No. 110 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

No. 110 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No. 110 Squadron (RCAF) during the Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.110 Squadron, RCAF, was a Canadian army co-operation squadron that moved to Britain in 1939 and spent the next year training in army co-operation duties, before being renumbered as No.400 Squadron in March 1941.

The squadron was formed as No.110 (City of Toronto) Auxiliary Squadron, and had trained as an army co-operation squadron. The squadron was the first to receive a Canadian built Lysander, with the first one arriving on 7 September 1939.

After the outbreak of war the Canadians and British agreed that the main priority was the massive expansion of the RCAF, but one squadron was sent to Britain to join the existing Canadian Active Service Force. The squadron was reinforced by personnel from No.2 (Army Co-operation) Squadron, which had been part of the small Permanent Force. Command of the squadron went to Squadron Leader W.D. Van Vliet, until then commander of No.2 Squadron.

The squadron arrived in the UK on 25 February 1940, and was the first RCAF squadron to arrive in Britain. It was based at Old Sarum, the location of the RAF's School of Army Cooperation. It was equippd with twelve Lysanders, and began advancing training in army co-operation duties. This lead to a certain amount of frustration amongst its men, who had come to Britain expecting to see action, but who instead had to watch other Canadians in the RAF get into action more quickly, while they spent months on technical but rather un-interesting training. To make things worse, the events in France and the Low Countries in 1940 soon made it clear that the RAF's plans for army co-operation were no longer valid, and a new system would be needed.

In June 1940 the squadron moved to Odiham (a couple of weeks after No.112 Squadron, RCAF had joined it at Old Sarum), which would remain its main base until it was renumbered as No.400 Squadron on 1 March 1941.

On 5 July 1940 part of the squadron was detached to Redhill, to take part in anti-invasion duties. The detachment remained there until 1 September 1940, when it moved to Stoke d'Abernon. It rejoined the main part of the squadron in October 1940.

March 1940-March 1941: Westland Lysander II
August 1940-March 1941: Westland Lysander III

February-June 1940: Old Sarum
June 1940-March 1941: Odiham
July-September 1940: Detachment to Redhill
September-October 1940: Detachment to Stoke d'Abernon

Squadron Codes: -

Army Co-operation


No. 432 Squadron RCAF

No. 432 Squadron RCAF was a squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force formed during the Second World War.

  • English Channel & North Sea 1943
  • Fortress Europe 1944–1945
  • France and Germany 1944–1945
  • Biscay Ports 1944
  • Ruhr 1943–1945
  • Berlin 1943–1944
  • German Ports 1943–1945
  • Normandy 1944
  • Rhine, Biscay 1943

It was first formed at RAF Skipton-on-Swale in May 1943, as part of No. 6 Group of RAF Bomber Command. The unit was equipped with Wellington Mk.X bombers. [1]

The squadron deployed to RAF East Moor in mid-September, equipping with Lancaster Mk.IIs in October. In February 1944 they changed to Halifax Mk.IIIs, upgrading these to Halifax Mk.VIIs in July. [1] [2]

As part of a Royal Canadian Air Force public relations plan, the town of Leaside officially "adopted" No. 432 Squadron RCAF. Formed and adopted on 1 May 1943 the squadron took the town's name as its nickname, becoming 432 "Leaside" Squadron RCAF. The sponsorship lasted the duration of the war. [3]

The squadron was disbanded at East Moor in May, 1945. [1]

On October 1, 1954, it was reformed as a fighter squadron at CFB Bagotville flying the Canadian designed Avro CF-100. The squadron was again disbanded on October 15, 1961. [4]

Manuel Sharko was a mid-upper gunner in a Halifax bomber during the war.

