[ Baden Soellingen ]

441 Squadron
441 Tactical Fighter Squadron's roots originate in Sydney, Nova Scotia as 125 Squadron of Eastern Command. After achieving operational status the squadron was moved to Torbay, Newfoundland flying Hurricanes in the coastal fighter defence role.

In 1944 the squadron was deployed to England and redesignated as 441 (F) Squadron, and became part of Fighter Command, Second Tactical Air Force. Equipped with Spitfire MK IXs, the squadron saw action shortly afterwards. In the last months of the war Mustang MK Ills replaced the Spitfires as 441 aircraft.

441's war record stood at fifty- six confirmed kills, twelve damaged and more than 500 ground targets destroyed. Battle honors included participation in preparatory strafing of the D-Day invasion beaches after which the squadron was honored by having six aircraft in the first formation of allied aircraft to land in France since 1940. The squadron was disbanded on 7 August 1945.

441 Squadron was reformed for peacetime service in March 1951 at St. Hubert, Quebec with the "Silver Foxes" flying Harvard and Vampire aircraft. After a short familiarization program, 441 proceeded to Chatham, New Brunswick to commence flying training on MK II Sabres. In February 1952, 441 Squadron was transferred overseas once again. Squadron personnel sailed to Britain on the Empress of France while the aircraft were ferried across the Atlantic on the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent and became operational at North Luffenham in England. When NATO assigned 1 Wing of 1 Air Division to move from North Luffenham to Marville, France, in January 1955, 441 Squadron was re-assigned temporarily and flew with 3 Wing in Zweibrucken, Germany. The squadron was re-equipped with MK VI Sabres and moved to Marville in March 1955 where 441 remained in the NATO air defence role with Sabers until September 1963.

The "Silver Fox" Squadron was reactivated in January 1964 with the CF-104 Starfighter and assigned a NATO photo reconnaissance role based again at Marville where it remained until moving to Lahr in March 1967.

In 1970, 441 accepted a strike/attack role and was relocated in July to Baden-Soellingen. In January 1972 the squadron once again changed roles and became a conventional attack squadron until it was stood down. While at Soellingen 441 Squadron maintained a secondary role of air defence augmentation. In its latter years the "Checkers" won many 1 CAG competitions and proudly came to regard themselves as "TOP GUN SQUADRON". The squadron had the further distinction of serving as the last Canadian CF- 104 Squadron. As 421 and 439 Squadrons stood down CF-104 operations, 441 absorbed many of their pilots and in its last few months became the only operational squadron in 1 CAG. As such, 441 Squadron had a wealth of operational experience and was to provide a source of tactical know how for the newly formed CF-18 Squadrons. 441 Squadron officially stood down on 1 March 1986.

The Silver Foxes were reactivated on 26 June 1987 at CFB Cold Lake flying its new CF-18's and having as its primary role air defence. The Squadron operates from Cold Lake and stands Q at CFB Comox. 1992 marks 441's 50th Anniversary.

Related Links:

[ Baden Remembered | Forty Years ]