Wednesday, July 26, marked the installation and final unveiling of the fully mounted memorial plaques & displays that support a CT-114 Tutor Jet in Creston.
This memorial honours Lieutenant-Colonel Clarence “C.B.” Lang, a former Creston local. Lang had a passion for aviation, and was Squadron Leader of the world famed Golden Centennaires, which paved the way for today’s Canadian Forces Snowbirds in 1971.
One year ago, the Tutor jet was installed in Creston, and now, the story comes full circle with the unveiling of plaques and displays that tell of Lang’s legacy.
Lang’s career in aviation began during his friendship with Ken Huscroft. The Huscroft’s are one of Creston’s pioneer families.
Ken Huscroft’s son Johnny Huscroft was the man who took the initiative to bring the Tutor Jet memorial to Creston, in honour of his father’s friend.
Johnny obtained the jet, painted in the Golden Centennaire’s 1967 colour palette, and detailed it with Lang’s tail number, 179. Sadly, Johnny passed away last year, before he could bring the plane to Creston.
Former mayor and Creston local Ron Toyota grew up with Johnny Huscroft, and continued his work after his passing. Toyota shared Lang’s story in an effort to continue his legacy.
Lang was raised in Creston, and worked at a local lumber mill. His boss owned an airplane, and when he took a teenage Lang for a ride, he was hooked.
“When he was able to, he left Creston and joined the Canadian Air Force, and became a fighter pilot. He was a very very good pilot, because ten years later he became the commander of the Golden Centennaires,” said Toyota.
Toyota carried on Johnny’s work after his sudden passing last year. The former mayor explained that Johnny and Lang had a close bond.
“He felt like family to Johnny. Johnny decided that he wanted to do something, and he bought a Tutor Jet twelve years ago. It took him ten years to raise enough money to get it painted.”
Toyota saw the project through to the July 26 ceremony, continuing his friends’ work and honouring Lang.
“I took it on to get the jet out here, and in four months we got it out, had it mounted, and a year ago yesterday, the Snowbirds did a flyby over Creston,” said Toyota.
The Huscroft family aviation legacy continues even today. Traven Huscroft, son of Johnny Huscroft and grandson of Ken Huscroft, flew over the crowd in his 206, alongside J Michael Wigen in his 210 during the unveiling.
Friends and family of Johnny Huscroft and Lang attended the unveiling, as well as MP Rob Morrison, Mayor Arnold DeBoon, and town councillors and staff.
Toyota said that this is the only Golden Centennaire jet that is being publicly displayed in Canada.
“It meant a lot to me personally, and I worked at it very hard,” said Toyota.”It’s there, and it hopefully will never go away. The legend and the history, it will be a good thing, because then people that see it can understand what happened.”