UPDATE - Nov. 9, 2017
Further to the notice below that was issued earlier this week, we have been advised that, due to a change in operational requirements, the planned flyover by the RCAF C-17 Globemaster on Remembrance Day has been cancelled.
All other aspects of the local Remembrance Day ceremonies will proceed as planned.
Nov. 7, 2017
The Royal Canadian Air Force C-17 Globemaster of the 429 (Bison) Squadron is scheduled to perform a flyover of the Lethbridge Cenotaph on Remembrance Day, Nov. 11 at approximately 12:15 p.m. to commemorate those who gave their lives to secure our freedom.
The 702 Wing-Lethbridge is proud to host the 429 Squadron during this year's Remembrance Day activities. The aircraft is to arrive in Lethbridge on Friday, Nov. 10 at approximately 2 p.m. and will complete a flyover of the downtown area.
The public is invited to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies being held in our community:
9:30-11:30 a.m. - Lethbridge Exhibition Park – South Pavilion
Noon-12:30 pm - Lethbridge Cenotaph (outside City Hall, 4 Avenue South, downtown)
Following the noon-hour Remembrance Day ceremony, a ceremony will be held in front of City Hall for the official unveiling of a monument honouring the enduring friendship between 429 Squadron and the City of Lethbridge, based on the adoption of the Squadron by the City in November 1944. City Council recently approved placing the monument on the north side of City Hall, adjacent to the Cenotaph.
The 429 (Bison) Squadron has a long and distinguished history, beginning in 1942 as a strategic aviation resource of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The squadron was adopted by the City of Lethbridge in 1944 while it was deployed in England during the Second World War. In 2008, the Squadron was reunited with the City of Lethbridge and granted "Freedom of the Sky". The C-17 Globemaster aircraft of 429 Squadron have been deployed worldwide on humanitarian and military support missions.
For a detailed history of the relationship between the 429 Squadron and the City of Lethbridge, please refer to the Historical Backgrounder below.
702 Wing Association
702 Wing Association
The close ties between the City of Lethbridge and 429 Squadron date back to the Second World War. Formed in England in 1942 as a bomber squadron, 429 Squadron was adopted by the City of Lethbridge in June 1944 while A.W. Shackleford was the mayor.
Lethbridge was very proud of its squadron and quickly took it under its wing. Staff members from the T. Eaton Company in the city were the first to send a care package – some 4,000 much appreciated cigarettes. This was soon followed by others sending various items including cigarettes, woollen mittens and scarves. These bolstered the morale of the airmen and assisted them during hard times.
Lethbridge residents enjoyed following the successes of their adopted squadron through the pages of the local newspaper. The squadron, in turn, presented a trophy to the city which is today proudly displayed in the Lethbridge Military Museum. During the course of the war the squadron was equipped with Wellington, Halifax, and Lancaster aircraft. Members of the squadron were awarded 45 Distinguished Flying Crosses as well as other honours, and the squadron itself received 10 Second World War Battle Honours. After the war ended, the squadron remained in Europe conducting Prisoner of War repatriation duties until being disbanded in Leeming, England on May 31, 1946. Known as the "Bisons" the squadron's motto was "fortnae nihil" or "nothing to chance".
The 429 Squadron was reformed as a tactical transport unit in 1967 at St. Hubert, Quebec and flew Buffalo aircraft for the Army. In 1968, it was integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces as the air navigation and instrument rating squadron of the Canadian Forces. Reorganization in 1981 returned 429 Squadron to a transport role at Winnipeg, Manitoba with C-130 aircraft.
In 1990 the squadron was moved to CFB Trenton. After being disbanded in 2005, the Squadron was again activated in 2007 as the Canadian Forces first strategic transport squadron operating the CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft. Since then it has performed a wide range of air transport roles on behalf of Canada – everything from delivering humanitarian aid to disaster zones worldwide to ferrying supplies to Canadian troops around the world.
Lethbridge has continued to foster a close relationship with the squadron and the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 2008, Lethbridge Mayor Bob Tarleck granted the Freedom of the Sky to 429 Squadron, and it has reciprocated by providing an aircraft to fly over the city's Remembrance Day services on a number of occasions.
The City is proud of its association with 429 Squadron and looks forward to fostering awareness and understanding of this enduring relationship through the unveiling of this monument.