Procured second-hand from USN, the McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee was the only carrier-based air defence jet fighter used by the RCN from 1955 to 1962. Until the CF-18 Hornet, the Banshee, also nicknamed the "Banjo," was the only Canadian military aircraft armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.The Banshee was a rugged and reliable, all-weather, fleet defence and ground attack fighter.

  In Canadian Navy operational service, all 39 Banshee aircraft were based in Shearwater, NS and flew with VF870 and VF871 Squadrons, until the latter was amalgamated into the former in 1959. VX10 Experimental Squadron also flew the Banshee in order to do acceptance evaluations. Squadrons were deployed aboard Canada's sole aircraft carrier of the period, HMCS Bonaventure.

The Banshee was well liked by pilots because of its good performance on the deck and in the air, as well as its all-weather capability, 800-mile tactical radius, and Mach 0.8 speed capability. The aircraft also formed the basis of the RCN's premiere aerobatic team known as the "Grey Ghosts". The four ship formation team participated in many air shows.
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Royal Canadian Navy Seafires
Monk Geary, Hal Fearon, Bob Falls, Clunk Watson
Canada's first international Air Show in Toronto sponsered by DeHaviland at Downsview Airport Sept 2-7 1946
Ron Beard collection
Ron Beard collection
Walton, Sloane, Fox, Hallett(USN) and Geoff Craven
New Sidewinder missle
870 Armourers