438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS)
438 Squadron is a Total Force Air Reserve Squadron located at St. Hubert, Quebec.
Equipped with CH-146 Griffons , 438 Squadron supports the various militia elements in the region.
With a typical staffing level of over 60-percent reservists, 438 Squadron typifies the Total Force concept in which highly trained Reserve Forces are relied upon to augment regular CF units for international commitments and domestic operations.
438 Squadron had its roots as a fighter-bomber squadron during World War II. At that time, it flew Hurricanes and Typhoons. After the war, it was equipped with Vampires and Sabres , becoming 438 "City of Montreal" Squadron Reserve .
With unification, it took on the role of an Air Reserve Squadron based at CFB Montreal flying the CC-123 Otter and CH-136 Kiowa helicopter. In January 1996, the Kiowas were retired from service and that April the Squadron took delivery of its first CH-146 Griffon.
|438 Squadron Badge|
The 438 Squadron badge features a wildcat, representing the squadron's nickname. It's motto: "Going Down" is taken from the final instruction of the formation leader when Typhoon bombers of his unit were about to attack.
438 Squadron is located in St-Hubert, Quebec on the south shore of Montreal.
The history of 438 Squadron begins on 1 September 1934, when the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) authorized the formation of No 18 Bomber Squadron (non-permanent) in Montreal.
It was not until the spring of 1936 that the cadres of this unit began their real training at Saint-Hubert.
In 1937, the squadron was renamed 118 Squadron and two years later, after war was declared, the Squadron established its headquarters at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Squadron then flew the Atlas and the Lysander Aircraft.
War YearsIn August 1940, 118 Squadron was assigned a new role as a fighter squadron but only became so in fact on 1 December when Section A was stood up at Rockliffe and equipped with Goblin twin-seaters.
In July 1941, this section moved to Dartmouth and became the core of the new 118 Squadron. Before the end of the year, the Goblin had been replaced with the single-seater Kittyhawk .
It was not until June 1942 that the Squadron was sent to Annette Island, in Alaska, on the Pacific coast. A year later, in August 1943, 118 Squadron left this theatre of operations for Sea Island where it conducted dusk and dawn operations for two months. Then, in October, the Squadron returned to Nova Scotia, boarding ships in Halifax for a new theatre of operations.
It was at Digby, in England, that 118 Squadron was reborn as 438 Squadron. This time, equipped with the Hurricane Aircraft, it was to play a new role as a fighter and bomber squadron .
The Squadron later went through several quick-paced changes that would not end really until March 1944 at Hurn, in Hampshire, England, when it shared facilities at Base 143 with 439 and 440 squadrons. It was then equipped with the Typhoon fighter and bomber Aircraft.
On June 27, 438 Squadron was assigned to a makeshift base at Lantheuil, France. After a two-month tour at this location, the Squadron moved again to settle at Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, where it remained until March 1945.
It then returned to England for two weeks. The Squadron would be at Celle, northeast of Hanover, Germany, on Victory Day. It remained in this that country until 26 August 1945 when it was disbanded at Flensburg, Germany.
Only eight months after it was disbanded in Germany, 438 Squadron reformed its cadres as a fighter and bomber squadron of the Auxiliary Force, based in its native city of Montreal. The date was 15 April 1946, almost 10 years to the day since its first flight. Again, as in 1936, operational flying was done from Saint-Hubert. A year later, 438 Squadron became a fighter unit , flying the Vampirejet engine Aircraft.
On May 1, 1950, the wartime sponsoring of the Squadron by the City of Montreal became official and constitutes an historical fact. The City of Montreal granted Freedom of the City to the Squadron on its 50th anniversary
In 1982, 438 Squadron became a Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS) equipped with CH-136 Kiowas. In January 1996, the Kiowas are retired from service and in April 1996 the Squadron took delivery of its first CH-146 Griffon .
On 22 June 1996, 438 THS was the only operational squadron at Saint-Hubert.
Since then, its role has continued - to add its qualified.
438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron
PO BOX 100 STN BUREAU-CHEF
RICHELAIN QC J0J 1R0
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.