NICKNAMED THE THUNDERBIRDS, 426 SQUADRON WAS THE FIRST RCAF LANCASTER UNIT IN THE EUROPEAN THEATRE AND FLEW THE TYPE THROUGH THE BATTLE OF BERLIN, AS ANDREW THOMAS RECOUNTS.
The Royal Canadian Air Force made a huge contribution to the Bomber Command campaign against Germany in World War Two. In fact, from January 1943 it fielded an entire bomber group, the Yorkshire-based 6 (RCAF) Group flying Halifax and Wellington aircraft. One of the units flying the latter was 426 Squadron based at Dishforth under Wg Cdr Les Crooks. It had been operational in the UK since mid-January 1943, but after a mining mission on June 16 it temporarily stood down to move a little way south to Linton-on-Ouse prior to re-equipment.