No. 413 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No.413 Squadron, RCAF, was a Canadian Catalina squadron that operated from Scotland for part of 1941 before moving to Ceylon in 1942, entering service there just before the Japanese raid into the Indian ocean. It spent most of the rest of the war on anti-submarine duties across the Indian ocean before its crews moved back to the UK to reform as a short lived bomber squadron

The squadron was formed at Stranraer on 1 July 1941 and was equipped with the Catalina I. In October 1941 the squadron moved to the Shetlands, and became operational on 7 October. It was used to fly anti-submarine patrols, convoy escort missions and reconnaissance missions off the Norwegian Coast.

Consolidated Catalina coming in to land, Sri Lanka
Consolidated Catalina coming in to land, Sri Lanka

Operations from Scotland ended on 26 February 1942, as the squadron began to prepare for a move to the Far East. The squadron was to be moved to Ceylon, which was seen as a key link between East and West and was threatened by the Japanese.

The first aircraft left for Celyon on 17 March and arrived on 27 March 1942. The first reconnaissance patrol was flown on 4 April, and on the very same day one of its aircraft spotted the Japanese task force that was heading towards Ceylon (although was shot down after making its report). On the following day the Japanese launched a carrier raid on Columbo, Another aircraft was lost on 8 April after spotting the Japanese fleet as it headed away from Ceylon.

The squadron was based at Ceylon into 1945, carrying out anti-submarine patrols. It also operated detachments across a vast area, from Aden in the north-west to South Africa in the south-west. The squadron also flew courier flights to Australia, and special duties missions to Sumatra. However there were very few Japanese submarines to be found in the Indian Ocean.

On 21 January 1945 the squadron's personel departed for the UK, where the squadron was to be formed within Bomber Command. However it was disbanded on 23 February 1945, a few days after its arrival in Britain.

July 1941-January 1944: Consolidated Catalina I
March 1943-January 1945: Consolidated Catalina IV

1 July-2 October 1941: Stranraer
2 october 1941-1 March 1942: Sullom Voe
1-27 March 1942: Lough Erne
27 March 1942-21 January 1945: Koggala
    Detachments at Addu Atoll, Seychelles, Pamanzi, Tulear, Durban, Langebaan, Aden, China Bay, Redhills Lake, Cochin, Kelai, Diego Suarez
21 February-23 February 1945: Bournemouth

Squadron Codes: QL, C


-1 July 1944-: No.222 Group, Air Command, South East Asia



How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 September 2021), No. 413 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War,

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