MGen Claude A LaFrance RCAF

  • Wall of Honor Location:

    Foil: 9 Panel: 3 Column: 4 Line: 90

  • Wall of Honor Level:

    Air and Space Friend

  • Honored by:

    Mr. Andre LaFrance

One of 22 Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots on loan to the US Air Force in Korea, Flight Lieutenant Claude A LaFrance, as leader of a flight of 4 F-86 Sabre fighters, shot down a Mig-15 near Manchuria on 5 August 1952. At the time, Flight Lieutenant LaFrance was serving with 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing. For this action and on return to Canada after 50 missions, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. He continued his career as a fighter pilot and appointed commanding officer of Escadron Tactique de Combat 433, commanding officer of Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Director General of Plans and Policy at NDHQ, commanding officer of 10 Tactical Air Group (army support) and Chief of Plans, Policy and Programs at NORAD HQ. He retired from the Canadian Forces in 1981 after 34 years of service in the rank of Major General. He has accumulated 5000 flying hours in more than 35 different types of fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
From 1985 to 1989, he was Assistant Deputy Minister Aviation in Transport Canada, responsible for the technical and operational control of civil aviation in Canada. Later, as a consultant in international aeronautics, he led multidisciplinary teams to develop national systems for the control of civil aviation in Albania and Lebanon under mandates from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In 1994, he became President of Aerospatiale Canada Inc. which later became EADS Canada Inc. and retired from that position in 2005. He was inducted in the French Légion d’Honneur in the rank of Chevalier. He served on the boards of the Canadian Battlefields Foundation for which he was Senior VP and Chairman of the Trustees Committee and Unmanned Systems Canada (USC) as Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee. He belonged to the Defence and Civil Aviation committees of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and to the French Académie de l’Air et de l’Espace. He passed away peacefully in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada on 6 July 2014 at the age of 85.

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