The unit was first activated in 1942 flying Curtis Kittyhawks as 14 Fighter Squadron with the RCAF Western Air Command due to the threat to Canada's west coast after the Pearl Harbor attack. The squadron moved to Alaska and participated on strafing and bombing missions against then-Japanese held Kiska during the Aleutian Islands Campaign. The squadron was then renumbered to 442 Fighter Squadron and transferred to England in January 1944 and flew attack and long-range bomber escort sorties in Northwest Europe flying the North American Mustang IV, claiming over 58 enemy aircraft and hundreds of vehicles, locomotives and rail cars. The squadron was disbanded in England in 1945 following the end of hostilities, and reformed a year later at RCAF Station Sea Island as an auxiliary fighter squadron with deHavilland Vampires. Starting in 1956 the Vampires were augmented with the more modern Canadair Sabre 5. However, by 1958 they reequipped with deHavilland Otters and Beech Expeditors flying as a redesignated auxiliary transport squadron. It was again disbanded in 1964 and reformed during the 1968 unification of the Canadian Forces as 442 Communications and Rescue Squadron at CFB Comox before being redesignated to its current name and role a few months later. Since then, 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron has become the busiest search and rescue unit in the country.