412 Transport Squadron


No. 412 Transport Squadron is one of three Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) transport squadrons attached to Ottawa, Ontario. The squadron operates with a strength of about 29 out of the Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr. Annex. The Annex officially opened on January 11, 1995.[1]

412 Transport Squadron
No. 412 Squadron RCAF badge.jpg
Country Canada
BranchCanada Royal Canadian Air Force
RoleVIP transport and general duties
Home stationOttawa, Ontario
Motto(s)Promptus Ad Vindictam
("Swift to avenge")
Battle honours
  • Defence of Britain 1941–44
  • English Channel and North Sea 1942–43
  • Fortress Europe 1941–44
  • Dieppe
  • France and Germany 1944–45
  • Normandy 1944
  • Arnhem
  • Rhine
Squadron BadgeA falcon volant
Aircraft flown
TransportCC-144 Challenger

No. 412 Squadron began as a unit of the RCAF during the Second World War.


A Spitfire Mark IXE of No. 412 Squadron taxies out for a sortie at RAF Volkel Volkel Air Base in October 1944

Second World WarEdit

No. 412 (Transport) Squadron was formed in 1949, but traces its history back to two separate squadrons: Number 12 Communications Flight at RCAF Station Ottawa and 412 (Fighter) Squadron, which was formed at RAF Digby, England on 30 June 1941.[2]

John Gillespie Magee, the author of the famous aviation poem, High Flight, was serving with 412 Squadron when he was killed in a mid-air collision in his Spitfire in 1941.[3]

No. 412 Squadron (squadron code 'VZ'[4]) was equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire Vb and served at a number of RAF Stations in the United Kingdom [4] In October 1943, the squadron joined RCAF 126 Wing, part of the RAF Second Tactical Air Force. It was re-equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire IXb in November and began operating over northern France in preparation for the Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings. It was during late 1943 that the ace George "Screwball" Beurling scored his last air victory while serving with the squadron.[5] On July 17, 1944, 412 Squadron pilot Charley Fox seriously injured Field Marshal Erwin Rommel during a strafing run.[6]

The squadron was moved to France in June 1944, days after the Allied landings and operated on continental Europe for the remainder of the war. The squadron was based at Wunstorf, Germany when the war ended in May 1945.[4]


After the Second World War, Number 12 Communications Flight was reassigned as 412 Squadron on 1 April 1947, and renamed 412 (Composite) Squadron based at Rockcliffe. In 1955, the 412 moved to Uplands. In the late 1970s a sub-unit was established at CFB Lahr in West Germany. This operation closed in 1993.

In 1994, CFB Ottawa (Uplands) closed and 412's fleet was moved to a civilian hangar at Ottawa International Airport. All aircraft are maintained by Transport Canada on behalf of the Canadian Forces.

Current roleEdit

Today No 412 Squadron provides transport for the Queen of Canada, the Governor General of Canada, high-level government officials, and foreign VIPs while they are in Canada.

Aircraft operatedEdit

Aircraft previously used by 412:

Aircraft currently used by 412:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ DND - Canada's Air Force - History Retrieved 2015-12-15
  2. ^ "412 Transport Squadron". CMP: Directorate of History and Heritage. 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  3. ^ "412 Squadron". raf-lincolnshire.info. 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "No. 412 Squadron". canadianwings.com. 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Combat Reports, Second World War: Image details, Beurling, Flight Lieutenant, 30 December 1943." DocumentsOnline, The National Archives. Retrieved: 29 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Spitfire pilot 'Flying Fox' remembered for veterans' work". CBC. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  7. ^ "412 Transport Squadron". Royal Canadian Air Force. 2013. Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.

Further readingEdit

  • 412 (Transport) Squadron, 1936-1995. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing. 1995. ISBN 1-56311-011-3.

External linksEdit

  • Flying Officer L.R.N. Ashley (August 1958). "The Story Of No. 412 Squadron" (PDF). The Roundel. Vol. 10, no. 6. Royal Canadian Air Force. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2014.

Coordinates: 45°19′21″N 075°40′09″W / 45.32250°N 75.66917°W / 45.32250; -75.66917 (CYOW)