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No. 427 Squadron RCAF: Wikis


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The 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS) provides Canadian Special Operations Forces Command with an aviation capability to all units under its command. The squadron is based at CFB Petawawa, Ontario with a fleet of CH-146 Griffon helicopters.[1]



427 started as a bomber squadron formed at Croft, England on 7 November 1942 and spent its wartime entirely in England as a part of No. 6 Group RCAF, RAF Bomber Command. 427 flew Vickers Wellington Mk IIIs and Mk Xs from its first operational mission on 14 December 1942, a minelaying sortie to the Frisian Islands, until May of 1943 when it was relocated to Leeming, North Yorkshire. Re-equipped with Handley Page Halifax Mk V aircraft, the squadron flew intensely until early 1944 when it replaced its inventory with Halifax Mk III aircraft. This fleet saw the greatest number of missions and in slightly more than a year's time they were then replaced by Avro Lancaster bombers prior to the end of WWII. The Lancasters were used for Prisoner of War repatriation until the end of May, 1946. 427 was stood down on 1 June, 1946.[2]

1 August 1952 saw 427 stood up at RCAF Station St Hubert (a suburb of modern day Montreal, Quebec, Canada) as 427 Fighter Squadron, flying Canadair Sabres. 7 March 1953 saw 427 as a unit in No. 3 (Fighter) Wing at Zweibrücken, flying CF-104 Starfighters in the nuclear strike role.[3]

15 December 1962, 427 was stood down from its nuclear strike role and two days later, was stood back up as 427 Strike Attack Squadron.

On 1 February 1968, unification integrated 427 into the new Canadian Forces. The squadron was again disbanded on 01 July 1970.[3]

427 came back into existence as 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at CFB Petawawa, where it remains today.[4]

1 February 2006 saw command of 427 transferred to Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, as it took on a full-time role of special operations aviation support. Shortly thereafter, it was renamed as, "427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (SOAS)."[1]

Aircraft flown by 427 Squadron

Battle honours

427 Squadron was awarded the following battle honours, which are carried on their standard:[4]

  • English Channel and North Sea 1943-1945
  • Baltic 1944-1945
  • Fortress Europe 1943-1944
  • France and Germany 1944-1945
  • Biscay 1944
  • Biscay Ports 1943-1944
  • Ruhr 1943-1945
  • Berlin 1943-1944
  • German Ports 1943-1945
  • Normandy 1944

See also




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