430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS)
430 Squadron is located at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, Quebec.
Equipped with CH-146 Griffons, the Squadron supports 5e Groupe Brigade Mécanisé du Canada .
The "Silver Falcon" Squadron has an interesting history . During the war years, it served as a fighter reconnaissance squadron. After the war, it reformed in North Bay as a Fighter Squadron, equipped with F-86 Sabres . It was eventually transferred to Zwiebrucken, Germany where it flew the CF-104 Starfighter.
With unification , it was assigned to CFB Valcartier as a tactical helicopter squadron and equipped with the CH-135 Twin Huey and CH-136 Kiowa .
On January 1 1971, the Squadron was reformed at CFB Valcartier as 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron. With the phase out of the Twin Huey and Kiowa helicopters, the Squadron acquired the CH-146 Griffon helicopter in 1994.
Among its international missions was its role in the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) . Equipped with five CH-146 Griffon helicopters and two Mi-8 (Russian civilian helicopters under contract in support of the mission), the Squadron provided the UN force with casualty evacuation, a day and night mission capability, and a medium airlift transportation capability.
|430 Squadron Badge|
The 430 Squadron badge depicts a Gyrfalcon's head in front of a sun in splendour. The Gyrfalcon, found in northern Canada, is noted for its exceptional and alert fighting ability. The sun in splendours used to depict the squadrons role of fighter reconnaissance. (the bringing of light or information to the troops).
CELERITER CERTOQUE - "Swiftly and Surely"
430 Squadron is located in Valcartier, Quebec, approximately 25 kms north of Quebec City.
430 Squadron was formed at Hartford Bridge, England, on 1 January 1943. The Squadron was then part of 39 Reconnaissance Wing in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). In those early years pilots, most of them Canadian, flew the P-40 Tomahawk.
In the spring of 1943, the unit was equipped with P-51 Mustang I and began training with the Army for its role as a Reconnaissance Fighter Squadron. Crew training aside, most of the first year was spent on "Rhubarb" missions, a code word for ground attacks against vital enemy communication and transport points, such as transmission pylons and rail convoys. Air photo missions were also flown over V1 and V2 launch sites.
In 1944, preparations began for the Allied landing on the beaches of Normandy and Operation OVERLORD. The mission of 430 Squadron was to take aerial shots of Normandy, from the Cherbourg peninsula to the Pas de Calais. On D-Day, 430 Squadron supported the 2nd British Army by providing it with tactical information.
After the landing in Normandy, 430 Squadron moved across the Channel to remain as close as possible to its sector of operations.
In the fall of 1944, the Squadron was equipped with the Spitfire XIV Aircraft. 430 Squadron continued to provide ground forces with relevant tactical information and to direct artillery fire until May 1945. Finally, on August 7, 1945, the Squadron was disbanded at Lüneburg, Germany .
Over a period of more than 31 months, 97 pilots served with the unit and 17 received the flight insignia of the operational squadrons for having completed a full tour of duty.
Nineteen members of the Squadron were killed in action and three were held as prisoners of war. Training also claimed three lives.
Pilots of 430 Squadron were awarded the following decorations during the 1939-1945 War: nine Distinguished Flying Cross, one French Croix de Guerre and an American Air Medal.
In November 1951, the Squadron was reformed at North Bay, Ontario, and designated to serve overseas. It was then equipped with the F-86 Sabre . In 1952, the unit moved to Grostenquin, France, to become part of 2 Fighter Wing, where it remained until May 1963 when it was disbanded once more. Shortly after, in September 1963, the Squadron was reactivated.
Equipped with the CF-104 Starfighter , it moved to Zweibrucken, Germany, in February 1965, where it remained until the closing of the base in 1969.
Squadron personnel and equipment were then moved to Lahr, West Germany, serving at that location until 1 May 1970, when the Squadron was again disbanded.
430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS) was finally reactivated at Valcartier, Quebec on 1 January 1971. In March of that year, the first CH-135 Twin Huey helicopters were delivered, followed six months later by the CH-136 Kiowa.
The Squadron remained as it was until July 1992 when the CH-135 Twin Hueys were transferred and replaced with CH-136 Kiowas . On 27 July 1995, the Kiowa flew for the last time at 430 THS when 16 Aircraft left Valcartier to fly to Trenton, Ontario, their final destination. In October of that year, the Squadron took delivery of 16 new CH-146 Griffon .
On 25 June 1977, after 25 years of accumulated service, 430 THS received its standard on which appears its Battle Honours:
- Fortress Europe 1943-44
- Normandy 1944
- France and Germany 1944-45
- Arnhem, and Rhine.
Today, the Squadron has a complement Regular Force members and Reservists. Its current role is close to its original mandate, namely to provide tactical aviation support to land forces.
Over the years, the FALCONS have acquired a vast experience in the Arctic and as participants in United Nations peacekeeping missions and aid to the civil power operations.
430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron
PO BOX 1000 STN FORCES
COURCELETTE QC G0A 4Z0
1 Wing Public Affairs Officer 1 Wing Headquarters
Sergeant KS Smith CD Building
Canadian Forces Base Kingston
PO Box 17000 Stn Forces
Kingston ON K7K 7B4
Telephone: 613-541-5010 ext 8264.