Historical Aircraft

409 Squadron

 

Badge In front of a cloak a crossbow
Motto Media nox meridies noster
(Midnight is our noon)
Authority King George VI, March
1944
The crossbow in front of a dark cloak
indicates the unit’s functions as a
night fighter squadron.
Formed at Digby, Lincolnshire,
England on 7 June 1941 as the
RCAF’s seventh – second Night
Fighter – squadron formed overseas,
the unit flew Beaufighter and Mosquito aircraft in the night air defence of Britain and Allied forces in North-West Europe. It was the first night fighter squadron to cross over to Normandy following the Allied landings and operate from the Continent, and the first to be stationed in Belgium and Germany. For the period June 1944 to May 1945, it was the top-scoring RAF/RCAF night fighter unit, with
58½ aircraft and 12 V-1 flying bombs destroyed. The squadron was disbanded at Twente, in The Netherlands, on 1 July 1945.
Brief Chronology Formed at Digby, Lines., Eng. 17 Jun 41. Disbanded at Twente, Neth. 1 Jul 45. (l Title or Nickname “Nighthawk”
i Adoption City of Victoria, B.C.
Commanders
W/C N.B. Petersen 17 Jun 41 – 2 Sep 41 KIFA.
W/C P.Y. Davoud, DFC 5 Sep 41 – 3 Feb 43 OTE. WIC J.W. Reid 4 Feb 43 – 31 Jul 44 OTE.
W/C M.W. Beveridge, DFC 1 Aug 44 – 20 Sep 44 KIFA. WIC J.D. Somerville, DSO, DFC 10 Oct 44 – 11 Mar 45 OTE.
W!C R.F. Hatton 12 Mar 45 – 1 Jul 45.
Higher Formations and Squadron Locations
Fighter Command renamed
Air Defence Great Britain (15 Nov 43):
No. 12 Group,
Digby, Lines. 17 Jun 41 – 24 Jul 41.
Coleby Grange, Lines. 25 Jul 41 – 27 Feb 43. Acklington, Northumb. 28 Feb 43 – 29 Feb 44.
Second Tactical Air Force:
No. 85 (Base) Group,
No. 147 (RAF) Wing,
Acklington, Northumb. 1 Mar 44 – 13 May 44.
No. 148 (RAF) Wing,
West Malling, Kent 14 May 44 – 18 Jun 44.
Hunsdon, Herts. 19 Jun 44 – 23 Aug 44.
B.(Base) 17 Carpiquet, Fr. 24 Aug 44 – 10 Sep 44.
B. 24 St Andre, Fr. 11 Sep 44 – 26 Sep 44.B.48 Glisy, Fr. 27 Sep 44 – 3 Oct 44.
B.68 Le Culot, Bel. 4 Oct 44 – 11 Oct 44.
B.51 Vendeville, Fr. 12 Oct 44 – 18 Apr 45.
B.108 Rheine, Ger. 19 Apr 45 – 11 May 45.
B.77 Gilze-Rijen, Neth. 12 May 45 – 2 Jun 45.
B.106 Twente, Neth. 3 Jun 45 – 1 Jul 45.
Representative Aircraft (Unit Code KP)
Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I (Jul – Sep 41)
Bristol Beaufighter Mk.HF (Aug 41 – Jun 42)
Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIP (Jun 42 – Apr 44)
V8717 P X8104 T X8111 V X8231 M X8918 N BT301 Z MM843 C MM845 Y MM853 T MM854 SMM865 D MM866 W MM883 R MM914 B
MM915 F MM919 U MM946 A ND268 H
de Havilland Mosquito N.F. Mk.XIII (Mar 44 – Jun 45) HK366 U HK368 F HK381 C HK421 V HK425 D HK430 P HK473 K HK506 H HK512 A MM437 W MM454 F MM456 M MM458 N MM459 Z
MM466 G MM502 A MM508 K MM509 B
MM513 J MM517 S MM522 S MM567 E MM588 T MM590 H
Operational History: First Mission 3 August 1941, Defiant from Coleby Grange – aerodrome patrol. First Victory 1 November 1941, Beaufighter II from Coleby Grange with W/C Davoud and Sgt T. Carpenter (RAF, navigator) – night readiness, scrambled and credited with a Do.217 destroyed 70 miles east of Digby. Triple Victory 23/24 April 1945, Mosquito XIII HK429 KP-D from Rheine with F/O E. Hermanson and FIL D. Hamm (navigator) – patrol; credited with 2 Ju.87’s and 1 Fw.190 destroyed. Last Mission 2 May 1945, 6 Mosquito XIII’s from Rheine – front line patrol; 2 returned early with radar problems, 2 called back early owing to lack of enemy activity, and 2 completed uneventful patrols. Summary Sorties: 2313. Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours: 7514/24,424. Victories: Aircraft: 65 ½ destroyed, 7 probably destroyed, 24 damaged. V-1: 12 destroyed. Casualties: Operational: 17 aircraft; 52 aircrew (including 6 RAF) killed or missing.
Squadron Ace F/L R.l.E. Britten, DFC 5-0-1. Honours and 2 BEM’s, 7 MiD’s, 1 DFC (USA). Battle Honours Defence of Britain 1941-1944. Fortress Europe 1942-1944. France and Germany 1944-1945: Normandy 1944, Rhine.