401 Squadron provides air cover during Dieppe raid

Five men stand beside an aircraft.
Pilots from the RCAF’s 401 “Ram” Squadron wait for their aircraft to be refueled on August 19, 1942, the day of Operation Jubilee. PHOTO: DND Archives, PL-10627

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The raid on Dieppe, France—Operation Jubilee—on August 19, 1942, was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. With virtually all of continental Europe under German occupation, the Allied forces faced a well-entrenched enemy. Canadians made up the great majority of the attackers in failed raid, which nevertheless provided valuable lessons for the successful D-Day invasion, two years later.

By the time Operation Jubilee began in August 1942, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 401 “Ram” Squadron was an established fighter squadron although, as with most RCAF units, it was a mix of experienced pilots and men fresh from the training mill.

Their day-to-day life would have focused on learning the intricacies of their deadly craft, both as individuals and part of a flight, punctuated by fighter sweeps and escort duties. Fighter Command was very much in an offensive frame of mind and carried the fight to the Luftwaffe at every opportunity. Read the rest of the article . . .

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