Aviation community says goodbye to Fern Villeneuve

An older man, wearing a flying helmet, sits in the cockpit of a small aircraft that has its canopy open.
Fern Villeneuve sits in Hawk One, an F-86 Sabre restored in 2009 to mark the centennial of powered flight in Canada. It was painted in the livery of the Golden Hawks aerobatic team, which Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) Villeneuve founded and led. PHOTO: Eric Dumigan

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Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame inductee and first leader of the RCAF Golden Hawks Demonstration Team, Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) Joseph Armand Gerard Fernand “Fern” Villeneuve, passed away on Christmas morning 2019.

Born in what is now Gatineau, Quebec, on July 2, 1927, Villeneuve joined the Air Cadet training program in 1943. He earned his private pilot license in 1946 and obtained his commercial pilot license in 1948. In 1950, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and served for 32 years as a fighter pilot. His first posting was with 441 Squadron, flying F-86 Sabres at St. Hubert, Québec.

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