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408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

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408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron
408e Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères
408sqn 72.jpg
Active1941–1945, 1949–present
CountryCanada
BranchRoyal Canadian Air Force
RoleTactical helicopters
Part of1 Wing Kingston
Garrison/HQCFB Edmonton
Motto(s)For freedom[1]
Battle honours
  • English Channel and North Sea, 1941–1943
  • Baltic, 1941–1943
  • Fortress Europe, 1941–1944
  • France and Germany, 1944–1945
  • Biscay Ports, 1941–1944
  • Ruhr, 1941–1945
  • Berlin, 1943–1944
  • German Ports, 1941–1945
  • Normandy, 1944
  • Rhine
  • Biscay, 1942–1943
  • Afghanistan[2]
Websitecanada.ca/en/air-force/corporate/squadrons/408-squadron.html Edit this at Wikidata
Insignia
Identification
symbol
Canada goose in profile
Aircraft flown
TransportCH-146 Griffon

408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (408 THS) (French: 408e Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères) is a unit of 1 Wing, Kingston. It is co-located with 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Edmonton.[3]

Equipped with 16 CH-146 Griffon helicopters, it rotates a high combat-readiness level with 400 Squadron (CFB Borden, Ontario) and 430 Squadron (CFB Valcartier, Quebec). Its primary role is in support of contingency operations and vanguard brigades requiring tactical helicopter resources.

No. 408 Squadron's mandate also includes supporting United Nations and NATO peacekeeping operations, land force training, and support to other government departments. For example, 408 Squadron's eight Griffons were assigned to support the Canadian contingent in the Balkans in 1999. Their job was to ferry small teams of paratroopers, infantrymen, and tankers to certain areas to check out water reservoirs, power grids, suspected weapons caches, minefields, and mass grave sites.

Discover more about 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron related topics

French language

French language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spoken in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group is a Canadian Forces brigade group that is part of the 3rd Canadian Division of the Canadian Army. Originally headquartered at CFB Calgary, it is currently based in CFB Edmonton in Alberta with two major units at CFB Shilo in Manitoba, and consists of eight Regular Force units.

CFB Edmonton

CFB Edmonton

CFB Edmonton is a Canadian Forces base located in Sturgeon County adjacent to the City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. It is also known as Edmonton Garrison or "Steele Barracks".

CFB Borden

CFB Borden

Canadian Forces Base Borden, formerly RCAF Station Borden, is a large Canadian Forces base located in Ontario. The historic birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force, CFB Borden is home to the largest training wing in the Canadian Armed Forces. The base is run by Canadian Forces Support Training Group (CFSTG) and reports to the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) in Kingston.

CFB Valcartier

CFB Valcartier

Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, now re-designated 2 Canadian Division Support Base Valcartier, is a Canadian Forces base located in the municipality of Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, 8 nautical miles north northwest of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The 2nd Canadian Division is stationed at the base, comprising the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and the 2nd Canadian Division Support Group.

United Nations peacekeeping

United Nations peacekeeping

Peacekeeping by the United Nations is a role held by the Department of Peace Operations as an "instrument developed by the organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict to create the conditions for lasting peace". It is distinguished from peacebuilding, peacemaking, and peace enforcement although the United Nations does acknowledge that all activities are "mutually reinforcing" and that overlap between them is frequent in practice.

History

Bombing up a 408 Squadron Lancaster Mk II at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, England
Bombing up a 408 Squadron Lancaster Mk II at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, England

No. 408 Squadron's history dates back to 24 June 1941, when RAF Bomber Command's directive called for the formation of 408 Squadron as part of No. 5 Group RAF. It was to be the second Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) bomber squadron formed overseas. Goose Squadron, as it was to become known, was initially based at RAF Lindholme in Yorkshire, England, and equipped with Handley Page Hampdens. During the war, the Goose Squadron converted aircraft several times. No 408 would change from Hampden aircraft to the Halifax, and then to the Lancaster in August 1943 after moving to RAF Linton-on-Ouse and becoming part of No. 6 Group.

