Examples of Types of Operations:
418 Squadron RCAF was Canada's highest-scoring squadron in WWII,
in terms of both air-to-air and air-to-ground kills, and in terms
of both day and night operations. The Squadron's most active period
was 1944, when assigned to Intruder and Ranger sorties across
These sorties, made at low level to escape radar detection, took
418 Squadron crews into the heart of enemy territory, there to
wreak havoc among departing or returning Luftwaffe night-fighter
crews (Intruder sorties), or to shoot up enemy airfields, or indeed
anything else of military value, in Ranger sorties.
A typical sortie was the first flown by Russ Bannock and his navigator
Bob Bruce. (Bannock, who had been both a peacetime pilot and a
flight instructor for several years, went on to lead both 418
and 406 Sqn RCAF, before joining de Havilland in Canada as a test
pilot). Having been assigned to Bourges-Avord airfield, to 'jump'
night-fighters returning from the evening's operations, the crew
spotted the exhaust flames of an aircraft in the circuit. After
having to avoid anti- aircraft fire from the field, Bannock made
a pass at the aircraft as it landed. The resulting fire and explosion
revealed the aircraft to be an Me 110, and Bannock and Bruce escaped
to the west.
As an Intruder squadron, 418 Sqn's aircraft did not carry radar
sets - even at night targets had to be found, identified, lined
up and attacked all with the naked eye. The squadron's success
speaks volumes of the skill of its crews that it achieved such
success under these conditions.
Day Ranger combat report for 418 Squadron by Sqn Ldr Kipp, 14th
April 1944 - page 1,