jeudi 11 octobre 2012

Sixty years ago, Canada's Air Force settled in Grostenquin, France

2 Fighter Wing Sabre's arrival on the Grostenquin flightline,
october 11th of 1952...  60 years ago!

Today is the day to celebrate the 60th anniversary of former RCAF air base at Grostenquin, France, as the three Sabre squadrons composing No. 2 Fighter Wing landed on this airfield on october,  11th of 1952. At this time, the base was nothing but a giant mess, as work was in progress all over the place.    

In the early 1950's, RCAF deployed four Sabre wings in Europe as part of NATO, to face the soviet threat. Over the years, No. 1 Air Division in Europe changed its size and composition to take on strength new aicrafts, such as the all-weather fighter CF-100 Canuck, then, the CF-104 Starfighter in a dual strike/recce role which sped Grostenquin air base's closure, en 1964.

To celebrate this anniversary, and to bring back to light this air base's history, do not miss the forthcoming Air Fan magazine issues (n° 407 october 2012 and n° 408 november 2012) : I authored a two-part richly illustrated retrospection devoted to Grostenquin air base (only in french, sorry guys!).

If you live in the neighbourhood (and if you understan french), you are welcome to attend a lecture I will give on this same subject at the Société d'Histoire du pays Naborien (Saint-Avold history society), lon friday novembre 9th at 8:00 pm; - (free admittance!). Take a look at the invitation HERE.

Finally, in the meantime, to take preview of what you will attend (or miss) you still can take a look at the Nancy-Ochey French Air Force base's historical research center's newsletter, depicting a visit of the former air base realized some months ago (once again, text is only in french...) : it is on pages 3 and 4  just clic HERE.

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