07/31/2009. Remarks by Doc Hopper: "RCAF 442 Squadron spent most of its wartime career on Spitfires and only converted to Mustangs towards the end of the war. The Vintage Wings Mustang colour scheme represents one of their aircraft during the "liberation/occupation" of the "Channel Islands" on May 9, 1945. Not too many people know about Canadian participation in this operation.
An issue of Scale Aircraft Modeller featured this unit's colour scheme and operation and called it "The Wandering Caribous". That article claimed that 442 Squadron descended from 111 (F) Squadron which operated in the Aleutians and claimed the only RCAF "kill" of a Japanese fighter before being sent to Europe as 442 Squadron. In fact, 111 Squadron was sent to Europe as 440 Squadron on Hurricanes, then Typhoons.
My father was a member of 111 (CAC) Squadron pre-war. In 1939 they had Lysanders and were re-roled as a "fighter squadron", still with
Lysanders! I have a copy of a unit Christmas card from 111 (F) Squadron with a photo of three Lysanders in flight on the front. Disbanded and then reformed with Kittyhawks in Rockcliffe then operated in Alaska and the Aleutians before being sent to Europe as 440 Squadron.
After the war, 442 Squadron eventually became the "City of Vancouver" Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force based at Sea Island (now Vancouver
International), again on Vampires and later (briefly) Sabres. It shared Sea Island with 443 (City of New Westminster) Squadron, also on Mustangs. Early editions of RT had some drawings and correspondence on the 442 Squadron Mustang markings. They were known as the "Hornet" Squadron and are now a Sea King Squadron. For their anniversary celebrations the unit painted up one of their Sea Kings with a Hornet colour scheme."