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

No. 412 Squadron


No. 412 Squadron  Badge Its Badge, a falcon volant. The falcon is indigenous to all parts of Canada. Known for its skill and aggressiveness in dealing with its enemies, it has been used for hunting from an early date in history.

Motto: PROMPTUS AD VINDICTUM - "Swift to avenge"

Formed at Digby in June 1941 with Spitfire Mk II's, the Squadron moved to Willingore in October, receiving Spitfire Mk Vb's. In May 1942 the Squadron moved to Martlesham Heath, and then in June to North Weald. Operations in the south-east continued from Merston, Tangemere, Redhill, Kenley until January 1943, when the unit Angle in South Wales. It returned to the south-east in March 1943, but in April moved to No. 10 Groups area until the summer. In October the Squadron joined No. 126 Wing of the 2nd TAF (Tactical Air Force) at Biggin Hill, where in November Spitfire Mk IXb's were received. Thereafter it was involved in operations over France leading up to the Normandy invasion in June 1944. Moving to French soil within days of the landings, air superiority patrols followed until the breakout in August, after which a move to Northern France brought operations over Nijmegen and Arnhem. Spitfire Mk IXe's replace the IXb's in September, following which the wing moved into Holland. The squadron played a key part in action during the Germans' Ardennes offensive, and in the final months of the war as the 21st Army Group pressed into north-west Germany. Moves to airfields in Germany were made during April 1945, ending at Wunstorf where the Squadron was about to convert to the Spitfire Mk XVIe's. The squadron claimed 108 victories and wore the unit code VZ during this period. 

After the war it was re-formed at Rockcliffe as a transport squadron and later transferred to Uplands. Upon unification No. 412 squadron was the VIP squadron for the Canadian Forces and was based at CFB Uplands (Ottawa), Ontario and flew the CO-119 Cessna 182, CC-117 Falcon, CC-144 Challenger and CC-109 Cosmopolitan. The squadron maintained a detachment at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado (NORAD HQ) and Lahr, West Germany.

Today the Squadron performs the VIP and general transport duties with the CC-144 Challenger.

Battle Honours:
Defence of Britain 1941-44, Fortress Europe 1941-44, Dieppe English Channel and North Sea 1942-43, Arnheim Normandy 1944 Rhine

  • Spitfire IIA (July 1941 - October 1941)
  • Spitfire VB (October 1941 - November 1943)
  • Spitfire IXC (November 1943 - September 1944)
  • Spitfire IXE (September 1944 - May 1945)
  • Spitfire XVI (May 1945 - June 1945)
  • Spitfire XIVE (June 1945 - May 1946)
  • Norseman
  • CC-129 Dakota
  • CC-128 Expeditor
  • CC-119 Flying Boxcar
  • Comet
  • North Star
  • C-5
  • CC-106 Yukon
  • CO-119 L-182
  • CC-109 Cosmopolitan
  • CC-117 Falcon
  • CC-144 Challenger

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