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Saint-Hubert Garrison - 5 Area Support
Originally opened in 1927 as the St. Hubert Airport, it served
as Montreal's primary airport before Dorval International opened.
The airport was taken over by the RCAF on 1 September 1941 as
the home of No. 13 Service Flying Training School under the British
Commonwealth Air Training Plan. A Relief Landing Field was constructed
near Farnham. No. 13 SFTS re-located to North Battleford, Saskatchewan
in February 1944 and the station was re-designated RCAF Station
RCAF Station Saint-Hubert remained open after World War II as
part of the post-war RCAF. Numerous wartime squadrons were re-formed at
Saint-Hubert, making it a very busy air station. However, RCAF
Detachment Farnham was not included in this post-war growth and it was
simply abandoned. Nothing remains of the Detachment today.
410 Squadron was formed at RCAF Station Saint-Hubert as a
fighter squadron on 1 December 1948.
RCAF No 1. Air Defence Group moved ot St. Hubert from Ottawa in 1949 and became Air Defence Command on 1 June 1951.
The squadron later departed for 1
Wing in Marville, France to become part of No. 1 Air Division Europe.
441 Fighter Squadron re-formed on 1 March 1951 departing for 1 Wing in
North Luffenham on 13 February 1952. 427 Fighter Squadron re-formed on 1
August 1952, departing for 3 Wing Zweibracken a year later. 444
Fighter Squadron, originally from RCAF Station Rivers re-formed on 1
March 1953, departing for 4 Wing Baden on 27 August 1953. 438 Squadron
re-formed in April 1946, adding the title City of Montreal Squadron in
1950. 416 All-Weather Fighter Squadron re-located to Saint-Hubert from 2
Wing Grostenquin 1 February 1957, moving again 4 years later to RCAF
429 (Tactical Transport) Squadron formed at RCAF Station
Saint-Hubert on 21 June 1967. Equipped with Buffalo aircraft, the
squadrons roles included operational ground and aircrew training,
transport, airborne support for the army and search and rescue (SAR)
duties. A detachment of 429 Squadron was posted to RCAF Station Namao
to support the army. No. 1 Transport Helicopter Platoon, a unit of the
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, moved to RCAF Station Saint-Hubert
from RCAF Station Rivers in 1966. In 1968, No. 1 THP was renamed 450
(Heavy Transport) Helicopter Squadron moved to RCAF Station Uplands.
As a result of the Unification, the Station was re-named CFB
Saint-Hubert. In later years, Saint-Hubert would become the home of
Mobile Command Headquarters and 10 Tactical Air Group (10 TAG).
In the early to mid 1960s, a reorganization and consolidation
occurred within the Canadian Military. Several Army, Navy and RCAF
bases were either downsized, merged or closed. As a result, the base
was downgraded to a detachment of CFB Montreal on 1 September 1969.
438 Squadron City of Montreal Squadron converted to a tactical
helicopter squadron in 1981.
429 (Tactical Transport) Squadron relocated to CFB Trenton in
The introduction of the Wing concept at Air Force
establishments resulted in the base being designated 1 Wing in 1993,
although this would be short-lived as I Wing later re-located to CFB
Kingston. 450 Squadron, now a Tactical Helicopter Squadron, returned to
Saint-Hubert from CFB Ottawa South (Uplands) in August 1994. The
squadron disbanded on 25 June 1996.
In the mid 1990s, another of many consolidations occurred within the
Canadian Military. Several bases were either downsized, merged or
closed. A result, Detachment Saint-Hubert closed in 1995.
In its heyday as an operational Air Force Station, it was host to two CF-100 All Weather Fighter Squadrons, and two Air Force Reserve Sabre squadrons, in addition to being the host station to RCAF Air Defence Command Headquarters.
A small section of the former base next to the airfield was
severed off and still functions as a military establishment. Designated
as a part of No. 5 Area Support Group, the facility is now known as
Saint-Hubert Garrison. Units occupy some of the old hangers at St Hubert
Garrison include 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (a combined
Reserve-Regular Force Squadron), 51 Service Battalion and 2 cadet units,
643 Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron and 2623 Royal Canadian Army
The rest of the former CF Detachment Saint-Hubert was sold off
and is now an Industrial Park including a film production studio, which
spent nearly $30-million converting a hangar into a sound stage and
building related facilities on 22 acres of the property.
The airfield reverted back to a civilian airport, the Saint-Hubert
Source Material: "The Garrison" newspaper from March 1995,
pamphlet printed by Studio High Techniques of Toronto (1998),
information provided by Captain S. Latraverse, Staff Officer, Area
Support Unit Montreal (2000), "Sentinel" Magazine from March 1968, June
1968 and February-March 1971, pgs. 1-10, the 429 Squadron web page -
http://www.secant.co.uk/bullseye98/429sqn.htm, History of the 400 Series
"Wings For Victory" by Spencer Dunmore, the 450 Squadron web page -
www.totavia.com/terry/cyow/uplands/450sqn.htm, the Globe & Mail from
Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - Page B10, Montreal's Saint Hubert Airport
Enthusiastï¿½s Page -
the personal recollections of the author (2003).