The MATS Pennant

On 20 July 1950, on receiving formal notice of the Cabinet decision, the Chief of the Air Staff issued a directive that put 426 Squadron under the operational control of the United States Military Air Transport Service (MATS, USAF) in support of the United Nations campaign in Korea.

    The Squadron was brought up to a war strength of 12 North Star aircraft, and their west-coast base was McChord AFB near Tacoma, Washington. The Canadian code word for the Korean airlift was Operation HAWK, and ran from 25 Jul 50 to 31 May 54.

North Star 17511, Haneda AFB, near Tokyo, Japan. Flights were made by either a north and south route that saw Canadian personnel all over the Pacific Ocean.

Canadian troops disembarking at Haneda, en route to Korea.

In recognition of the dedication and effort, 426 Sqn was presented with a MATS Pennant on the first anniversary of the airlift.

W/C J.K. MacDonald, C.O. of 426 Sqn, accepts a silk flag bearing the insignia of the US Military Air Transport Service from Colonel W.W. Goss, the MATS Chief of Staff; Dorval, 27 Jul 51.


    Unfortunately, the Pennant, the Sqn records including aircraft logbooks, and an aircraft were destroyed when a hangar burned down at Dorval, 9 Mar 56. It wasn't until the 95-96 time frame that Larry Motiuk, acting for the Association, went about replacing the lost Pennant.

LCol D. Bourque and CWO J.M.S. Camire display the new MATS Pennant. The replica was commissioned by the 426 Squadron Association and was presented by Col D. Eberly (US Defence and Air Attache) at the Associaction's 11th Biennial Reunion held in Montreal. Receiving the Pennant on behalf of the Sqn was BGen R. Proulx, 31 May 96. 

The MATS Pennant today, proudly displayed in Blanchard Hall, with the United Nations and Association Flags, and the RCAF Ensign.