Badge: In front of a full moon a cougar leaping down
Motto: Saeviter ad lucem (Ferociously towards the light)
Authority: King George VI, March 1945
The badge indicates the squadron’s night bombing attacks on the enemy. The motto refers to the unit’s fierce desire to fight for light against the darkness of oppression.
Formed at Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire, England on 1 May 1943 as the RCAF’s 31st – 12th Bomber, first to be formed under No. 6 (RCAF) Group – squadron formed overseas, the unit flew Wellington, Lancaster and Halifax aircraft on strategic and tactical bombing operations. It was disbanded at East Moor, Yorkshire on 15 May 1945.
Brief Chronology: Formed at Skipton-on-Swale, Yorks., Eng. 1 May 43. Disbanded at East Moor, Yorks. 15 May 45.
Title or nickname: “Leaside”
Adoption: Town of Leaside, Ont.
- W/C H.W. Kerby 1 May 43 – 29 Jul 43 KIA.
- W/C W.A. McKay 30 Jul 43 – 30 May 44 OTE.
- W/C J.K.F. MacDonald 31 May 44 – 25 Jul 44 MIA. (1)
- W/C A.D.R. Lowe 26 Jul 44 – 28 Sep 44 OTE.
- W/C J.K.F. MacDonald 29 Sep 44 – 28 Jan 45 OTE.
- S/L S.H. Minhinnick 29 Jan 45 – 27 Feb 45 OTE.
- W/C K.A. France 28 Feb 45 – 15 May 45.
Higher Formations and Squadron Locations
No. 6 (RCAF) Group,
- Skipton-on-Swale, Yorks. 1 May 43 – 18 Sep 43.
No. 62 (RCAF) Base,
- East Moor, Yorks. 19 Sep 43 – 15 May 45.
Representative Aircraft (Unit Code QO)
Vickers Wellington B.Mk.X (May – Oct 43)
- HE222 E HE348 P HE514 K HE555 A HE567 Z HE568 Y HE638 F HE686 R HE688 V HE732 0 HE800 A HE818 Q HE906 H HE918 C HE456 D HF571 U HF599 L HZ272 W HZ484 N JA118 G LN240 S LN435 J LN454 B MS485 T
Avro Lancaster B.Mk.II (Oct 43 – Feb 44)
- DS739 Y DS740 Z DS757 L DS788 E DS789 V DS792 U DS794 W DS829 A DS830 S DS831 N DS832 K DS834 0 DS844 H DS848 R DS850 M DS851 D DS852 C LL617 J LL618 F LL632 G LL636 B LL686 F LL732 H LL724 N
Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.III (Feb – Jul 44)
- LK7M F LK765 H LK766 V LK807 J LK811 N LW582 M LW583 L LW584 Y LW592 A LW593 0 LW594 G LW595 Q LW596 D LW597 C LW598 K LW614 S LW615 U LW616 R LW617 J MZ506 X MZ582 Z MZ603 E MZ632 W MZ633 0
Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.VII (Jul 44 – May 45)
- NP687 A NP688 X NP689 M NP690 G NP691 V NP692 D NP693 Q NP694 R · NP695 K NP697 F NP698 U NP699 0 NP701 G NP703 H NP704 L NP705 Y NP707 W NP708 E NP736 B NP801 N NP802 S NP803 I NP804 Q NP805 J NP807 P PN208 G PN233 D PN454 P
Operational History: First Mission 23/24 May 1943, 15 Wellington X’s from Skipton-on-Swale despatched to bomb Dortmund,Germany; 11 bombed the primary target, 4 aborted.
Last Mission: 25 April 1945, 19 Halifax VIl’s from East Moor bombed gun positions on the Island of Wangerooge.
Summary Missions/Sorties: 246/3130 (including 53 sea mining).
- Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours: 16,607/6166.
- Bombs dropped: 8980 tons.
- Victories: Aircraft: 5 destroyed, 2 probably destroyed, 5 damaged.
- Operational: 73 aircraft; 448 aircrew, of whom 30 were killed, 8 missing, 252 presumed dead, 123 POW (of whom 5 escaped); 35 evaded capture.
- Non-operational: 42 personnel, of whom 38 were killed, 3 injured, 1 died of natural causes.
Honours and Awards: 2 DSO’s, 1 bar to DFC, 119 DFC’s, 1 CGM, 20 DFM’s, 1 Croix de Guerre (Fr).
- English Channel and North Sea 1943.
- Fortress Europe 1943-1944.
- France and Germany 1944-1945: Biscay Ports 1944, Ruhr 1943-1945, Berlin 1943-1944, German Ports 1943-1945, Normandy 1944, Rhine. Biscay 1943.
(1) Shot down 25 July 1944, evaded capture, and returned to England.