Message from Nicole Morley

The current Squadron 443 in Victoria BC is hosting a celebratory dinner on June 6, 2019 to honor the original 443 members.

The dinner itself will be held at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort. I don’t know if anyone is aware but this year marks the 75th anniversary of the forming of the original squadron. Me and Tara have been busy reaching out to as many original 443 members families as possible (at least the ones we have e-mails or addresses for).

If there is anyone who had someone associated with the original Squadron 443 or was associated in some way with them please feel free to e-mail me at This dinner is probably one of the best ways we can give thanks to all those 443 members who put their lives on the line.

Nicole Morley (grandniece of Arthur James Horrell)

Arthur Horrell


443 Squadron traces its roots to No. 127 Fighter Squadron RCAF, one of several fighter squadrons of Canada’s Eastern Air Command, formed in the early months of 1942. Equipped with Canadian-built Hawker Hurricanes, the Squadron conducted air defence operations while stationed at Gander, Newfoundland and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

With the diminished threat to North America and in preparation for the invasion of continental Europe, No. 127 (F) Squadron, along with a further five RCAF home-based squadrons, transferred to the United Kingdom and re-designated as 443 (F) Squadron RCAF (to fit within the Air Ministry’s designation convention) in February 1944 and equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX. 443 Squadron, along with its sister squadrons 441 and 442, commenced flying operations with 144 (F) Wing RCAF, W/C Johnnie Johnson commanding, of the 2nd Tactical Air Force just prior to the Normandy Invasion. 144 (F) Wing RCAF was the first Allied air wing to operate from French soil. These operations continued until August 1944. The Squadron then hop-scotched across France, Belgium, and Holland with 126 and 127 (F) Wings RCAF until “VE” Day, continuing to serve with the British Occupation Forces until disbanding in March 1946.

In 1951, 443 (F) Squadron (Aux) was reformed at Sea Island, Vancouver, as a Day Fighter Squadron in the RCAF Auxiliary, first flying P-51 Mustangs and eventually F-86 Sabres. In 1958, with the RCAF Auxiliary assuming the roles of Civil Defence, Search and Rescue and Light Transport, 443 (Aux) Squadron was re-equipped with the C-45 Expeditor and later the DHC-3 Otter and performed these roles until its second disbandment in March of 1964.

A decade later, in Shearwater, Nova Scotia, the Royal Canadian Navy’s only ship-borne helicopter squadron HS 50 (HS is the NATO designation for a Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron) was successfully meeting the needs of the Navy. However, to better administer HS 50 Squadron, it was split into HS 423 and HS 443 in September of 1974. Each squadron was tasked with continuing to provide the Commander of Maritime Command with operational Sea King Helicopter Detachments.

In response to the ever-growing need for ship-borne helicopter assets in the Pacific, HS 443 Squadron was transferred to Victoria International Airport at Pat Bay, British Columbia, in July of 1989 where it now provides the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific with Helicopter Air Detachments. Early in 1995, HS 443 was re-designated as 443 Maritime Helicopter (MH) Squadron to better fit the ever-changing geopolitical situations and the increasingly diverse roles of maritime helicopters and the ships they support.

Source of the history



Thank you for the invite. So pleased that you are recognising the veterans of 443 sqn. I’m related to William Bentley who was KIA whilst in Normandy serving on 443 Sqn. Bill stayed with my grandfather when he was billeted in the UK. I have done quite a lot of research around him and his service. Bill’s sister Betty, is a very active lady and still lives in Toronto, she was Bill’s youngest sister and very fond of Bill. She may be interested in your event. I will speak to her. I live in the UK so unlikely to be able to make it in person. I am planning to revisit Normandy in August and pay respects to Bill and visit B2 and B3 airfields along with the Canadian museum at Juno beach. Please pursue Bill’s Facebook page where I have collated all my information.
Out of interest are there any Veterans who served in 1944? Anyone remember Bill? I would love to meet them.
Kind regards

Please free to use Bill’s photos.

