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No. 442 Squadron

Nicknames: Caribou, Snake, City of Vancouver
Motto: UN DIEU, UNE REINE, UN COEUR - "One God, One Queen, One Heart"

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

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.

Background: The War Years

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.

Representative Aircraft

  • Spitfire VB (February 1944 - April 1944)
  • Spitfire IXC (April 1944 - September 1944)
  • Spitfire IXE (September 1944 - April 1945)
  • Mustang IV (April 1945 - August 1945)

Background: The Cold War

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.

Representative Aircraft

  • Mustang IV
  • Harvard
  • Vampire
  • Sabre

Background: Unification

Reactivated at RCAF Station Comox on July 8, 1968 a 442 Transport and Rescue squadron, initially equipped with the Albatross and then the CC-115 Buffalo and CH-113 Labrador.

Representative Aircraft

  • Albatross
  • CH-113 Labrador
  • CC-115 Buffalo

Background: The Present

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.

Representative Aircraft

  • CC-115 Buffalo
  • CH-149 Cormorant
The material above is mirrored from RCAF.com with the permission of Bob Hurst - who retains copyright to the material listed.