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

No. 427 Squadron


No. 427 Squadron  Badge In front of a maple leaf a lion rampant. The combination of a lion representing England and the maple leaf Canada indicates the formation of this squadron in England.

Motto: FERTE MANUS CERTAS - "Striking sure"

No. 427 Squadron formed at Croft on 7 November 1942 as another of the RCAF's bomber squadrons, becoming part of No. 6 Group on 1 January 1943. It was equipped with Vickers Wellington Mk IIIs and Mk Xs, and began operations with a minelaying sortie to the Frisian Islands on 14 December 1942. Thereafter it continued to operate by night against enemy targets in Europe until May 1943, when it moved to Leeming and re-equipped with Handley Page Halifax Mk Vs. It was soon back on operations again and flew at a high intensity, replacing these Merlin-engined machines with Halifax Mk IIIs in the first few months of 1944. It was this version with which the squadron flew its greatest number of sorties, using them for over a year and relinquishing them for Avro Lancasters only just before the Second World War ended. The Lancasters flew a few operations before VE-Day and then were busy on the more pleasant task of liberating and bringing home POWs from all over Europe. No. 427 Squadron remained as part of Bomber Command at Leeming until disbanding there on 31 May 1946.

A Handley-Page Halifax B.Mk V of No. 427 Squadron. The squadron was adopted by the MGM film company and some aircraft were named after film stars.

Reformed as a Fighter unit at St Hubert (Montreal), Quebec on 1 August 1952 with Sabre aircraft, the squadron joined No. 3 (Fighter) Wing at Zweibrucken, Germany in March 1953. Selected as the first of eight squadrons in No. 1 Air Division Europe to be re-equipped with CF-104 Starfighter aircraft for a nuclear strike role, it was deactivated on 15 December 1962 and reactivated as Strike Attack on the 17th. On 1 February 1968 the squadron was integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces. The squadron was disbanded in June 1970, to be reformed as 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at CFB Petawawa, Ontario.

No. 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron remains at CFB Petawawa where it is currently equipped with the CH-146 Griffon.

Battle Honours:
English Channel and North Sea 1943-1945, Baltic 1944-1945, Rhine Fortress Europe 1943-1944, France and Germany 1944-1945, Biscay 1944, Biscay Ports 1943-1944, Ruhr 1943-1945, Berlin 1943-1944, German Ports 1943-1945, Normandy 1944

  • Wellington III (November 1942 - April 1943)
  • Wellington X (February 1942 - May 1943)
  • Halifax V (May 1943 - February 1944)
  • Halifax III (January 1944 - March 1945)
  • Lancaster I/III (April 1945 - May 1946)
  • Sabre
  • CF-104 Starfighter
  • CH-135 Twin Huey
  • CH-136 Kiowa
  • CH-146 Griffon
Historical Achievements
  • First Operational Mission in WWII: 14th December 1942 - 1 Wellington laid mines in Frisian Islands area.
  • Last Operational Mission in WWII: 25th April 1945 - 9 Lancasters bombed gun positions on island of Wangerooge & another Lancaster bombed buildings on island of Spiekerooge due to mistaken identity.

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