No. 419 Squadron RCAF
Overview
 


419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron is an 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...

 unit with 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."...

. The squadron was originally formed during the Second World War as part 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). Currently based at CFB Cold Lake
CFB Cold Lake
Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake , commonly referred to as CFB Cold Lake, is a Canadian Forces Base located within the City of Cold Lake, Alberta. It is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force and is one of two bases in the country using the CF-18 Hornet fighter/interceptor...

, it is responsible for advanced tactical fighter training for pilots as part of the NATO Flying Training in Canada
NATO Flying Training in Canada
NATO Flight Training in Canada is a military flight training program for NATO and allied air forces provided by the Canadian Forces.Located at 15 Wing, CFB Moose Jaw in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and 4 Wing, CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, the program is delivered as a cooperative operation between a...

 (NFTC) program using 9 CT-155 Hawk trainers.
No. 419 Bomber Squadron formed at RAF Mildenhall
RAF Mildenhall
RAF Mildenhall is a Royal Air Force station located at Mildenhall in Suffolk, England. Despite its status as an RAF station, it primarily supports United States Air Force operations and is currently the home of the 100th Air Refueling Wing...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in 1941 as part of No.
Encyclopedia
419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron

Squadron badge
Information
Role Tactical Fighter Training
Aircraft flown CT-155 Hawk
Wing 4 Wing Cold Lake
Base CFB Cold Lake
Motto MOOSA ASWAYITA (Beware of the Moose)
Call Sign Moose
History
Date founded 15 December 1941
Badge Moose attacking, in profile
Notable Battle Honours English Channel and North Sea 1942-44, Baltic 1942-44, Biscay Ports 1942-44, France and Germany 1942-45, Ruhr 1942-44, Berlin 1942-44, German Ports 1942-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1942-44
Previous Designation


419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron is an 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...

 unit with 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."...

. The squadron was originally formed during the Second World War as part 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). Currently based at CFB Cold Lake
CFB Cold Lake
Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake , commonly referred to as CFB Cold Lake, is a Canadian Forces Base located within the City of Cold Lake, Alberta. It is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force and is one of two bases in the country using the CF-18 Hornet fighter/interceptor...

, it is responsible for advanced tactical fighter training for pilots as part of the NATO Flying Training in Canada
NATO Flying Training in Canada
NATO Flight Training in Canada is a military flight training program for NATO and allied air forces provided by the Canadian Forces.Located at 15 Wing, CFB Moose Jaw in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and 4 Wing, CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, the program is delivered as a cooperative operation between a...

 (NFTC) program using 9 CT-155 Hawk trainers.

Second World War

No. 419 Bomber Squadron formed at RAF Mildenhall
RAF Mildenhall
RAF Mildenhall is a Royal Air Force station located at Mildenhall in Suffolk, England. Despite its status as an RAF station, it primarily supports United States Air Force operations and is currently the home of the 100th Air Refueling Wing...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in 1941 as part of No. 3 Group, Bomber Command. The squadron moved to RAF Middleton St. George
RAF Middleton St. George
RAF Middleton St. George was a Royal Air Force Bomber Command station during World War II. It was located in County Durham, five miles east of Darlington, England....

 when it became a constituent of 6 Group
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...

, RAF 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...

, and remained in England until 1945. The squadron operated 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...

, then 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...

 and finally 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...

 bombers during this period. It was the third RCAF bomber unit to be formed in England. It started operations in January 1942, converting almost immediately to Wellington Mk IIIs and moving north to Leeming
RAF Leeming
RAF Leeming is a Royal Air Force station in North Yorkshire, UK.HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is the Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Leeming. The Station Commander is Group Captain Anthony Innes....

 as part of the new 6 Group in August 1942. Here in November it was re-equipped with Halifax Mk IIs, which it flew for the next 18 months on the night offensive against Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. After three quick moves it settled at Middleton St. George in November and stayed there for the rest of its service in Bomber Command. In April 1944 the squadron began to convert to Avro Lancasters, using the Mk X which was produced in Canada and flown across the Atlantic. The squadron remained continuously on the offensive until 25 April 1945, when it flew its last sortie. Squadron personnel flew a total of 4,325 operational sorties during the war from Mannheim
Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

 to Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

, Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 to Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 to Hanover
Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

, inflicting heavy damage on the enemy. As a result of its wartime record, 419 Squadron became one of the most decorated units under the RCAF during the war. Over a span of roughly three-and-a-quarter years it logged 400 operational missions (342 bombing missions, 53 mining excursions, 3 leaflet raids and 1 "spoof") involving 4,325 sorties. One hundred and twenty nine aircraft were lost on these operations.

Between January 1943 to March 1944, 419 squadron was involved in over 200 sorties involving 2400 crewing operations losing 59 aircraft, a rate of one in every 40. 415 men were either killed or taken POW
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 during those 15 months, averaging 4 crews a month. The average crew survival rate was between 2 and 3 months when about 20 missions would be flown. In general mining operations were relatively safer missions. In particular the attacks on German cities intensified from early Oct when regular 100plus crews were dispatched to bomb Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

, Mannheim
Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

, Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Magdeburg
Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....

, Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 and Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

. During March 1944 there was much mining as described earlier, but this was the precursor to 6 Group's 118-crew attack on Nuremberg at the end of the month when it was to suffer its worst lost of thirteen aircraft in a single sortie.

