Lieutenant-Colonel William Joseph Alfred (Alf) Tait

After graduating from High School in the “Belle Province’ at age 16, I headed to Sault Ste Marie, ON to seek employment. After about a year that lost its appeal and 3 of us headed off to Oshawa, ON to search for better work. In short, two of us joined the RCAF on May 25th, 1954.

My 40-year travelogue follows. From Toronto we went to St. Jean, PQ for Basic: training and the to Clinton, ON for trades training. I was then transferred to Sydney, NS to a radar site as a radar operator (Scope Dope).

After about a year I applied for aircrew and was selected as a Navigator and graduated from the Nav School 1956 and proceeded to 433 AWF sqn via the OTU at Cold Lake AB. After some 1200 hrs. on the CF-100 I was sent to Sept Isle, PQ via Tyndal AFB, FL. as an air weapons controller.

Offered a 3-year extension and another radar site but decided to transfer to the army for another shot at becoming a pilot. After 4 long years of training recruits, I was selected as a pilot. The Chipmunk and the L-19 and Hiller Helicopter at Rivers. I kept on as an instructor but out of nowhere, sent to Fort Benning GA. to instruct on the Chinook helicopter. This was followed by 3 years instructing on the Huey and then the dreaded NDHQ. After 3 yrs. I volunteered for Viet Nam and back for 2 years at Carlton University, off to Edmonton to 408 Sqn. on the Kiowa.

From there 4 years at Air Reserve Group and then in 1982 to Tinker AFB, OK. as an NORAD Mission commander on the AWACS. After that it was to Hamilton, ON. as CO of the Recruiting Center. My final posting was back to Air Reserve Group Winnipeg and where I retired in 1994. I have a long association with Charleswood Legion 100 including 14 years as Branch Chairman.

< Back to the Tank Memorial Wall