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No. 434 (Bluenose) Squadron

Commanding Officers

W/C C. E. Harris: 15 June 1943 – 6 February 1944
W/C C. S. Bartlett: 7 February 1944 – 12 June 1944
(KIA)W/C F. H. Watkins: 13 June 1944 – 29 August 1944
W/C A. P. Blackburn: 30 August 1944 – 7 April 1945
W/C J. C. Mulvihill: 8 April 1945 – 5 September 1945

434 Squadron was formed on 13th June, 1943, at Tholthorpe as part of No. 6 (R.C.A.F.) Group. The unit initially flew the Halifax, using the plane for the majority of operations. In December, 1943, the squadron transferred to Croft and stayed there for the rest of World War II. A year later, the Lancaster replaced the Halifax as the squadron’s aircraft, serving for the remainder of the hostilities in the European Theatre. The Lancasters were flown back to Canada where the squadron was disbanded. During the course of operations, 434 Squadron delivered 10,575 tons of bombs and mines.

The designation for the aircraft in this unit began with “IP.” In the squadron crest, the famous schooner “Bluenose” is depicted. The group was adopted by the Rotary Club of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and acquired the nickname “Bluenose” from the common nickname for Nova Scotians. The design for the crest originated from the Canadian ten-cent coin, showing the same schooner. Below the crest, the motto reads “In excelsis vincimus” (“We conquer in the heights”).

434 Squadron Halifax
434 Squadron Lancaster
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