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

No. 413 Squadron


No. 413 Squadron  Badge In front of a maple leaf and elephant's head affronte. The elephant represents the squadrons operations from Ceylon (Sri Lanka), while the motto suggests its function.

Motto: AD VIGILAMUS UNDIS - "We watch the waves"

Formed at Stranraer, Scotland, on 1 July 1941, 413 Squadron was the RCAF's third coastal and first flying boat (General Reconnaissance) squadron created overseas. The unit conducted its first European mission on 6 October 1941, providing one aircraft for convoy escort. However, the squadron's European stay proved to be both short and uneventful. On 8 March 1942, in response to a desperate need for reconnaissance aircraft to detect Japanese plans, the majority of the squadron sailed from England for the Far East. Meanwhile, selected aircrew flew 413's four Catalina aircraft to Ceylon arriving twenty days later. It's last operational flight was flown on 4 December 1944 and then it was transferred to England where is was to be reformed as a bomber squadron as part of No. 6 (RCAF) Group. Although the crew left the Far East on 21 January 1945, 413 Squadron never saw action in the skies over Europe. The winding-down of the European war led to the unit being disbanded on 23 February 1945.

No. 413 Squadron unofficially reformed as No. 13 (Photographic) Squadron at Rockcliffe (Ottawa), Ontario on 20 May 1944, and officially renumbered as No. 413 Squadron on 1 April 1947, the unit flew Mitchell and Lancaster aircraft on aerial photography. On 1 April 1949 it was redesignated Survey Transport and flew Dakota, Canso and Norseman aircraft in logistical support and the transportation of survey parties in the far north. The squadron was disbanded on 1 November 1950.

The squadron was reformed as a Sabre squadron as part of No. 3 (Fighter) Wing, RCAF Station Zweibrucken flying the F-86 Sabre as part of the 4th Allied Tactical Air Force (4 ATAF).

Upon unification of the forces No. 413 squadron reformed as a search and rescue / transport squadron based at CFB Summerside, PEI and flew the CC-115 Buffalo and CH-113 Labrador.

The squadron moved to CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia on June 10, 1991, where it currently resides equipped with CC-130 Hercules and CH-113 Labrador.

Battle Honours:
Atlantic 1941-1943, Ceylon 1942, Eastern Waters 1942-1944

  • Catalina I/IB/IV (July 1941 - December 1944)
  • Mitchell
  • Lancaster MP
  • Dakota
  • Canso
  • Norseman
  • CL-13 Sabre
  • CC-115 Buffalo
  • CH-113 Labrador
  • CC-130 Hercules

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