Home CFB Borden 16 Wing RCAF 100th Anniversary Lapel Pins 

RCAF 100th Anniversary Lapel Pins 

From left to right: Bill Sergeant, Col Gabriel Doré, Norm Marion and CWO Geoff Rusconi at the 16 Wing HQ on CFB Borden (Caleb Hooper/Borden Citizen) 

Following a well-established CFB Borden tradition at 16 Wing Borden, commemorative pins were produced again this year to mark the anniversary of the birth of the Royal Canadian Air Force on 1 April 1924.  The tradition of producing buttons or pins featuring a different theme aircraft each year goes back more than four decades in Borden, the “Birthplace of the RCAF.”  Today, the tradition is kept alive through the efforts of 441 (Huronia) Wing, RCAF Association (RCAFA) – Barrie. 

In anticipation of the upcoming celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the RCAF in April, representatives of 441 (Huronia) Wing RCAFA including the Chair, Bill Sergeant and Director of Public Affairs, Norm Marion came to 16 Wing Borden on Friday, 26 January to present this year’s first RCAF anniversary pin to the 16 Wing Commander, Colonel Gabriel Doré.  

 “This year’s RCAF 100th anniversary lapel pin is significant because it allows proponents of the RCAF to show their pride and remember its proud history and traditions,” said the Chair of RCAFA 441 (Huronia) Wing, Bill Sergeant.  

“Norm Marion and Bob Thompson are to be thanked for their efforts in designing and procuring the pins.” 

RCAFA 441 (Huronia) Wing, Chair, Bill Sergeant presenting 16 Wing Commander Col Gabriel Doré with the RCAF 100th Anniversary Lapel Pin at the 16 Wing HQ on CFB Borden (Caleb Hooper/Borden Citizen) 

Colonel Doré expressed his gratitude of the RCAFA 441 Wing’s commemoration and the historical significance it brings to CFB Borden and 16 Wing. 

“Chief Rusconi [16 Wing Chief Warrant Officer] and I are grateful for the continued contribution of the 441 Wing of the RCAF Association who volunteer their time and talent every year to commemorate the RCAF and showcase its many aircraft,” said Col Doré. “This year’s aircraft, the Siskin, was introduced in the 1920s, in the same era that saw the birth of the RCAF in Borden, making today’s presentation that much more special as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the RCAF beginning on 1 April 2024.” 

RCAFA 441 (Huronia) Wing, Director of Public Affairs, Norm Marion presenting 16 Wing CWO Geoff Rusconi with the RCAF 100th Anniversary Lapel Pin at 16 Wing HQ on CFB Borden (Caleb Hooper/Borden Citizen)  

The aircraft that was selected for this year’s anniversary is the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin, a 1920s biplane, the first new fighter aircraft purchased by the RCAF following the First World War.  This year the Air Force community is paying tribute to those who flew, maintained, and served on-board this aircraft.  Taken on strength by the RCAF in 1926 as its main front line fighter, the Siskin had a short life in this role, quickly becoming obsolete and replaced by the Hawker Hurricane before the RCAF saw action in the Second World War.  

Yet the aircraft left its mark in Canada’s military aviation history for its role with our first military air demonstration team, The Siskins, formed at RCAF Station Camp Borden in 1929.  The team was named after the aircraft they flew in airshows across the country between 1929 and 1932.  The Siskin was retired from RCAF service in 1942. 

A close-up of the RCAF 100th Anniversary Lapel Pin revealing the Siskin biplane (Caleb Hooper/Borden Citizen) 

RCAF 100th Anniversary pins will soon be available at a cost of $5.00 each (+ shipping) through 441 Wing RCAFA.  Note that a small selection of previous years’ pins is also available.  For more information, contact Norm Marion, (705) 686-3941, norm.marion@amtelecom.net. 

By: RCAFA 441 Wing