic team the Sky Lancers explains manoeuvres to the other members of the team. The leader is F/O J.D. McLarty (414 Sqn, aircraft 23483). The other members are sitting on the wing beside the leader is F/O L.C. Price (444 Sqn, did not fly that day). Standing left to right: F/O J.H. Adams (444 Sqn, aircraft 23445), F/O F.K. Axtell (422 Sqn, aircraft 23439) and F/O E.H. Welters (414 Sqn, 23524).

(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.

2024, Canadian Warplanes II.

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