By Schnarr, J.W. on November 12, 2017.
City has long association with air force unit
A special friendship formed between the 429 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the City of Lethbridge during The Second World War which culminated in the City adopting the Squadron in Nov. 1944.
On Saturday, as part of Remembrance Day services, that friendship was recognized for all time with the unveiling of a new monument at City Hall.
The monument was donated by the 702 Wing RCAF Association. Wayne King, president of the association, said the friendship with the squadron is an important one, and that it is important for Canadians to support the important work done by the Canadian military.
“I assure you, when a (CC-177 Globemaster) appears on the scene of some natural disaster around the world, it is a strong sign that Canada is doing its part,” he said.
The 429 Squadron has a long and distinguished history, beginning in 1942 as a strategic aviation resource of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The squadron was adopted by the City in 1944 while it was deployed in England during the Second World War.
In 2008, the squadron was reunited with the City and granted “Freedom of the Sky.”
Lethbridge residents followed the successes of their adopted squadron through the pages of the Lethbridge Herald.
They also sent care packages containing needed items such as cigarettes.
Members of the squadron were awarded 45 Distinguished Flying Crosses as well as other honours, and the squadron itself received 10 Second World War Battle Honours.
The squadron was disbanded in 1946 but was reformed as a tactical transport unit in 1967 and flew Buffalo aircraft for the Army.
In 1968, it was integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces as the air navigation and instrument rating squadron of the Canadian Forces.
Reorganization in 1981 returned 429 Squadron to a transport role at with C-130 aircraft.
In 1990 the squadron was moved to CFB Trenton.
After being disbanded in 2005, the squadron was again activated in 2007. It was the Canadian Forces first strategic transport squadron operating the CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft.
It has performed a wide range of air transport roles, from delivering humanitarian aid to disaster zones worldwide to ferrying supplies to Canadian troops around the world.
Lt. Col. Bryce Graham, Commanding Officer for the 429 Squadron, was on hand for the unveiling and said it was a proud day for the squadron and for the City.
“This monument will be in Lethbridge for many years to come, and it will allow the people of Lethbridge to recognize that relationship as well,” said Graham.
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