In 1995 the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum acquired our Mk. V Sabre. Before coming to ACAM, the Sabre had been located at CFB Chatham, where it was used as a gate guard after it’s retirement from the Forces.
Recovering the Sabre proved to be a most difficult task. Upon being mounted where it was formerly located, the Sabre’s landing gear had been removed. As well the recovery team had to remove the wings in order to ship it to ACAM. After a year of hard work, the Sabre finally sported landing gear again, resting comfortably at ACAM.
ACAM’s Sabre Mk. 5 was painted in the traditional colors of the “Golden Hawks”. The Golden Hawks were a demonstration that performed in Canada during 1959-63, they were the fore-runner of the Snowbirds and were considered to be one of the best aerobatic teams in the world.
While our particular Sabre never actually flew with the “Golden Hawks”, it was a gunnery trainer with the the “Hawks” unit. The “Golden Hawks” group was formed at CFB Chatham. One of our ACAM members, Jim McCombe, had been a member of the Hawks for three years, including leading the team for one year. When ACAM acquired the Sabre, it was decided to preserve the history of the Air Demonstration Team in Canada, as well as, to act as a tribute to the men who flew Sabres into Canadian Air Force history. Our Sabre had served in both Europe and at RCAF Station Chatham.