Historical Aircraft

418 Squadron

 

Badge none
Formed at Debden, Essex, England on 15 November 1941 as the RCAF’s 14th -only Intruder -squadron formed overseas, the unit flew Boston and Mosquito aircraft on day-and night-intruder operations deep into enemy ter­
ritory. Its claim of 178 enemy aircraft and 79½ V-1 flying bombs destroyed made it the top-scoring unit of the RCAF. The leading individual score was SIL R. Bannock, with 11 aircraft and 18½ V-l’s. On 21 November 1944 it was
transferred to close support wor®with the Second Tactical Air Force in the Low Countries. The squadron was
disbanded at Volkel, in The Netherlands, on 7 September 1945.
Brief Chronology Formed as No. 418 (I) Sqn, Debden,
Essex, Eng. 15 Nov 41. Disbanded at Volkel, Neth. 7 Sep 45. I Title or Nickname “City of Edmonton”
i Adoption City of Edmonton, Alta (March 1944) Commanders
W!C G.H. Gatheral (RAF) 22 Nov 41 -14 May 42. W!C A.E, Saunders (RAF) 15 May 42 -11 Dec 42.
W/C J.H. Little (RAF), DFC 12 Dec 42 -13 Jun 43 KIA. W!C P.Y. Davoud, DFC 15 Jun 43 -7 Jan 44.
W!C D.C.S. MacDonald, DFC 8 Jan 44 -24 Feb 44. W!C R.J. Bennell, DFC 25 Feb 44 -9 Mar 44 KIA.
W/C A. Barker 30 Mar 44 -9 Oct 44.
W!C R. Bannock, DFC and Bar 10 Oct 44 -22 No; 44. W!C J.C. Wickett 23 Nov 44 -22 Feb 45 POW.
W/C D.B. Annan 23 Feb 45 -23 May 45 OTE.
WIC H.D. Cleveland, DFC 24 May 45 -7 Sep 45.
Higher Formations and Squadron Location
Fighter Command renamed

Air Defence Great Britain (15 Nov 43)

No. 11 Group,
Debden, Essex 15 Nov 41 -14 Apr 42.
Bradwell Bay, Essex 15 Apr 42 -14 Mar 43. Ford, Sussex 15 Mar 43 -7 Apr 44.
Holmsley South, Hants. 8 Apr 44 -13 Jul 44. Hurn, Hants. 14 Jul 44 -28 Jul 44.
Middle Wallop, Hants. 29 Jul 44 -26 Aug 44. Hunsdon, Herts. 28 Aug 44 -20 Nov 44.

Second Tactical Air Force

No. 2 (Bomber) Group,
No. 136 (RAF) Wing,
Hartford Bridge, Hants. 21 Nov 44 -14 Mar 45.
B.(Base) 71 Coxyde, Bel. 15 Mar 45 -25 Apr 45.
B.80 Volkel, Neth. 26 Apr 45 -7 Sep 45.
Representative Aircraft (Unit Code TH)
Douglas Boston Mk.III (Nov 41 -Jul 43) W8263 P W8268 0 W8317 V W8321 G W8356 D Z2192 Z Z2226 K
de Havilland Mosquito Mk.II (Mar 43 -Nov 44)
de Havilland Mosquito F.B.Mk.VI (Nov 44 -Sep 45)2 HR148 B HR184 Z HR324 N HR358 K HX953 X NS823 W NS857 L NS930 V NT115 J NT153 Y PZ219 E PZ235 M PZ414 P PZ454 Y RS454 F RS560 G RS561 F RS569 V RS594 L SZ962 U SZ964 X SZ965 T SZ967 V T A374 C

Operational History: First Mission, Bombing 27 March 1942, 8 Bostons from Ford despatched to bomb oil refineries and tanks at Ertvelde, near Ghent, Belgium; 7 bombed the primary target, 1 had a “bomb hang-up.” First Mission, Intruder 28 March 1942, 6 Bostons from Ford – night patrols of enemy airfields in France (Lille, Vendeville, Rennes, Le Touquet and Abbeville) and The Netherlands
(Gilze-Rijen) in co-operation with No. 23 Squadron RAF. First Victory 26 April 1942, Sgts. G.W.C. Harding (RAF), R.P. Shannon (observer) and H.J.H. Irving (air gunner) in a Boston from Holmsley South – night intruder over Evreux airfield in France, credited with 1 unidentifiable enemy aircraft damaged. 7 May 1942, PIO A. Lucas
(RAF), Sgts W.S. Randolph (observer) and H. Haskell (air gunner) in a Boston from Holmsley South – night intruder over Gilze-Rijen airfield in The Netherlands, shared with a Hurricane aircraft of No. 3 Squadron RAF 1 unidentifiable enemy aircraft destroyed. Last Mission 3 May 1945, Mos­quito VI from Volkel – reconnaissance of the battle area. Summary Sorties: 3492 (including 402 on anti-flying bomb patrols). Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours: 11,248112,255. Victories: Aircraft: 178 destroyed (73 on ground), 9 probably destroyed, 103 damaged. V-1: 76 destroyed over water, 7 over England.CvGround: dropped 56 tons of bombs; credited with 17 locomotives destroyed and 59 damaged, 52 freight and passenger cars destroyed or derailed, 200 motor vehicles destroyed. Casualties: Opera­tional: 59 aircraft; 143 aircrew, of whom 94 killed or presumed dead, 27 missing, 14 POW, 8 evaded capture. Non-operational: 13 aircraft; 31 personnel killed, 2 in­jured. Squadron Aces WIC R. Bannock, DFC and Bar
25½-7-0-1-18½. * SIL R. Gray, DFC 12-10-0-12-2. FIO S.P. Reid, DFC 11½-8-0-7-3½. SIL H.D. Cleveland, DFC

10-10-0-1-0. F/L C.M. Jasper, DFC 9-6-1-1-3. F/L C.J. Evans 9-l 1/2-0-7 1/2. F/L S.H.R. Cotteril, DFC 8-4-0-1-4 FIL D.E. Forsyth 8-4-0-0-4. SIL J.B. Kerr 6-5-0-3-1. FIL H.E. Miller 5-2-0-0-3. FIL P.S. Leggat 5-0-0-0-5. Honours and Awards 3 DSO’s, 1 second bar to DFC, 9 bars to DFC, 42 DFC’s, 5 DFM’s, 1 DFC(USA), 1 Air Medal (USA). Battle Honours Defence of Britain 1944. Fortress Europe 1942-1944. Dieppe. France and Germany 1944-1945. Nor­
mandy 1944, Rhine.
*The five categories indicate, for this squadron: Total; confirmed; pro­bable; damaged; and V-l’s destroyed.’In the intruder role, it was replaced by No. 406 Squadron.
‘Aircraft were named and decorated after characters of the comic strip “Li’! Abner.”
‘A V-1 destroyed over England was counted as only half a victory.