No. 407 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No.407 Squadron, RCAF, was a Canadian squadron that served with Coastal Command from 1941-45, performing a mix of anti-submarine and anti-shipping missions, as well as taking part in the attempt to stop the 'Channel Dash' and the D-Day landings.

The squadron was formed at Thorney Island on 8 May 1941 as an anti-shipping squadron. At first the plan was for it to be equipped with the Blenheim, but these were replaced by the Lockheed Hudson in June 1941, and the squadrobn became operational with these aircraft in September 1941.

From September 1941 until October 1942 the squadron was used to attack shipping off the Dutch Coast.

During much of 1942 the squadron was part of No.16 Group, and focuses its attention on German shipping between the Elbe and the Hook of Holland.

In February 1942 the squadron was one of three Hudson squadrons to try and stop the Channel Dash, the escape of the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen from Brest to German ports. Nos. 59 and 407 Squadrons made their attack on the German ships on 12 February, loosing two aircraft, but without achieving anything.

Losses during the year were high. In the summer of 1942 the squadron's war diary recorded that they had lost twelve crews (a total of 50 men missing or killed) snce operations resumed on 1 April, and six crews with twenty seven men in the 'past month' (possibly June).

In October and early November the squadron was based in Cornwall, where it carried out anti-submarine patrols.

In mid-November 1942 the squadron moved back to East Anglia and resumed its attacks on enemy shipping, hitting convoys and S-Boats.

In January 1943 the squadron began to convert to the Vickers Wellington, which it took to Scotland in February, then to Cornwall in March, where it returned to anti-submarine duties.

From January-April 1944 the squadron was based in Northern Ireland, from were it continued its anti-submarine duties.

In April 1944 the squadron moved to Cornwall, from where it covered the western flanks of the D-Day invasion forces.

In August 1944 the squadron moved to the north of Scotland to carry out patrols along the coast of Norway.

In November 1944 the squadron returned to Cornwall.

In April 1945 detachments were sent to East Anglia to search for German midget submarines that were operating off the Ditch coast.

The squadron was disbanded on 4 June 1945.

Aircraft
May-June 1941: Bristol Blenheim I
June-July 1941: Lockheed Hudson I
November 1941-May 1942: Lockheed Hudson III
June-October 1942: Lockheed Hudson IIIA
June 1941-April 1943: Lockheed Hudson
February 1943-April 1943: Lockheed Hudson
January 1943-April 1943: Vickers Wellington X
February 1943-April 1943: Vickers Wellington XI
April-July 1943: Vickers Wellington XII
July 1943-June 1945: Vickers Wellington XIV

Location
20 May-9 July 1941: Thorney Island
9 July 1941-17 February 1942: North Coates
17 February-31 March 1942: Thorney Island
31 March-1 October 1942: Bircham Newton
1 October-10 November 1942: St. Eval
10 November 1942-16 February 1943: Docking
16 February-31 March 1943: Skitten
31 March-3 November 1943: Chivenor
3 November-2 December 1943: St. Eval
2 Decemebr 1943-26 January 1944: Chivenor
26 January-28 April 1944: Limavady
28 April-22 August 1944: Chivenor
22 August-9 November 1944: Wick
9 November-4 June 1945: Chivenor
   14 April-10 May 1945: Detachment to Langham

Squadron Codes: RR (Hudson) 1, 2 (Wellington)

Duty
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Books

 

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 July 2021), No. 407 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/407_wwII.html

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