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Old 26-10-20, 12:35 AM
zorgon's Avatar
zorgon zorgon is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 187
Default 6 OTU Cold Lake patch

In 1961 Cold Lake Alberta became the main training site for the then newly acquired CF-104 Starfighter. By the time 1983 rolled around, Course 75 wrapped up training of this aircraft. Notably, a graduate of that final course was Dan Dempsey who went on to fly Hawk One for many years and is the author of the colossal, high quality publication, “A Tradition of Excellence”.

There was a shoulder patch associated with the training program which is relatively uncommon to find these days. It had the labelling, “Cold Lake” and “6 OTU”; 6 ST/R OTU (Strike/Reconnaissance, Operational Training Unit). No. 6 ST/R OTU was re-designated as 417 Strike/Reconnaissance Operational Training Squadron on 23 March 1968. It’s not clear to me when the patch first appeared but probably between 1961 and 1963. Later 60’s versions of the patch were manufactured by Crest Craft and one might be lucky to find the faint impression of one of their many manufacturing stamps on the reverse (see photo below). I recently acquired another example and was delighted to discover it is actually a larger variant, probably representing the initial issue of this patch and probably also made by Crest Craft, based on the design and stitching.

In looking at construction, I'm fairly convinced it's an original, period piece. It's made of heavy and thick material (10 gm) vs. 3 gm for the smaller ones. In size, it measures 5 3/4" high vs. 4 1/4" for the normally found smaller version. Photos from the era have tended to show this larger patch but it is always difficult to estimate the real size.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6 OTU Cold Lake 104 patches sm.jpg (84.9 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg 6 OTU Cold Lake Crest Craft backstamp.jpg (79.6 KB, 19 views)

Last edited by zorgon; 26-10-20 at 03:20 PM. Reason: additional details
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Old 26-10-20, 02:27 PM
Tanker Mike's Avatar
Tanker Mike Tanker Mike is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,116

Nice patch, if you are ever in Edmonton the Alberta Aviation Museum has a nice CF-104 on display.

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