No. 408 "Goose" Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No. 408 "Goose" Squadron was a RCAF Squadron, based in Britain and under RAF operational command. The squadron operated as part of Bomber Command's main force from 24 June 1941 until the end of the war. From January 1943 it was part of No.6 (RCAF) Group.

Rear section of Halifax JB858 of No.408 Squadron
Rear section of
Halifax JB858
of No.408 Squadron

The squadron began operations with the Handley Page Hampden, before switching to the Merlin powered Halifax in September 1942. After just over a year these were replaced by Lancaster IIs in October 1943, and then by the Hercules powered Halifax III and VII. At the end of the war in Europe the squadron was converting to the Canadian built Lancaster B.Mk X, and in June 1945 it flew its Lancasters back to Canada in preparation for the planned invasion of Japan. The squadron disbanded after the Japanese surrender removed the need for Tiger Force, the planned contribution to the bombing campaign.

July 1941-October 1942:  Handley Page Hampden
September 1942 to December 1942: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk V
December 1942 to October 1943: Handley Page Halifax B. Mk II
October 1943 to July 1944: Avro Lancaster II
July 1944 to February 1945: Handley Page Halifax B. Mk III
September 1944 to May 1945: Handley Page Halifax B. Mk VII
May 1945-September 1945: Avro Lancaster X

24 June-18 July 1941: Lindholme
18 July-9 December 1941: Syerston
9 December 1941-25 January 1942: Balderton
25 January-17 March 1942: North Luffenham
17 March-20 September 1942: Balderton
20 September 1942-12 August 1943: Leeming
12 August 1943-14 June 1945: Linton-on-Ouse

Squadron Codes: EQ

September 1942 to January 1943: Bomber squadron with No. 5 Group
January 1943 onwards: Bomber squadron with No. 6 (RCAF) Group


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. 408 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War,

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