Both 400 and 411 Squadrons flew the Vampire from 1948-1956
Vampire Bail-Out (A true Story)
400 Squadron's Col Gerry Gilroy (Retd) is one of the few Pilots who bailed out of a Vampire and lived. He wrote the story of his escapade which is available in its full written form below.
We have produced a video with Eric Smyth telling Gerry's story, which is quite riveting, and can be accessed by clicking the Audio Book logo on the upper right.
The Problems With Vampires:
Air Force, Part 38 April 24, 2010
By Hugh A. Halliday
This article is reprinted with permission from the Legion Magazine from their feature on CANADIAN MILITARY HISTORY IN PERSPECTIVE
Read The Full Story
A 400 Squadron Vampire on the line at Downsview circa 1955
On extreme right is Vic Prendergast and to his left (in red shirt) is Chuck Fisher, both Vampire Pilots with 400 Squadron.
This group photo taken with the Vampire owned by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario during a 'Rendezvous' in July, 2011
Gerry Gilroy's April 2013 Speech
The following article is reproduced from "Flypast V. 47 No. 7 May 2013", the newsletter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society.
Notes on the Vampire Aircraft:
Some 4366 Vampires were produced and were used by numerous Air Forces. The Vampire is a very simple aircraft with delightful handling characteristics and was the perfect aircraft to introduce pilots to the flying characteristics of a Jet Fighter. .Experimental models were used to break the sound barrier and set altitude records. One was equipped with swept wings to evaluate the Comet wing design. It was the first jet to cross the Atlantic. Although the RAF and RCAF retired their Vampires around 1955, the Swiss used theirs until 1991. (Forsyth (the author) claimed to fly an RAF Vampire in Germany in 1957)
David Campbell had this to say:
“I was a USAF exchange pilot at Oakington with 206AFS and 5FTS and commanded the Vampire Standardization Sq. I have flown all the American fighter aircraft from the P-40 to F-4. The Vampire was the most enjoyable airplane I ever flew. It was pure pleasure every time I got in it.” Hear, Hear!!
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