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

No. 442 Squadron

Caribou, Snake, City of Vancouver

No. 442 Squadron Badge Its Badge, a representation of Haietlik or Lightning Snake. According to legend of the Nootka Tribe of Indians, Haletlik was dispatched to kill its enemies.

Motto: UN DIEU, UNE REINE, UN COEUR - "One God, One Queen, One Heart"

On arrival at Digby in February 1944 for service in Europe, No. 14 Squadron, RCAF was renumbered as No. 442. In March it moved to Holmesley South, exchanging its initial Spitfire Mk VB's for Spitfire Mk IXB's and becoming part of No. 144 Wing, 2nd TAF (Tactical Air Force). Operations over Europe commenced at once, several airfields along the south coast being used, the wing flying from From from mid May until the 15th of June, when it moved to Normandy at St. Croix-sur-Mer. Air superiority patrols contained with some success until mid July, when the wing was disbanded and the unit moved to 126 Wing. There was little change to the form of operations undertaken and in September the wing moved forward to Evere in Belgium, where Spitfire Mk IXE's replace the Mk IXB's. October saw a move to Holland, but in March 1945 the Squadron returned to the UK, re-equipping with the North American Mustang Mk III at Hunsdon and commencing bomber escort sorties over Germany, claiming several aerial victories late in the war to raise the unit's total to 53 victories. During this period the Squadrons' aircraft carried the unit code Y2.

Reformed as No. 442 'City of Vancouver' (F) Squadron (Auxiliary) at Sea Island on 1 April 1946 and equipped with Harvard, Vampire and Sabre aircraft. Disbanded on 31 March 1964.

Reactivated at RCAF Station Comox on July 8, 1968 as No. 442 Transport and Rescue squadron, initially equipped with the Albatross in the Search and Rescue role and C-47 Dakotaks as part of the communications flight. The squadron later traded in its Albatross and Dakota aircraft for the CC-115 Buffalo and later the CH-113 Labrador.  No. 442 Squadron remains at CFB Comox as a Transport and Rescue squadron and is currently equipped with the CC-115 Buffalo and CH-149 Cormorant.

Battle Honours:
Fortress Europe 1944, France and Germany 1944-45, Normandy 1944, Arnhem Rhine

  • Spitfire VB (February 1944 - April 1944)
  • Spitfire IXC (April 1944 - September 1944)
  • Spitfire IXE (September 1944 - April 1945)
  • Mustang IV (April 1945 - August 1945)
  • Mustang IV
  • Harvard
  • Vampire
  • Sabre
  • Douglas C-47 Dakota
  • Grumman Albatross
  • CH-113 Labrador
  • CC-115 Buffalo
  • CH-149 Cormorant

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