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The Canadair Sabre
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Author
Larry Milberry
Pages
372
Year of Publication
1986
ISBN
0-9690703-7-3

This is the most detailed book ever about the famous F-86 Sabre. Designed by North American Aviation in California, the Sabre is the classic jet fighter of all time, the plane that made history by taking control of the skies over Korea and drubbing the MIG-15. Chosen by the RCAF to fulfill its day-fighter needs, most of the natty little Canadian Sabres would be stationed in Europe with the No.1 Air Division. For over a decade they ruled the skies and brought fame to Canadian pilots, who regularly walked away with top gunnery awards, including the coveted Guynemer Trophy.

The book tells the story of the 1815 Sabres built under licence by Canadair in Montreal. The story starts in the immediate post-war years, when plans were made to complete 100 aircraft. The program soon gained momentum, reaching a production rate of two a day. Both Canadair Sabres and RCAF pilots served with the USAF in Korea. The RCAF's first Sabre squadrons were formed at St. Hubert, Uplands, North Bay and Bagotville, then moved to the U.K. at North Luffenham and finally to the Continent. Their story is enlivened with details from the squadron diaries and the memories of those who were there.

The ferrying of Sabres from Canada to Europe is a story in itself — the Leapfrog and Bechers Brook operations, as well as the sometimes uproarious goings-on of the Overseas Ferry Unit. Besides the RCAF story, the book describes at length the Canadair Sabre's service with the RAF and Luftwaffe. It also covers the many other operators, including the Italian, Greek and Turkish air forces. The Sabre is seen in combat with the Pakistan Air Force in 1971, and other little-known tidbits are included too, such as Canadian-built Sabres for Israel, in the Congo with the UN, and recently with the Honduras Air Force in Central America. Also covered are such stories as Jacqueline Cochran breaking the women's speed record in a Canadair Sabre and today's Sabre survivors, used as target drones and sport planes in the U.S.

The Canadair Sabre contains the largest number of Sabre photos ever published in one book. As well, there are drawings, a full production list, various specs and statistics, and even drinking songs, poems and cartoons. This book will surely bring waves of nostalgia to anyone who was involved with air force life in the 1950s and will delight anyone with an interest in some of the most exciting years in military aviation.