402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron
The mission of 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron is to fly and maintain the Canadian designed and produced de Havilland Canada CT-142 Dash-8 trainer in support of 1 Canadian Forces Flying Training School.
402 Squadron's tasks include the conduct of both Air Combat Systems Officer and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator training flights, the maintenance and management of the Squadron's four CT-142 Dash-8 aircraft and the operational training of Dash-8 aircrew and aircraft technicians. 402 Squadron also provides maintenance support to transient aircraft servicing for visiting and transiting military aircraft.402 Squadron is a "Total Force" Squadron, comprising a mixture of both Regular Force and Air Reserve personnel.The 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron Pipes and Drums is a volunteer military band, and is a popular attraction at national and international events across North America.
|402 Squadron Badge|
The badge of 402 Squadron shows a standing grizzly bear totem of the North Pacific Coast Indians. The grizzly bear holds a prominent place in Indian mythology and is believed to have supernatural powers.
WE STAND ON GUARD
402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron is one of the oldest Air Force flying squadrons. Formed at Winnipeg on October 5, 1932 as No. 12 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, the unit operated bi-planes such as the de Havilland Gypsy Moth and Avro Tutor. As a reserve squadron, summer camps, weekend and weeknight parades were the norm. Numbering of the reserve squadrons changed in November 1937 when the unit's designation changed to "112 Army Co-operation Squadron".
The Squadron was re-equipped with the Westland Lysander in 1939 in preparation for overseas duty. The "City of Winnipeg" squadron proudly was one of the first two RCAF squadrons to deploy overseas. Before departure, the mayor of Winnipeg presented 112 with its colours and officially named it "City of Winnipeg" Squadron.
With the fall of France, army co-op units were no longer required but there was a dire need for fighter squadrons. Britain was about to be tested as never before. The Battle of Britain was seen by Germany as a precursor to invasion. 112 Squadron was in the UK during the Battle but did not participate. The Lysanders were not needed. Fighters were and on December 11, 1940, 112 became No. 2 Canadian Squadron, re-equipping with the classic Hawker Hurricane.
Finally on March 1, 1941 while stationed at Digby, Lincolnshire in England the unit became No. 402 Squadron.
402 (also known as the "Winnipeg Bears") initially carried out air defence operations from stations at Digby and then Martlesham Heath in England, Ayr, Scotland and Rochfort, England. It was at Rochfort in August of 1941 that the Squadron commenced offensive operations over Occupied Europe. 402 conducted Hurricane bomb-carrying trials, and then employed the Hurricanes in the fighter-bomber role until March 1942. The Squadron holds the destinction of being the first RCAF unit to carry out an offensive operation over enemy held territory in the Second World War.
In March 1942, 402 Squadron was re-equipped with Supermarine Spitfire fighters, the basic type of aircraft the Squadron would operate for the rest of the war. 402 Squadron participated in the largest single air battle of the war over Dieppe, France, earning a Battle Honour on August 19, 1942.
The Squadron returned to Digby in March of 1943 and continued fighter and fighter-bomber operations with the Spitfires, including covering the OPERATION OVERLORD D-Day landings on 6 June, 1944 and conducting "Anti Diver" operations against V-1 flying bombs in August of the same year.
Moving to continental Europe in September of 1944, 402 advanced with the Allied forces. The Squadron was very active during this period, conducting fighter-bomber and reconnaissance missions over France, Belgium and the Netherlands before being disbanded at Fassberg, Germany on July 1, 1945.
402 was re-formed in 1946 as 402 (Fighter Bomber) Squadron at Winnipeg's Stevenson Field and on 18 September 1950, the title 'City of Winnipeg' was again added to the squadron name. In the immediate post-war years, the Squadron flew the North American Mustang fighter, the North American Harvard trainer, the de Havilland Vampire jet fighter and the Canadair T-33 Silver Star jet trainer.
In 1957, the squadron gave up its fighter role and became 402 Transport Squadron (Auxiliary). 402 flew the Beech C-45 Expeditor and the de Havilland Canada Otter transport aircraft before being equipped with the CC-129 Dakota transport. 402 would be the last Canadian Air Force Squadron to fly the "Dak," operating the aircraft until its retirement in 1989.
Equipped with the CT-142 Dash-8 navigation trainer and the CC-142 Dash-8 transport aircraft, the Squadron was re-designated 402 Squadron on 1 April, 1993. Today the Squadron flies in support of the Canadian Forces Air navigation School using four CT-142 "Gonzo" Dash-8 navigation trainers.
Defence of Britain 1941-44, Fortress Europe 1941-44, English Channel and North Sea 1941-45, Arnhem, Rhine, Dieppe, France and Germany 1944-45, Normandy 1944.
De Havilland Gypsy Moth
North American Harvard
North American P-51 Mustang
de Havilland Vampire
Beech CT-128 (C-45) Expeditor
Canadair CT-133 Silver Star
de Havilland CC-123 Otter
Douglas CC-129 Dakota
de Havilland CC/CT-142 Dash 8