Historical Aircraft

407 Squadron

 

Badge A winged trident piercing the shank of an anchor
Motto To hold on high
Authority King George VI, March 1943
The badge represents the blows struck against enemy shipping by the
Demon squadron.
Formed at Thorney Island, Hamp­shire, England on 8 May 1941 as the
RCAF’s fourth – second coastal – squadron formed overseas, its war-
time history falls into two distinct parts. As a Coastal Strike unit it flew Blenheim and Hudson aircraft for seven­teen months on attacks against enemy shipping between Heligoland and the Bay of Biscay. Redesignated General Reconnaissance on 29 January 1943, it then flew Wellington aircraft equipped with Leigh lights on anti-submarine duty. The squadron was disbanded at Chivenor, Devonshire on 4 June 1945.

Brief Chronology Formed as No. 407 (CS) Sqn, Thorney Island, Hants., Eng. 8 May 41. Redesignated No. 407 (GR) Sqn, Docking, Norfolk 29 Jan 43. Disbanded at Chivenor, Devon. 4 Jun 45.
Title or Nickname “Demon”

Adoption No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mont Joli, Que

Commanders

  • W/C H.M. Styles (RAF), DSO 15 May 41 – 6 Jan 42.
  • W/C A.C. Brown (Can/RAF), DSO, DFC 7 Jan 42 – 28 Sep 42.
  • WIC C.F. King (RAF) 29 Sep 42 – 3 Nov 42 KIA.
  • W/C J.C. Archer (RAF) 7 Nov 42 – 27 Sep 43 KIA.
  • W/C R.A. Ashman 2 Nov 43 – 31 Oct 44.
  • W/C K.C. Wilson 1 Nov 44 – 4 Jun 45.

Higher Formations and Squadron Locations
Coastal Command:
No. 16 Group,
Thorney Island, Hants. 8 May 41 – 8 Jul 41.
North Coates, Lines. 9 Jul 41 – 17 Feb 42.
Thorney Island, Hants. 18 Feb 42 – 30 Mar 42. Bircham Newton, Norfolk 31 Mar 42 – 30 Sep 42. No. 19 Group,
St. Eva!, Cornwall 1 Oct 42 – 9 Nov 42.
No. 16 Group,
Docking, Norfolk 10 Nov 42 – 15 Feb 43.
No. 18 Group,
Skitten, Caith., Scot. 16 Feb 43 – 31 Mar 43.
No. 19 Group,

Chivenor, Devon. 1 Apr 43 – 2 Nov 43. St. Eva!, Cornwall 3 Nov 43 – 1 Dec 43. Chivenor, Devon. 2 Dec 43 – 26 Jan 44.

No. 15 Group,
Limavady, Derry, N. Ire. 29 Jan 44 – 26 Apr 44. No. 19 Group,
Chivenor, Devon 28 Apr 44 – 22 Aug 44.
No. 18 Group,
Wick, Caith., Scot. 24 Aug 44 – 9 Nov 44.
No. 19 Group,
Chivenor, Devon 11 Nov 44 – 4 Jun 45.

Representative Aircraft (Unit Code 1941-43 RR, 1943-45 Ll) Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV (May – Jul 41, not on operationst Lockheed Hudson Mk.III & V (Jun 41 – Apr 43)1
V9095 C V9102 X V9107 W AM525 A AM551 C AM586 T AM597 F AM598 P AM602 M AM614
AM619 Q AM626 K AM627 J AM649 R AM650 D AM679 B AM701 V AM731 H AM732 S AM811 AM812 S AM838 L AM841 E AM906 0
Vickers Wellington Mk.XI (Feb – Apr 43) MP534 E Vickers Wellington Mk.XII(L/L) (Mar 43 – Feb 44)
MP503 0 MP541 G MP542 C MP587 A MP593 P MP596 B MP618 S MP622 V MP632 E MP634 F MP652 S MP688 D MP754 H I Vickers Wellington Mk.XIV(L/L) (Jun 43 – Jun 45)
HF124 Q HF131 P HF132 A HF142 H HF144 G HF149 C HF171 J HF182 T HF187 S HF207 0 HF228 M HF186 L HF306 E HF412 P NB811 S NB821 B NB830 Z NB838 V NB839 R NB856 X NC512 J NC513 G NC775 F NC848 P
Operational History: First Mission 7 September 1941, 3 Hudson V’s from North Coates – unsuccessful search for a Whitley bomber. First Offensive Mission 7 /8 September 1941, Hudson V AM556 RR-E from North Coates with j W/C Styles and crew attacked a 1500-ton motor vessel s x miles north of Borkum; no observed results. Last Mission: Coastal Strike 29 January 1943, 2 Hudson V’s from Dock­ing – convoy strike; unable to bomb because of mist. F’rst Mission, General Reconnaissance 7 March 1943, Welling on XI MP534 Cl-E from Skitten with F/O M.P. Jordan and crew – anti-submarine patrol. Victories, U-Boat 6/7 1 September 1943, Wellington XII(L/L) HF115 Cl-W from Chivenor with P/O E.M. O’Donnell and crew sank U-669 Wellington XII(L/L) MP578 Cl-D from Limavady with 0 F P.W. Heron and crew convoy cover, sank U-283 (6045N 1250W). 3/4 May 1944, Wellington XIV(L/L) HF134 Cl-M from Chivenor with F/O L.J. Bateman and crew sank
U-846 in the Bay of Biscay (4604N 0920W). 29/30 December 1944, Wellington XIV(L/L) NB855 Cl-L from Chivenor with SIL C.I.W. Taylor and crew sank U-772 i the central Channel (5005N 0231W). Last Mission 1 June 1945, Wellington XIV(L/L) HF302 Cl-] from Chivenor with F/L L.W. Manuel and crew – convoy escort. Summary Sorties: 2900 (including 913 anti-shipping, 1987 anti-
submarine). Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours: l
11,926/3759. Victories: Aircraft: 3 destroyed, 1 damagel Shipping: dropped 173 tons of bombs, credited with 10 ships (24,020 tons) sunk, 4 ships (8970 tons) damaged, plus 2 shared sinkings (10,396 tons).
U-boat: 4 sunk, 3 damaged; dropped 331 250-pound decharges. Casualties: Operational: 42 aircraft; 197 aircre t,
of whom 24 were killed, 151 presumed dead, 8 POW, 6 evaded capture, 8 wounded. Non-operational: 64 person­
nel, of whom 38 killed, 20 presumed dead, 6 injured.
Honours and Awards 3 DSO’s, 1 bar to DFC, 18 DFC’s, 1
1
AFC, 6 DFM’s, 35 MiD’s. Battle Honours Atlantic
1943-1945. English Channel and North Sea 1941-1945. Fortress Europe 1942: German Ports 1942, Normandy 1944.1 Biscay 1942-1945.

‘Hudson Mk.Ill’s were withdrawn from service in May 1942.