No. 119 Squadron RCAF

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No. 119 Squadron RCAF
Active 15 May 1935 - 15 March 1944
Country  Canada
Branch Air Force Ensign of Canada (1941-1968).svg Royal Canadian Air Force
Role Bomber-Reconnaissance
Nickname(s) Hamilton Tigers
Motto(s) Latin: Noli Me Tangere
("Touch Me Not")
Battle honours North-West Atlantic
Insignia
Squadron Codes DM (May 1938 - June 1942), GR (April 1942 - March 1944)

RCAF Canadian Home War Establishment (HWE) Squadron. Created 15 May 1935 in Hamilton, Ontario and came to be tasked with coastal patrol and anti-submarine duty over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean, around Nova Scotia. It was disbanded 15 March 1944 in Sydney, Nova Scotia. [1][2]

The 'Hamilton Tigers' Squadron[edit]

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 St. John, New Brunswick. [5][6]

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]

Equipment[edit]

Bases[edit]

See also[edit]

Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Bottomley, Captain N., 424 Squadron History: From the its origins in 1935 to modern times. Kingston, Ontario, Canada: The Hangar Bookshelf, 1985, Pages: 9 to 32. ISBN 0-920497-02-0
  2. ^ Kostenuk, Samuel, and Griffin, John, fl., RCAF Squadron Histories and Aircraft, 1924–1968. Hakkert & Company, Toronto, ON, 1977, Page: 53. ISBN 0888665776 Accessed 30.01.2017
  3. ^ Clarence Simonsen, Preserving the past: The True History of the No. 424 Squadron [Tiger] Badge and Nose Art, April 23, 2016. See: https://clarencesimonsen.wordpress.com/category/rcaf-424-squadron/ Accessed 18.01.2017
  4. ^ Kostenuk, Samuel, and Griffin, John, fl., RCAF Squadron Histories and Aircraft, 1924–1968. Hakkert & Company, Toronto, ON, 1977, Page: 53. ISBN 0888665776 Accessed 30.01.2017
  5. ^ Wartime Heritage Association: 119 Squadron - RCAF Station, Yarmouth NS (WWII). See: http://www.wartimeheritage.com/storyarchive2/story_119squadron_rcaf_yarmouth_wwii.htm Accessed 18.01.2017
  6. ^ Kostenuk, Samuel, and Griffin, John, fl., RCAF Squadron Histories and Aircraft, 1924–1968. Hakkert & Company, Toronto, ON, 1977, Page: 53. ISBN 0888665776 Accessed 30.01.2017
  7. ^ Clarence Simonsen (and Mrs. Levina Ferguson), Preserving the past: The True History of the No. 424 Squadron [Tiger] Badge and Nose Art, April 23, 2016. See: https://clarencesimonsen.wordpress.com/category/rcaf-424-squadron/ Accessed 18.01.2017
  8. ^ Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges, NO. 119 (BOMBER RECONNAISSANCE), Ottawa, Ontario. Confirmation of the blazon of a Badge: November 20, 2008, Vol. V, p. 366. See: http://reg.gg.ca/heraldry/pub-reg/project-pic.asp?lang=e&ProjectID=1378&ProjectElementID=6655 Accessed 18.01.2017
  9. ^ Kostenuk, Samuel, and Griffin, John, fl., RCAF: Squadron Histories and Aircraft, 1924–1968. Samuel Stevens Hakkert & Company, Toronto, ON, 1977, Page: 53. ISBN 0888665776 Accessed 13.01.2017
  10. ^ Hamilton Historic Board Plaques: HAMILTON AVIATION HISTORY. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/-jm/5147195818 Accessed 01.02.2017
  11. ^ Kostenuk, Samuel, and Griffin, John, fl., RCAF Squadron Histories and Aircraft, 1924–1968. Hakkert & Company, Toronto, ON, 1977, Page: 53. ISBN 0888665776 Accessed 30.01.2017
  12. ^ Wartime Heritage Association: 119 Squadron - RCAF Station, Yarmouth NS (WWII). See: http://www.wartimeheritage.com/storyarchive2/story_119squadron_rcaf_yarmouth_wwii.htm Accessed 18.01.2017
  13. ^ Clarence Simonsen (and Mrs. Levina Ferguson), Preserving the past: The True History of the No. 424 Squadron [Tiger] Badge and Nose Art, April 23, 2016. See: https://clarencesimonsen.wordpress.com/category/rcaf-424-squadron/ Accessed 18.01.2017
  14. ^ Veterans Affairs Canada, Royal Canadian Air Force Squadrons/Units that Participated in the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Date modified 2014-10-23. See: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/battle-gulf-st-lawrence/airforce Accessed 18.01.2017
Bibliography
  • Bottomley, Captain Nora. 424 Squadron History: A detailed pictorial history of 424 Squadron (RCAF) from the its origins in 1935 to modern times. Kingston, Ontario, Canada: The Hangar Bookshelf, 1985. ISBN 0-920497-02-0.
  • Kostenuk, S. and J. Griffin. RCAF Squadron Histories and Aircraft: 1924–1968. Toronto: Samuel Stevens, Hakkert & Company, 1977. ISBN 0-88866-577-6.