RAF/RCAF 417 Squadron

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Master Sergeant
Greetings ladies and gentlemen.

I just found this website. Thought it could interrest someone...
:arrow: http://www.budslawncare.com/417/

There is a song on this website that was written about this squadron upon its disbandment in 1945...

417 Lament :

[Written upon 417 Squadron disbandment in 1945, sung to the tune of "Lily Marlene"]

We are a few Canadians, here in Italy, Working with the RAF boys, to win victory; Going around with a vacant stare, We have no clues, but do we care? We're the riff-raff of the Air Force, And we're going home you see. The poor old Royal Air Force are getting slightly cheesed, Because we look so scruffy, and never try to please; Buttons never polished, minus caps, We don't say "Sir" to those dear chaps. We're the riff-raff of the Air Force. But you ain't seen nothing yet. We haven't much equipment, very little kit, I guess you think we flogged it, that's not the 'arf of it; We lost it all in battle, long ago- From Sicily, across the Po. We're the Screwballs of the Air Force. But you ain't seen nothing yet. What a scruffy outfit don't you all agree? Just how we beat Jerry, it's very hard to see. We even like,to have our tea, at ten o'clock, and half past three. They call us NAAFI cowboys, We're nuts it's plain to see. And when we left Treviso to start our journey home, They piled us all on cattle cars, what a way to roam, That's what we get when we volunteer To leave our homes for over here, We wish that we were Zombies, And back in Canada We always are in trouble with the RAF, Because we don't like discipline; we don't go for that stuff. So we go on our merry way, And drive them nuts, from day to day. We're the Screwballs of the Air Force, And we're attached to DAF.Thanks, you lucky people who are gathered here, We'll act on your suggestion, and let you buy the beer. Now that you have seen all of us, You may not like our ugly puss, Yet you must all agree, folks, That we're ridiculous. --- Supporting Liberty and Justice
No 417 (City of Windsor) Squadron

Formed at Charmy Down on 27 November 1941, the squadron soon received Spitfires and began working up and was called to readiness on 12 February 1942, as part of Operation Fuller, the attempt to stop the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst sailing up The Channel. Later that month it moved to Tain in Scotland, but in March it was withdrawn from operations in preparation of a move overseas.

Arriving in Egypt in June 1942 after a trip around the Cape, the pilots where initially attached to the Aircraft Delivery Unit, whilst the ground personnel serviced US Bombers in the Area. The squadron re-assembled on 6 September 1942, equipped with Hurricanes and immediately began defensive duties in the Canal Zone.

In October, Spitfire began to arrive and by February 1943, it was fully equipped. It used these to carry out offensive patrols in support of the 8th Army advancing west and following the Allied victory in north Africa, the squadron moved to Luqa in Malta in July. From here it covered the invasion of Sicily, moving to the island itself on 13 July. It was now able to support the invasion of Italy, to where it moved in September. Following the Anzio landings, the squadron flew high level cover to the re-supply convoys.

In June it returned to the 8th Army area of operations and continued to provide both fighter and close air support to the ground forces as they advanced northwards until the end of the war. It was disbanded at Treviso on 1 July 1945

Motto: Supporting Liberty and Justice

Battle Honours
Defence of Britain 1942, Egypt and Libya 1942-43, North Africa 1943, Sicily 1943, Italy 1943-45 Salerno, Anzio and Nettuno, Gustav Line, Gothic Line.

Squadron Codes used: -
AN Nov 1941 - Jul 1945

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