50 Mission Cap

Album: Fully Completely (1993)


  • This song is about Bill Barilko, a hockey player whose final goal won the Toronto Maple Leafs the Stanley Cup. Four months and five days after he scored the winning goal to clinch Toronto's seventh Stanley Cup, Barilko boarded a Fairchild 24, single-engine plane piloted by his friend Henry Hudson. He was returning home to Timmins from a fishing trip on James Bay. The plane vanished between Rupert House and Timmins.

    No trace of Hudson, Barilko or the Fairchild was discovered for 11 years, despite massive search efforts. The Maple Leafs were so distraught and unwilling to accept the tragedy that Barilko's equipment remained in his usual locker room stall at the opening of the 1951 fall training camp. Rumors began circulating that Barilko, of Russian decent, had defected to the Soviet Union to teach his skills to young Soviet players. Finally on June 9, 1962, bush pilot Gary Fields came upon the wreck of a Fairchild 24, approximately 100 kilometers north of Cochrane, Ontario. Barilko was finally laid to rest in Timmins; the year that the Leafs won their first Stanley Cup since his disappearance 11 years earlier.
  • Ron Boyd and engineer Phil Weston found the Bill Barilko crash site. To see newspaper clips of the story and photos from the crash, check out Toronto Mike's website.

Comments: 13

  • Big Ronzo from Toronto, OnFifty mission cup? I thought it was cap? Can the guy who wrote out these lyrics change the song title to match at least?
  • Stephan from Lasalle, OnThe hockey card that Gord "stole" this song from is believed to be 1991-92 Pro Set #340 - Bill Barilko.

    The back of the card reads: "Although he was not noted for his offensive skills, Bill Barilko scored one of the most celebrated goals in NHL history during the 1951 Stanley Cup Finals between Toronto and Montreal. This series was the only championship final that required overtime in every contest. In game five, the extra session was nearly three minutes old when Barilko spotted a loose puck near the Montreal crease." He dove in from the blue line and fired a shot over Montreal goaltender Gerry McNeil's outstretched arm to give the Leafs the cup. Unfortunately, it was the last of Barilko's career. He disappeared that summer on a fishing trip, and the Leafs didn't win another cup until 1962, the year his body was found."

  • Mark from Toronto, OnBill Brilko's wreckage was found by helicopter pilot Ron Boyd, although others have shamelessly tried to take credit for the discovery.

    There are published newpaper articles and documents proving this on other websites including:

  • Patrice from Errora, OkWow. The Hip rock. Great tune. Barilko was a defensive defenseman who didn't score many goals so this one is especially phenomenal. Leafs suck.

  • Storm from Maple Ridge, CanadaMy dad is obsessed with Tragicly Hip, and I had no idea who they were until I had to do a song report about a song recorded before I was born. My dad suggested 50 Mission Cap, and I loved it! I personaly support the Montreal Canadains, but I still think this song is really cool.
  • Chris from Red Deer, United StatesWell, let me tell you....I'm from Alberta as well, Red Deer, SMACK dab between Calgary and Edmonton and let me tell you, there ain't NOTHING in Alberta in the way of NHL teams!! No WONDER Ryan Smyth defected to Buffalo!!!
  • Brent from Coquitlam, Canadawhat kind of self-respecting Edmontonian likes the Canadiens? that poor bastard should receive 1000 lashes and 4 hail marys. Great Song even though I hate the Leafs!
  • Nathan from From The Country Of, Canadashows why the Hip are probably Canada's greatest recent band, for this song and Fireworks
  • Chris from Edmonton, Canadathis song sends chills down my spine even though im a canadiens fan. lol.
  • Barry from Gagetown Nb CanadaUp to Here is the album that gave The Hip their break ... It's still one of my faves ...
    They rocked at Magnetic Hill Sept 05 !!!
  • Starry from Powell River, Bc, CanadaI have to agree with you Ashley, Fully & Completely rocks, the best by far. Up to Here was great, but Fully & Completely is my fav. Groovy songs, with groovy lyrics and groovy meaning. Love them.
  • Ed from Hamilton, CanadaDOn't forget the importance of the 50 Mission Cap. It was a leather hat given to WWII Pilots upon completing 50 missions. Once they recieved it they beat the hell out of it, worked it in to look old so that it looked like they were much more experienced.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaFully Completely is one of my favourite albums from my favourite band and this song is a really great one.
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