The North American F-86 Sabre was manufactured from 1949 – 1956 and was America’s first swept-wing fighter. As well as being built in the U.S., variants were built in Canada and Australia. As West Germany's first operational jet fighter unit, JG 71 was formed in June 1959 and equipped with 50 Canadair Sabre Mk.6s. Canadair Sabre Mk. 6 JG+344 MSN 1757 from JG 71, 2 Staffel was lost on a training flight. On August 7, 1963 JG+344, piloted by Feldwebel Eckhard Wendt, was lost when it crashed on a target range at Aurich-Brockzetel. The pilot as well as 5 people on the ground were killed. In 1963 the unit moved to Wittmundhafen AB and re-equipped with the F-104.