Lawrence Legrange, better known as Larry, is a long-time volunteer at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, a retired elementary school principal and former RCAF CF-100 pilot. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Larry joined the Royal Canadian Air Force after finishing high school in 1957 to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. After nearly two years of intense training, Legrange was assigned to 414 Squadron, stationed at North Bay, Ontario. As an interceptor pilot, he played a vital role in identifying unknown aircraft traveling through Canadian airspace during the height of the Cold War. Larry Legrange retired from the Air Force in 1964 and moved back to Winnipeg, where he worked as an educator until his retirement in 1998.
More of Larry’s interview can be viewed as part of the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada’s new exhibit ‘Into the Jet Age’.
Avro built 692 CF-100s for the Royal Canadian Air Force between 1950 and 1958. The aircraft equipped Canada’s 13 front-line, all-weather fighter squadrons. Operated by a crew of two, a pilot and airborne interceptor, the CF-100 could reach top speeds in excess of 800 km/h and carried an armament of machine guns and air-to-air rockets – both guided and unguided.
The CF-100 is the only Canadian-designed and Canadian-built fighter aircraft to enter production. It filled a crucial national security roll during the early stages of the Cold War.