It flew 4,610 sorties and dropped 11,340 tons of bombs. A total of 170 aircraft were lost and 933 personnel were killed, listed as missing in action (MIA) or prisoners of war (POW). Squadron members won two hundred decorations, and 11 battle honours for its wartime operations.[4]

On 5 September 1945 No 408 Squadron was officially disbanded.

On 10 January 1949, Goose Squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario. Equipped with eight Lancaster Mark X photographic aircraft, it was tasked with the mapping of Canada, specifically the far North. In 1962, the squadron formed a flight of Canadair CT-133 Silver Star aircraft and given the additional task of photo reconnaissance missions in support of army exercises.

On February 29, 1964, the Lancaster aircraft were retired and replaced with Dakotas. The Goose Squadron was moved to Rivers, Manitoba, and re-designated as a transport support and area reconnaissance squadron.

On May 1, 1964, RCAF Station Rivers Transport Support Flight with its C-119 Boxcars was transferred into 408 Squadron. In 1965, the Boxcars were replaced by CC-130 Hercules aircraft. As the decade drew to a close, 408 Squadron was once again redesignated. On October 1, 1968, it started its long history with 10 Tactical Air Group as a "Tactical Fighter Squadron".

During this post-war era, the squadron flew seven different aircraft: the Lancaster, Cansos, Norseman, Dakotas, Boxcars, T-33s, and Hercules aircraft. Late in 1970, the squadron was once more disbanded.

On January 1, 1971, 408 Squadron was once again re-activated at Namao in Edmonton, Alberta, as a tactical helicopter squadron (THS) and equipped with CH-135 Twin Huey and CH-136 Kiowa helicopters.

Its primary tasking is to provide tactical aviation to the army. The mission includes air mobile assault, air ambulance, air observation, reconnaissance insertions, troop movement, airborne command and control platform and dropping paratroopers. In September 1996, the squadron was re-equipped with CH-146 Griffon helicopters.

Personnel from 408 Squadron deployed to Afghanistan nearly continually from 2006 until 2011. Initially forming a Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) detachment using the CU-161 Sperwer. From 2008, 408 members were deployed to Kandahar airfield operating the CH-146 Griffon and CH-147D helicopters as part of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing. The primary role of the JTF-A Air Wing was to provide transportation, reconnaissance, armed escort, and fire support to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).[3]

In July 2018, 408 THS deployed to Mali as part of Task Force Mali on Operation Presence.[5] In Mali, 408 THS operated the CH-146 Griffon in the armed escort role, providing support to MEDEVAC and utility missions.[6] 408 THS completed its tour in Mali in January 2019, having participated in seven medical evacuation missions[7]

Discover more about History related topics

Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster

The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same wartime era.

RAF Linton-on-Ouse

RAF Linton-on-Ouse

RAF Linton-on-Ouse was a Royal Air Force (RAF) station at Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, England, 10 miles (16 km) north-west of York. It had satellite stations at RAF Topcliffe and Dishforth Airfield.

RAF Bomber Command

RAF Bomber Command

RAF Bomber Command controlled the Royal Air Force's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. Along with the United States Army Air Forces, it played the central role in the strategic bombing of Germany in World War II. From 1942 onward, the British bombing campaign against Germany became less restrictive and increasingly targeted industrial sites and the civilian manpower base essential for German war production. In total 364,514 operational sorties were flown, 1,030,500 tons of bombs were dropped and 8,325 aircraft lost in action. Bomber Command crews also suffered a high casualty rate: 55,573 were killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew, a 44.4% death rate. A further 8,403 men were wounded in action, and 9,838 became prisoners of war.

No. 5 Group RAF

No. 5 Group RAF

No. 5 Group was a Royal Air Force bomber group of the Second World War, led during the latter part by AVM Sir Ralph Cochrane.

