North Luffenham

Canada to England 1952


439 Squadron - Much to the delight of the pilots of 439 Squadron, their squadron got the nod to be the first to fly their aircraft to Europe. They departed Uplands at 09:30 hours on May 30th, 1952 on "Leapfrog 1" and arrived at North Luffenham on the 14th of June, thus rounding out 1 Wing.



Click on the description text to view the photograph.

    Uplands to Bagotville, Quebec - May 30, 1952

  1. Route for 439 Squadron crossing the Atlantic - 30 May 1952.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  2. Canadian Jets Begin Historic Ocean Hop - 30 May 1952.
    Newspaper article.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  3. Aerial photo of 439 Squadron Sabres en route to Bagotville - 30 May 1952.
    Courtesy Bob Jackson.

  4. 439 Squadron arrives at Bagotville - 30 May 1952.
    Courtesy Gilbert Laberge.

  5. Line up of 439 Squadron aircraft at RCAF Station Bagotville - 30 May 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

    Bagotville to Goose Bay, Labrador - June 1952

  6. F/L Bliss Bell took command of Leapfrog I with the illness of S/L Bricker - June 1952.
    Courtesy 439 Squadron Archives.

  7. Arrival at Goose Bay - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  8. 426 Squadron C54 North Star at Goose Bay - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  9. Loading a Sabre engine onto a North Star at Goose Bay - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  10. Sgt Quantrill driving a unimog during servicing procedures at Goose Bay - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  11. LAC Steve Petrini completing a DI check on a 439 Squadron Sabre - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  12. LAC Grateau during a canopy cover installation at Goose Bay - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  13. Morning DI's at Goose Bay - June 1952.
    Note the remaining snow banks on the edge of the cement parking area in early June.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  14. 439 Squadron Sabres on the line at Goose Bay - June 1952.
    Courtesy Bob Jackson.

  15. 439 Squadron Sabres on departure from Goose Bay - June 1952.
    Courtesy Bob Jackson.

    Goose Bay to Bluie West I, Greenland - June 1952

  16. A section of four arrives at Bluie West I in Greenland - June 1952.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  17. Arrival at Bluie West I in Greenland - June 1952.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  18. Arrival at Bluie West I in Greenland - June 1952.
    Note the icebergs in the Fjiord.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  19. F/O Al Seitz of 439 Squadron about to touch down at BW-1 during Leapfrog I - June 1952.
    Notice the rugged terrain and the icebergs.
    Courtesy DND PL54923.

  20. Another four plane arrives at Bluie West I in Greenland - June 1952.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  21. The majestic mountains of Greenland provide a stunning backdrop for the Canadian Sabres parked below - June 1952.
    Courtesy Mike Melnick and Frank Newberry.

  22. A rear view of the previous photo at Bluie West I in Greenland - June 1952.
    Courtesy Gilbert Laberge.

  23. Aircrew pointing to the location of Bluie West I in Greenland - June 1952.
    Courtesy Gilbert Laberge.

  24. 439 Squadron Sabre departure from Bluie West I - June 1952.
    Courtesy Mike Melnick and Frank Newberry.

  25. 439 Squadron Sabre departures from Bluie West I in Greenland - June 1952.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

    Bluie West I to Keflavik, Iceland - June 1952

  26. 439 Squadron Sabres lined up at Keflavik, Iceland - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Raymond and Frank Newberry.

  27. Closer image of the previous photo - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Raymond.

  28. 439 Squadron aircraft lined up in front of the flag pole with a Danish flag - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  29. (L-R) Pilots S Hannah, Harry Wenz and George Fitzgerald of 439 Squadron at Keflavik during Leapfrog I - June 1952.
    Courtesy George Fitzgerald.

  30. USAF B-17 Search & Rescue aircraft c/w life boat - June 1952.
    439 Squadron Sabres parked in background.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  31. 439 Squadron personnel take advantage of a welcome stopover at Keflavik - June 1952.
    Courtesy Mike Melnick.

  32. F/O Rueker at a Control Tower weather briefing in Keflavik - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  33. Pilots departure after a briefing at the Administration building - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Raymond and Frank Newberry.

  34. Closer image of previous photo - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Raymond.

  35. 439 Squadron pilots checking their location on a local map - June 1952.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  36. 439 Squadron sabres parked in front of the Administration building at Keflavik - June 1952.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  37. 439 Squadron sabre parked in front of the Administration building at Keflavik - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  38. Slightly closer image of the previous photo - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  39. Ray O'Link is part of the servicing crew for the Sabre in front of the Administration building - June 1952.
    Courtesy Mike Melnick and Frank Newberry.

    Keflavik to Kinloss, Scotland - June 1952

  40. RAF Search & Rescue Shackeltons and a Neptune on the left, with 439 Squadron Sabres parked on the right - June 1952.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.

  41. Refueling 439 Squadron Sabres with RAF antiquated equipment - June 1952.
    The white fuel bowser (far right) is an RCAF 2500 gallon bowser from North Luffenham.
    Courtesy Frank Newberry.



Photographic Credits

All photos are used with permission.


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Updated: June 28, 2004