Squadron History

No.118 (Fighter) Squadron
(RCAF Dartmouth Mar 1940 - Sep 1940 / Jul 1941 - July 1942)

No. 118 Squadron was re-formed as a Fighter unit at Rockcliffe (Ottawa), ON beginning with "A" Flight on 13 December 1940 and completed on 13 January 1941. Equipped with Grumman Goblin aircraft, the squadron moved to Dartmouth NS in July and was the only fighter unit available for East Coast defence. In November 1941 the squadron was re-equipped with Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk aircraft. The highlight of the Dartmouth operations occurred on 16 January 1942 when two Kittyhawks machine-gunned a surfaced U-boat ten miles (16 km) east of Halifax; six hits were observed on the conning tower but the U-boat escaped serious damage. In June 1942 No.118 Squadron was transferred to Annette Island Alaska as part of the RCAF reinforcement to the United States Army Air Fore in the battle for the Aleutian Islands . The 4000-mile (6670 km) trip by air was the first coast-to-coast trip made by a fighter squadron. In October 1943 No.118 Squadron was one of the six home fighter squadrons selected for overseas duty and the unit was re-designated No. 438 (Fighter Bomber) Squadron in Digby Lincolnshire, England on 18 November 1943.