In 2016, the RCAF is commemorating the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, one of the largest air training programs the world has ever seen. A number of the RCAF’s 400-series squadrons, which came into being as a result of Article XV of the BCATP agreement, are celebrating their 75th anniversaries this year.
Royal Canadian Air Force
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron. The squadron was established as No. 403 (Fighter) Squadron at Royal Air Force Station Baginton, Warwickshire, England, on March 1, 1941.
This represented a milestone in Canadian aviation history as 403 Squadron was the first RCAF squadron formed overseas under the terms of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan agreement, signed in December 1939. The squadron flew as part of RAF Fighter Command and Second Tactical Air Force for more than four years during the Second World War.
Since its inception, 403 Squadron has assumed many roles, including fighter, bomber, search and rescue, and transport within the RCAF. Since the 1970s, it has been an operational training squadron, providing combat capable aircrew and technicians for helicopter tactical aviation in support of the Canadian Army.
The squadron celebrated its 75th anniversary with commemorative events that began on Friday, May 27, 2016, in Gagetown, New Brunswick. A meet and greet for current and former “Wolfpack” members included three retired P-51…