No. 404 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No.404 Squadron, RCAF, was a long range fighter and anti shipping squadron that served with RAF Coastal Command from 1941-45.

No.404 Squadron was formed on 15 April 1941 as a long range fighter squadron within Coastal Command. It was equipped with the Blenheim IVF, which it took to Scotland in June 1941.

Bristol Beaufighter Mk X of No.404 Squadron (RCAF)
Bristol Beaufighter Mk X of No.404 Squadron (RCAF)

The squadron was used to escort convoys and to fly long range reconnaissance missions. In December 1941 it supported the raid on the Lofoten Islands. It was also used to try and intercept Condors flying north of Scotland on their way between Norway and the North Atlantic.

In September 1942 the squadron began to convert to the Beaufighter.

In January 1943 the squadron moved to Devon, and began to fly patrols over the Bay of Biscay as part of Coastal Command's campaign against the U-boats.

In April 1943 the squadron returned to the north of Scotland. As well as convoy patrols, the squadron was also used to provide long range fighter escorts for strike squadrons operating along the coast of Norway.

In May 1944 the squadron moved south, and in June it was used to protect the western flank of the shipping lanes from southern England to France. The squadron took part in an attack on three German destroyers spotted south of Brest, although couldn't stop them reaching the port. However two days later, when they attempted to leave Brest, they were attacked by surface ships, and only one survived.

In July 1944 the squadron moved to East Anglia and was used to attack shipping along the Dutch coast.

In September 1944 the squadron returned to Scotland and operations off the Norwegian coast. It was part of the Banff Wing, one of the most effective anti-shipping units of the war and the largest users of the Mosquito in the anti-shipping role.

Bristol Beaufighter rocket rails
Bristol Beaufighter rocket rails

In March 1944 the squadron began to convert to the Mosquito. The first Mosquito operation came on 22 April, only just before the end of the war.

The squadron was disbanded on 25 May 1945.

Aircraft
May 1941-January 1943: Bristol Blenheim IVF
September 1942-March 1943: Bristol Beaufighter IIF
March-December 1943: Bristol Beaufighter XI
September 1943-April 1945: Bristol Beaufighter X
March-May 1945: de Havilland Mosquito VI

Location
15 April-20 June 1941: Thorney Island
20 June-27 July 1941: Castletown
27 July-9 October 1941: Skitten
9 October-1 December 1941: Dyce
   9 October-1 December 1941: Detachment to Sumburgh
1 December 1941-26 March 1942: Sumburg (entire squadron)
26 March-5 August 1942: Dyce
5 August-24 September 1942: Sumburgh
24 September 1942-23 January 1943: Dyce
23 January-2 April 1943: Chivenor
2-20 April 1943: Tain
20 April-10 May 1943: Wick
10 May-1 July 1944: Davidstowe Moor
1 July-4 September 1944: Strubby
4 September-22 October 1944: Banff
22 October-3 April 1945: Dallachy
3 April-25 May 1945: Banff

Squadron Codes: EE

Duty
-15 February 1943-: No.19 Group, Coastal Command

Books

 

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 July 2021), No. 404 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RCAF/404_wwII.html

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