No. 414 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.414 Squadron (RCAF) was a Canadian squadron that operated the Mustang then the Spitfire, mainly in the reconnaissance and ground attack roles, eventually operating as far afield as over Germany.

The squadron was formed at Croydon on 12 August 1941. It was initially equipped with the Lysander, but they were joined by Tomahawks in the following month. These two types were used for training, and the squadron didn't become operational until it had converted to the Mustang in June-July 1942.

The squadron took part in the Dieppe raid of 19 August 1942, when its Mustangs were attacked by Fw 190s over the port. During the battle the squadron claimed its first victory with the Mustang, during its first operational sorties.

After this introduction to combat, the squadron carried out low level reconnaissance missions, ground attack missions over France, and was also used on low-level interception patrols to try and stop the 'tip-and-run' raids on British coastal towns.

The squadron made the second most victory claims of any squadron equipped with the Allison powered Mustang I. claiming 10, only one behind No.400 Squadron.

The squadron joined Second Tactical Air Force when it was formed, and focused more on reconnaissance. It's main job was to build up a picture of the German defensives.

In August 1944 the squadron converted to the Spitfire, flying the last Mustang sortie on 4 August and the first Spitfire sortie on 15 August, after the squadron had moved to Normandy.

From then to the end of the war the squadron focused on tactical reconnaissance missions for the army. Late in 1944 these were joined by photographic missions over Germany.

After the war the squadron joined the occupation forces, before being disbanded on 7 August 1945.

Aircraft
August 1941-June 1942: Lysander IIIA
September 1941-July 1942: Tomahawk I, IIA and IIB
June 1942-August 1944: North American Mustang I
July-August 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB
August 1944-April 1945: Supermarine Spitfire IX
April-August 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XIV

Location
12 August 1941-5 December 1942: Croydon
    1-9 August 1942: Detachment to Abbotsinch
5 December 1942-1 February 1943: Dunsfold
1-20 February 1943: Middle Wallop
20 February-9 April 1943: Dunsfold
9 April-25 May 1943: Middle Wallop
25 May-4 June 1943: Harrowbeer
4 June-19 June 1943: Portreath
19 June-5 July 1943: Dunsfold
5-31 July 1943: Gatwick
31 July-10 August 1943: Weston Zoyland
10-13 August 1943: Gatwick
13 August-5 October 1943: Ashford
5-15 October 1943: Woodchurch
15 October-3 November 1943: Redhill
3 November 1943-5 February 1944: Gatwick
5-19 February 1944: Peterhead
19-28 February 1944: Odiham
28 February-11 March 1944: Dundonald
11 March-1 April 1944: Gatwick
1 April-15 August 1944: Odiham
15-28 August 1944: B.21 St. Honorine
28 August-3 September 1944: B.26 Illiers l'Eveque
3-7 September 1944: P.44 Poix
7-20 September 1944: B.56 Evere
20 September-2 October 1944: B.66 Diest
2 October 1944-7 March 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
7 March-10 April 1945: B.90 Petit Brogel
10-16 April 1945: B.108 Rheine
16-28 April 1945: B.116 Wunstorf
28 April-7 May 1945: B.154 Reinsehlen
7-8 May 1945: B.118 Celle
8 May-22 June 1945: B.156 Luneburg
22 June-6 July 1945: Warmwell
6 July-7 August 1945: B.156 Luneburg

Squadron Codes
: RU (Lysander, Tomahawk, Mustang), C, B (Spitfire)

Duty
- 6 June 1944-: No.39 Reconnaissance Wing, No.38 Group, Second Tactical Air Force

Books

 

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 September 2021), No. 414 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/414_wwII.html

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