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No. 420 (Snowy Owl) Squadron

Commanding Officers

W/C D. Bradshaw: 1 January 1943 – 11 April 1943
W/C D. McIntosh: 12 April 1943 – 7 April 1944
W/C G. McKenna: 8 April 1944 – 23 October 1944
W/C G. Edwards: 24 October 1944 – 23 November 1944
W/C W. Phalen: 24 November 1944 – 27 January 1945
W/C F. McCarthy: 28 January 1945 – 23 April 1945
W/C R. Gray: 24 April 1945 – 5 September 1945

420 Squadron was formed on 19th December, 1941 at Waddington as part of No. 5 Group. The squadron crest features a snowy owl, with the motto “Pugnamus finitum” (“We fight to a finish”) written beneath. Following its formation the squadron was based at Waddington, Skipton-on-Swale, and Middleton St. George. During 1943 the unit was stationed in Algeria and Tunisia in North Africa. In November, 1943, the squadron returned from North Africa to Dalton. Finally in December, 1943, the squadron switched to Tholthorpe where they remained for the rest of World War II.

The Handley Page Hampden was the bomber used during the early years of 420 Squadron, converting to Wellingtons shortly before the move to North Africa. On the return to the United Kingdom the squadron was outfitted with the Halifax. A mere three months before the squadron flew home to Canada and disbanded, they were equipped with Lancaster bombers. Markings that began with “PT” designated the aircraft as belonging to 420 Squadron.

420 Squadron Lancaster
420 Squadron Halifax
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