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409 Tactical Fighter Squadron

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409 Tactical Fighter Squadron
409e Escadron d'appui tactique
409 NightHawk badge.png
Active1941–1945, 1954–1991, 1993–1994, 2006–present
Country Canada
BranchCanada Royal Canadian Air Force
TypeTactical fighter
SizeSquadron
Part of4 Wing Cold Lake
Garrison/HQCFB Cold Lake
Motto(s)Latin: Media nox meridies noster, lit.'Midnight is our noon'[1]
Battle honours
  • Defence of Britain, 1941–1944
  • Fortress Europe, 1942–1944
  • France and Germany, 1944–1945
  • Normandy, 1944
  • Rhine[2]
Websitercaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/squadron/409-squadron.page Edit this at Wikidata
Aircraft flown
FighterCF-18 Hornet
A Cold War 409 Squadron flight suit patch, circa 1955.
A Cold War 409 Squadron flight suit patch, circa 1955.
CF-101 Voodoo 101060 from 409 "Nighthawk" Squadron, CFB Comox on the ramp at CFB Moose Jaw in the spring of 1982
CF-101 Voodoo 101060 from 409 "Nighthawk" Squadron, CFB Comox on the ramp at CFB Moose Jaw in the spring of 1982
409 Nighthawk Squadron, F-18 bearing tail art of reactivated 409 Squadron
409 Nighthawk Squadron, F-18 bearing tail art of reactivated 409 Squadron

409 Tactical Fighter Squadron (French: 409e Escadron d'appui tactique) is a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The squadron operates the CF-18 Hornet from CFB Cold Lake in Alberta, Canada.

History

The cross-bow in front of the dark cloak represents a weapon used under cover of darkness to denote the squadron's original role as a night fighter squadron.[1] The badge was officially approved in March 1944.[1]

Second World War

No. 409 Nighthawk Squadron was formed at RAF Digby[3] in June 1941 for night operations with Boulton-Paul Defiants, moving in July to RAF Coleby Grange,[3] where, in August, Beaufighter IIf aircraft arrived, allowing detachments to be maintained elsewhere. Two victories were claimed during the early days of the squadron's existence, but in June 1942 Beaufighter Mark VI aircraft were received, and a greater degree of success was achieved. In February 1943 a move was made to Acklington,[3] with detachments maintained in at least four other locations.[4] In December a return to Coleby Grange was made,[3] with the various detachments continuing their separate existences.

Little was seen during the year, but in March 1944 the squadron moved to Hunsdon,[3] converting to the Mosquito Mk XII and joined No. 85 Group of the Second Tactical Air Force. Intruder and offensive patrols commenced, and much action was seen over the Normandy beachhead in June; 11 victories were claimed during this month.[4] After some action against V-1 Flying Bombs, operations over Europe recommenced, and late in August the unit moved to Carpiquet in France, the first night fighters to be based on the mainland. By mid-October, the squadron had settled in the Lille area, where it was to remain until April 1945. On 19 April, a move was made to the Rhine in Germany, and from here the unit was able to claim six victories in a single night. Shortly after this the war ended with the total victories at 61+12 claimed. The squadron's code letters during this period were KP.[4]

Cold War

Re-established at RCAF Station Comox on 1 November 1954 providing air defence for Canada's west coast as part of NORAD. Initially equipped with the Canadian designed Avro CF-100 they converted to the CF-101 Voodoo in 1962. The squadron transferred to CFB Cold Lake in 1984 to convert to the CF-18 and then deployed to CFB Baden-Soellingen as part of Canada's NATO commitment. The squadron was then disbanded in 1991 with the withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Europe.[4]

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RAF Digby

RAF Digby

Royal Air Force Digby otherwise known as RAF Digby is a Royal Air Force station located near Scopwick and 11.6 mi (18.7 km) south east of Lincoln, in Lincolnshire, England. The station is home to the tri-service Joint Service Signals Organisation, part of the Joint Forces Intelligence Group of Joint Forces Command. Other units include the RAF Aerial Erector School, No. 54 Signals Unit and No. 591 Signals Unit.

RAF Coleby Grange

RAF Coleby Grange

Royal Air Force Coleby Grange or more simply RAF Coleby Grange was a Royal Air Force satellite station situated alongside the western edge of the A15 on open heathland between the villages of Coleby and Nocton Heath and lying 7.4 mi (11.9 km) due south of the county town Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England.

List of RAF squadron codes

List of RAF squadron codes

Most units of the Royal Air Force (RAF) are identified by a two character alphabetical or alpha- numeric combination squadron code. Usually, that code is painted on the aircraft belonging to that unit. The squadron code is usually presented along with an individual letter or character to form a call sign for the particular aircraft. Location of the call sign combination has usually been on the rear fuselage next to the RAF roundel.

CFB Comox

CFB Comox

Canadian Forces Base Comox, commonly referred to as CFB Comox or 19 Wing, is a Canadian Forces Base located 2.5 nautical miles north northeast of Comox, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It is primarily operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and is one of two bases in the country using the CP-140 Aurora anti-submarine/maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft. Its primary RCAF lodger unit is 19 Wing, commonly referred to as 19 Wing Comox.

CFB Cold Lake

CFB Cold Lake

Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, abbreviated as CFB Cold Lake, is a Canadian Forces Base in the City of Cold Lake, Alberta.

Operations

The squadron was briefly reformed back at Comox as a Combat Support Squadron (without aircraft) but was disbanded again. 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron was re-formed from the consolidation of 416 and 441 Tactical Fighter Squadrons on 6 July 2006 at CFB Cold Lake.[4]

Battle honours

  • Defence of Britain 1941–44[5]
  • Fortress Europe 1942–44[5]
  • Normandy 1944[5]
  • France and Germany 1944–45[5]
  • Rhine 1945[5]

Aircraft

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Source: "409 Tactical Fighter Squadron", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/409_Tactical_Fighter_Squadron.

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References
  1. ^ a b c "No. 409 Squadron RCAF – Badge and Motto". All Weather Fighter Association. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  2. ^ Personnel. "409 Combat Support Squadron". cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca. Government of Canada, National Defence, Chief Military. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e McNeill, Ross (May 1999). "No. 409 (Nighthawk) Squadron RCAF". RAF Commands. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e "No. 409 Squadron RCAF". RCAF.ca. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e "No. 409 Squadron RCAF – Battle Honours". RAF Lincolnshire. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
External links

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