Canadian Wings :: The History & Heritage of the Royal Canadian Air Force

No. 405 Squadron

Eagle

No. 405 Squadron  Badge An eagle's head erased, facing to the sinister and holding in the beak a sprig of maple. The eagle's head, facing to the right to suggest leadership, is derived from the Pathfinder badge.

Motto: IDUCIMUS - "We Lead"

The motto indicates that this was the first RCAF bomber squadron formed overseas and the only RCAF Pathfinder Squadron. No. 405 Squadron was formed at Driffield, Yorkshire, on April 23, 1941, and flew the RCAF's first bombing operation ten weeks later on June 12th and 13th. If flew Wellingtons until April 1942, and then converted to Halifaxs, becoming operational with the latter in time to take part in the historic 1,000-bomber raid on Colonge. Late in October 1942, the squadron was loaned to Coastal Command to strengthen our air defence of the Bay of Biscay at the time of the North African landings. Returning to Bomber Command at the beginning of March, 1943, No. 405 flew with No. 6 (RCAF) Group a few weeks before being selected for No. 8 (Pathfinder) Group with which it served until the end of the war. Through the last 20 months of the bomber offensive the squadron was equipped with Lancasters, and there is interest in noting that it later become the first unit to operate a Canadian-built Lancaster. This was KB700 (named The Ruhr Express), the first production Mk. X. The squadron was disbanded June 1945. During the war, 405 Sqn moved around among several bomber bases before returning to RCAF Station Greenwood in 1945. The squadron was disbanded at Greenwood on 5 September 1945. On 31 March 1950 it was re-designated No. 405 'Eagle' Squadron, a maritime patrol squadron based at Greenwood, N.S. The squadron flew the the Lancaster MP, Neptune and CP-107 Argus until 1981 when it was replaced with the 'Canadianized' version of the P-3C Orion the CP-140 Aurora.

No. 405 Maritime Patrol Sqn. 405 Sqn currently flies the CP-140 Aurora and CP-140 Arcturus out of 14 Wing, Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

Battle Honours:
Fortress Europe 1941-44, France & Germany Biscay Ports 1941-45, Ruhr 1941-45, Berlin 1941, German Ports 1941-45, Normandy 1944, Walcheren Rhine Biscay 1942-43

Aircraft
  • Wellington II (May 1941 - April 1942)
  • Halifax II (April 1942 - September 1943)
  • Lancaster I/III (August 1943 - May 1945)
  • Lancaster X (May 1945 - August 1945)
    • KB961 LQ-A, KB964 LQ-B, KB997 LQ-C, KB965 LQ-D, KB977 LQ-E, KB973 LQ-F, KB991 LQ-G, KB967 LQ-H, KB976 LQ-K, KB999 LQ-M, KB956 LQ-N, KB950 LQ-O, KB968 LQ-P, KB700 LQ-Q, KB945 LQ-T, KB949 LQ-U, KB955 LQ-U, KB957 LQ-W, KB952 LQ-X, KB959 LQ-Y, KB966 LQ-?, KB985 LQ-?
  • Lancaster MP
  • P2V-7 Neptune
  • CP-107 Argus
  • CP-140 Aurora
Historical Achievements
  • First Operational Mission in WWII:
    • 12/13th June 1941 : 3 Wellingtons bombed railway marshalling yards at Schwerte, & another Wellington aborted.
  • Last Operational Mission in WWII:
    • 25th April 1945 : 9 Lancasters bombed Berchtesgaden & 4 other Lancasters bombed enemy gun batteries on island of Wangerooge.
  • Last Mission before VE Day:
    • 7th May 1945 : 8 Lancasters marked aiming point for other Bomber Command Lancasters detailed to drop supplies to Dutch at Rotterdam.


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