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No. 418 Squadron

Nickname: City of Edmonton, Eskimo
Motto: PIYAUTAILILI - "Defend even unto death"

Battle Honours:
Defence of Britain 1944, Fortress Europe 1942-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Normandy 1944 Rhine

Its Badge, an Eskimo on an ice-floe holding a harpoon. The Eskimo holding a harpoon to symbolize the function of the unit which stands on guard on Canada's northern frontiers. The ice with its reflection is to symbolize the northland.

Background: The War Years

From its very inception, it was determined that 418 would be unique. As the RCAF's only Intruder Squadron, it was formed in 1941 when Canada was asked to come to the defence of England following the near defeat that was called the "Battle of Britain". With the night fall, 418 crews manned their Douglas Boston aircraft and prepared for a deadly hunt. They did not fly in the protective swarms as did the other fighter or bomber crews; rather they ventured alone into the night's sky to patrol the perimeters of the enemy's airfields and shoot him down as he began his night raids. 418's fame began to mount in 1943 when they converted to the DeHavilland Mosquito. They were the only Canadian unit given free rein to "intrude" into the enemy's lair from the fjords of Norway, through the Mediterranean, to the steppes of Eastern Europe. They performed a multitude of roles that was unparalleled in the history of aerial warfare. These ranged from dropping money and supplies for clandestine operations, to the lightning quick strikes at grass-top height against railway yards and airfields. They were also in the fore in the defence against the new scourge of the civilian population - the V1 and V2 rockets. It was during this period that 418 was adopted by the City of Edmonton and became known as the 418 City of Edmonton Squadron. The enemy was promptly notified of this change when bricks wrapped in issues of the Edmonton Journal were dropped during one of the subsequent raids. With the war's end, 418 was the top fighter squadron in the RCAF and its units score was one of the highest in all the Allied Air Forces. The pilots and navigators were referred to as the "finest in the World".

Representative Aircraft

  • Boston III (November 1941 - July 1943)
  • Mosquito II (March 1943 - November 1944)
  • Mosquito VI (November 1944 - August 1945)

Background: The Cold War

A few short months after the war, the squadron was called back to service now flying the B-25 Mitchell in the tactical bomber role from the Edmonton Municipal Airport. At the time the majority of Canada's air defence was made up of reservists and 418 was no exception. Students, businessmen and professionals in the Edmonton area gave up their spare time to protect Canada's north. By 1958, defence cuts reduced the squadron's activities to a transport role flying the Single Otter and C-45 Expeditor from RCAF station Namao. Its duties ranged from aid to the civil power to aerial re-supply.

Representative Aircraft

  • B-25 Mitchell
  • CSR-123 Otter
  • Harvard
  • Expeditor

Background: Unification

Upon unification of the forces the squadron converted to the DeHavilland Twin Otter. With the advent of the Twin Otter, the Squadron's role was redefined as search and rescue and light tactical transport.

Representative Aircraft

  • CC-138 Twin Otter

Background: The Present

No. 418 City of Edmonton Squadron is currently inactive. The CC-138 Twin Otter's flying with No. 440 Red Bat squadron out of Yellowknife, NWT.

The material above is mirrored from RCAF.com with the permission of Bob Hurst - who retains copyright to the material listed.