Historical Aircraft

422 Squadron

 

No. 422 Squadron

Badge: A cubit arm holding in the hand a tomahawk

Motto: This arm shall do it

Authority: King George VI, October 1943

The painted arm indicates that the Red Indian brave is at war. The motto, from Shakespeare, refers to the squadron’s striking power.

Formed as a General Reconnaissance unit at Lough Erne, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland on 2 April 1942 as the RCAF’s 19th – fifth coastal – squadron formed overseas, the unit flew Catalina and Sunderland flying boats on convoy escort and anti-submarine patrol over the North Atlantic shipping route and the Bay of Biscay. When hostilities ended in Europe, there was a need for more long­range transport units to support the proposed ‘Tiger Force” in the Pacific, and the squadron was redesignated Transport on 5 June 1945 and began conversion training to Liberator aircraft. The sudden end of the war in the Far East found the squadron still in the early stages of conver­sion training, and it was disbanded on 3 September 1945.

Brief Chronology: Formed as No. 422 (GR) Sqn, Lough Erne, Ferm., N. Ire. 2 Apr 42. Redesignated No. 422 (T) Sqn, Pembroke Dock, Wales 5 Jun 45. Disbanded at Bass­ingbourn, Cambs., Eng. 3 Sep 45.

Title or Nickname: “Flying Yachtsmen”

Commanders

  • W/C L.W. Skey (Can/RAF), DFC 1 Jul 42 – 26 Oct 43.
  • W/C J.R. Frizzle 27 Oct 43 – 30 Oct 44.
  • W/C J.R. Sumner 31 Oct 44 – 3 Sep 45.

Higher Formations and Squadron Locations

Coastal Command:

No. 15 Group,

  • Lough Erne, Ferm., N. Ire. 2 Apr 42 – 29 Oct 42.
  • Kesh, Ferm. 30 Oct 42 – 3 Nov 42.
  • Oban, Argyll, Scot. 5 Nov 42 – 7 May 43.
  • Bowmore, Argyll 8 May 43 – 1 Nov 43.
  • St. Angelo, Ferm., N. Ire. 3 Nov 43 – 12 Apr 44.
  • Castle Archdale, Ferm. 13 Apr 44 – 3 Nov 44.

No. 19 Group,

  • Pembroke Dock, Wales 4 Nov 44 – 4 Jun 45.

Transport Command:

No. 47 Group,

No. 301 Wing,

  • Pembroke Dock, Wales 5 Jun 45 – 24 Jul 45.
  • Bassingbourn, Cambs. 25 Jul 45 – 3 Sep 45.

Representative Aircraft (Unit Code DG, 2) (1)

Saro Lerwick Mk.I (Jul – Nov 42, not on operations)

  • L7250 U L7256 V L7258 R L7259 Q L7260 P L7264 N L7266 Y L7267 B

Consolidated Catalina Mk.IB, III & VB (Jul – Nov 42)

  • FP103 A FP105 B FP106 C FP529 B FR533 C

Short Sunderland Mk.III (Nov 42 – Jun 45)

  • W6026 A W6027 N W6028 C W6029 D W6030 F W6031 G W6032 H W6033 J 00831 K 00838 X 00845 B 00855 Y OV990 R EK567 Q JM679 E ML777 M ML778 S ML884 Z NJ172 0 NJ173 W NJ174 U NJ175 T NJ176 P NJ189 V

Consolidated Liberator C.Mk.VI & VIII (Aug 45)

Operational History: First Mission 1 March 1943, (2) Sunderland W6026 2-C from Ohan with W/C Skey and crew – anti-submarine patrol to assist a convoy joining up at position 5940N 1225W.

Victory, U-Boat: 10 March 1944, Sunderland EK591 2-U from St. Angelo with WO2 W.F. Morton and crew sank U-625 at position 5253N 2019W. Morton was on his first operational sortie as captain and was being screened by F/L S.W. Butler (RAF).

Last Mission: 1/2 June 1945, 5 Sunderlands from Pembroke Dock – escort to a repatriation convoy.

Summary Sorties: 1116.

  • Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours: 13 ,346/5842.
  • Victories: U-boat: 1 sunk, 1 damaged; dropped 99 250- pound depth charges.
  • Casualties:
    • Operational: 9 aircraft; 70 aircrew, of whom 11 were killed, 31 presumed dead, 6 injured, 22 rescued.
    • Non-operational: 2 aircraft; 33 person­nel, of whom 5 were killed, 5 presumed dead, 23 injured.

Honours and Awards: 1 OBE, 1 MBE, 6 DFC’s, 1 BEM, 1 Air Medal (USA), 22 MiD’s.

Battle Honours:

  • Atlantic 1942-1945.
  • English Channel and North Sea 1944-1945: Nor­mandy 1944. Biscay 1944-1945. Arctic 1942.

    (1) During 1943, aircraft carried single digit “2” as unit code.

(2) This mission was actually the squadron’s 28th sortie, but the first true general reconnaissance sortie. The first fifteen, between 30 August and 24 September 1942, involved Catalinas FP103 DG-A (S/L R.E. Hunter), FP105 DG-B (F/O J.W. Bellis) and FP106 DG-C (WO L.W.C. Linpert) on escort to Convoys PQ18 and PQ14, transporting personnel and equipment from Sullom Voe to Murmansk and Archangel, and sorties between the two Russian bases. On sorties 16 to 26, 29 October to 15 November 1942, Catalinas were ferried from Gander, Newfoundland to Lough Erne. Sortie 27 was flown on 25 February 1943 and involved Sunderland W6032 2-H, with F/O P.T. Sargent and crew, on a training anti-submarine patrol to Convoy ONS169 (38 motor vessels and 2 escorts bound for Canada) at 5642N 1245W. 253 Saro Lerwick L7260 aircraft “P” of No. 422 (GR) Squadron at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland on 3 August 1942.