Canadian Wings :: The History & Heritage of the Royal Canadian Air Force

RCAF Station Zweibrücken

Germany Europe

On January 6, 1953, No. 3 Wing, (also known as No. 3(F) Wing) Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), commanded by Group Captain A.C. Hull, arrived to assume control of RCAF Station Zweibrücken. No. 3 wing operated the station for over 16 years.

RCAF Station Zweibrücken was one of four RCAF bases of No. 1 Air Division Europe that were established to support NATO during the Cold War. Other bases were located in Marville, France; Grostenquin, France; and Baden-Soellingen, West Germany.

Three squadrons flying F-86 Sabres were located at Zweibrücken: 413, 427, and 434. No. 413 Squadron was replaced in 1957 by 440 Squadron flying the new CF-100 all-weather interceptor.

In 1959 Canada adopted a new and controversial nuclear strike roll in accordance with NATO's doctrine of limited nuclear warfare"" and began re-equipping with the new CF-104 Starfighter that could handle the delivery of nuclear weapons. This aircraft also had a reconnaissance role.

In the fall of 1962 the Sabre squadrons of the Air Division, including those at 3 Wing, began flying Starfighters. No. 440 Squadron was disbanded in December 1962. No. 430 Squadron moved to Zweibrücken from Grostenquin when 2 Wing closed down in 1964.

During this time, the Canadian Forces established excellent relations with the local German community through their hockey team, the RCAF Flyers (Europe).

The RCAF left Zweibrücken August 27, 1969 as an austerity measure following unification of the Canadian Armed Forces. Before leaving, they erected a west coast Indian totem pole as a token of their friendship with the local German citizens. At the top of the pole was the Thunderbird, the god who watches over all creation. Below it was a double headed sea monster, the warrior's symbol


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