A 51-year-old Woodhaven Park monument has received a $50,000 makeover and is being rededicated to include the story of a Winnipeg fighter pilot who flew the iconic Red Knight.
The decommissioned Canadair CT-133 Silver Star monument has been grounded for the past several weeks as it was refurbished. One of the most notable changes is a bright red paint job, commemorating the group of military pilots who flew the Red Knight aerobatic display aircraft from 1958 to 1969.
The only Winnipegger among those 17 Canadian Forces pilots, Brig.-Gen. William (Bill) Slaughter, also flew with the Golden Centennaires, an aerobatics group active during the country’s centennial in 1967.
Slaughter was born and raised in St. James. He died in October 2013 at 74 years old.
The refurbished monument will feature a new plaque explaining the history of the Red Knight team, and will commemorate Slaughter’s accomplishments. A picture of Slaughter getting into an original Red Knight T-33 in 1964 will also be included.
“I think (Bill) would be happy it was painted as the Red Knight, but I don’t think he would want any attention drawn towards him; he was a very modest person. I think he would be rather embarrassed at even having his name mentioned in the sidebar,” his son, Rod Slaughter, said this week.
Source: Winnipeg Free Press