On Friday (4 May), His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, presented "colours" to 421, 439 and 441 Tactical Fighter Squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
On Friday (4 May), His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, presented "colours" to 421, 439 and 441 Tactical Fighter Squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The ceremony took place in Baden-Soellingen in West Germany.
Four hundred and fifty officers and men of the three squadrons took part in the ceremony which featured a march past by the Canadian Forces Central Band, and the Ottawa Pipe Band of the Canadian Forces.
Prince Philip, who is Marshal of the British Royal Air Force, took the salute during the march past.
Colours, (identifying flags) have been in use for centuries and were the result of the practical requirements; the need for some mark or distinction between units and the need of a conspicuous rallying point in battle. Within the British military system, the first regimental colours appeared in the seventeenth century. The Canadian system of colours follows that of the British system. Squadrons qualify for the award of colours after twenty-five years of service, or for especially meritorious operations. The Canadian squadrons qualified for the latter reason.
421 squadron was formed in 1942 and was equipped with the famous Spitfire fighter. Today 421 like 439 squadron, is equipped with Starfighters. 441 squadron is equipped with CF-104 fighter aircraft.