Aviation of World War II

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Royal Canadian Air Force in WWII

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Agreement, between Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand was laid out on October 10, 1939 and on December 17, 1939 the agreement was signed, converting Canada into what President Roosevelt of the United States later termed the "airdrome of democracy." The signing of the BCATP Agreement was a momentous event. Strategically it was important for three main reasons: it furnished air training fields that were reasonably close to the United Kingdom yet well beyond the reach of enemy aircraft, it provided a uniform system of training and laid the basis for the pooling of Commonwealth air power.

A total of twelve RCAF squadrons served within RAF Fighter Command during the war. Eight day fighter, three night-fighter and one intruder squadron.

No. 6 (RCAF) Group - The RCAF contributed 14 Bomber Squadrons to RAF Bomber Command.

In May 1943 three RCAF Bomber Squadrons, Nos. 420, 424, and 425, were removed from No. 6 Group equipped with Wellington Mk X aircraft and sent on loan to North Africa. There, as No. 331 (Medium Bomber) Wing, RCAF, they took part in the heavy bombardment in preparation for, and in support of Operation Torch, the allied landings in Sicily and Italy.

Coastal Command. Canada contributed large numbers of air and ground crews and, at one time or another, seven squadrons. Three of these squadrons, Nos. 404, 407 and 415 were shore based and Nos. 413, 422, 423 and 162 were equipped with flying boat aircraft.

In the summer of 1944 No. 437 Squadron was formed as part of RAF Transport Command and equipped with C-47 Dakota aircraft.

The summary of the work preformed by the squadrons at home and overseas is but one part of the story. The other part of the story concerns the 249,662 men and women who wore the uniform of the RCAF. Of this total, 93,844 personnel served overseas, the majority with the British rather than Canadian units. Nearly 60 percent of RCAF personnel were with RAF squadrons. The RCAF contribution to the Royal Air Force was significant . At least one in four fighter pilots in the Battle of Malta was from Canada as did one-fifth of Coastal Command's Aircrew. At the end of the war, almost a quarter of Bomber Command's aircrew were from the RCAF.

The RCAF's Roll of Honour contains the names of 17,100 personnel who gave their lives in the service of Canada. Of these fatalities 14,544 occurred overseas - among them 12,266 on operations and 1906 in training accidents. The majority of overseas casualties were with Bomber Command.

Canadian Museum.

Regarding photo of 405 Sqn Halifax W7802 LQ-T.

Canadian Military Personnel Killed

First World War: 66,665

Second World War: 46,998


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   October 22 2012
   What's that? No mention of canadian aviation ?
   For your information Canada had at the end of the war the fourth largest air force. 249 000 men and women served in the air force during world war two. They were far more numerous in the R.A.F than they were in the R.C.A.F.! At the end of the war, they accounted for 25% of the bomber command personnel. 16 000 planes were built in Canada during the war. They trained countless airmen from Commonwealth , Europe and U.S.A.
   Or perhaps you simply did not know the existence of that country. Be a little more serious.
   -- VINCENT Lefebvre

   October 22 2012
   Dear, VINCENT!
   I was in your country some times...
   But we have not enough information for making the page. Possible you will help us in this question.
   Best wishes.

   October 10, 2012
   Unfortunately, there is not much information, and dear Vincent, with all due respect to him, did not honor us with additional information about the glorious pages of the history of his compatriots. If information is available, the page will be supplemented.

   August 01, 2020
   Well, here's the promised infa on the participation of the Canadian Air Force in 2 MV.
   Westland Wapiti Canadian Air Force patrolled the coast in search of submarines from September 1939 to April 1940 ...

   February 14, 2021
   Probably not mistaken if I assume that, according to Vincent's conviction, it was "countless number of pilots from the Commonwealth, Europe and the USA" that decided the outcome of the war against the Third Reich.
   By the way, in terms of the number of combat losses, it is the US losses that are most significant, although they are already less than losses from the coronavirus in the United States itself. Note that the participation of the USSR in the war is not even considered, although until the middle of 1944 the Soviet Union fought alone in Europe, liberated Berlin ... Well, now Canada has made its decisive contribution.
   Yes, I forgot, I beg your pardon, France also contributed, remember "Normandie-Niemen" ...