No. 426 "Thunderbird" Squadron (RCAF): Second World War

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No.426 "Thunderbird" Squadron was a RCAF squadron formed in Britain on 15 October 1942 as part of No.4 Group, Bomber Command. The squadron transferred to the newly formed No.6 (RCAF) Group on 1 January 1943, before flying its first mission on 14 January.

In June 1943 the squadron became one of the small number to use the Hercules powered Lancaster B.Mk II, using on operations from 17 August 1943 to 1 May 1944. The Lancasters were replaced by the Halifax B.Mk III, and operations resumed on 7 May. The squadron operated the Halifax with the main bomber force until the end of the war in Europe.

In June 1944 the squadron was transferred to Transport Command and converted to Liberator, operating that aircraft on long range trooping flights to India and the Middle East until the squadron disbanded on the last day of 1945.

October 1942-June 1943: Vickers Wellington III
March-July 1943: Vickers Wellington X
June 1943-May 1944: Avro Lancaster Mk II
April 1944 to June 1944: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk III
June 1944 to May 1945: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI
December 1944 to May 1945: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk III
July 1945-December 1945: Liberator VI and VIII

15 October 1942-18 June 1943: Dishforth
18 June 1943-25 May 1945: Linton-on-Ouse
25 May 1945-25 June 1945: Driffield
25 June-31 December 1945: Tempsford

Squadron Codes: OW

Date: Bomber squadron with No 6 (RCAF) Grou


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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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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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 March 2007), No. 426 Squadron (RCAF): Second World War,

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