The Canadian Special Air Service (SAS) Company is truly a military enigma. Very few people are aware of its short-lived existence. Those who are normally have a misunderstanding of its origins and role, a misconception largely reinforced by the sparse and largely inaccurate material that has been written on the subject. For example, most believe that it was raised specifically to provide a commando capability within the Canadian Army immediately after the Second World War.

The story of the Canadian SAS Company is actually surreptitious. The army originally packaged the sub-unit as a very benevolent organization, centred on aid to the civil authority and assistance to the general public. Once established, however, a fundamental and contentious shift in its orientation became evident—one that was never fully resolved prior to the sub-unit’s demise. With time, myths, often enough repeated, took on the essence of fact.