No. 428 Squadron RCAF

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No. 428 (Ghost) Squadron RCAF
428 All Weather Fighter Squadron RCAF
428sqn.png
Badge of 428 All Weather Fighter Squadron
Active 7 Nov 1942 – 5 Sep 1945
21 Jun 1954 – 1 Jun 1961
Country  Canada
Branch Royal Canadian Air Force Ensign (1941-1968).svg Royal Canadian Air Force
Role All Weather Fighter Squadron
Part of Royal Air Force 1942–1945
Nickname "Ghost"
Motto Latin: Usque ad finem
"To the very end"
Battle honours English Channel and North Sea 1943–1944.[1]
Baltic 1944.[1]
Fortress Europe 1943–1944.[1]
France and Germany 1944–1945.[1]
Biscay Ports 1943–1944.[1]
Ruhr 1943–1945.[1]
Berlin 1943–1944.[1]
German Ports 1943–1945.[1]
Normandy 1944.[1]
Biscay 1943–1944.[1]
Rhine.[2]
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry In a shroud, a death's head[3]
Squadron Codes NA (Nov 1942 – May 1946)[4]
Aircrew and groundcrew of Avro Lancaster KB760 NA:P "P-Peter", from No. 428 Squadron RCAF. The badge for the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire is visible on the nose. Photo taken after the squadron's 2,000th sortie, a raid on Bremen, Germany.
Damage to a Vickers Wellington Mark X, HE239 'NA-Y', of No. 428 Squadron RCAF. The aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, losing its rear turret and gunner, while approaching its target at Duisburg, Germany on April 8–9 1943.
An Avro CF-100 Canuck Mk IV from 428 Ghost Squadron on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton Ohio, USA.

No. 428 Squadron RCAF,[4] also known as 428 Bomber Squadron,[1] and 428 Ghost Squadron, [5] was a bomber squadron in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Throughout its service in the Second World War the squadron was based in England and flew bombing missions against the enemy.[1] After the end of the war the squadron then moved to Canada before being disbanded in September 1945. In 1954 the squadron was reformed as 428 All Weather Fighter Squadron, before being disbanded in 1961.[1]

The motto of the squadron is Usque ad finem (Latin: "To the very end") and the squadron's badge contains a Death's Head in a shroud.[5] The badge refers to the squadron's Ghost designation which was earned through its night bombing operations, and the death and destruction which it inflicted upon the enemy.[5]

History[edit]

No. 428 Squadron RCAF[edit]

No. 428 Squadron RCAF was first formed during the Second World War at RAF Dalton in Yorkshire, England on November 7 1942.[1] The squadron was a bomber unit in No. 4 Group RAF.[4] The squadron transferred to No. 6 Group RCAF on January 1, 1943 operating with it until April 25, 1945.[4] The squadron was first equipped with Vickers Wellingtons (Mk III and Mk X),[2] and its first operational mission of the war was on January 26–27 1943, when 5 Wellingtons bombed Lorient.[5] In the early part of June 1943, the squadron moved to RAF Middleton St. George where it remained for the remainder of the squadron's duration in the United Kingdom.[4] Around this time the squadron was equipped with Handley Page Halifaxes (Mk V, and later supplemented by Mk II Series IIA).[2]

In January 1944 Halifaxes from No. 428 Squadron RCAF participated in the first high-level mining raid, when mines were dropped by parachute from 15,000 feet (4,570 m) over Brest.[2] The squadron flew its last sortie with the Halifax on June 12,[6] and was re-equipped with Canadian-built Avro Lancasters (B. Mark X). The first sortie involving the squadrons new Lancasters took place on June 14,[6] and they were used for the continuation of the war.[2] For the rest of the war the squadron took part in both day and night raids,[6] with its last operational sortie on April 25, 1945, when 15 Lancasters bombed gun batteries on the island of Wangerooge.[5] No. 428 Squadron RCAF remained in service in the UK until the end of May 1945.[2] By the end of May the squadron then had moved to RCAF Station Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, where it was disbanded on September 5, 1945.[1]

428 Squadron was "sponsored" by the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, an organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

428 All Weather Fighter Squadron[edit]

On June 21, 1954 the squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Uplands as 428 All Weather Fighter Squadron.[1] The squadron was a night fighter squadron and flew Avro CF-100 Canuck.[5]

It was supposed to have upgraded and re-equipped with the Avro CF-105 Arrow, but with the controversial cancellation of the Arrow the squadron was finally disbanded on June 1, 1961.[1]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft[1][2][4] Period of service[6] Representative serial[6]
Vickers Wellington Mk III November 1942 – May 1943 ZI719 (NA – P)
Vickers Wellington Mk X December 1942 – June 1943 HL864 (NA – D)
Handley Page Halifax Mk B.V June 1943 – January 1944 DK237 (NA – L)
Handley Page Halifax Mk B.II November 1943 – June 1944 JN955 (NA – L)
Avro Lancaster Mk B.X June 1944 – September 1945 KB763 (NA – S)
Avro CF-100 Canuck

Squadron bases[edit]

Squadron bases[1][4] Date[1][4]
RAF Dalton November 1942 – June 1943
RAF Middleton St. George June 1943 – May 1945
RCAF Station Yarmouth May 1945 – 5 September 1945 (disbanded)
RCAF Station Uplands 21 June 1954 (reformed) – 1 June 1961 (disbanded)

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t 428 All Weather Fighter Squadron Canadian Forces Air Command Retrieved on 2008-01-13
  2. ^ a b c d e f g No. 428 Squadron Retrieved on 2008-01-14
  3. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 247.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h No. 428 Squadron RCAF Royal Air Force Retrieved on 2008-01-13
  5. ^ a b c d e f Vickers Wellington Bomber Veterans Affairs Canada Retrieved on 2008-01-13
  6. ^ a b c d e Halley, p. 510.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing CommanderC.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.

External links[edit]