No. 110 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No.110 Squadron, RCAF, was a Canadian army co-operation squadron that moved to Britain in 1939 and spent the next year training in army co-operation duties, before being renumbered as No.400 Squadron in March 1941.

The squadron was formed as No.110 (City of Toronto) Auxiliary Squadron, and had trained as an army co-operation squadron. The squadron was the first to receive a Canadian built Lysander, with the first one arriving on 7 September 1939.

After the outbreak of war the Canadians and British agreed that the main priority was the massive expansion of the RCAF, but one squadron was sent to Britain to join the existing Canadian Active Service Force. The squadron was reinforced by personnel from No.2 (Army Co-operation) Squadron, which had been part of the small Permanent Force. Command of the squadron went to Squadron Leader W.D. Van Vliet, until then commander of No.2 Squadron.

The squadron arrived in the UK on 25 February 1940, and was the first RCAF squadron to arrive in Britain. It was based at Old Sarum, the location of the RAF's School of Army Cooperation. It was equippd with twelve Lysanders, and began advancing training in army co-operation duties. This lead to a certain amount of frustration amongst its men, who had come to Britain expecting to see action, but who instead had to watch other Canadians in the RAF get into action more quickly, while they spent months on technical but rather un-interesting training. To make things worse, the events in France and the Low Countries in 1940 soon made it clear that the RAF's plans for army co-operation were no longer valid, and a new system would be needed.

In June 1940 the squadron moved to Odiham (a couple of weeks after No.112 Squadron, RCAF had joined it at Old Sarum), which would remain its main base until it was renumbered as No.400 Squadron on 1 March 1941.

On 5 July 1940 part of the squadron was detached to Redhill, to take part in anti-invasion duties. The detachment remained there until 1 September 1940, when it moved to Stoke d'Abernon. It rejoined the main part of the squadron in October 1940.

March 1940-March 1941: Westland Lysander II
August 1940-March 1941: Westland Lysander III

February-June 1940: Old Sarum
June 1940-March 1941: Odiham
    July-September 1940: Detachment to Redhill
    September-October 1940: Detachment to Stoke d'Abernon

Squadron Codes: -

Army Co-operation



How to cite this article: Rickard, J (3 May 2021), No. 110 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War,

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