No. 440 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.440 Squadron (RCAF) was a Canadian fighter squadron that served with the 2nd Tactical Air Force, supporting the D-Day landings and the campaign in north-western Europe, ending the war in Germany.

The squadron had been formed as No.111 Squadron in Canada, and was equipped with the Westland Lysander, Hawker Hurricane and the Bristol Bolingbroke (a licence built version of the Bristol Blenheim IV built by Fairchild-Canada). It was based in Alaska and British Columbia. While it was based in Alaska it became the only home based RCAF squadron to shoot down a Japanese fighter during attacks on Japanese bases in the Aleutians.

Early in 1944 the squadron's personnel moved to Britain, where they joined Nos.438 and 439 Squadrons at Ayr to form No.143 Wing of the 2nd Tactical Air Force. It was originally equipped with a mix of Hurricanes and Typhoons, but the Hurricanes soon went.

In March the squadron moved south to Hurn (Dorset), from where it flew its first operation on 28 March. The squadron was used for fighter-bomber sweeps across France in the build-up to D-Day.

By the end of June the squadron had moved to France, and it advanced east with the Allied armies. Early in September it moved to Belgium, and later in the month to Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

The squadron's base at Eindhoven was hit hard during Operation Bodenplatte, the Luftwaffe's last major operation in the west, and the Adjutant's office was destroyed.

At the end of March the squadron moved to RAF B.100 Goch, the first RAF base on German soil. It remained in Germany for the rest of the war, flying offensive sweeps behind German lines. The squadron briefly returned to the UK in last couple of weeks of the war, but returned on VE Day, and remained there until disbanding on 26 August 1945.

Aircraft
February-March 1944: Hawker Hurricane IV (from 439 Squadron)
February 1944-March 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB

Location
14 February-14 March 1944: Ayr (Glasgow)
14 March-2 April 1944: Hurn (Dorset)
2-19 April 1944: Funtington (West Sussex)
19 April-27 June 1944: Hurn
27 June-1 September 1944: B.9 Lantheuil
1 September-3 September 1944: B.24 St. Andre de l'Eure
3-6 September 1944: B.48 Amiens-Glisy
6-26 September 1944: B.58 Melsbroek (Brussel)
26 September 1944-29 March 1945: B.78 Eindhoven (Netherlands)
29 March-11 April 1945: B.100 Goch (Germany)
11-20 April 1945: B.110 Osnabruck
20-22 April 1945: B.150 Hustedt
22 April-8 May 1945: Warmwell
29 May-26 August 1945: B.116 Flensburg

Squadron Codes: I8 (Typhoon)

Duty
-6 June 1944-: No.143 (RCAF) Wing, No.83 Group, Second Tactical Air Force

Books

 

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 December 2021), No. 440 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RCAF/440_wwII.html

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