No. 409 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.409 Squadron (RCAF) was a Canadian night fighter squadron that took part in the defence of Britain in 1941-44, then supported the D-Day landings, flew intruder missions over France and took part in the campaign against the V-1 flying bomb.

The squadron was formed at Digby on 17 June 1941 as a night fighter unit. At first it was equipped with the Boulton Paul Defiant, which was better suited to the night fighter role than to its original day fighter role.

The squadron became operational with the Defiant on 20 August 1941, and was formed part of the defences of the east coast until May 1944. A week after becoming operational the first Beaufighters arrived and by the end of October the last Defiants had gone.

The squadron started to convert to the Mosquito in March 1944 and the last Beaufighters went in May.

In May 1944 the squadron joined No.148 Wing of the Second Tactical Air Force. It was used to protect the embarkation areas for the forces preparing for the D-Day landings, and then the landings themselves. The squadron also flew a number of intruder missions over France. It was also used to try and catch V-1 flying bombs at night.

In August 1944 the squadron moved to France, making it the first night fighter squadron to move to France. It was then used to fly defensive night fighter patrols over the Low Countries, covering the advancing Allied armies.

Between June 1944 and the end of the war the squadron claimed 58.5 victories over aircraft and 12 over V-1s, making it top scoring RAF/ RCAF night fighter squadron of the period.

The squadron was disbanded on 1 July 1945.

Aircraft
July 1941-October 1941: Boulton Paul Defiant I
August 1941-June 1942: Bristol Beaufighter IIF
June 1942-May 1944: Bristol Beaufighter VI
March 1944-July 1945: De Havilland Mosquito XIII

Location
17 June-26 July 1941: Digby
26 July 1941-23 February 1943: Coleby Grange
23 February-19 December 1943: Acklington
19 December 1943-5 February 1944: Coleby Grange
5 February-30 April 1944: Acklington
30 April-14 May 1944: Hunsdon
14 May-19 June 1944: West Malling
19 June-24 August 1944: Hunsdon
24 August-27 September 1944: B.17 Carpiquet
27 September-4 October 1944: B.48 Amiens-Glisy
4 October-12 October 1944: B.68 Le Culot
12 October 1944-19 April 1945: B.51 Lille-Vendeville
19 April-15 May 1945: B.108 Rheine
15 May-10 June 1945: B.77 Gilze-Rijen
10 June-1 July 1945: B.106 Twente

Squadron Codes: KP

Duty
June 1944-February 1944: No.12 Group, Fighter Command
March-May 1944: No.147 (RAF) Wing, No.85 Group, Second Tactical Air Force
May 1944-July 1945: No.148 (RAF) Wing, No.85 Group, Second Tactical Air Force

Books

 

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 August 2021), No. 409 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RCAF/409_wwII.html

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