No. 428 Squadron
Badge: In a shroud, a death’s head
Motto: Usque ad finem (To the very end)
Authority: King George VI, February 1945
The badge refers to the squadron ‘Ghost’, a designation earned through many hours of night bombing operations, and also the death and destruction which it carried to the enemy.
Formed at Dalton, Yorkshire, England on 7 November 1942 as the RCAF’s 26th – ninth Bomber – squadron formed overseas, the unit flew Wellington, Halifax and Canadian built Lancaster aircraft on strategic and tactical bombing operations. After hostilities in Europe, it was selected as part of “Tiger Force” for duty in the Pacific, and was the first squadron to return to Canada for reorganization and training. The sudden end of the war in the Far East resulted in the squadron being disbanded at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on 5 September 1945.
Brief Chronology: Formed at Dalton, Yorks., Eng. 7 Nov 42. Disbanded at Yarmouth, N.S. 5 Sep 45.
Title or Nickname: “Ghost”
Adoption: Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, Toronto, Ont.
- W/C A. Earle (RAF) 7 Nov 42 – 20 Feb 43.
- W/C D.W.M. Smith (Can/RAF), DFC 21 Feb 43 – 14 Sep 43 POW.
- W/C W.R. Suggitt, DFC 15 Sep 43 – 30 Oct 43 OTE.
- W/C D.T. French, DFC 31 Oct 43 – 8 May 44 OTE.
- W/C W.A.G. Mcleish, DFC 9 May 44 – 7 Aug 44 OTE.
- W/C A.C. Hull, DFC 8 Aug 44 -1 Jan 45 OTE.
- W/C M.W. Gall 2 Jan 45 – 2 Jun 45.
- W/C C.M. Black, DFC 26 Jul 45 – 5 Sep 45.
Higher Formations and Squadron Locations
No. 4 Group,
- Dalton, Yorks. 7 Nov 42 – 31 Dec 42.
No. 6 (RCAF) Group,
- Dalton, Yorks. 1 Jan 43 – 3 Jun 43.
No. 64 (RCAF) Base,
- Middleton St. George, Yorks. 4 Jun 43 – 30 May 45.
- En route to Canada 31 May 45 – 2 Jun 45.
RAF “Tiger Force” (for ops), RCAF Eastern Air Command (for training):
No. 6 (RCAF) Group,
No. 661 (RCAF) Wing,
- Yarmouth, N.S. 25 Jul 45 – 5 Sep 45.
Representative Aircraft (Unit Code NA)
Vickers Wellington B.Mk.III (Nov 42 – Apr 43)
- X3541 N X3550 J Z1719 P Z1727 K BK154 V BK155 B BK156 Q BK337 D BK562 E BK563 C BK564 R DF635 I DF668 W
Vickers Wellington B.Mk.X (Apr – Jun 43)
- HE158 L HE174 T HE175 U HE176 F HE177 G HE288 P HE319 Y HE321 Z HE322 J HE367 V HE505 X HE656 A HE727 K HE728 B HE738 0 HE750 R HE751 S HE864 D HE873 H HE911l HE917 W HE918 C LN424 E MS481 Q
Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.V (Jun 43 – Jan 44)
- Wl271 P DK196 Z DK228 D DK229 W DK230 V DK233 X DK235 J DK237 L DK238 I DK239 Q EB209 C DB210 E EB211 F EB212 U EB213 G EB214 S EB215 T EB216 R LK901 0 LK913 N LK914 K LK927 Y LK928 B LK930 M
Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.11 (Nov 43 – Jun 44)
- HR857 K HR988 C HX183 E JH971 H JN271 M JN955 L JN967 X JN968 I JN969 V JN973 U JP113 A JP122 J JP124 N JP127 T JP130 Y JP132 D JP191 B JP195 F JP197 Q JP198 G JP199 0 JP201 S JP279 P LW285 Z
Avro Lancaster B.Mk.X (Jun 44 – Sep 45) (1)
- KB709 G KB711 N KB744 J KB747 X KB757 C KB760 P KB763 S KB764 B KB770 D KB777 V KB778 Y KB780 T KB781 U KB782 H KB791 A KB792 I KB793 E KB795 Q KB820 M KB838 0 KB855 F KB867 L KB882 R KB920 K
Operational History: First Mission 26/27 January 1943, 6 Wellington Ill’s from Dalton despatched to bomb U-boat base at Lorient, France; 5 bombed the primary target, 1 aborted.
Last Mission: 25 April 1945, 15 Lancaster X’s from Middleton St. George bombed gun positions on the Island of Wangerooge.
Summary Missions/Sorties: 283/3467. (These figures include 66 minelaying missions, (2) and 45 sorties airlifting 1055 liberated POW’s).
- Operational/Nonoperational Flying Hours: 21, 188/7089.
- Bombs dropped: 9378 tons.
- Victories: Aircraft: 3 destroyed, 1 probably destroyed, 3 damaged.
- Operational: 84 aircraft, 463 aircrew, of whom 63 were killed, 377 missing, 13 POW, 2 evaded capture, 8 injured.
- Non-operational: 4 aircraft; 20 personnel, of whom 16 were killed, 3 injured, 1 died.
Honours and Awards: 2 DSO’s, 71 DFC’s, 2 CGM’s, 6 DFM’s.
- English Channel and North Sea 1943-1944.
- Baltic 1944.
- Fortress Europe 1943-1944.
- France and Germany 1944-1945: Biscay Ports 1943-1944, Ruhr 1943-1945, Berlin 1943-1944, German Ports 1943-1945, Normandy 1944, Rhine. Biscay 1943-1944.
(1) The squadron flew the RCAF’s first Lancaster X mission on 14/15 July 1944 when seven aircraft bombed St Pol, France. The order of take-off was KB737 NA-R, KB704 NA-E, KB758 NA-Z, KB725 NA-L, KB742 NA-M, KB705 NA-F and KB739 NA-W.
(2) On 4/5 January 1944 six Halifax II’s carried out Bomber Command’s first high-level minelaying operation, dropping their mines by parachute into the inner harbor at Brest from heights of 14-15,000 feet. Prior to this, mines had been planted from heights below 6000 feet.