Squadron History

No.434 (CS) Squadron
Royal Canadian Air Force
RCAF Dartmouth Jun 1945 - Sep 1945
CFB Shearwater Sep 1992 - May 1995

Battle Honours: English Channel and North Sea 1943-1944, Baltic 1943-1944, Fortress Europe 1943-1944, France and Germany 1944-1945: Biscay Ports 1944, Ruhr 1943-1945, Berlin 1943-1944, German Ports 1944-1945, Normandy 1944, Rhine .

Badge: A representation of the schooner "Bluenose".

Motto: In excelsis vincimus (We conquer in the heights).

No. 434 Squadron formed at Tholthorpe, Yorkshire, England on 13 June 1943 and was adopted by the Rotary Club of Halifax. It was the RCAF's 31 st (13 th Bomber) squadron to be formed overseas. The unit flew Halifax and Canadian-built Lancaster aircraft on strategic and tactical bombing operations over Europe until the end of hostilities. On 15 June 1945 No. 434 Squadron was transferred to 662 Wing at RCAF Station Dartmouth NS to commence training as a "Tiger Force" squadron for operations in the Pacific. The sudden end of the war with Japan before the squadron completed its training resulted in No. 434 Squadron being disbanded at Dartmouth on 5 September 1945.

No. 434 Squadron was reformed at Uplands ON (Ottawa) on 1 July 1952 equipped with F-86 Sabre aircraft. The squadron joined the RCAF's No. 3 (Fighter) Wing at Zweibrucken Germany in March 1953. Selected as one of eight squadrons in No. 1 Air Division Europe to be re-equipped with CF-104 Starfighter aircraft for the nuclear strike role, No. 434 Squadron was deactivated on 15 January 1963 and reactivated in the Strike Attack role on 8 April. When the Air Division was reduced to six squadrons, No. 434 Squadron was again deactivated on 1 March 1967.

The squadron was still inactive when the RCAF was integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces, but No. 434 Squadron was reactivated two weeks later on 15 February 1968 at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake Alberta as an operational training squadron with CF-5 Freedom Fighter aircraft. The squadron was disbanded at Cold Lake in 1988. While inactive No. 434 Squadron colours were placed in its adopted home city in Halifax's All Saints Cathedral for safekeeping.

No. 434 (Bluenose) Squadron was reactivated and returned to 12 Wing Shearwater on 3 September 1992 as Combat Support Squadron flying CT-133 Silver Stars and CE-144 Challengers. The squadron was a mix of two separate units. The bulk of the aircraft came from No. 414 Squadron in North Bay, which was split in two with half of No. 414 Squadron moving to 19 Wing Comox BC and the other half forming the nucleus of the reformed No. 434 Squadron at 12 Wing. The remainder of No. 434 Squadron's complement was completed by absorbing aircraft and personnel from VU 32, which was inactive. The primary role of the squadron was to provide air targets and electronic warfare support for other air force fighter squadrons, naval ships and army anti-aircraft batteries. No. 434 Challengers also flew maritime reconnaissance patrols, partly compensating for the loss of the Tracker in that role. In May 1995, No. 434 Squadron was transferred to 14 Wing Greenwood NS, contributing to the downsizing of 12 Wing, which became solely involved with Sea King operations.