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427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron

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427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron
427e Escadron d'opérations spéciales d'aviation (French)
427 Special Operation Aviation Squadron.png
Active
  • 1944–1946
  • 1952–1970
  • 1971–present
CountryCanada
BranchCanadian Special Operations Forces Command
TypeSpecial operations helicopter squadron
Part ofCanadian Special Operations Forces Command
Garrison/HQCFB Petawawa
Nickname(s)Lion Squadron
Motto(s)Latin: Ferte manus certas, lit.'Strike with a sure hand'
Engagements
Decorations
Battle honoursSee § Battle honours
Websitewww.canada.ca/en/special-operations-forces-command/corporate/organizational-structure/427-so-aviation-squadron.html Edit this at Wikidata

427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS) (French: 427e Escadron d'opérations spéciales d'aviation, 427 EOSA) is a tactical helicopter unit that provides aviation support to Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. The squadron is based at CFB Petawawa, Ontario with a fleet of Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters.[1] It was founded during the Second World War as No. 427 Squadron RCAF.

History

427 Squadron started as a bomber squadron formed at Croft, England on 7 November 1942 and spent its wartime entirely in England as a part of No. 6 Group RCAF, RAF Bomber Command. 427 flew Vickers Wellington Mk IIIs and Mk Xs from its first operational mission on 14 December 1942, a minelaying sortie to the Frisian Islands, until May 1943 when it was relocated to Leeming, North Yorkshire. Re-equipped with Handley Page Halifax Mk V aircraft, the squadron flew intensely until early 1944 when it replaced its inventory with Halifax Mk III aircraft. This fleet saw the greatest number of missions and in slightly more than a year's time they were then replaced by Avro Lancaster bombers prior to the end of World War II. The Lancasters were used for prisoner of war repatriation until the end of May 1946. 427 was stood down on 1 June 1946.[2]

The squadron was reformed on 1 August 1952 at RCAF Station St. Hubert (a suburb of modern-day Montreal, Quebec, Canada) as 427 Fighter Squadron, flying Canadair Sabres, and was transferred to No. 3 (Fighter) Wing at Zweibrücken in March 1953. Selected as the first European RCAF squadron to receive the Canadair CF-104 Starfighter for the nuclear strike role, the squadron was stood down from its day-fighter role on 15 December 1962 and reformed as 427 (Strike-Attack) Squadron two days later.[3]

On 1 February 1968, unification integrated 427 into the new Canadian Forces. The squadron was again disbanded on 1 July 1970.[3]

427 came back into existence as 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at CFB Petawawa, where it remains today.[4]

The squadron has also taken an active role in humanitarian efforts such as the January 1998 ice storm in eastern Canada, where the squadron deployed eight aircraft to Ottawa and Kingston, and the November 1998 mission to help the victims of Hurricane Mitch. With only 24 hours' notice, four 427 Squadron Bell CH-146 Griffons deployed to La Ceiba, Honduras. Once in the country, Griffon crews airlifted medical teams into communities cut off by the hurricane.[5] For the next six weeks, the squadron ferried supplies and aid workers to many isolated towns and villages.

On 1 February 2006, command of 427 was transferred to Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, as it took on a full-time role of special operations aviation support. Shortly thereafter, it was renamed 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS).[1] Qualified tactical aviators selected by 427 SOAS must complete SOTAC (Special Operation Tactical Aviation Course), which runs for approximately four months.[6]

The squadron has a dedicated concrete helipad, measuring 150 ft × 150 ft (46 m × 46 m), at Petawawa Heliport.[7]

Discover more about History related topics

Croft-on-Tees

Croft-on-Tees

Croft-on-Tees is a village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. It has also been known as Croft Spa, and from which the former Croft Spa railway station took its name. It lies 11 miles (18 km) north-north west of the county town of Northallerton.

No. 6 Group RCAF

No. 6 Group RCAF

No. 6 Group RCAF was a group of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) heavy bomber squadrons in Europe during the Second World War, between 1942 and 1945. The group operated out of airfields in Yorkshire, England.

Frisian Islands

Frisian Islands

The Frisian Islands, also known as the Wadden Islands or the Wadden Sea Islands, form an archipelago at the eastern edge of the North Sea in northwestern Europe, stretching from the northwest of the Netherlands through Germany to the west of Denmark. The islands shield the mudflat region of the Wadden Sea from the North Sea.

Leeming, North Yorkshire

Leeming, North Yorkshire

Leeming is a village in the Hambleton District of North Yorkshire, England.

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.

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.

Montreal

Montreal

Montreal is the second most populous city in Canada and most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. Founded in 1642 as Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill around which the early city of Ville-Marie is built. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which obtained its name from the same origin as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. The city is 196 km (122 mi) east of the national capital Ottawa, and 258 km (160 mi) southwest of the provincial capital, Quebec City.

Canadair Sabre

Canadair Sabre

The Canadair Sabre is a jet fighter aircraft built by Canadair under licence from North American Aviation. A variant of the North American F-86 Sabre, it was produced until 1958 and used primarily by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) until replaced with the Canadair CF-104 in 1962. Several other air forces also operated the aircraft.

