Historical Aircraft

414 Squadron

 

No. 414 Squadron
Badge none
Formed as an Army Co-operation unit at Croydon, Surrey, England on 13 August 1941 as the RCAF’s 12th -second army co-operation -squadron formed overseas, and
redesignated Fighter Reconnaissance on 28 June 1943, the unit flew Mustang aircraft on air intelligence work. It ob­tained photographic reconnaissance for Allied invasion
planners, and before-and-after photographs of air attacks against German “Noball” (V-1 flying bomb) launching sites. On 6 June 1944, its task was to spot for the naval bom­
bardment of coastal defences from Le Havre to Cherbourg, France; then began a daily schedule of tactical recon­
naissance flights over the battle area, reporting on enemy road and rail traffic. In August the unit, re-equipped with Spitfire aircraft, moved to the Continent to provide tactical photographic reconnaissance for ground forces. The
squadron was disbanded at Luneburg, Germany on 7
August 1945.
Brief Chronology Formed as No. 414 (AC) Sqn, Croydon, Surrey, Eng. 13 Aug 41. Redesignated No. 414 (FR) Sqn, Dunsfold, Surrey 28 Jun 43. Disbanded at Luneburg, Ger. 7 Aug 45. f Title or Nickname “Sarnia Imperials” Adoption City of Sarnia, Ont.
Commanders
WIC D.M. Smith 15 Aug 41 -17 Jul 42.
WIC R.F. Begg 18 Jul 42 -27 Jun 43.
SIL J.M. Godfrey 28 Jun 43 -23 Jul 43.
SIL H.P. Peters, DFC 24 Jul 43 -4 Nov 43 KIA.
SIL C.H. Stover, DFC 5 Nov 43 -30 Jun 44.
SIL R. T. Hutchinson, DFC 1 Jul 44 -1 Oct 44 OTE. SIL G. Wonnacott, DFC and Bar 2 Oct 44 -9 Mar 45
OTE.
SIL F.S. Gilbertson, DFC 10 Mar 45 -9 Apr 45 OTE. SIL J.B. Prendergast, DFC 18 Apr 45 -7 Aug 45.
Higher Formations and Squadron Locations
Army Co-operation Command:
No. 35 (RAF) Wing,
Croydon, Surrey 13 Aug 41 -4 Dec 42.
No. 39 (RCAF) Wing,
Dunsfold, Surrey 5 Dec 42 -31 Jan 43.
Middle Wallop, Hants. 1 Feb 43 -19 Feb 43.
Dunsfold, Surrey 20 Feb 43 -8 Apr 43.
Middle Wallop, Hants. 9 Apr 43 -25 May 43.
Fighter Command:
No. 11 Group,
Harrowbeer, Devon. 26 May 43 -3 Jun 43.
Portreath, Cornwall 4 Jun 43 -19 Jun 43.
Dunsfold, Surrey 20 Jun 43 -4 Jul 43.
Second Tactical Air Force:
No. 83 (Composite) Group,
No. 39 (RCAF) Sector (disbanded 1 Jul 44),
No. 129 (RCAF) Wing,
Gatwick, Surrey 5 Jul 43 -30 Jul 43.
Weston Zoyland, Som. 31 Jul 43 -9 Aug 43.
Gatwick, Surrey 10 Aug 43 -12 Aug 43.
Ashford, Kent 13 Aug 43 -4 Oct 43.
No. 128 (RCAF) Wing,
Woodchurch, Kent 5 Oct 43 -14 Oct 43.
Redhill, Surrey 15 Oct 43 -2 Nov 43. No. 129 (RCAF) Wing,
Gatwick, Surrey 3 Nov 43 -4 Feb 44.
No. 15 Armament Practice Camp,
Peterhead, Scot. 5 Feb 44 -19 Feb 44.
Odiham, Hants. 20 Feb 44 -28 Feb 44.
