RCAF 415 Squadron Swordfish

Updated 25 November 2021

Jim Christie sent me this link.

Lots of information on that squadron on the Internet.

Click here.

415 Squadron has a long history.

No. 415 “Swordfish” Squadron was a RCAF Squadron, based in Britain and under RAF operational command. The squadron was formed on 20 August 1941 as a torpedo-bomber squadron within Coastal Command, operating a mix of Beauforts, Blenheims and Hampdens over the next two years. The squadron carried out anti-submarine patrols from February 1942 and shipping strikes from May, initially with bombs but later with torpedoes.

In September 1943 the squadron converted to the Leigh Light Wellington, and the Albacore, operating the two types in tandem. The Wellingtons would locate German E-Boats and the Albacores would attack them. Over the next year the squadron sank a number of E-Boats, enemy merchant ships and larger warships.

In July 1944 the squadron converted to the Halifax, and joined No.6 (RCAF) of Bomber Command, taking part in the strategic bombing offensive until the end of the war.

Jack McLean’s first mission was on August 8, 1944. You won’t find that anywhere on the Internet. 

He did a full tour: 32 missions. We might say Jack McLean is an unsung hero like so many of his comrades-in-arms

I was elated to meet Jack.

Jack was behind me at the Gatineau Air Show.

I did not notice him at first until my brother told me about him. I turned around and there he was.

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I had to shake hands with him and start talking about all the veterans I had met since 2010 when I starting writing blogs about them.

I talked so much that I was forgetting to watch the planes flying over head and letting Jack enjoy the fly-bys.

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I took some notes about his service in the RCAF while I was talking with him about the veterans I had met and how I came interested in Eugène Gagnon, a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot with RAF 23 Squadron based at Little Snoring.

Eugene Gagnon 1945

This is when his eyes lightened up. All the veterans I have met since 2010 had had the same reaction. All these veterans knew how Mosquito pilots and their navigators protected them from German fighters and from anti-aircraft guns stations.

Jack McLean still has his precious logbook.

He told me his pilot was Flying Officer Roberts. I will have to look him up…

Jack also told me he flew some of his missions on Willie the Wolf and that the panel of this Halifax bomber is in the War Museum in Ottawa.

Small world isn’t it?

I took a picture in 2008!

Ottawa aout 2008 Willie the Wolfcollection Pierre Lagacé
(Ottawa August 2008)

Willie the Wolf

Eugène Gagnon, a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot with RAF 23 Squadron based at Little Snoring?

Try Googling that.