Canadair CF-104 Starfighter

Canadair CF-104 Starfighter

The Canadair CF-104 Starfighter is a modified version of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter supersonic fighter aircraft built in Canada by Canadair under licence. It was primarily used as a ground attack aircraft, despite being designed as an interceptor. It served with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and later the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) until it was replaced by the McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet.

January 1998 North American ice storm

January 1998 North American ice storm

The North American Ice Storm of 1998 was a massive combination of five smaller successive ice storms in January 1998 that struck a relatively narrow swath of land from eastern Ontario to southern Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada, and bordering areas from northern New York to central Maine in the United States. It caused massive damage to trees and electrical infrastructure throughout the area, leading to widespread long-term power outages. Millions were left in the dark for periods varying from days to several weeks, and in some instances, months. It led to 34 fatalities, a shutdown of activities in large cities like Montreal and Ottawa, and an unprecedented effort in reconstruction of the power grid. The ice storm led to the largest deployment of Canadian military personnel since the Korean War, with over 16,000 Canadian Forces personnel deployed, 12,000 in Quebec and 4,000 in Ontario at the height of the crisis.

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It is located at the confluence of the Ottawa River and the Rideau River in the southern portion of the province of Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec, and forms the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). As of 2021, Ottawa had a city population of 1,017,449 and a metropolitan population of 1,488,307, making it the fourth-largest city and fourth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Kingston, Ontario

Kingston, Ontario

Kingston is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is located on the north-eastern end of Lake Ontario, at the beginning of the St. Lawrence River and at the mouth of the Cataraqui River. The city is midway between Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Kingston is also located nearby the Thousand Islands, a tourist region to the east, and the Prince Edward County tourist region to the west. Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many heritage buildings constructed using local limestone.

Aircraft flown by 427 Squadron

Historic aircraft

Current aircraft

Discover more about Aircraft flown by 427 Squadron related topics

Vickers Wellington

Vickers Wellington

The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber. It was designed during the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey. Led by Vickers-Armstrongs' chief designer Rex Pierson; a key feature of the aircraft is its geodetic airframe fuselage structure, which was principally designed by Barnes Wallis. Development had been started in response to Air Ministry Specification B.9/32, issued in the middle of 1932, for a bomber for the Royal Air Force.

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.

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.

Canadair Sabre

Canadair Sabre

The Canadair Sabre is a jet fighter aircraft built by Canadair under licence from North American Aviation. A variant of the North American F-86 Sabre, it was produced until 1958 and used primarily by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) until replaced with the Canadair CF-104 in 1962. Several other air forces also operated the aircraft.

Canadair CF-104 Starfighter

Canadair CF-104 Starfighter

The Canadair CF-104 Starfighter is a modified version of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter supersonic fighter aircraft built in Canada by Canadair under licence. It was primarily used as a ground attack aircraft, despite being designed as an interceptor. It served with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and later the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) until it was replaced by the McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet.

Mil Mi-17

Mil Mi-17

The Mil Mi-17 is a Soviet-designed Russian military helicopter family introduced in 1975 (Mi-8M), continuing in production as of 2021 at two factories, in Kazan and Ulan-Ude. It is known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service. The helicopter is mostly used as a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter, as well as an armed gunship version.

Bell CH-146 Griffon

Bell CH-146 Griffon

The Bell CH-146 Griffon is a multi-role utility helicopter designed by Bell Helicopter Textron as a variant of the Bell 412EP for the Canadian Armed Forces. The CH-146 is used in a wide variety of roles, including aerial firepower, reconnaissance, search and rescue and aero-mobility tasks.

Battle honours

Battle honours in small capitals are for large operations and campaigns and those in lowercase are for more specific battles. 427 Squadron was awarded the following battle honours, which are carried on their standard:[4]

  • English Channel and North Sea, 1943–1945
  • Baltic, 1944–1945
  • Fortress Europe, 1943–1944
  • France and Germany, 1944–1945
  • Biscay Ports, 1943–1944
  • Ruhr, 1943–1945
  • Berlin, 1943–1944
  • German Ports, 1943–1945
  • Normandy, 1944
  • Rhine
  • Biscay, 1944
  • Afghanistan[10]

Source: "427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/427_Special_Operations_Aviation_Squadron.

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See also
Similar units in other armed forces
References

Notes

  1. ^ Mi-17V-5s leased from Russia for use in Afghanistan.

Citations

  1. ^ a b Canadian Forces (December 2008). "427 Squadron". Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  2. ^ Canadian Forces (December 2008). "427 Squadron History World War II". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  3. ^ a b Canadian Forces (December 2008). "427 Squadron History Re-Activated as Fighter Squadron". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Canadian Forces (December 2008). "427 Squadron History Tactical Helicopter Squadron". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  5. ^ Royal Canadian Air Force. "427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron". Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  6. ^ Megna, Dan (28 April 2022). "Canada's 427 SOAS: You have to want to be here!". Vertical Magazine. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  7. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 16 July 2020 to 0901Z 10 September 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e Kostenuk, 1977, p.124
  9. ^ a b c d Kostenuk, 1977, p.186
  10. ^ "South-West Asia Theatre Honours". Prime Minister of Canada. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.

Bibliography

  • Kostenuk, S.; Griffin, J. (1977). RCAF Squadron Histories and Aircraft: 1924–1968. Toronto, ON: Samuel Stevens, Hakkert & Co. ISBN 978-0888665775.
External links

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