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Yarmouth - Wartime History RCAF Station Yarmouth West Camp RCAF Squadrons (From the Air to Destroy the Beast) (photo courtesy Yarmouth County Museum and Archives) West Camp was located nearest to the town on the west side of the airport. The base was known as RCAF Station Yarmouth during World War II. Land for the main runway, from Starr’s Road south west past Forest Street, through to Argyle Street had been purchased as early as 1939. Clearing of land began shortly after purchase and the construction of the airport continued up to 1942 when the last two hangars were completed. West Camp was home to: 119 BR Squadron City of Hamilton Squadron July 21st 1940 through January 10th 1942 119 Squadron flew Bolingbrokes, twin engine aircraft. After a tour of anti-sub reconnaissance at Yarmouth, this Squadron moved to Sydney, N.S. The first operation of 119 Squadron from Yarmouth in a Bolingbroke was to escort HMS Ramillies through the Bay of Fundy. 113 BR Squadron This Squadron remained in Yarmouth until May 10, 1943. 113 Squadron flew Lockheed Hudson aircraft on anti-submarine patrols. After a year and a half at Yarmouth, 113 Squadron moved on to Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Hudson aircraft of 113 Squadron were later replaced with Ventura aircraft, a larger and heavier version of a Hudson but more difficult and dangerous to fly. Detachments of five aircraft were stationed at Mont Joli, Quebec and Moncton, New Brunswick where they flew anti-submarine reconnaissance patrols over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the shipping lanes off Halifax Nova Scotia. In July of 1942, S/L Small of 113 Squadron sank the first submarine in Eastern Air Command off Cape Sable The Canso Squadrons 162 Br Squadron 160 BR Squadron 161 BR Squadron These three Bomber Reconnaissance Squadrons flew Canso aircraft. The large high winged, slow, graceful aircraft were familiar sights in the skies around Yarmouth until mid-1945. - used for anti-submarine patrols, - escorting the Canadian Pacific Ferry Princess Helene across the Bay of Fundy - weekly weather runs over eastern coastal waters. Some aircraft of 162 Squadron flew reconnaissance missions with 113 Squadron in early 1942 and the Squadron stayed at Yarmouth until the fall of ’43. 161 Squadron had a detachment of two aircraft operating with 160 Squadron in May 1944. The complete squadron arrived in late fall and was based at West Camp, flying daily trips with the Princess Helene until the Squadron was disbanded in May of 1945. #6 (RCAF) Group After East Camp was closed and West Camp was winding down, Yarmouth was the home of a training squadron of operational Lancaster Bomber aircraft. The first unit of this group flew into Yarmouth in June of 1945 with Lancaster B Mk X’s which they had ferried from England. Crews immediately took a month leave. They were to be part of 661 Heavy Bomber Wing of Tiger Force, for Pacific operations and were designated #6 (RCAF) Group. Crews were to train at several Maritime locations on Lancaster X’s which had been on operations in England a short time before. The Group was to have been operational on Lincolns, a sleek version of the Lancaster, in the Pacific by December, 1945. However the dropping of the Atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the cessation of hostilities with Japan negated the use of the plan and Tiger Force Yarmouth was disbanded on September 5, 1945. Army Cooperation Detachment A detachment of two Lysander aircraft was stationed at Yarmouth for two years. This flight was just one of six such Canadian Army Cooperation detachments in the Maritimes.
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RCAF Station Yarmouth