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An email from Dan Dempsey

Dear Friends:

Many of you will recall that I sent out a message back in May 2015 reporting on the re-dedication of Sarnia's magnificent Golden Hawk Sabre, RCAF Serial No. 23164. Sponsored by 403 Wing of the RCAF Association, the project took two years and 4,800 hours of volunteer work and community spirit to restore the jet back to its original glory. The jet flew with the Golden Hawks out of RCAF Station Chatham in 1959 and 1960.

A press release at the time stated:

Sarnia's Sabre perpetuates the memory of all of the Air Force pilots and personnel who have died for their country, past and present. It honours the Golden Hawks aerobatic team, including the pilots, crew chiefs, and ground personnel. An engraved stone now stands to the left of the aircraft and "the whole Golden Hawks team is listed on the stone – the whole team from '59 to '64," explained Mark Sebutis, president of Canadian Owners and Pilots Association Flight 7 and coordinator of the restoration project.

A plaque affixed to the Sabre's pedestal reads:

The restoration and perpetuation of Sarnia's F-86 Sabre Mk V Golden Hawk, Serial #23164 is a direct result of the tireless advocacy and stewardship members of the 403 Wing Sarnia RCAFA have shown for this important monument. What you see before you is one of the original Canadian-built Sabre jets that performed with the RCAF Golden Hawk aerobatic team in the late 1950s and early 60s. This project represents their dedication to the memory of their Air Force comrades, past and present, and their commitment to preserving history and keeping that memory alive.

A member of that restoration team, former CF pilot Dave Cooke, has just finished a video dedication to the Golden Hawks which I think you will enjoy. Aside from being an avid "fighter simulator" flyer, Dave is also a Transport Canada licensed drone pilot. He has combined these two passions in a short four minute video, relating what it was like to see the Golden Hawks for the first time through the eyes of a 10 year old boy in Sarnia in 1959 while paying tribute to the inspiration the team provided to millions of Canadians.

To view the video, simply click on the link below. If you would like to download the video as a zip file or via Dropbox, just click on the blue "Download" icon in the top right corner. Dave can help you if you run into difficulties. He can be contacted at

Per Ardua ad Astra

D.V. Dempsey
High Flight Enterprises Ltd.
1174 Sloan Terrace
Victoria, B.C.
Canada V8Y 3C4
Cell 250-661-0702