RCAF 409 nfs

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the old Sage
May 20, 2004
Platonic Sphere
ok Canadian friends, time to do a little research if you would..........

looking for some information on the RCAF 409th Night hawks flying out of Lille in 44 and later into 1945 and what type of Mossie they were equipped with, also the total kills for the unit during WW 2 and flying bombs.

One crew on Dec. 27/28, 1944 claimed 2 Ju 88G's and damaged a third while the German craft were on evening ground attack missions during the Ardenne battles. Anyone have access to those combat reports possibly from the Canadian archiv's or where I could look for these ??

many thanks as usual

Erich ~
Apparently 409 Sqn. flew the Mosquito Mk.XIII, their total kill tally was 61.5, and they accounted for ten V-1's shot down. This is just based on a quick search of course. Still looking for the info on Dec 27/28 '44.


And from:

"When the German V-1 flying-bombs began buzzing across the Channel in June 1944, two RCAF Mosquito squadrons were detailed to patrol the night skies as part of the first line of defence. No. 409 Squadron destroyed ten flying-bombs during the comparatively short time it was engaged on this work."
Skim thanks for that. I see there might be a possibility that two Mossie members that I am looking into still live in Nova Scotia. If so may I send you a private with their phone numbers that you may contact them to see if this is a reality ? It might be just surviving familie only but then again the pilot and radar op could still be with us. The pilot in this case was an ace with 5 kills

Erich said:
I see there might be a possibility that two Mossie members that I am looking into still live in Nova Scotia. If so may I send you a private with their phone numbers that you may contact them to see if this is a reality ?
Absolutely. I'd be very interested indeed to find out myself. :D

I've had no luck yet finding the specific info you seek on Dec.27/28 1944, but I'm still hunting. I'll see if some of the fellas at the Legion might know how to best go about tracking down that kind of info.
I realize this is an old thread , but my father was an engine mechanic in 409 Sq. in WW2. I can't remember the exact model of Mossie the used but it had the " bulb" radar nose.
There exists a photo of "A" for Able flying through the arch of the Eiffel Tower with very little clearance.
Now THAT would be a picture to see!
Interviewed several 409 RCAF Sq pilots and R/Os for a series of Beau articles I once did. No info about the 27/28 Dec 44 date unfortunately (I realize this is an old thread.)

However, didn't know whether to start a new thread or piggyback on this one.
Seeking info regarding a Ju 290 shootdown on the evening of the same day - 27/28 Dec 44. That was the last US Beau kill.

Anyone have info about the Ju and/or its mission?
Somewhere I have a newspaper clipping of it that is about 10 years old .
If I can find it , I will relay it .
That photo is in the Squadron History book that all members got after the War.
My fathers book is still in my mothers possesion.
It gives a list of all the kills made and by who !
I'd like to see that article if possible. also the Ju 290 info. as well. will check on the Ju 88G downing further ..........

keep us posted of the findings right here if you would please
I'm sure Erich's wanting to see the article was about the 'Thru the Eiffel Tower' story (I'd like to see that as well!), but here's a story of RCAF night fighters of 409 Squadron (RCAF):

This is an excerpt from a series, hence RCAF and some other references that were spelled out earlier are not in this.

"Win Some, Lose Some"

