Squadron History


No.406 (HT) Squadron
Royal Canadian Air Force
CFB Shearwater Jul 1972 - Present

Battle Honours: Defence of Britain 1941-1945, Fortress Europe 1943-1945, France and Germany 1944-1945: Biscay Ports 1944, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1944.

Badge: A lynx salient affronte.

Motto: We kill by night.

No. 406 Squadron was formed at Acklington, England on 10 May 1941 as the RCAF's fifth (first Night Fighter) squadron formed overseas flying Blenheim, Beaufighter and Mosquito aircraft in the night air defence of England. In November 1944 No. 406 was redesignated an Intruder squadron and converted to offensive operations over Europe. No. 406 Squadron was listed as the top-scoring RAF/RCAF intruder unit at the end of the Second World War with 64 enemy aircraft destroyed, seven probably destroyed and 47 damaged. On the ground the squadron is credited with destroying 88 locomotives, at least eight freight cars, 32 vehicles and seven small vessels. The squadron flew 1835 sorties amassing 4552 operational and 19,274 non-operational flying hours at a cost of 11 aircraft lost, 20 aircrew killed or missing and two aircrew taken as prisoners of war. The squadron was disbanded at Predannack, Cornwall on 1 September 1945.

No. 406 Squadron reformed at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on 1 April 1947 as an Auxiliary Tactical Bomber unit. The squadron flew B-25 Mitchell aircraft in a light bomber role as well as Harvard and T-33 Silver Star aircraft in an army co-operation role. In March 1958, No. 406 Squadron was reassigned to a light transport and emergency rescue role and re-equipped with Expeditor and Otter aircraft. A reduction in the RCAF's Auxiliary Force resulted in No. 406 "City of Saskatoon" Squadron (Auxiliary) being disbanded on 1 April 1964.

No. 406 Squadron reformed for a second time at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Shearwater NS on 12 July 1972 as a maritime operational training unit. No. 406 Squadron amalgamated the aircrew training functions of VU 32, HU 21, the Operational Flight Tactical Trainer (OFFT) and the Aircrew Division, all former naval units consolidated into a single Operational Training Squadron of the recently (1968) integrated Canadian Armed Forces. The squadron was designated VT 406; reviving the proud heritage of the former RCAF 406 squadron while acknowledging the former naval association of the component units with the traditional naval air squadron prefix "VT", indicating "Heavier than Air Training". The primary role of VT 406 was to train pilots, navigators, observers and technical tradesmen for the CP121 Tracker and the CH124 Sea King aircraft. When the operational Tracker squadron, MR 880, was transferred from CFB Shearwater to CFB Summerside PEI in the summer of 1981 it assumed the Tracker training function from 406 Squadron, which still retained responsibility for Sea King aircrew and technician training. Being solely responsible for Sea King training the squadron was redesigned HT 406, reflecting its revised role as a "Helicopter Training" squadron. Today, HT 406 is responsible for providing trained aircrews and technicians to MH 423 and MH 443, the two Sea King "Maritime Helicopter" squadrons at Shearwater and Pat Bay BC respectively.