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No. 432 Squadron

Nickname: Leaside
Badge: In front of a full moon a cougar leaping down
Motto: Saeviter ad lucem (Ferociously towards the light)
Authority: King George VI, March 1945
Adoption: Town of Leaside, Ontario

Battle Honours:
English Channel and North Sea 1943, Fortress Europe 1944-1945, France and Germany 1944-1945, Biscay Ports 1944, Ruhr 1943-1945, Berlin 1943-1944, German Ports 1943-1945, Normandy 1944, Rhine Biscay 1943

The badge indicated the squadrons night bombing attacks on the enemy. The motto refers to the unit's fierce desire to fight for light against the darkness of oppression.

The Background

No. 432 Squadron formed at Skipton-on-Swale on 1 May 1943 as part of No. 6 Group. Originally equipped with Vickers Wellington Mk Xs, it had become operational with these before the month was out, using the type for night bombing until November, when it was re-equipped with Avro Lancaster Mk IIs at East Moor. This gave the squadron greater capabilities, but in February 1944 this type was withdrawn and No. 432 was given Handley Page Halifax Mk IIIs. With these and Halifax Mk VIIs, which were very similar, the squadron continued to operate in the bomber offensive role throughout 1944 and into 1945, flying increasingly around the clock as the German fighter defences evaporated. Its final operation was on 25 April 1945, and the squadron disbanded 20 days later on 15 May at East Moor.

Aircraft flown during this period were:

  • Wellington X (May 1943 - October 1943)
  • Lancaster II (October 1943 - February 1944)
  • Halifax III (February 1944 - July 1944)
  • Halifax VII (July 1944 - April 1945)

No. 432 Squadron Formed as an All-Weather (Fighter) unit at Bagotville, Quebec on 1 October 1954, the squadron flew CF-100 aircraft on North American air defence until disbanded on 15 October 1961.

Aircraft flown during this period were:

  • CF-100 Canuck

Operational History

  • First operational mission of WW II: May 23/24, 1945, 15 Wellington Mk X's from Skipton-on-swale dispatched to bomb Dortmund, Germany; 11 bombed the primary target, 4 aborted.
  • Last operational mission of WW II: April 25, 1945 , 19 Halifax Mk VII's from East Moor bombed gun positions on the Island of Wangerooge.


  • Sorties: 3130 (including 53 sea mining)
  • Operational Flying Hours: 16, 607
  • Non-operational Flying Hours: 6166
  • Bombs dropped: 8980 tons
  • Victories
    • Aircraft: 5 destroyed, 2 probable, 5 damaged
  • Casualties
    • Operational: 73 aircraft, 448 aircrew (30 killed, 8 missing, 252 presumed dead, 123 POW (5 escaped), 35 evaded capture,)
    • Non-operational: 42 personnel (38 killed, 3 injured, 1 died of natural causes)

Honours & Awards

2 DSO's, 1 bar to DFC, 119 DFC's, 1 CGM, 20 DFM's, 1 Croix de Guerre

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