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No. 433 Squadron

Nickname: Porcupine
Badge: In front of a hurt a porcupine
Motto: Qui s'y frotte s'y pique (Who apposes it gets hurt)
Authority: King George VI, December 1945
Adoption: Porcupine District of Northern Ontario

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

In front of a hurt porcupine. This squadron was adopted by the Porcupine District of Northern Ontario. The hurst or blue disk symbolizes the "hurt" don to the enemy and the sky through which the unit operated.

The Background

No. 433 Squadron formed at Skipton-on-Swale on 25 September 1943, but was without aircraft for nearly two months. When these arrived they were the latest version of the Handley Page Halifax, the Mk III, and No. 433 worked up on them to begin operations on 2 January 1944. For the next year the squadron was continuously operational on Halifaxes over the Continent by night. In January 1945 the Halifaxes were replaced by Avro Lancaster Mk Is, and No. 433 used these for three months, by which time the war in Europe had come to an end. No. 433 was not disbanded but, as part of No. 1 Group, flew trooping flights from Germany and Italy, bringing back troops and POWs. This continued until 15 October 1945, when the squadron disbanded at Skipton-on-Swale.

  • Halifax III (November 1943 - January 1945)
  • Lancaster I/III (January 1945 - October 1945)

No. 433 Squadron Halifaxes

No. 433 Sqn served in RAF Bomber Command from September 1943. The squadron's last mission was an attack on Wangerooge on 25 April 1945.

Operational History

  • First Operational Mission of WW II: January 2/3, 1944, 4 Halifax III's from Skipton-on-Swale dispatched to lay mines in the "Nectarines" (Frisian Islands) area, 3 were successful, one aborted
  • Last Operational Mission of WW II: April 25, 1945, 10 Lancaster I/III's from Skipton-on-Swale bombed gun positions on the Island of Wangerooge.


  • Missions: 209 (54 of which were mine laying)
  • Sorties: 2316
  • Operational Flying Hours: 12,488
  • Non-operational Flying Hours: 6059
  • Bomb dropped: 7486 tons
  • Victories
    • Aircraft: 5 destroyed, 3 probable, 2 damaged
  • Casualties
    • Operational: 38 aircraft, 241 aircrew (56 killed, 96 presumed dead, 56 POW, 33 missing (9 captured or proved safe)
      Non-operational: 15 personnel killed

No. 433 Squadron reformed as an All-Weather (Fighter) unit at Cold Lake, Alberta on 15 November 1954, and moved to North Bay, Ontario in October 1955, the squadron flew CF-100 aircraft on North American air defence until disbanded on 1 August 1961.

* CF-100 Canuck

Reformed post unification No. 433 Escadrille tactique de combat was a French language squadron of Mobile Command based at CFB Bagotville, Quebec. No. 433 Escadrille flew the CF-5 Freedom Fighter in the tactical and reconnaissance role until conversion to the CF-18 Hornet in 1984.

No. 433 Squadron, CAF Canadair CF-5

One of the types used by No. 433 Squadron, was the CF-116 ,
the Canadian built version of the Northrop F-5A.

* CF-116 CF-5

No. 433 Escadrille tactique de combat currently flies the CF-18 Hornet alongside No. 425e Escadrille tactique de combat from CFB Bagotville, Quebec.

* CF-188 CF-18 Hornet

Honours & Awards

2 bars to DFC, 132 DFC's, 9 DFM's, 1 BEM, 14 MiD's, 1 Air Medal(USA)

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