  1. ^ abc"RAF Bomber Command No.432 (Leaside) Squadron". 2013 . Retrieved 9 September 2013 .
  2. ^
  3. McNeill, Ross (March 1999). "No.432 (Leaside) Squadron RCAF". . Retrieved 9 September 2013 .
  4. ^
  5. Fletcher, Mark (2013). "An Unimaginable Task : Vintage Wings of Canada". . Retrieved 9 September 2013 .
  6. ^
  7. "No. 432 Squadron, Canadian Air Force". 2013 . Retrieved 9 September 2013 .
  • "432 All Weather Fighter Squadron" (PDF) . Department of National Defence Directorate of History and Heritage. (in English and French)
  • "432 Squadron Dedication Page". (in English)
  • "432 Squadron Facebook Page". (in English)
  • "432 Squadron Operations Record Book C12307 - Years May 1943 to May 1945". (in English)
  • "432 Squadron Operations Record Book C12308 - Years October 1954 to May 1961". (in English)

This Canadian military history article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.


Originally formed as No. 19 (Bomber) Squadron (Auxiliary) in Hamilton, Ontario, on 15 May 1935, it only began active flying in May 1937. Renumbered No. 119 (Bomber) Squadron on 30 November 1937, with the start of WW2, it converted to voluntary full-time service on 3 September 1939. Soon leaving Hamilton, for RCAF Western Air Command, on 4 January 1940, it moved to Jericho Bay, B.C. for operations from 9 Jan. 1940 to 15 July 1940. [3]

On 21 July 1940, the squadron returned to RCAF Eastern Air Command for service at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and began a rotation of duty locations to Sydney NS, deploying two plane detachments to RCAF Stn. Dartmouth NS, and shorter RCAF Stn. Chatham NB, and Mont-Joli, QU. [4] Now assigned to anti-submarine duty, it flew in support of RCN/RN (and later USN activities), over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the waters adjacent to Cabot Strait. Flying Bolingbrokes, twin-engine aircraft, its first operational mission, 16 April 1942, while at Yarmouth was to escort HMS Ramillies through the Bay of Fundy, a Revenge-class battleship assigned for North Atlantic convoy escort from Halifax, on March 17, 1941, to Saint John, New Brunswick. [5] [6]

119 (BR) Sqn Bolinbrokes in formation out of Yarmouth on 25 August 1941

In August 1942, approval was 'sought' for an ‘Official Crest’ and the Hamilton Tigers 'Interprovincial Rugby Football Union' Club agreed to the use of their Tiger in a ‘Badge Design’ as prepared by artist J.D. Heaton-Armstrong. Submitted to the Chester of Herald of the Royal College of Arms, in London, England, the Squadron nickname became the “Hamilton Tigers” with motto – [Touch Me Not] approved by King George VI, in October 1942. [7] In the badge, the Tiger's speed and effectiveness in action are noted as consonant with the squadron's aircraft, as with the Tiger to spring on its prey from above, symbolic of the squadron's dive-bombing actions. [8]

Squadron Name Effective Date [9] Flying Location Mission / Task
No. 19 (Bomber) Squadron (Auxiliary) 15.05.1935 Hamilton Aero Club NPAAF Training (No Flying)
No. 119 (Bomber) Squadron (Auxiliary) 15.11.1937 Hamilton - Roxborough Park Field [10] Air Training Command NAAAF
119 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron 03.09.1939 Hamilton - Roxborough Park Field HWE - Air Training Command RCAF
119 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron 09.01.1940 RCAF Stn. Vancouver, BC WAC - Jericho Beach Airfield
119 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron 21.07.1940 RCAF Stn. Yarmouth, NS EAC - Coastal Reconnaissance
119 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron 10.01.1942 RCAF Stn. Sydney, NS EAC - Anti-Submarine Patrols
119 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron 04.05.1943 RCAF Stn. Moni Joli, QU No5 Gulf Group - Submarine Hunting
119 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron 02.12. 1943 RCAF Stn. Sydney, NS Disbanded 15.03.1944

Again based at Sydney, Nova Scotia, flying four aircraft Lockheed Hudson Mk. IIIs, it continued on anti-submarine reconnaissance over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Cape Breton Island, flying its last operational mission on 11 March 1944. Disbanded at Sydney, Nova Scotia, on 15 March 1944, it had conducted four U-boat attacks on eleven sightings. [11] [12] On 10 March 1944, the City of Hamilton was advised their No. 119 ‘Hamilton Tigers’ Squadron was being disbanded, and flowing up the early actions of the “Hamilton Tiger Squadron Fund”, the City of Hamilton came to ‘officially adopt’ No. 424 Bomber Squadron RCAF in September 1944. [13]