It has not been possible to trace all of 419’s downed aircraft (for example Sergeant Robert Whitfield’s Halifax Mk.II JD-258 coded VR-K borrowed from 419 squadron for an operation to Wuppertal on 24/25 June 1943 was intercepted by a night fighter and crashed near Eindoven killing the crew which included 2 RCAF personnel) so the statistics will be a little worse than described above.

No. 419 Squadron was, like other squadrons in 6 Group, heavily involved in much activity during this month, probably the most active in the run up to the June landings. Rail-yards were successfully attacked at Trappes
Trappes
Trappes is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris from the center in the new town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.-Transport:...

(6/7), Le Mans
Le Mans
Le Mans is a city in France, located on the Sarthe River. Traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is now the capital of the Sarthe department and the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans. Le Mans is a part of the Pays de la Loire region.Its inhabitants are called Manceaux...

 (13/14), Amiens
Amiens
Amiens is a city and commune in northern France, north of Paris and south-west of Lille. It is the capital of the Somme department in Picardy...

 (16/17), Laon
Laon
Laon is the capital city of the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France.-History:The hilly district of Laon, which rises a hundred metres above the otherwise flat Picardy plain, has always held strategic importance...

 (23/24), Aulnoye (25/26), Courtrai (26/27) and Vaires-sur-Marne
Vaires-sur-Marne
Vaires-sur-Marne is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.-External links:* * *...

 (29/30) as well as mining operations in the Gironde Estuary
Gironde estuary
The Gironde is a navigable estuary , in southwest France and is formed from the meeting of the rivers Dordogne and Garonne just below the centre of Bordeaux...

 (3/4), Brest
Brest, France
Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...

 (4/5), Lorient
Lorient
Lorient, or L'Orient, is a commune and a seaport in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France.-History:At the beginning of the 17th century, merchants who were trading with India had established warehouses in Port-Louis...

, Brest, St Nazaire, Terchelling Islands (11/12), Heligoland
Heligoland
Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea.Formerly Danish and British possessions, the islands are located in the Heligoland Bight in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea...

 (18/19 and 30/31) and Kiel Bay (22/23). An aircraft factory at Meulan Les Mureaux was bombed on 2/3 March.

It flew back to Canada in June 1945 and was disbanded at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Yarmouth is a town and fishing port located on the Gulf of Maine in rural southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada. It is the shire town of Yarmouth County. The town is located in the heart of the world's largest lobster fishing grounds and has Canada's highest lobster catch.- History :The townsite may...

, on 5 September 1945.

Postwar

419 was reformed on 15 March 1955 as 419 All-Weather Fighter Squadron, and moved to the NATO Air Division base at Baden-Soellingen,Germany
CFB Baden-Soellingen
Canadian Forces Base Baden-Soellingen or CFB Baden-Soellingen was a Canadian Forces base located near the farming community of Söllingen, part of the municipality of Rheinmünster in the West German state of Baden-Württemberg...

 shortly thereafter. The squadron was equipped with the Avro CF-100
Avro CF-100
The Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck was a Canadian jet interceptor/fighter serving during the Cold War both in NATO bases in Europe and as part of NORAD. The CF-100 was the only Canadian-designed fighter to enter mass production, serving primarily with the RCAF/CAF and in small numbers in Belgium...

 Canuck. 419 was disbanded 31 December 1962.

The unit was reformed at CFB Cold Lake
CFB Cold Lake
Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake , commonly referred to as CFB Cold Lake, is a Canadian Forces Base located within the City of Cold Lake, Alberta. It is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force and is one of two bases in the country using the CF-18 Hornet fighter/interceptor...

 on 2 May 1975 as 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron. It was disbanded in 1995 when the CF-5 aircraft were retired.

The squadron was reformed again at 4 Wing Cold Lake on 23 July 2000 to conduct advanced lead in fighter training for Canadian and NATO pilots using 9 CT-155 Hawk

Notable members

The name "Moose", which is used in the squadron's emblem and motto, is derived from the nickname of the first commanding officer of the squadron, Wing Commander "Moose" Fulton. The tradition of squadron commanders bearing the nickname "Moose" was instituted after Fulton's death during operations. Squadron personnel are affectionately known as "moosemen". This tradition continues to this day.

Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski
Andrew Charles Mynarski
Andrew Charles Mynarski VC was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for bravery in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces...

 of 419 Squadron was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 for his actions on 12/13 June 1944 during a bombing mission over Europe. A restored Lancaster operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is a Canadian aviation museum located at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport near Hamilton, Ontario. The museum has 36 military jets, propeller-driven aircraft and helicopters on display....

 in Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

 is painted in the markings of aircraft VR-A of 419 Squadron in his honour. This is one of only two Lancasters still in flying condition; the other is part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is a Royal Air Force flight which provides an aerial display group comprising an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane...

.

As well as Mynarski's Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 members of the squadron have been awarded, 4 DSO
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

s, 150 DFCs
Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against...

, 3 bars to DFCs, 35 DFM
DFM
DFM is a three letter abbreviation which could mean or stand for:* a pseudonym of Paul Van Dyk* D. F. M. Strauss* Dan for Mayor, a Canadian comedy television series starring Fred Ewanuick* Department of Family Medicine...

s and 1 MC
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

.

External links

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