The History and the Aircraft of the Air Forces of Canada - from 1914 to today.
The Second World War - Part 2.
The Bomber Offensive
The first Canadian Bomber squadrons were 405 (Wellington) which later became the only Canadian Pathfinder squadron, and 408 (Hampden) born in the spring of 1941. 419 and 420 Squadrons were organized in December that year. W/C Johnny Fauquier was the first RCAF officer to lead a bomber squadron. Awarded the DFC and three times the DSO, he became the RCAF's outstanding bomber leader of the war. With the addition of No. 415 ('Alouette') and six more Wellington squadrons, on the 1st of January, an all-RCAF bomber group, Number 6, was formed. 433 was the 14th and last bomber squadron formed overseas.
Three RCAF bomber squadrons were deployed to the Mediterranean theatre. In mid 1943, 420, 424 and 425 Squadrons under G/C C.R. Dunlap, making an all-Canadian Wing, moved from Yorkshire to Tunisia.
In 1944 all RCAF squadrons had been equipped with Lancasters or Halifaxes and Number 6 Group gained 415 Squadron for a total of 14 heavy bomber squadrons.
P/0 A.C. Mynarski won a posthumous Victoria Cross during a night mission in June 1944. A mid-upper gunner in a 419 Squadron Lancaster, he went to the aid of the rear gunner when his aircraft was shot down in flames. Unable to free his comrade, and with his own clothing and parachute on fire, he reluctantly bailed out. His burns were so severe that he died shortly after reaching the ground. The rear gunner survived the crash to report Mynarski's heroism.
During 28 months on operations, Number 6 Group flew 271,981 hours on 40,822 sorties and dropped 126,122 tons of bombs and mines. It lost 814 crews.
Bomber Squadron Aircraft Types: 405: Wellington, Halifax, Lancaster. 408: Hampden, Halifax, Lancaster. 415: Hampden, Wellington, Albacore, Halifax. 419: Wellington, Halifax, Lancaster. 420: Hampden, Wellington, Halifax. 424: Wellington, Halifax, Lancaster. 425 ( a designated French language squadron):Wellington, Halifax. 426, 427, 428, 429, 431, 432: Wellington, Halifax, Lancaster. 433, 434: Halifax, Lancaster. Other Units - 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit, Topcliffe: 1664 HCU, Dishforth, 166 HCU Wombleton: Halifaxes.
Douglas Boston Fairchild 24 Argus Stranraer Stinson 105 Lockheed 212
Lockheed 10A Fairey Battle Tomahawk Yale Fairchild 51
Douglas Digby B17 Fortress Catalina Kittyhawk P 40 Warhawk
Westland Lysander Short Sunderland
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