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The D. D. McNeill Crew of 415 Squadron standing in front of Halifax III MZ-946 coded 6U-O.
Back Row L to R:
On 23 January 1943 415 Squadron’s official badge depicting a swordfish striking at its prey with the motto "AD METAM" (To the mark) was approved by King George VI. In September 1943, the Squadron changed over to the Vickers Wellington and Fairey Albacore. The Albacores were the only biplanes to see combat with the RCAF during the Second World War and 415 Squadron was the only Canadian unit to use them. This aircraft combination was very effective against the German E-boats (fast attack craft, such as the S-100 class): the Wellingtons were employed to find the E-boats while the Albacores were sent to attack them.
On 12 July 1944, 415 Squadron was transferred from No. 16 Group of Coastal Command to No. 6 (RCAF) Group of Bomber Command. Re-equipped with the Handley Page Halifax and flying from RCAF Station East Moor in Yorkshire, the Squadron conducted its first bombing mission over Hamburg, Germany, on the night of 28 July 1944. The Squadron flew over 100 bomber missions before being disbanded on 15 May 1945, flying its last operational mission on 25 April. During the war, 415 Squadron lost over 200 members representing the Royal Air Force, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and the Royal New Zealand Air Force in addition to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Sadly the final fates of many of these are unknown; their names are recorded on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, England.
Sgt. D.J. Owens RAF, Flight Engineer; F/Sgt R.H. (Rube) Ward RCAF
, Air Gunner; F/O W. (Bill) Underhill RCAF, Bomb Aimer; and F/O D.D. (Doug) McNeill RCAF, Pilot.
Front Row L to R:
F/O G.K. (George) Fletcher RCAF, Navigator; F/Sgt Walter (Whitey) White RCAF. Air Gunner, and F/Sgt F.B. (Fred) Davies RCAF, Wireless Op.
Photo graciously submitted by Doug Fletcher, son of F/O G. K. Fletcher.