No 119 Squadron RCAF earned the Battle Honour "Atlantic 1939 - 1945" for operations with Eastern Air Command, RCAF, for operations by aircraft of RAF Coastal Command and others employed in the coastal role over the Atlantic Ocean from the outbreak of war to VE Day, this battle honour also encompasses service during the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. [14]


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History [ edit | edit source ]

No. 420 Squadron was formed at Waddington, Lincolnshire, England on 19 December 1941 as the RCAF's 18th (and fourth Bomber) squadron formed overseas. During the Second World War, the unit ultimately flew Manchester, Hampden, Wellington, Halifax, and Lancaster aircraft on strategic and tactical bombing operations. From June to October 1943 it flew tropicalized Wellington aircraft from North Africa in support of the invasions of Sicily and Italy. In April 1945 they converted to Lancasters, and when hostilities in Europe concluded, it was selected as part of Tiger Force slated for duty in the Pacific, and returned to Canada for reorganisation and training. The sudden end of the war in the Far East resulted in the Squadron being disbanded at Debert, Nova Scotia on 5 September 1945.

No. 420 Squadron reformed at London, Ontario on 15 September 1948, and flew Mustang aircraft in a fighter role until the squadron disbanded on 1 September 1956. Re-formed during the unification period, No. 420 was an air reserve squadron based at CFB Shearwater and flew the CP-121 Tracker (Shared with No. 880).

Aircraft flown by No. 420 Squadron [ edit | edit source ]

    I (December 1941 - December 1941) I (December 1941 - August 1942) III (August 1942 - April 1943) X (February 1943 - October 1943) III (December 1943 - May 1945) X (May 1945 - September 1945)
  • North American Harvard IV

Operational (wartime) history [ edit | edit source ]

  • First Operational Mission: 21 January 1942: 5 Hampdens dispatched to bomb a target at Emden. two a/c bombed primary, two bombed alternative (town of Emden) and the other FTR. On same night another Hampden laid mines in Nectarines (Frisian Islands) area.
  • Last Operational Mission: 18 April 1945: 18 Halifaxes bombed Heligoland and another Halifax crashed in sea en route to objective.

Above sentence is incorrect:- The last wartime operation by No. 420 Squadron was to Bremen on 22 April 1945. This was to be an army co-operation raid but heavy cloud prevented accurate bombing and the operation was cancelled by the Master-bomber. Most aircraft including mine dropped their bombs safely in the North Sea.

  • Supermarine Spitfire
  • North American P-51 Mustang
  • Canadair T-33
  • Canadair Sabre (Mk.2, Mk.5 and Mk.6)
  • Avro Canada CF-100 Avro Canada CF-100
  • McDonnell Douglas CF-101 Voodoo
  • McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet
  • Hitchens, F.H. Hovey, H. Richard Schmidt, Don McNamaee, Harold (eds). 416 Squadron: Complete History 416 Squadron. Ottawa, Canada: Graphic Arts, 1974. (Limited edition of 300 books).
  • Johnson, Rick with Hitchens, F.H. Hovey, H. Richard Schmidt, Don McNamaee, Harold. 416 Squadron History. Belleville, Ontario, Canada: The Hangar Bookshelf, 1984. ISBN 0-920492-00-2. (republished 1987, ISBN 0-920492-00-4)

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World War II

On 13 August 1941, No 414 Army Co-operation Squadron was formed at RAF Croydon, England, flying Lysander and Curtis Tomahawk aircraft. On 28 June 1943 the squadron's name was changed to 414 Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron to reflect its role. Throughout the Second World War the squadron was based at numerous airfields in England and in continentental Europe flying Spitfire and Mustang aircraft. During this period, the squadron provided photo reconnaissance, intelligence and ground attacks for both the Dieppe Raid and the allied Invasion of Europe. It accounted for 29 enemy aircraft destroyed and 11 damaged, 76 locomotives and 12 naval vessels destroyed. After the war ended, the squadron disbanded at Lüneburg, Germany on 7 August 1945.


