Moosemen remember

Members from 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron fly over Kamloops B.C. during a visit for Veterans’ Week 2018. See story for full details. Maj Maciej Hatta

Members from 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron fly over Kamloops B.C. during a visit for Veterans’ Week 2018. See story for full details.
Maj Maciej Hatta

SUBMITTED

The Armistice of 1918 closed the book on one of the deadliest periods in human history. On the 100th anniversary, 419 Tactical Fighter (Training) Squadron (Sqn) was fortunate to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, those who have served and those currently serving, paying their respects while in their home city of Kamloops.

Kamloops is a very important city to 419 Squadron (Sqn) as it all began at Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall during World War II under Bomber Command. The first commanding officer (CO) of 419 Sqn, was Wing Commander John “Moose” Fulton, being a Kamloops native, and he still plays an instrumental role in the unit’s history and the bond between the City and Squadron.

Seventeen members made their way to Kamloops, with eight students enduring the long road move, while five jets flew on a short low level training mission through the Rocky Mountains by nine instructors and support staff.

Activities in Kamloops kicked off on Friday, with the Kamloops Blazers’ annual military appreciation night, where current Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt.-Col.) Colin “Moose” Marks assisted a local veteran for the ceremonial puck drop. That veteran was 98 year old Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) William “Scotty” Falconer, who served with No 1 (now 401) Squadron as a Hawker Hurricane fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain, followed by time in Bomber Command. In his post-service years, “Scotty” remains physically active and has received multiple medals in track-and-field, including the world record for the 100-meter dash for his age group. Flt Lt Falconer’s historic heroics have made him an incredible inspirational figure to Canada’s current day fighter pilots.

On the Saturday of Veterans’ Week, 419 Sqn members joined forces with the local Army Reserve infantry unit, – the Rocky Mountain Rangers (RM Rang), – to support a food drive and attended the 31st Anniversary Kamloops Remembrance Dinner. Also in attendance, was the local Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Member of |Parliament (MP), Mayor, RM Rangs, and other key community figures.

To end this wonderful weekend, 419 participated in the Remembrance Day parade, at the beautiful Riverside Park where over 6000 locals attended. Ceilings were low, but spirits were high as military members, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Kamloops Fire Rescue and Police, Kamloops Pipes and Drums, Cadets and most importantly, the Veterans all participated in the somber parade. The Moosemen provided a fly-past of four CFT-155 Hawk fighter trainer jets in Kamloops and one in Prince George.

As always, 419 Sqn members received an exceptionally warm reception from the people of Kamloops. The hospitality and appreciation shown was extremely heartwarming and only served as a reminder of how honoured 419 is to continue their strong relationship with the City of Kamloops. As Mayor Ken Christian remarked, “Kamloops was proud to receive a spirited delegation from the 419 Squadron November 9-12. 419 Squadron holds the status of Freemen of the City of Kamloops, acknowledging their first commanding officer John (Moose) Fulton of Kamloops. In addition to a precision Flypast on Remembrance Day members of the squadron attended a number of charity and military events all weekend long. Their presence adds a valued, impactful and historically significant element to our observance of Remembrance Day here in Kamloops.”
Grateful for the experience, Squadron members came back to Cold Lake having heard stories of bravery, heroism, and dedication mixed with the warrior spirit possessed by so many individuals fighting for the same cause. Never forgetting the thousands of people who gave their lives, 419 Sqn is proud and honoured to continue their relationship with their home city of Kamloops.

Moosa Aswayita!

 

A 419 4-ship of CT-155 Hawks conducts a flypast over the Kamloops Remembrance Day parade. Allen Douglas, KTW

A 419 4-ship of CT-155 Hawks conducts a flypast over the Kamloops Remembrance Day parade.
Allen Douglas, KTW

 

419 Moosemen join the Rocky Mountain Rangers during a food drive event at a local Kamloops grocery store between Nov. 9-12, 2018. Maj Maciej Hatta

419 Moosemen join the Rocky Mountain Rangers during a food drive event at a local Kamloops grocery store between Nov. 9-12, 2018.
Maj Maciej Hatta