No. 415 "Swordfish" Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No. 415 "Swordfish" Squadron was a RCAF Squadron, based in Britain and under RAF operational command. The squadron was formed on 20 August 1941 as a torpedo-bomber squadron within Coastal Command, operating a mix of Beauforts, Blenheims and Hampdens over the next two years. The squadron carried out anti-submarine patrols from February 1942 and shipping strikes from May, initially with bombs but later with torpedoes.

In September 1943 the squadron converted to the Leigh Light Wellington, and the Albacore, operating the two types in tandem. The Wellingtons would locate German E-Boats and the Albacores would attack them. Over the next year the squadron sank a number of E-Boats, enemy merchant ships and larger warships.

In July 1944 the squadron converted to the Halifax, and joined No.6 (RCAF) of Bomber Command, taking part in the strategic bombing offensive until the end of the war.

Aircraft
September 1941-January 1942: Bristol Beaufort I
December 1941-February 1942: Bristol Blenheim IV
January 1941-November 1943: Handley Page Hampden I
September 1943-July 1944: Vickers Wellington XIII
November 1943-July 1944: Fairey Albacore I
July 1944-May 1945: Handley Page Halifax III
March 1945-May 1945: Handley Page Halifax VII

Location
20 August 1941-10 April 1942: Thorney Island
10 April-16 May 1942: St. Eval
16 May-5 June 1942: Thorney Island
  26 May-5 June 1942: Detachment to North Coates
5 June-6 August 1942: North Coates
  5 August-5 September 1942: Detachment to Tain
6 August-5 September 1942: Wick
  8 August-5 September 1942: Detachment to Leuchers
5 September-9 November 1942: Leuchers
  18 October-4 December 1942: St. Eval
9 November 1942-15 November 1943: Thorney Island
  25-28 November 1942: Bircham Newton
  4 December 1942-13 January 1943: Predannack
  2-16 March 1943: Tain
15 November 1943-12 July 1944: Bircham Newton
  15 November 1943-29 April 1944: Detachment to Manston
  29 April-3 June 1944: Detachment to Thorney Island
  8 May 1944-10 June 1944: Detachment to Winkleigh/ Bolt Head
  3 June-26 July 1944: Detachment to Manston
12 July 1944-15 May 1945: East Moor

Squadron Codes: GX, NH, 6U

Duty
By July 1944 to May 1945: Bomber squadron with No 6 (RCAF) Group
May 1945: Disbanded

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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RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit. This is an excellent photographic history of Coastal Command during the Second World War. The book is split into six chapters, one for each year of the war. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction to the events of the year, and the aircraft that equipped the command before moving on to the photos. Each chapter contains a mix of pictures of the aircraft used by the command and pictures taken by the command. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 March 2007), No. 415 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RCAF/415_wwII.html

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