The Golden Hawks

The Golden Hawks were formed on March 1, 1959 as the RCAF’s contribution to the Golden Anniversary of Flight in Canada. Under the command of Wing Commander Jake Easton, Squadron Leader Fern Villeneuve and his team flourished, quickly establishing themselves as one of the finest aerobatic teams in the world. Resplendent in their six gold-coloured F-86 Sabre 5 fighters, the Golden Hawks represented everything that was glorious about the RCAF and aviation in Canada.

Although originally slated to fly for only one year, the popularity of the Golden Hawks ensured their survival for five full seasons until debilitating budget cuts to national defence sealed their fate on February 7, 1964 as the team practiced for their sixth season. All told, over 15,000,000 North Americans watched the Golden Hawks weave their aerial magic in 317 shows over five years. They came to symbolize a form of national pride, a thrilling sight millions of Canadians would cherish and never forget. Today, their legacy lives on through the Snowbirds and Hawk One.

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