No. 400 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No.400 Squadron, RCAF, began the war as am army co-operation squadron, before becoming a reconnaissance squadron, supporting the D-Day landings and the campaign in north-western Europe

No.400 Squadron was formed on 1 March 1941 by the renumbering of No.110 Squadron, RCAF. No.110 had arrived in the UK on 25 February 1940 and moved to Old Sarum, where it was equipped with the Lysander and began to train in army co-operation duties. It then moved to Odiham, which was where it was when it became No.400.

The Lysanders were joined by a number of Tomahawks in April 1941. These aircraft were used for low level reconnaissance. On 6 November 1941 the squadron flew its first operation tactical reconnaissance mission.

In April 1942 the first Mustangs arrived. In the following month the last Lysanders went, but some Tomahawks were retained into 1943. After the Mustangs arrived the squadron began to fly reconnaissance and ground attack missions over France.

In December 1942 a detachment was sent to Cornwall to support Coastal Command's anti-submarine campaign over the Bay of Biscay, remaining there for six weeks.

The squadron made the most victory claims of any squadron equipped with the Allision powered Mustang I and II, a total of 11 (next came No.414 Squadron with ten).

In December 1943 the squadron began to receive the Supermarine Spitfire XI and a number of Mosquitoes. The last Mustang sortie was flown on 20 February 1944, as the squadron was in the middle of converting to the Supermarine Spitfire XI.

Once the change was complete the squadron became a photographic reconnaissance unit, and was used to prepar for the D-Day landings. The Mosquitoes went in May 1944, just before the invasion.

The squadron moved to a French base in July 1944, and followed the Allied armies as they pushed east. It was still a photographic reconnaissance unit, and operated over Germany and the occupied Netherlands.

The squadron moved onto its first German airfield in April 1945. After the war it joined the occupation forces, but was disbanded on 7 August 1945.

Aircraft
March 1941-June 1942: Westland Lysander III
April 1941-May 1943: Curtiss Tomahawk I and IIA
April 1942-February 1944: North American Mustang I
December 1943-August 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XI
December 1943-May 1944: de Havilland Mosquito XVI
May-June 1944: Supermarine Spitfire XIII

Location
March 1941-May 1942: Odiham
May 1942: Gatwick
May-October 1942: Odiham
October-December 1942: Middle Wallop
December 1942: Dunsfold
December 1942-January 1943: Middle Wallop
January-July 19843: Dunsfold
July-October 1943: Woodchurch
October 1943-February 1944: Redhill
February-July 1944: Odiham
July-August 1944: B.8 Sommervieu
August-September 1944: B.21 St. Honorine
September 1944: B.34 Evreux/ Avrilly
September-October 1944: B.66 Blankenberg
October 1944-March 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
March-April 1945: B.90 Petit Brogel
April 1945: B.108 Rheine
April 1945: B.116 Wunstorf
April-May 1945: B.154 Reinsehlen
May-July 1945: B.156 Luneburg
July-August 1945: B.160 Kastrup
August 1945: B.156 Luneburg

Squadron Codes: SP

Duty
- 6 June 1944-: No.39 Reconnaissance Wing, No.38 Group, Second Tactical Air Force

Books

 

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 June 2021), No. 400 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RCAF/400_wwII.html

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