413 Transport and Rescue Squadron (TRS)
413 Transport and Rescue Squadron conducts search and rescue and airlift throughout an 1,800,000 square mile area in eastern Canada. The unit is made up of approximately 200 personnel including aircrew, an Aircraft maintenance section and administrative support.
As the primary air search and rescue unit on Canada's East Coast, 413 Squadron crews cover an area extending from the south of Nova Scotia , north to Iqaluit on Baffin Island as far west as Quebec City and east out to the middle of the Atlantic.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Halifax (JRCC) operationally controls one Hercules and four Cormorant Aircraft for primary SAR response. 413 Squadron has crews on standby 24 hours a day to respond to marine vessels or Aircraft in distress, to carry out medical evacuations, or search for missing persons year round.
413 Squdadron has an intimate working relationship with the non-profit Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) in the Maritimes and Newfoundland/Labrador. Both the Hercules and the Cormorant carry out annual visits to each of the zones in the Halifax Search and Rescue Region to assist in the training of CASARA member as spotters.
413 Squadron is also tasked by 1 Canadian Air Division to provide one Hercules for global strategic transport . Missions include humanitarian airlift and support of other units of the Canadian Forces. Generally the destinations are in North America, the Caribbean, or Western Europe, but could be anywhere in the world.
The Cormorant helicopter is also occasionally tasked to provide local transport for VIPs.
In front of a maple leaf and elephant's head affronte. The elephant represents the squadrons operations from Ceylon (Sri Lanka), while the motto suggests its function.
Ad Vigilamus Undis (We watch the waves)
Search and Rescue Units
- 424 Squadron (Trenton, Ontario)
- 442 Squadron (Comox, British Columbia)
- 417 Combat Support Squadron (Cold Lake, Alberta)
- 439 Combat Support Squadron (Bagotville, Quebec)
- 444 Combat Support Squadron (Goose Bay, Labrador)
Search and Rescue Organizations
- Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Halifax (JRCC)
- Canadian Coast Guard
- Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA)
- Canadian Mission Control Center (CMCC)
- National Search and Rescue Secretariat
The formation of 413 Squadron occurred in Stranaer, Scotland, on 1 July 1941, as a Coastal Command unit equipped with the Catalina Flying Boat. At this time, the Squadron helped protect the vital North Atlantic convoys from attack by submarines and surface raiders, as well as performing reconnaissance flights and air-sea rescue missions.
After Japan's entry into the war, the Squadron moved to Ceylon, becoming operational on 2 April 1942. Two days later, S/L L.J. Birchall and his crew were flying a reconnaissance mission when a large Japanese naval force was sighted heading for Ceylon. S/L Birchall's wireless message, warning the British forces, is credited with saving the island (hence his title: "Saviour of Ceylon") S/L Birchall's Aircraft was shot down on the mission with he and his surviving crew taken prisoner.
After the Japanese attacks on Ceylon, the Squadron settled into a routine of anti-submarine patrols , and convoy escorts . In May 1943, the squadron re-opened the BOAC airfreight service between Ceylon and Australia, which had been interrupted by the Japanese.
The Squadron was disbanded after the war, and reformed in April 1949.
Based in Rockliffe, Ontario, 413 Survey and Transport Squadron performed aerial photography and survey support in Canada's north. Many of the topographical maps of northern Canada in existence today, are a direct result of 413 Squadron's photo survey efforts.
The squadron was disbanded for a second time on 1 November 1950.
On 1 August 1951, 413 Squadron reformed in Bagotville, Quebec. Training began on Vampire jets, which were replaced by Sabres a few months later. After a year of training, and a tour of Eastern Canada to show off the new jets, the squadron was posted to Zweibruchen, Germany in April 1953. 413 Squadron remained a part of Canada's European NATO commitment for the next four years.
May 1st, 1957 saw the disbandment of the unit in Europe and its reformation in Bagotville as an All Weather Fighter Squadron .
As one of nine CF-100 squadrons helping to defend North America, 413 Squadron compiled an impressive flying record. It held the Steinhardt Trophy as the most efficient squadron in Air Defence Command for two years; 1957-58 and 1958-59.
On 2 January 1962, another chapter of 413 Squadron's history was brought to a close when the squadron was disbanded for a third time.
413 Squadron began its present primary role of Search and Rescue (SAR) on 8 July 1968, after 103 Rescue Unit was moved from CFB Greenwood to CFB Summerside and renamed 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron. The squadron was equipped with Labrador helicopters and Albatross amphibious Aircraft until 1970, when the Buffalo replaced the "Albert" as the primary fixed-wing SAR Aircraft.
On 19 June 1991, due to the announced closure of CFB Summerside, CFB Greenwood once again became the home of Search and Rescue operations in the Maritimes.
413 Squadron Battle Honours
- Atlantic 1941-43
- Ceylon 1942
- Eastern Waters 1942-44