No. 405 Squadron RCAF
405 Maritime Patrol Squadron is a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

 (RCAF) within the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

, initially formed as No. 405 Squadron RCAF during the Second World War.

World War II

No. 405 Squadron RCAF was formed at Driffield
RAF Driffield
RAF Driffield was a Royal Air Force station situated near Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England.Situated between Kelleythorpe and Eastburn on the A614 road, there stands an aerodrome. In recent times, it was known as Alamein Barracks and used as an Army driving school...

, Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

, on 23 April 1941 as an Article XV squadron
Article XV squadrons
Article XV squadrons were Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand air force squadrons formed from graduates of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan , during World War II....

 and equipped with the Vickers Wellington
Vickers Wellington
The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engine, long range medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs' Chief Designer, R. K. Pierson. It was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, before being displaced as a...

 bomber. It flew the RCAF's first bombing operation ten weeks later on 12/13 June, attacking the railway marshalling yards at Schwerte
Schwerte is a town in the district of Unna, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.-Geography:Schwerte is situated in the Ruhr valley, at the south-east border of the Ruhr Area...

. It converted to the Handley Page Halifax
Handley Page Halifax
The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing...

 in April 1942, taking part in the historic 1,000-bomber raid on Cologne
Bombing of Cologne in World War II
The City of Cologne was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies during World War II, including 31 times by the Royal Air Force . Air raid alarms went off in the winter/spring of 1940 as enemy bombers passed overhead. However, the first actual bombing took place on 12 May 1940...

 on the night of 30/31 May 1942.

In late October 1942, the squadron was loaned to Coastal Command
RAF Coastal Command
RAF Coastal Command was a formation within the Royal Air Force . Founded in 1936, it was the RAF's premier maritime arm, after the Royal Navy's secondment of the Fleet Air Arm in 1937. Naval aviation was neglected in the inter-war period, 1919–1939, and as a consequence the service did not receive...

 to fly anti-submarine patrols in the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal, and is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish...

 at the time of the North African landings
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....


Returning to Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. During World War II the command destroyed a significant proportion of Nazi Germany's industries and many German cities, and in the 1960s stood at the peak of its postwar military power with the V bombers and a supplemental...

 at the beginning of March 1943, the squadron flew with No. 6 Group RCAF
No. 6 Group RCAF
No. 6 Group RCAF was an organization of Royal Canadian Air Force bomber squadrons which operated from airfields in Yorkshire, England during the Second World War. Although 6 Group was RCAF, it was controlled by the Royal Air Force as part of Bomber Command. No. 6 Group had been previously active...

 for short time before being selected for the elite No. 8 (Pathfinder) Group
Pathfinder (RAF)
The Pathfinders were elite squadrons in RAF Bomber Command during World War II. They located and marked targets with flares, which a main bomber force could aim at, increasing the accuracy of their bombing...

, with which it served until the end of the war. Through the last 20 months of the bomber offensive the squadron was equipped with the Avro Lancaster
Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...


The squadron's last operational mission took place on 25 April 1945 when nine Lancasters bombed the Berghof, and four aircraft bombed enemy gun batteries on island of Wangerooge
Wangerooge is one of the 32 Frisian Islands in the North Sea located close to the coasts of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. It is also a municipality in the district of Friesland in Lower Saxony in Germany.Wangerooge is one of the East Frisian Islands...

. The squadron was disbanded on 5 September 1945.

Post war

The squadron was reformed on 1 April 1947 as No. 405 Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron at RCAF Station Greenwood
CFB Greenwood
Canadian Forces Base Greenwood , commonly referred to as "14 Wing Greenwood" or CFB Greenwood, is a Canadian Forces Base located in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. It is primarily operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force and is one of two bases in the country using the CP-140 Aurora...

, and was later redesignated No. 405 Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron and then No. 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron.

In April 1950, as a Maritime Patrol Squadron, the squadron was equipped with modified Mark X Lancasters. These were replaced in mid-1955 by the P2V7 Neptune giving the squadron a much greater anti-submarine capability.

In April 1958 the squadron was given the distinction of being the first to fly the Canadian-built CP-107 Argus. The squadron made its last flight in the Argus on 10 November 1980 before introducing the CP-140 Aurora.

Current operations

Though 405 Squadron's primary combat functions are anti-submarine
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

 (ASW) and anti-surface warfare
Anti-Surface Warfare
Anti-surface warfare is a type of naval warfare directed against surface combatants. More generally, it is any weapons, sensors, or operations intended to attack or limit the effectiveness of an adversary's surface ships....

 (ASUW), most of its time is spent fulfilling a variety of non-combat roles. These include search and rescue, counter-drug operations with the RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

, and anti-pollution and fisheries patrols.

Since the introduction of the Aurora, the squadron has acquired three additional CP-140 airframes, designated as the CP-140A "Arcturus". They do not include the ASW and tactical equipment of the Aurora, and are primarily used for pilot training, but are capable of fulfilling aerial surveillance and search and rescue roles.
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