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No. 6 Group and the Canadian Squadrons
Bomber Command

Hampdens were the primary aircraft operated by 408 Squadron at the beginning of the war. The Squadron was formed at Lindholme on 24th June, 1941, and flew its first operational mission over Rotterdam to bomb the docks. Under the squadron crest featuring a Canadian goose, the motto reads "For Freedom." 408 Squadron took part in the first 1000 bomber raid on Germany, participated in many operations against naval and industrial targets, and was a notable force in various Gardening (mine laying) missions. During the Second World War, crew from 408 Squadron flew 4610 sorties, dropped/laid "well over 10,000 tons of bombs and mines," and earned more than 210 awards including 160 Distinguished Flying Crosses and over 30 Distinguished Flying Medals.

The squadron used Hampden aircraft and later switched to the Halifax while they were stationed at Lindholme, Syerston, Balderton, and Leeming. Aircraft in this unit were marked with an "EQ." When they were transfer to Linton-on-Ouse, 408 Squadron was outfitted with Lancaster Mk. II's, however they returned to using Halifax bombers during the summer of 1944. Once the war in the European Theatre of Operations concluded, the squadron was equipped with Lancasters again and flew to Canada to prepare for the "Second Phase" of the war against the Japanese. The sudden termination of the Pacific War made the squadron unnecessary, which caused it to be disbanded in September of 1945.

During May-June 1942 the squadron had a single Manchester aircraft, L7401 EQ-N, for evaluation as a possible replacement for the Hampden. A Manchester Conversion Flight was set up under S/L L.B.B. Price, who flew this aircraft on its two sorties with the squadron: the Thousand Bomber raid on Cologne, 30/31 May, and raid to Essen on 1/2 June. The Manchester had to turn back from Cologne owing to hydraulic failure but during the raid on Essen, it dropped 1260 four-pound incendiaries.

408 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force. (October 1942)

408 Squadron Lancaster

408 Squadron Manchester

408 Squadron Halifax

408 Squadron Hampden

Bomber Command Museum of Canada