It is not always realised that when troops are carried in military transport planes on long journeys, it is often very much like a commercial air flight. Passports may be needed, meals are provided at your seat and baggage needs to be carried in the aircraft’s hold just like on a commercial flight. With an aircraft holding several hundred soldiers, there is often a lot of baggage to manage and just like at a civilian airport tags are attached to the luggage to ensure the bags are loaded onto the correct plane and nothing goes astray. Today we are taking a look at a set of Canadian issue luggage tags dating from the 1970s:
As one would expect from Canada, the tags are bilingual and printed in both English and French. Two of the tags are for a flight to Gander, a town in Newfoundland that was a regular stop for aircraft on transatlantic flights before aircraft had enough range to do the flight in one single trip.
The date 1977 can just be seen at the top of the tag. Gander is the home of the RCAF’s air sea rescue that covers most of the Western Atlantic and it is an important Canadian military base, hence the tags for flights bringing men to and from this base.
The second design of tag is orange rather than white and is for a flight to Ottawa:
The aircraft used for long range transport at this period was the Boeing CC-137 which had been introduced in 1970 when five of them purchased for long range military and VIP transport. The aircraft could hold 174 passengers and was a great upgrade on the previous Yukon and Cosmopolitan transports and the aircraft were to see service right through until the 1990s.