No. 416 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No.416 Squadron (RCAF) was a Canadian fighter squadron that was initially used to protect coastal shipping before taking part in offensive sweeps over France, ground attack and escort missions. It supported the D-Day landings then moved to Normandy, from where it carried out armed reconnaissance sweeps, finding and attacking German targets.

The squadron was formed at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire on 18 November 1941. It was equipped with the Spitfire, and used that aircraft for the rest of the war.

The squadron became operational on 1 February 1942, flying defensive patrols over coastal shipping and serving as local air defence.

The squadron moved to the south coast from 25 June-8 July 1942, returned to Scotland for 10 days, then finally made the permanent move south on 16 July. Once again it was used on convoy escort missions, and also to escort anti-submarine warfare aircraft. It also took part in the raid on Dieppe in August 1942.

In October 1942 the squadron began to take part in offensive sweeps over France.

In March 1943 the squadron converted to the Spitfire IX, but in May it had to revert to the Spitfire X, which it kept for the rest of the year. The second half of 1943 was spent flying a mix of ground attack and escort missions.

The Spitfire IX returned in January 1944, and this time remained for most of the rest of the year. It was used to support the D-Day landings, and moved to Normandy only ten days after D-Day. The squadron was used to fly armed reconnaissance sweeps, hitting enemy communications and troops concentrations.

After the breakout from Normandy the squadron moved with the armies, ending up in Belgium, from where it flew sweeps over Germany. The squadron also supported the final advances of 21st Army Group into Germany

The squadron joined the occupation forces, before being disbanded on 19 March 1946.

Aircraft
November 1941-April 1942: Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIB
March 1942-March 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VB
March-May 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IX
May 1943-February 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB
January 1944-December 1944: Supermarine Spitfire IX
December 1944-September 1945: Supermarine Spitfire XVI
September 1945-March 1946: Supermarine Spitfire XIV

Location
18 November 1941-25 June 1942: Peterhead
    14-28 March 1942: Detachment to Montrose
    14 March-25 June 1942: Detachment Dyce
25 June-16 July 1942: Westhampnett
    8 July 1942-: Detachment to Peterhead and Dyce
16 July-14 Augsut 1942: Martlesham Heath
14 August-23 September 1942: Hawkinge
23 September-8 November 1942: Redhill
8-24 November 1942: Martlesham Heath
24 November 1942-1 February 1943: Redhill
1 February-29 May 1943: Kenley
29 May-6 June 1943: Wellingore
6 June-9 August 1943: Digby
9 August-19 September 1943: Merston
19 September-2 October 1943: Wellingore
2 October 1943-11 February 1944: Digby
11 February-14 April 1944: Kenley
14 April-16 June 1944: Tangmere
16 June-28 August 1944: B.2 Bazenville
28 August-22 September 1944: B.26 Illiers l'Eveque
22 September-1 October 1944: B.68 Le Culot
1-21 October 1944: B.82 Grave
21 October-5 November 1944: B.58 Melsbroek
5 November 1944-1 March 1945: B.56 Evere
1-31 March 1945: B.90 Petit Brogel
31 March-11 April 1945: B.78 Eindhoven
11-13 April 1945: B.100 Rheine
13-26 April 1945: B.114 Diepholz
26 April-2 July 1945: B.154 Reinsehlen
2-4 July 1945: B.152 Fassberg
4 July-2 August 1945: B.174 Utersen
2-18 August 1945: Warmwell
18 August 1945-19 March 1946: B.174 Utersen

Squadron Codes: DN

Duty
-6 June 1944-: No.127 (RCAF) Wing, No.83 Group, Second Tactical Air Force

Books

 

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 September 2021), No. 416 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RCAF/416_wwII.html

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