Historical Aircraft

441 Squadron

 

No. 441 Squadron
Badge A silver fox’s mask
Motto Stalk and kill
Authority King George VI, December 1945
The silver fox, an animal indigenous to Canada, represents the squadron’s nickname.Formed in Canada as No. 125
(Fighter) Squadron on 20 April 1942,
the unit was the fourth of six home
squadrons transferred overseas
(complete in personnel but without
aircraft) in preparation for the Allied invasion of Europe, and was redesignated No. 441 (Fighter) Squadron at Digby, Lincolnshire, England on 8 February 1944. It flew Spitfire aircraft on offensive and defensive air operations and, after D-Day, gave close support to ground forces in North-West Europe. In May 1945, the unit was re-equipped with Mustang aircraft for long-range bomber escort duty, but was not operational when hostilities ceased in Europe. The squadron was disbanded at Molesworth, Huntingdonshire on 7 August 1945.
Brief Chronology Formed as No. 125 (F) Sqn, Sydney, N.S. 20 Apr 42. Renumbered No. 441 (F) Sqn, Digby, Lines., Eng. 8 Feb 44. Disbanded at Molesworth, Hunts. 7 Aug 45.ô€€ Title or Nickname “Silver Fox” 11 CommandersSIL G.U. Hill, DFC and 2 Bars 11 Mar 44 – 25 Apr 44
POW.
SIL J.D. Browne, DFC 26 Apr 44 – 30 Jun 44 OTE. SILT.A. Brannagan, DFC 1 Jul 44 – 15 Aug 44 POW. SIL R.H. Walker 26 Aug 44 – 7 Aug 45.
Higher Formations and Squadron Locations
Air Defence Great Britain:
No. 12 Group,
Digby, Lines. 8 Feb 44 – 17 Mar 44.
Second Tactical Air Force:
No. 83 (Composite) Group,
No. 22 (RCAF) Sector,
No. 17 (RCAF) Sector (21 Apr 44, disbanded 13 Jul 44), No. 144 (RCJ\f) Wing,
Holm;Tey South, Hants: 18 Mar 44 – 31 Mar 44. Westhampnett, Sussex 1 Apr 44 – 11 Apr 44.
No. 16 Armament Practice Camp, Hutton Cranswick, Yorks. 12 Apr 44 – 22 Apr 44.
Funtington, Sussex 23 Apr 44 – 13 May 44.
Ford, Sussex 14 May 44 – 14 Jun 44.
B(Base) 3 Ste Croix-sur-Mer, Fr. 15 Jun 44 – 14 Jul 44. No. 125 (RAF) Wing,
B.11 Longues, Fr. 15 Jul 44 – 12 Aug 44.
B.19 Lingevres, Fr. 13 Aug 44 – 1 Sep 44.
B.40 Beauvais, Fr. 2 Sep 44 – 4 Sep 44.
B.52 Douai, Fr. 5 . .Sep 44 – 16 Sep 44.
B.70 Antwerp; Bel. 17 Sep 44 – 30 Sep 44.
Fighter Command:
No. 11 Group,
Hawkinge, Kent 1 Oct 44 – 28 Dec 44.
No. 13 Group,
Skeabrae, Orkney Island 30 Dec 44 – 2 Apr 45.No. 11 Group,
Hawkinge, Kent 3 Apr 45 – 28 Apr 45.
Hunsdon, Herts. 29 Apr 45 – 16 May 45.
No. 12 Group,
Digby, Lines. 17 May 45 – 15 Jul 45.
Molesworth, Hunts. 16 Jul 45 – 7 Aug 45.
Representative Aircraft (Unit Code 9G)
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VB (Feb – Mar 44, not on opera­tions)
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.lXB (Mar 44 – Jan 45) Supermarine Spitfire F., H.F., L.F.Mk.lX (Feb – May 45) North American Mustang Mk.III (May – Aug 45, not on operations)
Operational History: First Mission 27 March 1944, 2 Spit­fire IXB’s from Holmsley South – immediate readiness, scrambled against an aircraft approaching the south coast of England; intercepted in mid-Channel, the intruder was identified as a USAAF Mustang. First Offensive Mission 28 March 1944, 12 Spitfire IXB’s from Holmsley South, with 12 from No. 442 Squadron, all part of No. 144 Wing -supporting fighter sweep over Dreux aerodrome, west of Paris, for USAAF Fortresses bombing aerodromes in north­ern France. With No. 442 Squadron acting as top cover, the unit strafed Dreux and claimed 4 aircraft destroyed, 1 probably destroyed, and 3 damaged on the ground. First Victories 25 April 1944, 12 Spitfire IXB’s from Funtington, with 12 from No. 443 Squadron, all part of No. 144 Wing – escort to USAAF Fortresses and Liberators bombing Dreux aerodrome. Wing engaged enemy fighters and credited with 6 Fw.190’s destroyed – 2 by each of the squadrons and 2 by WIC J.E. Johnson. One of the squadron’s victories was shared by FIO’s J. W. Fleming and L.A. Plummer. The other was shared by SIL Hill and FIO R.H. Sparling, both of whom failed to return; SIL Hill was taken prisoner, and FIO Sparling was killed. Triple Victory 13 Jul 1944, 12 Spitfire IXB’s from Ste Croix-sur-Mer – armed reconnaissance, engaged 12 Fw.190’s west of Argen­tan, claimed 10 destroyed without loss. FIO W.J. Myers credited with 3 destroyed. Last Mission 12 May 1945, 10 Spitfire IX’s from Hunsdon – air cover to naval forces removing German prisoners-of-war from Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. Summary Sorties: 3148.
Operational/Non-operational Flying Hours: 463514023. Victories: Aircraft: 56 destroyeq, 12 damaged. Ground: dropped 12 tons of bombs; credited with 500-plus vehicles, tanks, barges and locomotives destroyed or damaged. Casualties: Operational 16 pilots, of whom 2 were killed, 7 presumed dead, 3 POW, 2 evaded capture; 2 proved safe. Non-operational: 1 killed, 2 presumed dead. Squadron Aces FIL D.H. Kimball, DFC 6-0-1. FIL G.E. Mott, DFC 5½-0-½. FIL T.A. Brannagan, DFC 5½-0-0. Honours and Awards 9 DFC’s, 1 Croix de Guerre (Fr), 3 MiD’s. Battle Honours Defence of Britain 1945. Fortress Europe 1944. France and Germany 1944-1945: Normandy 1944, Arnhem, Walcheren.