No. 8 Squadron RCAF

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No. 8 Squadron RCAF
RCAF VIII Squadron, Heraldic patch, WWII.jpg
A RCAF World War II heraldic jacket patch for VIII (8) Squadron.
Active14 Feb 1936 - 25 May 1945
Country Canada
Allegiance Canada
BranchRoyal Canadian Air Force
RoleBomber Reconnaissance
Nickname(s)Musk Ox
Motto(s)"Determined to Defend"
Battle honoursNorth West Atlantic 1939-41 [1]
Pacific Coast 1941-45 [2]
Aleutians 1943
Squadron CodesYO (Aug 1939 - May 1942), GA (May - Oct 1942)

No. 8 Squadron RCAF was a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) that was in operation from 1936 to 1945.


No. 8 Squadron was formed on the 14 February 1936 as a General Purpose (GP) squadron at Winnipeg, Manitoba. The squadron moved to Ottawa/Rockcliffe Airport in February 1937, where it was tasked as a photographic unit, equipped with Fairchild 71, Bellanca Pacemaker and Canadian Vickers Vedette.

Mobilized on the 10 September 1939 as No. 8 (GR) Squadron at Sydney, Nova Scotia, It was redesignated Bomber Reconnaissance (BR) at the end of October 1939. Equipped with Northrop Deltas and Bristol Bolingbrokes, the squadron was tasked with anti-submarine duty while serving with RCAF Eastern Air Command.[3]

In December 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the squadron was moved to RCAF Station Sea Island on the west coast of Canada as part of RCAF Western Air Command. In June 1942 in response to the Japanese attack on the Aleutians, it was moved to Alaska flying the Bristol Bolingbroke V as part of RCAF X Wing, operating from Elmendorf Army Airfield (Anchorage), with small detachments stationed at Naval Air Station Kodiak and Marks Air Force Base (Nome).[4]

The squadron returned to RCAF Station Sea Island in March 1943. Having converted to Lockheed Ventura GR.V in May 1943, the squadron continued with anti-submarine duty based from RCAF Station Port Hardy and RCAF Station Patricia Bay. No. 8 Squadron was disbanded at Patricia Bay, B.C. 25 May 1945.[5]


Two letter Squadron code was YO from Aug 39 - May 42, GA from May until the use of Squadron codes was discontinued in the RCAF HWE on the 16 Oct 1942, "for security reasons".[6]


RCAF Station Winnipeg Feb 1936–Feb 1937
RCAF Station Rockcliffe Feb 1937–Aug 1939
Sydney, Nova Scotia Aug 1939–Dec 1941
RCAF Station Sea Island Dec 1941–Jun 1942
Elmendorf Army Airfield Jun 1942–Mar 1943
RCAF Station Sea Island Mar–May 1943
RCAF Station Patricia Bay May 1943–May 1945

See also[edit]

Related lists


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2008-12-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Kostenuk and Griffin, 1977, pp. 29-30
  4. ^ Vincent, 2009, pp. 23-24
  5. ^ Kostenuk and Griffin, 1977, p. 30
  6. ^ Kostenuk & Griffin, 1977, p. 233
  • Kostenuk, S. and J. Griffin. RCAF Squadron Histories and Aircraft: 1924–1968. Toronto: Samuel Stevens, Hakkert & Company, 1977. ISBN 0-88866-577-6.
  • Vincent, Carl Canadian Aircraft of WWII (AviaDossier No. 1). Kitchener, Ontario: SkyGrid, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9780696-3-6.