#1458 CT-142 Dash-8
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1458 - 142805, CT-142 Dash-8, 42 'City of Winnipeg' Squadron, 17 Wing Winnipeg. 402 Squadron began on 5 October 1932 as Number 12 Army Co-operation Squadron, a unit of the non-permanent active Air Force. During the early years, meetings were held in Minto Armories, while flying was based at Stevenson Field, now Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. The aircraft flown included a number of Avro Tutors, de Havilland Gipsy Moths and a few other light aircraft. On 15 November 1937, No. 12 Army Cooperation Squadron was renumbered No. 112 Army Cooperation Squadron, flying a variety of aircraft types including the Avro 626 and de Havilland Tiger Moth. After the outbreak of war, No. 112 Squadron was sent to Ottawa in February 1940, and re-equipped with the Westland Lysander. The squadron was sent to Europe on 30 June 1940 with the intention to become part of the British Expeditionary Force but the decision was made that Army Co-operation squadrons were not needed in France, and the squadron was re-deployed to coastal defence duties in England. On 11 December 1940, the squadron was re-designated No. 2 Squadron RCAF and equipped with the Hawker Hurricane Mk.I. In March 1941, while stationed at RAF Digby, Lincolnshire, England the squadron was renumbered as No. 402 Squadron RCAF to comply with Article XV and re-equipped with the Hurricane Mk.II, and then the Hurricane Mk.IIB. With these, it began training to become the first â€œHurribomberâ€ unit, commencing operations in this role in November 1941. In March 1942, the squadron resumed its fighter role moving to RAF Colerne and converting to the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VB. Cross-Channel Ramrod and Rodeo sorties from various bases followed, notably RAF Kenley and RAF Redhill, until August when it received the Spitfire Mk.IX, employing these over Dieppe on 19 August 1942. A move to RAF Digby in March 1943 brought a return to the Spitfire Mk.V. In August 1944, a move was made to Hawkinge where the Squadron used the Spitfire Mk.XIV in operations against the V-1 flying bomb, with five victories confirmed. The ending of the hostilities found the unit on German soil at Wunstorf with total victories for the war of 49Â½ aircraft. The squadron disbanded at RAF Fassberg, Germany on 10 July 1945. The squadron was re-formed as 402 (Fighter Bomber) Squadron on 15 April 1946, using the North American Harvard Mk.II. On 18 September 1950, the title â€œCity of Winnipegâ€ was added to the squadron name. 402 converted to a fighter role on 1 March 1947, equipped with de Havilland Vampire F.3â€™s. With the arrival of the Vampire, in addition to interception and tactical training exercises, 402 Squadron took part in many air shows. In 1951, it was converted to a fighter-bomber squadron, with the squadron receiving the North American P-51 Mustang Mk.IV. In 1957, the squadron changed from a fighter-bomber role to become 402 â€œCity of Winnipegâ€ (Transport) Squadron, initially equipped with eight Beech CT-128 Model 18 Expeditors. In April 1960, the squadron was equipped with two DHC-3 de Havilland Canada Otter aircraft. The Otter proved to be a highly versatile aircraft and greatly increased the scope of squadron operations. On 1 April 1961, 402 Squadron was transferred to Air Transport Command. The squadronâ€™s name was changed in 1969 to 402 Air Reserve Squadron based at CFB Winnipeg by that point, a further two Otters had joined the fleet for a total of six. The following year the squadron traded their Otters for CC-129 Dakotas. By 1980 they would be operating nine examples of the venerable Dakota in the VIP and light transport, search and rescue roles, becoming the last unit in the Canadian Forces to fly the type. Starting in the late 1980s, the CC/CT-142 de Havilland Canada Dash-8 was used to provide light transport and as a navigation training platform for the Canadian Forces Air Navigation School (CFANS). In 2000, the two CC-142 Dash-8 light transport aircraft were retired and sold in 2002, leaving 402 Squadron operating only the CT-142 Dash-8, affectionately nicknamed â€œGonzoâ€. By 2009, and the changing demands of air forces worldwide, the training was adapted to include Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators (AESOPs) as well as Air Combat Systems Officers (ACSOs). CFANS and 402 Squadron continued the long tradition of training Commonwealth partners from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, as well as NATO allies from Germany and Norway. The program has further expanded to include, among others, Singapore and South Korea. In 2015 402 Squadron and 1 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (formerly CFANS) amalgamated and now as one unit, 402 â€œCity of Winnipegâ€ Squadron continues to stand on guard as the ab initio training squadron for all Royal Canadian Air Force AESOPs and ACSOs.