de Havilland Vampire seen at the 19th Wing Comox, getting ready for static display at the 2013 Comox Airshow.
RCAF de Havilland Vampire 17031 was taken on strength on 10 April 1948. Soon it joined three other Vampires, along with nine Harvards, stationed with 442 (aux) on Sea Island. The squadron used the Vampires in local air shows, as well as at summer camps at regular force Bases around Western Canada, where they acquitted themselves well. By 31 March 1950, the Vampires had been moved back east, where 17031 would serve with 402 “City of Winnipeg” Auxiliary Fighter Squadron. Vampire, including 17031, would rejoin 442 Squadron in September 1952. They stayed there until 1956, when they were replaced by F-86 Sabres.?This change paralleled a change that was happening throughout the RCAF. By the early Fifties, it had been determined that the Vampires had been outstripped by newer jet aircraft, especially the Sabre. As a result, they were all taken off strength by 1958. 17031 was sold to a civilian, and was taken out of Canada. It returned only recently, when the Comox Air Force Museum was able to acquire it for our collection.
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