Bomber

Bomber

A bomber is a military combat aircraft designed to attack ground and naval targets by dropping air-to-ground weaponry, launching torpedoes, or deploying air-launched cruise missiles. The first use of bombs dropped from an aircraft occurred in the Italo-Turkish War, with the first major deployments coming in the First World War and Second World War by all major airforces causing devastating damage to cities, towns, and rural areas. The first purpose built bombers were the Italian Caproni Ca 30 and British Bristol T.B.8, both of 1913. Some bombers were decorated with nose art or victory markings.

RAF Lindholme

RAF Lindholme

Royal Air Force Station Lindholme or more simply RAF Lindholme is a former Royal Air Force station in South Yorkshire, England. It was located 3.9 miles (6.3 km) south of Thorne and 6.9 miles (11.1 km) north east of Doncaster and was initially called RAF Hatfield Woodhouse.

England

England

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Handley Page Hampden

Handley Page Hampden

The Handley Page HP.52 Hampden is a British twin-engine medium bomber that was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was part of the trio of large twin-engine bombers procured for the RAF, joining the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and Vickers Wellington. The Hampden was powered by Bristol Pegasus radial engines but a variant known as the Handley Page Hereford had in-line Napier Daggers.

Handley Page Halifax

Handley Page Halifax

The Handley Page Halifax is a British Royal Air Force (RAF) four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. It was developed by Handley Page to the same specification as the contemporary twin-engine Avro Manchester.

No. 6 Group RCAF

No. 6 Group RCAF

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Canadair CT-133 Silver Star

Canadair CT-133 Silver Star

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Douglas DC-3

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 is a propeller-driven airliner manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Company, which had a lasting effect on the airline industry in the 1930s to 1940s and World War II. It was developed as a larger, improved 14-bed sleeper version of the Douglas DC-2. It is a low-wing metal monoplane with conventional landing gear, powered by two radial piston engines of 1,000–1,200 hp (750–890 kW). The DC-3 has a cruising speed of 207 mph (333 km/h), a capacity of 21 to 32 passengers or 6,000 lbs (2,700 kg) of cargo, and a range of 1,500 mi (2,400 km), and can operate from short runways.

Aircraft

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Avro

Avro was a British aircraft manufacturer. Its designs include the Avro 504, used as a trainer in the First World War, the Avro Lancaster, one of the pre-eminent bombers of the Second World War, and the delta wing Avro Vulcan, a stalwart of the Cold War.

Avro Lancaster

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The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same wartime era.

Consolidated Aircraft

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Consolidated PBY Catalina

Consolidated PBY Catalina

The Consolidated PBY Catalina is a flying boat and amphibious aircraft that was produced in the 1930s and 1940s. In Canadian service it was known as the Canso. It was one of the most widely used seaplanes of World War II. Catalinas served with every branch of the United States Armed Forces and in the air forces and navies of many other nations. The last military PBYs served until the 1980s. As of 2021, 86 years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as a waterbomber in aerial firefighting operations in some parts of the world. None remain in military service.

Canadair

Canadair

Canadair Ltd. was a civil and military aircraft manufacturer in Canada. In 1986, its assets were acquired by Bombardier Aerospace, the aviation division of Canadian transport conglomerate Bombardier Inc.

Canadair CT-133 Silver Star

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Douglas Aircraft Company

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Source: "408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/408_Tactical_Helicopter_Squadron.

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References
  1. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London [u.a.]: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 82. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  2. ^ "South-West Asia Theatre Honours". Prime Minister of Canada. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Government of Canada, National Defence (25 February 2013). "408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron | Royal Canadian Air Force". www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  4. ^ "WWII – 408 "Goose" Squadron Association". www.forfreedom.ca. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  5. ^ Defence, National (4 July 2018). "Members of Task Force Mali departing from 8 Wing Trenton". gcnws. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  6. ^ Defence, National (11 September 2018). "Operation PRESENCE - Mali successfully completes its first MEDEVAC". gcnws. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  7. ^ Defence, National (25 January 2019). "Task Force Mali conducts personnel rotation". gcnws. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "No. 408 Squadron (RCAF) during the Second World War". www.historyofwar.org. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
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