No. 418 Squadron RCAF

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No. 418 Squadron RCAF "City of Edmonton"
Active formed during World War II
Country  Canada
Allegiance  Canada
Branch Royal Canadian Air Force Ensign (1941-1968).svg Royal Canadian Air Force
Type Article XV squadrons
Part of unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force,
Motto PIYAUTAILILI - "Defend even unto death"
Battle honours Defence of Britain 1944, Fortress Europe 1942-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine

No. 418 "City of Edmonton" Squadron RCAF was a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force, formed during World War II.

History[edit]

418 Squadron Douglas Boston Mark III (Intruder) at RAF Bradwell Bay, England, prepares to take off on a night intruder mission over North-west Europe

418 Squadron RCAF was Canada's highest-scoring squadron in World War II, in terms of both air-to-air and air-to-ground kills, and in terms of both day and night operations. The Squadron's most active period was 1944, when assigned to Intruder and Ranger sorties across occupied Europe.

These sorties, made at low level to escape radar detection, took 418 Squadron crews into the heart of enemy territory, there to wreak havoc among departing or returning Luftwaffe night-fighter crews (Intruder sorties), or to shoot up enemy airfields, or indeed anything else of military value, in Ranger sorties.

As an Intruder squadron, 418 Sqn's aircraft did not carry radar sets - even at night targets had to be found, identified, lined up and attacked all with the naked eye. The squadron's success speaks volumes of the skill of its crews that it achieved such success under these conditions.

A few short months after the war, the squadron was called back to service now flying the B-25 Mitchell in the tactical bomber role from the Edmonton Municipal Airport. At the time the majority of Canada's air defence was made up of reservists and 418 was no exception. Students, businessmen and professionals in the Edmonton area gave up their spare time to protect Canada's north. By 1958, defence cuts reduced the squadron's activities to a transport role flying the Single Otter and C-45 Expeditor from RCAF Station Namao. Its duties ranged from aid to the civil power to aerial re-supply.

Upon unification of the forces the squadron converted to the DeHavilland Twin Otter. With the advent of the Twin Otter, the Squadron's role was redefined as search and rescue and light tactical transport. No. 418 City of Edmonton Squadron is currently inactive. The CC-138 Twin Otter's flying with No. 440 Red Bat squadron out of Yellowknife, NWT.

There is currently a presence in the Alberta Aviation Museum on Kingsway Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta.

External links[edit]