Historical Aircraft

423 Squadron


No. 423 Squadron
Badge A bald-headed eagle volant Motto Quaerimus et petimus (We ”
search and strike) ‘!.. Authority King George VI, March 1943

The bald-headed eagle is a powerful
bird of prey from the Canadian side
of the Atlantic. The motto refers to
the squadron’s role as a coastal unit.
Formed as a General Reconnaissance
unit at Ohan, Argyll, Scotland on 18
May 1942 as the RCAF’s 21st -sixth
and last coastal -squadron formed overseas, the unit flew Sunderland flying boats on convoy escort and anti-sub­
marine patrols over the Atlantic shipping routes. 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 4 September 194S.
Brief Chronology Formed as No. 423 (GR) Sqn, Ohan,
Argyll, Scot. 18 May 42. Redesignated No. 423 (T) Sqn,
Castle Archdale, Ferm., N. Ire. 5 Jun 45. Disbanded at
Bassingbourn, Cambs., Eng. 4 Sep 45.
WIC F.J. Rump (RAF) 18 May 42 -9 Jul 43.
WIC L.G.G.J. Archambault 10 Jul 43 -16 Jul 44.
WIC P.J. Grant 17 Jul 44 -28 Feb 45.
WIC S.R. McMillan 1 Mar 45 -4 Sep 45.
Higher Formations and Squadron Locations
Coastal Command:
No. 15 Group,
Ohan, Argyll, Scot. 18 May 42 -1 Nov 42.
Castle Archdale, Ferm., N. Ire. 2 Nov 42 -4 Jun 45.
Transport Command:
No. 47 Group,
No. 301 Wing,
Castle Archdale, Ferm., N. Ire. 5 Jun 45 -7 Aug 45.
Bassingbourn, Cambs. 8 Aug 45 -4 Sep 45.
Representative Aircraft (Unit Code AB, 3)1
Short Sunderland Mk.III (Jul 42 -May 45) W6000 A
W6001 B W6007 G W6008 H W6009 J W6061 K
00849 M 00853 K 00867 G OP181 0 OP198 J
OWlll S EJ157 K EK583 J ML783 H ML784 L
ML883 F NJ182 N NJ183 G NJ184 C NJ185 E
NJ186-A NJ187 B
Consolidated Liberator C.Mk.VI & VII (Aug 45)
Operational History: First Mission 23 August 1942,
Sunderland W6053 AB-E from Ohan with FIL J. Musgrave and crew -13-hour submarine search. Victories, U-boat: 12 May 1943, Sunderland W6006 3-G from Castle Archdale with FIL J. Musgrave and crew -escort to Convoy
HX.237, shared with 2 destroyers (HMCS Drumheller and HMS Lagan) in sinking U-456 in the Western Approaches at 4837N 2239W. 4 August 1943, Sunderland 00859 3-G from Castle Archdale with FIO A.A. Bishop and crew – sank U-489 in the Western Approaches at 6111N 1438W. Shot down by return fire, five of the eleven-man crew were lost; the other six, all wounded, were rescued by a destroyer along with 23 survivors of the submarine. 8
October 1943, Sunderland 00863 3-J from Castle Archdale with FIO A.H. Russell and crew -escort to Convoy
SC.143, sank U-610 in the Western Approaches at 5545N 2433W. 24 April 1944, Sunderland 00862 AB-A from Cas­tle Archdale with FIL F.G. Fellows and crew -sank U-311 at 5036N 1836W. 11 September 1944, Sunderland ML825 AB-O from Castle Archdale with FIO J.N. Farren and crew -joined two of HMC Ships, Dunver and Hespeler, in
sinking U-484 at 5651N 0804W. Last Mission 31 May 1945, Sunderland ML777 AB-F from Castle Archdale with FIL Magor and crew -patrol to the southwest of Ireland.
Summary Sorties 1392. Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours: 16,27715122. Victories: U-boat: 3 sunk, 2 shared sinkings, 1 damaged; 25 actual submarine, periscope or
schnorkel sightings, 10 of schnorkel smoke, 6 disturbances, swirls or suspicious oil slicks; delivered 201 250-pound
depth charges in 26 attacks, an average of 1 attack for
every 684 operational hours flown. Casualties: Opera­
tional: 6 aircraft; 43 aircrew, of whom 40 were killed or presumed dead, 2 wounded, 1 injured. Non-operational: 14 personnel, of whom 9 were killed, 5 injured. Honours and Awards 4 OFC’s, 1 OFM. Battle Honours Atlantic
1942-1945. English Channel and North Sea 1944-1945:
Normandy 1944. Biscay 1944.