Historical Aircraft

408 Squadron


No. 408 Squadron

Badge: A Canada goose volant

Motto: For Freedom

Authority: King George VI, October 1942

The Canada goose is at home in Canada, England and Scotland; its speed and power of flight are in­dicative of the operational functions of the Squadron.

Formed at Lindholme, Yorkshire, England on 24 June 1941 as the RCAF’s eighth – second Bomber – squadron formed overseas, the unit flew Hampden, Halifax and Lancaster aircraft on strategic and tactical bombing operations. After hostilities in Europe, it was selected as part of ‘Tiger Force” for duty in the Pacific, converted to Canadian-built Lancaster aircraft, and returned to Canada for reorganization and training. The sudden end of hostilities in the Far East resulted in the squadron being disbanded at Greenwood, Nova Scotia on 5 September 1945.

Brief Chronology: Formed at Lindholme, Yorkshire, Eng. 24 Jun 1941. Disbanded at Greenwood, N.S. 5 Sep 1945.

Title or Nickname: Goose

Adoption: Kingsville, Ontario


  • W/C N.W. Timmerman (Can/RAF), DSO, DFC 24 Jun 41 – 25 Mar 42
  • W/C A.C.P. Clayton (Can/RAF), DFC and Bar 26 Mar 42 – 14 Apr 42
  • W/C J.D. Twigg 18 May 42 – 28 Aug 42 KIA
  • W/C W.D.S. Ferris, DFC 1 Sep 42 – 27 Oct 43
  • W/C A.C. Mair, DFC 28 Oct 43 – 26 Nov 43 KIA
  • W/C D.S. Jacobs, DFC 27 Nov 43 – 22 May 44 KIA
  • W/C A.R. McLernon, DFC 24 May 44 – 13 Oct 44
  • W/C J.F. Easton, DFC 14 Oct 44 – 25 Nov 44
  • W/C F.R. Sharp, DFC 26 Nov 44 – 5 Sep 45

Higher Formations and Squadron Locations
Bomber Command:
No. 5 Group,
Lindholme, Yorks. 24 Jun 41 – 19 Jul 41.
Syerston, Notts. 20 Jul 41 – 8 Dec 41.
Balderton, Notts. 9 Dec 41 – 12 Sep 42.
North Luffenham, Notts. (Balderton runways under repair) 25 Jan – 17 Mar 42.
No. 4 Group,
Leeming, Yorks. 14 Sep 42 – 31 Dec 42.
No. 6 (RCAF) Group,
Leeming, Yorks. 1 Jan 43 – 26 Aug 43.
No. 62 (RCAF) Base,
Linton-on-Ouse, Yorks. 27 Aug 43 – 13 Jun 45.
En route to Canada 14 Jun 45 – 17 Jun 45.
RAF “Tiger Force” (for ops),
RCAF Eastern Air Command (for training):
No. 6 (RCAF) Group,
No. 664 (RCAF) Wing,
Greenwood, N.S. 18 Jun 45 – 5 Sep 45.
Representative Aircraft (Unit Code EQ)

Handley Page Hampden Mk.I (Jul 41 – Sep 42)
P1165 B P5334 Q P5392 W AD754 Y AD829 E AD980 Y AE133 X AE148 B AE197 N AE219 R AE244 P AE245 C AE432 S AE433 D A T113 A

AT139 A AT180 B AT189 G AT191 A AT220 G AT224 A AT227 L AT228 T AT437 U
Handley Page Halifax Mk. V (Sep – Dec 42, not on opera­tions)
Handley Page Halifax Mk.II (Dec 42 – Oct 43)
BB311 L BB343 X DT676 B DT679 J DT749 C HR658 V HR662 H JB363 A JB893 U JB898 Q JB909 G JB913 F JB925 R JB969 D JB971 W
JD107 Y JD164 K JD216 P JD276 T JD278 0
JD323 S JD332 E JD333 Q JD374 M
Avro Lancaster B.Mk.II (Oct 43 – Sep 44) LL621 Y
LL633 L LL634 F LL636 G LL637 P LL642 B
LL643 Q LL675 M LL699 C LL700 J LL717 W LL718 E LL720 R LL722 N LL723 H LL725 Z DS639 A DS657 L DS675 K DS692 S DS838 I DS841 X
DS$45 T DS849 X
Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.III & A.Mk.VII (Sep 44 – May 45) NP711 0 NP712 R NP713 X NP714 V
NP718 Z NP719 W NP745 H NP746 E NP747 N NP749 Y NP750 F NP751 L NP754 P NP756 T NP757 B NP769 J NP772 Q NP773 M NP777 S NP778 U NP780 C NP804 K NP809 G NP810 H NR126 Z NRl 99 F NR209 A MZ907 D
Avro Lancaster B.Mk.X (May – Sep 45, not on operations) FM130 M KB877 S KB904 Q KB905 V KB907 U KB913 X KB919 J KB925 E KB929 0 KB939 W KB947 Z KB948 V KB951 A KB960 F KB963 H KB972 C KB979 L KB993 U KB994 K KB995 B KB996 P KB998 G
Operational History: First Mission 11/12 August 1941, 4 Hampdens from Syerston despatched to bomb docks at Rotterdam; 2 (AEl 97 EQ-N and AE267) bombed the primary target, 2 (AE196 and AE244 EQ-P) were unable to locate the target. All aircraft returned safely.Last Mission 25 April 1945, 17 Halifaxes from Linton-on-Ouse des­patched to bomb gun positions on the Island of
Wangerooge; 16 bombed the primary target, 1 failed to return. Summary Sorties: 4610 (1217 on Hampdens, 690 on Halifaxes, 2703 on Lancaster II’s). Operational/Non- opera­tional Flying Hours: 25,568/11,054. Victories: Aircraft: 11 destroyed, 6 damaged. Bombs dropped: 11,430 tons. Casualties: Operational: 146 aircraft; 897 aircrew, of whom 877 were killed, missing or POW, 3 evaded capture, 17 wounded. Non-operational: 12 aircraft; 32 personnel killed, 7 injured. Honours and Awards 1 MBE, 6 bars to DFC, 161 DFC’s, 32 DFM’s, 10 MiD’s. Battle Honours English Channel and North Sea 1941-1943. Baltic 1941-1943. Fortress Europe 1941-1944. France and Germany 1944-1945. Biscay Ports 1941-1944. Ruhr 1941-1945, Berlin 1943-1944, German Ports 1944-1945, Normandy, 1944, Rhine. Biscay 1942-1943

During May-June 1942 the squadron had one Manchester aircraft, L7401 EQ1N, for evaluation as a possible replacement for the Hampden. A Man­chester Conversion Flight was set up under S/L L.B.B. Brice, who flew this aircraft on its two sorties with the squadron: the 1,000-plane raid on Cologne, 30/31 May, and a bombing of Essen on 1/2 June. The Manchester had to turn back from Cologne owing to hydraulic failure; in the raid on Essen it dropped 126 four-pound incendiaries. The last Bomber Command sorties by Hampden aircraft were flown by No 408 Squadron on the night of 14/15 September 1942 against Wilhelmshaven.