Wing Commander Jack Allan – Nanton’s Golden Hawks C/O

John (Jack) Fallow Allan was born in Nanton in 1917. After attending school in Nanton, he joined the RCAF as an aero-engine mechanic, six months before war was declared in September 1939.

The following year he became a pilot and went on to serve in North Africa flying Hurricanes and Spitfires with No. 33 Squadron RAF from March 1942 until May 1943. During this time he engaged in dog-fights, shooting down two enemy aircraft and claiming another two as ”probables.” He also provided cover for shipping and attacked enemy army vehicles. Jack flew thirteen operations during the pivotal Battle of El Alamein.

Allan then served as a test pilot in Egypt until he was posted back to Canada in January 1944.

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Salute to Jack Allan

Following the war, Jack flew the F-86 Sabre and in 1952 became the C/O of No. 414 Fighter Squadron. From 1953 to 1956 he was Chief Flying Officer with No. 4 Wing in Germany, returning to Canada as the Commanding Officer of No. 1 (Fighter) Operational Training Unit.

W/C Allan helped form the Golden Hawks RCAF Aerobatics Team. It first flew in 1959 as part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Flight in Canada.

From 1960 to 1962, W/C Allan was the Commanding Officer of the Golden Hawks. Although he had been a Sabre squadron C/O, he had no experience in aerobatics. However, he was in charge of the team and travelled with them, flying a T-33 that was painted in Golden Hawks’ markings. The golden T-33 was a real crowd pleaser, so Jack often made low passes on arrival and departure as the team visited the many air shows and other functions they performed at.

Jack completed his air force career as Commanding Officer of the radar base at Beaverbank, Nova Scotia. He retired to Kelowna, British Columbia in 1964 and passed away in 1973.

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