William "Bill" Vincent joined the RCAF as soon as he graduated from school in 1940. Another product of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, he won his pilot wings in March 1942. His graduating class was another where 90 percent of the pilots were made NCOs and 10 percent were commissioned. They were also all graduates of the twin-engine course.
Bill recalls that most of his class was posted to England and into Bomber Command since their arrival coincided with the beginnings of that Command's introduction of four-engined aircraft and the establishment of many new bomber squadrons.
He, however, was posted to nightfighters. He was introduced to the Beaufighter in the Mk II Merlin-powered version at No. 54 OTU at Charter Hall. This version had an even greater reputation for ground looping due to the longer nacelles needed to contain the Merlins as compared to the shorter, Hercules radials. His most memorable flight in the Mk II had nothing to do with ground operations however.
In Bill's words, "I had about 20 hours in the Beau and was out practicing A.I. (airborne interception) intercepts. We would fly out in pairs, one aircraft acting as the target for a while, then swap roles and conduct our own intercepts on the other aircraft and under GCI (ground control intercept) control.
"On Friday, November 13, 1942, I had a mid-air collision with another Mk II. I was acting as the target and the 'fighter' was vectored onto me. As he completed his curve pursuit intercept he did not complete the breakaway properly. He was supposed to pull off to either the left or the right. Instead, he came right underneath my aircraft and pulled up right in front of me.
"He misjudged his pull up and my starboard engine chopped off his left elevator. He was trying to throw me into his slipstream, which would make it very difficult to maintain control of my aircraft. As it was, the collision and prop wash flipped me upside down and it took a lot of altitude to regain control.
"The other guy was unable to regain any control and went straight in. Neither he nor his nav got out.
"I was having my own troubles just then, however. The propeller blades of the Mk II were wooden, variable pitch ones. When the accident occurred, the blades just shattered and wood went flying everywhere. Fortunately, none broke through the cockpit plexiglass. If it had, I would have been skewered.
"I lost a lot of height getting my aircraft back to level flight. I had to watch not over-G'ing the plane because my starboard engine had been bent sharply off center. The supports and brackets were really stressed and I didn't think the engine would stay on the wing. It did, however, and I was able to recover and land.
"They conducted an investigation and I was found not to be at fault. Seems the other pilot had a history of such 'pull ups' but had never been reported. This time he cut it too close and killed himself. Unfortunately, he took his navigator in with him and almost my crew as well."
Bill finished his night fighter training and was subsequently posted to No. 409 Squadron (RCAF) located at an airfield named Coleby Grange just south of the city of Lincoln in central England. The squadron was equipped with Mk VI Beaufighters. In December 1942, Bill was commissioned as a pilot officer. As he puts it, "I wasn't commissioned because I was exceptional but rather because Canada wanted to 'Canadianize' their overseas squadrons by eliminating or replacing the RAF and other Commonwealth squadron members in the Canadian units. No matter, it put me on a more equal footing with my Canadian nav, who already was a commissioned officer."
Due to the decline in relative numbers of the Luftwaffe and the growth in numbers of night fighter squadrons, 409 had relatively little trade in their sector.
Lacking said enemy activity, in April 1944, the squadron moved to the south to the famous night fighter field of West Malling. In addition to a new airfield, the Canadians were switching to a new aircraft, the Mosquito and designated as a D-Day invasion squadron.
On that day, June 6 1944 and after, there was plenty of enemy activity associated with the invasion of France. Numerous Ju 88 and Ju 188 aircraft were active laying mines in the invasion beach waters and the squadron racked up an impressive number of kills against these aircraft. During this time, V-1 'Flying Bombs' were also being fired from the Calais area towards London; these pilotless aircraft often flew right over 409's airfield and disrupted squadron activity transiting to and from their patrol area.
Eventually the squadron was moved from West Malling to RAF Hunsden, northeast of London. They were assigned against the V-1s for about a month. Although 409 enjoyed little success intercepting the V-1s, they did a brisk business against the pesky minelayers. Crews were obviously eager to join in during this burst of trade.
By this time in the war, Bill recalls that it took six kills to earn a DFC. He never earned a DFC, but he did achieve one kill. On the evening of June 26, 1944 Bill and his nav were on patrol over the Normandy beaches. A GCI site located on a barge near the French town of Fecamp picked up an intruder flying the same profile as earlier minelayers and vectored Bill onto it.
The GCI controller continued giving vectors for the crew to steer until the nightfighter's radar made contact with the bogey (an unindentified radar contact). Picking up the chase, Bill's navigator brought Bill into visual range. All A.I. intercepts had to go to a visual identification to avoid shooting down a friendly aircraft. Bill gained such a 'visual,' sighting a Ju 188.
Bill picks up the story, "He was just turning towards the beachhead when I laid on some deflection and gave him a short two second burst of cannon fire which hit him in the port engine near the wing root and he went down, creating a large fireball when the aircraft hit the water.
"The GCI controller radioed me that he saw the Jerry hit the water."
"Recently an RAF officer researching the fates of German aircraft that failed to return from missions against the invasion and beaches contacted me about this engagement. Evidently some of the Ju's crew did bail out and were fished out of the water by the Royal Navy. They spent the rest of the war as POWs.
"This officer was able to pinpoint the exact latitude and longitude as well as the precise date and time of the kill - one minute past midnight, June 27, 1944!"
In July 1944, Bill was tour expired and was posted to No 54 nightfighter OTU for a rest. It was here that he became reacquainted with the Beaufighter. He instructed new crops of eager crews in the aerial tactics required for successful nightfighting. He went later back to operations with 410 Squadron (RCAF) in France again flying Mosquitoes. He flew from numerous fields there and in Belgium, Holland, and Germany until the end of the war.
Bill remained in the RCAF after the war eventually rising to the rank of Major General. He remained an active military pilot until his retirement in 1976. He was a driving force in the establishment of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a joint US-Canadian air and space defense of the northern hemisphere. Since his military career, he has been very active in local government- being elected an alderman for his hometown of Comox for 18 consecutive years, helped with numerous charities, and served as Chairman, Canadian Fighter Pilots Association, Western Region
I used to correspond with a fellow who processed the flight films of the bomb runs and gun tapes, unfortunatley he passed away a few years ago, i might have some info on where they were stationed that sorta thing will have a look
Night fighter may I ask what is above the radome and in front of the cockpit-colour ? or is it another tarp ? also the motiff which must be a personal one on the left side / pilot/radar op names ?

great pic. Is your father still with us ?

Erich ~
I am going to have to dig but think Mark helped me with the combat reports from Britten and Fownes.

1 Ju 88G-6 was shot down by the 409sq crew near Kaldenkirchen. Ju 88G-6 from 3./NJG 2, werk nummer 620591. 3 man crew, two wounded the thrid bailed out. German report mentions it was from Flak.
1 Ju 88G-6 shot down by Flak hits through German reports but found it was from a Mossie Night fighter. Ju 88G-6 coded: 4R+OH from 1./NJG 2 shot down near Grathem. The pilot and rear gunner were KIA, the Radar operator bailed out and captured by the English.

27/28 of December was a bad night for the German night fighter force with some 9 losses, Bf 110G-4 and Ju 88G variants. Four of the losses are for missing a/c and crews. As most combat for the Germans in the Ardenne was night ground attack to aide the German advance or retreat on the ground.
Hi Eric , I think it is just another tarp , as the cockpit is tarpped.
I could never make out exactly what the figure / logo was but above it is 3 Kills and 2 Probables.
Sorry to say my father passed on 20 years ago ,but I still remember some of the stories he told !
so sorry to hear of your father passing ! please if anything comes to mind on the squadron please post
seeing a copy or a listing of kills, probs and damages for the squadron would be choice. If dates are included we may be able to match up German losses to Squadron crews
I certainly will do Eric....just bear with me , I seem to have misplaced a bunch of material.
I have spent the last couple of years researching my grandfathers WW1 history ,so things got put away some where ??

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