Dundonald, Ayr., Scot. 29 Feb 44 -10 Mar 44.
Gatwick, Surrey 11 Mar 44 -31 Mar 44.
No. 128 (RCAF) Wing,
Odiham, Hants. 1 Apr 44 -1 Jul 44.
No. 39 (RCAF) Wing,
Odiham, Hants. 2 Jul 44 -14 Aug 44.
B.(Base) 21 Ste Honorine-de-Ducy, Fr. 15 Aug 44 -28 Aug 44. B.26 Illiers l’Eveque, Fr. 29 Aug 44 -2 Sep 44.
B.44 Poix, Fr. 3 Sep 44 -6 Sep 44.
B.56 Evere, Bel. 7 Sep 44 -19 Sep 44.
B.66 Blakenburg, Bel. 20 Sep 44 -2 Oct 44.
B.78 Eindhoven, Neth. 3 Oct 44 -6 May 45.
B.90 Petit-Brogel, Bel. 7 Mar 45 -10 Apr 45.
B.108 Rheine, Ger. 11 Apr 45 -16 Apr 45.
B.116 Wunstorf, Ger. 17 Apr 45 -27 Apr 45.
B.154 Soltau, Ger. 28 Apr 45 -6 May 45.
B.118 Celle, Ger. 7 May 45.
B.156 Luneburg, Ger. 8 May 45 -7 Aug 45.
No. 17 Armament Practice Camp, Warmwell, Dorset, Eng.
23 Jun -6 Jul 45.
Representative Aircraft (Unit Code RU)
Westland Lysander Mk.III (Aug 41 -Jun 42, not on opera­
tions)
Curtiss Tomahawk Mk.I & II (Aug 41 -Sep 42, not on
operations)
North American Mustang Mk.I (Jun 42 -Aug 44)
AG375 F AG376 R AG416 S AG444 V IY AG459 C
AG543 E AG601 A AG612 B AG655 X AL980 C
AL984 H AM160 TIY AM248 J AM251 0 AP197 Z
AP204 X AP211 V
Supermarine Spitfire LP.Mk.IX (Aug 44 -Apr 45)
MJ351 S MJ518 0 MJ553 G MJ619 D MJ746 V
MJ780 B MJ896 A MJ910 F MJ966 J MK127 K
MK132 H MK153 P MK183 T MK202 Q MK249 C
MK290 U MK359 X MK374 R MK617 W MK924 L
Supermarine Spitfire F.R.Mk.XIV (Apr -Aug 45)
Operational History: First Mission 30 June 1942, 3
Mustangs from Croydon -defensive patrol over south
coast. First Victory 19 August 1942, Dieppe Raid –
Mustangs, operating from Croydon, flew nine 2-plane mis­sions on tactical reconnaissance. Two aircraft were lost but both pilots safe. FIO H.H. Hills in AG470 RU-M, on his
second mission over Dieppe as “weaver” to the ‘T aclR”
aircraft, attacked by 3 Fw.190’s and credited with destroy­
ing 1. Last Mission 5 May 1945, 2 Spitfire XIV’s from
Soltau -tactical and weather reconnaissance in the
Bremer haven -Cuxhaven -Elbe estuary. Summary Sorties
6087. Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours:
7738111,495. Victories: Aircraft: 29 destroyed, 1 probably destroyed, 11 damaged. Ground: destroyed or damaged 76 locomotives, 13 assorted vessels, 30 electrical pylons, plus a score of miscellaneous targets. Casualties: Operational: 23 pilots, of whom 19 were killed or missing, 4 POW. Non­
operational: 9 personnel, of whom 6 were killed, 3 died.
Squadron Ace FIL 0.1. Hall, DFC 7-0-2. Honours and
Awards 2 bars to DFC, 16 DFC’s, 3 MiD’s. Battle Honours Defence of Britain 1942-1943. Fortress Europe 1942-1944.
Dieppe. France and Germany 1944-1945: Normandy 1944, Arnhem, Rhine. Biscay 1943.