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

No. 435 Squadron

Chinthe

No. 435 Squadron Badge The chinthe is a legendary monster which guards the temples in Burma, where this squadron operated. The motto refers to the unit's activities as a transport squadron.

Motto: Certi provenhendi (Determined on delivery)

The "Chinthe" squadron was the RCAF's second Far East transport unit formed during World War Two. Flying DC-3 Dakota aircraft, 435 Squadron would conduct missions throughout the China-Burma-India (CBI) theatre of operations in support of Allied forces in general and the Anglo-Indian Fourteenth Army in particular. For the Canadians involved in this part of the war, living and working conditions would pose as great a threat as enemy action. No. 435 Squadron achieved operational status on 1 November 1944 at Gujrat, Punjab, India. Less than two months later, the squadron was transferred to Tulihal, Manipur, India, where it flew its first official mission on 20 December. Sixteen Dakotas delivered supplies to advance units of the Fourteenth Army through a combination of air-drop and rapid off-loading at a temporary air strip carved out of the jungle. This first operation would be the basic "blue-print" for future sorties.
Despite promises that the Canadians would return home at the end of the European war, 435 Squadron remained in the Far East until late August 1945. After that it was back to England and eventually home to Canada. While in the CBI theatre, the squadron flew 15,681 sorties delivering 27,460 tons of badly needed freight and over 14,000 passengers. It was an enviable record.

No. 435 Squadron Formed as a Transport unit at Edmonton, Alberta on 1 August 1946 from the Edmonton portion of No. 164 (Transport) Squadron, the squadron flew Dakota and C-119 aircraft on western Canada transport duty and parachute training at Rivers, Manitoba. From November 1956 to January 1957, it airlifted members of the United Nations Emergency Force from Italy to Egypt. In 1960, it was re-equipped with C-130 Hercules aircraft and, during the 1962-63 conversion of No. 1 Air Division Europe squadrons from Sabre to Starfighter aircraft, ferried 137 CF-104 aircraft from Canada to Europe. On 1 February 1968 the squadron was integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces.

The squadron was reformed at 17 Wing Winnipeg in the summer of 1994 where it remains today and currently operates the CC-130E and CC-130H(T) Hercules.

Battle Honours
Burma 1944 - 1945

Honours & Awards
1 MBE, 1 DFC, 2 AFC's, 1 MiD's

Historical Achievements
  • First Operational Mission (CBI Theatre): December 20, 1944, 16 Dakotas from Tulihal airlifted supplies for the Fourteenth Army to a hurriedly constructed landing strip at Tamu in the Kabaw Valley, and air supply drops at Pinlebu, east of the Chindwin River. Note: One previous mission was flown before the squadron was declared operational. On December 9 it flew 35 sorties on an emergency move of No. 9(Fighter) Squadron RAF to Imphal.
  • Last Operational Mission (CBI Theatre): August 30, 1945, 4 Dakotas from Tulihal, staging through Toungoo, dropped supplies to British guerrillas.
  • First Operational Mission (England): September 18, 1945, 4 Dakotas from Down Ampney transported 16 passengers and 8557 pounds of freight to various destinations in Europe.
  • Last Operational Mission (England): March 14, 1946, Dakota KG587 ODM-T from Down Ampney with F/L HE Carling and crew - special flight to Rennes, France and return.

Summary (CBI)

  • Sorties: 15,681
  • Operational Flying Hours: 28,792
  • Non-operational Flying Hours: 2734
  • Airlifted: 27,460 tons of freight, 14,000 passengers, 851 casualties
  • Casualties
    • Operational: 4 aircraft, 21 aircrew (2 killed, 14 missing, 5 wounded)
      Non-operational: nil

Summary (England)

  • Sorties: 1018
  • Operational Flying Hours: 4803
  • Non-operational Flying Hours: 2434
  • Airlifted: 383 tons of freight, 63 tons mail, 9293 passengers
  • Casualties
    • Operational: 3 aircraft, 9 aircrew and 6 passengers killed, 2 aircrew and 13 passengers injured.
      Non-operational: nil


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