The Royal Canadian Air Force played role in different conflicts during this time period


When you think of the Cold War, the United States and the former Soviet Union are the two countries that come to mind. The conflict was ultimately centered on their conflicting ideological beliefs of capitalism and communism.

These two superpowers locked horns for 35 years by supplying arms to their allies during different military conflicts, competing to become the leader in technology and innovation, and both vied towards having the No. 1 economic system in the world.


However, The Military Museums of Calgary is hoping to expose people to an untold side of the great conflict. Its Cold War exhibit, opening this fall under the auspices of the Air Force Museum of Alberta, will commemorate the contributions of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during this time.The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and its aircraft were used for many different purposes throughout the course of the Cold War. The RCAF transported supplies and personnel during the Korean War and different NATO peacekeeping missions, were involved in tracking Soviet bomber threats and were on guard to deal with any potential Soviet attack.

Photo courtesy of The Military Museums of Calgary.

“It’s going to be a chronological telling of the RCAF’s role,” says KC Richards, marketing co-ordinator at The Military Museums. “Their equipment, the pilots, the maintainers and people which all contributed during the Cold War to keep Canada safe.”

Soon after Canada joined NATO in 1949, the RCAF established bases in different European countries­­ — including Germany and France — in order to defend those countries from a Soviet attack. In 1950 the RCAF became involved in the Korean War by transporting personnel and supplies. The air force took part in different peacekeeping missions and teamed up with U.S. Air Force to establish radar stations to track Soviet bomber threats.

This exhibit will feature the RCAF’s CF-18, Canadair CF-104 Starfighter and Canadair Sabre jet fighters. This exhibit will also include information panels and pictures documenting a period of history that began shortly after the completion of the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall in late 1989.

Richards said the exhibit will likely open in October.

The top photo of a RCAF air force base is courtesy of The Military Museums of Calgary. 

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