On 1 April 1947, No 414 Photographic Squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Rockcliffe. The squadron used the Douglas Dakota to photograph 323,754 square miles (838,520 km 2 ) of Canada's North. When this task was completed it was disbanded on 1 November 1950.

On 1 November 1952 No 414 Fighter Squadron reformed at RCAF Station Bagotville. The following summer on 24 August 1953 as part of "Leap Frog IV" the squadron moved to 4 Wing Baden-Soellingen flying the Mark IV Sabre. Four years later on 14 July 1957 the Squadron disbanded to make room for the arrival of 419 Squadron flying the CF-100.

On 5 August 1957, the squadron reformed at RCAF Station North Bay where it operated as an all-weather fighter squadron flying the CF-100 Canuck and the CF-101 Voodoo until 30 June 1964 when it was disbanded once more.

The squadron then reformed on 15 September 1967 at RCAF Station St Hubert in its new role as an electronic warfare squadron flying the CF-100. In August 1972 the squadron moved to CFB North Bay where it remained for the next twenty years flying the CF-100, CC-117 and EF-101. In 1992 the squadron was split into two parts with one part going to CFB Comox as No 414 Composite Squadron and the other part going to CFB Greenwood as 434 Composite Squadron. In 1993 the squadron changed its name to No 414 Combat Support Squadron when it was equipped with the CT-133 Silver Star. The Squadron was disbanded in 2002 when its duties were contracted out to a civilian company.

On 7 December 2007 approval was received for the squadron to stand up once more, this time as 414 EWS (Electronic Warfare Support) Squadron. Belonging to 3 Wing Bagotville, the squadron is based in Ottawa and is composed of military Electronic Warfare Officers who fulfill the combat support role, flying on civilian contracted aircraft. [1]

The squadron was re-formed at Gatineau Airport, Quebec, on 20 January 2009 to operate the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet provided by Discovery Air Defence Services. [2]

414 Squadron flies primarily in Victoria and Halifax against the Royal Canadian Navy and in Cold Lake Alberta and Bagotville Quebec as an aggressor squadron against Canada's fighter force.

406 Squadron

Formed at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on 1 April 1947, the squadron flew Mitchell aircraft in a light bomber role until March 1958 when it was reassigned to a light transport and emergency rescue role and re-equipped with Expeditor and Otter aircraft. A reduction of the Auxiliary Force resulted in the squadron being disbanded on 1 April 1964.

Brief Chronology: Formed as No. 406 (TacB) Sqn (Aux), Saskatoon, Sask. 1 Apr 47. Redesignated No. 406 (LB) Sqn (Aux) 1 Apr 49. Titled No. 406 “City of Saskatoon” (LB) Sqn (Aux) 3 Sep 52. Redesignated No. 406 “City of Saska­toon” Sqn (Aux) 1 Apr 58. Disbanded 1 Apr 64.

Title: “City of Saskatoon”

Nickname: “Lynx”

  • W/C J. Baillie 1 Jul 47 – 31 Dec 51 ret.
  • W/C A.A. Meyers 1 Jan 52 – 31 Dec 54 ret. (Brendan Myers Miller informs us his grandfather’s name was spelt “Myers.” We list both here, in the event the spelling evolved over time, which has been known to happen now and then)
  • W/C R.J. Henry, DFC, CD 1 Jan 55 – 16 Jul 56 ret.
  • W/C W.B. Maloney, CD 17 Jul 56 – 31 Dec 59 ret.
  • W/C J.P. Coggins 1 Jan 60 – 31 Mar 62 ret.
  • W/C T. Jasieniuk, CD 1 Apr 62 – 1 Apr 64.

Higher Formations and Squadron Location

Tactical Air Command (1 Aug 51),

Training Command (1 Oct 58),

Air Transport Command (1 Apr 61):

No. 23 Wing (Auxiliary) (1 Jan 55),

Representative Aircraft (Unit Code 1947-51 AH, 1951-58 XK & QP)


  1. ↑ Department of national Defence (January 2009). "Re-formation of 414 Electronic Warfare Support Squadron". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011 . Retrieved 30 January 2009 .
  2. ↑

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