No. 405 "Vancouver" Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No. 405 "Vancouver" Squadron was a RCAF Squadron, based in Britain and under RAF operational command. It was the first of many Canadian heavy bomber squadrons that would eventually equip all of No.6 Group of Bomber Command. On 12 June 1941 it took part in its first raid over Germany, and remained with Bomber Command until October 1942.

From 23 October 1942 to 3 March 1943 the squadron was part of Coastal Command, carrying out anti-submarine patrols over the Bay of Biscay and anti-shipping sweeps against Germany's coastal shipping.

In March 1943 the squadron returned to Bomber Command to form part of No.6 (RCAF) Group. The squadron flew its first bombing mission with No.6 Group on 11 March 1943 as part of the main bomber force, but in April 1943 the squadron became part of the Pathfinder Force. It remained with the Pathfinders to the end of the war.

Aircraft
April 1941-April 1942: Vickers Wellington II
April 1942 to September 1943:  Handley Page Halifax B.Mk II
August 1943-May 1945: Avro Lancaster B.Mk III
April 1944-July 1945: Avro Lancaster B.Mk VI
May 1945-June 1945: Avro Lancaster B.Mk X

Location
23 April 1941-20 June 1941: Driffield
20 June 1941-7 August 1942: Pocklington
7 August 1942 to 14 March 1943: Topcliffe
  25 October 1942 to 3 March 1943: Detachment to Beaulieu (Coastal Command base)
14 March-18 April 1943: Leeming
18 April 1943-26 May 1945: Gransdon Lodge (No. 8 Group base)
26 May-16 June 1945: Linton-on-Ouse

Squadron Codes: LQ

Duty
April 1942 to January 1943: Bomber squadron with No 4 Group
January 1943 onwards: Bomber squadron with No. 6 (RCAF) Group

Books

Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris. The autobiography of Bomber Harris, giving his view of the strategic bombing campaign in its immediate aftermath. Invaluable for the insights it provides into Harris’s approach to the war, what he was trying to achieve and the problems he faced. Harris perhaps overstates his case, not entirely surprisingly given how soon after the end of the war this book was written (Read Full Review)
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6 Group Bomber Command: An Operation Record, Chris Ward. This is a very detailed reference book that looks at the wartime service of the Canadian group in RAF Bomber Command. A detailed narrative history of the group is followed by a series of chapters on each squadron, with a brief history, list of stations, commanding officers and types of aircraft, and most impressively a list of every individual aircraft to serve with each squadron and its fate [read full review]
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Battlefields in the Air: Canadians in the Allied Bomber Command, Dan McCaffery. A look at Bomber Command's controversial campaign against Germany, and the role played in it by the Canadian pilots of No.6 Group. McCaffery's well researched text is supported by eye witness accounts from both the Canadian air crew and the German targets of the bombing campaign.
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Review of Halifax Squadrons by John lake Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake. This is a very good book on the combat record of the Handley Page Halifax. It covers much more than just its role as a front line bomber, with chapters on the Halifax with Coastal Command, the Pathfinders and SOE, amongst others. [see more]
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Lancaster Squadron 1942-43, Jon Lake. This book looks at the early career of the Avro Lancaster. During this period the Lancaster was just one of a number of aircraft used by Bomber Command, important amongst them the Wellington, the Stirling and the Halifax. Only by the end of this period do we see the Lancaster begin to emerge as the most important aircraft in Bomber Command. Lake covers the wide range of activities performed by the Lancaster squadrons during this squadron, including the famous Dam Busters raid. [see more]
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Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45, Jon Lake. A well balanced look at the career of the Avro Lancaster in 1944-45, the period most famous for the systematic night bombardment of German cities. This was also the period that saw the Lancaster used to support the invasion of France, and the period that saw 617 Squadron drop Barnes Wallis's huge streamlined bombs with great precision. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 March 2007), No. 405 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RCAF/405_wwII.html

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