William John Bentley. RCAF – KIA 1944. – Home | Facebook
William John Bentley. RCAF – KIA 1944. 20 likes. This has been created both in memory of, and to aid further research into a relative who served an pilot…


Profile Publications Vickers-Armstrongs Warwick Variants

A plane flown by 293 Squadron

Click here.

Profile Publications 229

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More Warwicks on the Internet

Warwick 2

Warwick Bomber/ASRs, of the Warwick Training Unit (later the Air Sea Rescue Training Unit), on the ground at Bircham Newton, Norfolk. The nearest aircraft, BV277 ‘T’, subsequently served in the Mediterranean Theatre with Nos. 284 and 293 Squadrons RAF.

Warwick ASR Mark I, BV502 ‘ZE-N

Warwick ASR Mark I, BV502 ‘ZE-N’, of No. 293 Squadron RAF with its crew, in a dispersal surrounded by spring flowers at Foggia, Italy. BV502 was a redesignated ‘Stage C’ aircraft.

More Walruses on the Internet

From the Imperial War Museum Website


Supermarine Walrus Mark I, R6547 of ‘C’ Flight, No. 293 Squadron RAF Detachment, taxying to its dispersal at Nettuno, Italy, following a search and rescue sortie off Anzio. Behind it is parked a Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX of No. 93 Squadron RAF Detachment.

Walrus 2

Supermarine Walrus Mark Is of ‘C’ Flight No. 293 Squadron RAF Detachment, on the ground at Nettuno, Italy: X9506 ‘C’ is parked in front of R6547 ‘X’. In the foreground an American water bowser is sprinkling the surface of the landing ground in order to suppress the dust. Behind the Walruses, Supermarine Spitfire Mark IXs of No. 93 Squadron Detachment undergo repair and maintenance.


Warrant Officer J R Berry (wireless operator) and Flight Sergeant E J Holmes (pilot), an experienced air-sea rescue crew, stand in front of their Supermarine Walrus Mark I, X9506 ‘C’, of ‘C’ Flight, No. 293 Squadron RAF Detachment at Nettuno, Italy. Berry and Holmes were both recipients of the Distinguished Flying Medal for their work with No. 284 Squadron RAF, and flew several more successful rescue sorties after transferring with their aircraft to 293 Squadron in April 1944. The rescue tally on the X9506’s nose shows 23 aircrew extricated from the waters around Italy.

Lots more on FlickR.

Good News

I got a reply…

I am astonished to see this three year old thread get resurrected and for so much info to be forthcoming. In addition to the posters on this forum I have also received some interesting PMs.

I willlow up with each of you when I am able, we are in the throes of moving house at the moment and you know how chaotic that can be.

Give me a few days and I will be back.

Thanks and best wishes


Good news?

Great news!

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News From the Forum…

I looked at the forum but I have not got any reply yet.

On the other hand there was this message posted from someone else.

293 Squadron Thanks for the pics – more info


Visited my dad today and showed him the pics and this page. He remembered Rawlings, but not Harry Brown.

Names he came up with were:

Warwick pilots:
Capt Riley (SAAF)
Flt Lt. Tony Spink
W/O Birch
Flt Lt. Rawlings
S.Ldr Zetterden

Walrus Pilots:
F/O Humphrey
W/O “Wacker” Smith (Liverpool)
W/O Harry West (?) (Bristol)
W/O Jimmy Warnick (RCAF)
W/O Tex? (nickname)
F/O Bedford

Flt Lt Moe Foster (RCAF)

W/OP Air Gunners:
F/Sgt Joe Cattromole
F/Sgt Sammy Samuels
F/Sgt Norman Board
P/O Simpson
F/Sgt Freddy Arsenault (RCAF)

Taffy Powell

Ground Crew:
LAC George Ayres
Sgt Joe Drew

Pomigliano – Naples
Foggia (Main)
Bastia – Corsica

That’s a string of names he came up with that obviously featured in his wartime life. I’m sure if you wanted any more info, he’d be glad to elaborate. There may also be some spelling mistakes in there as I’m copying his hand written notes and I badly need reading glasses. Incidentally, his name was W/O Bagwell. It would be very interesting to hear about the diaries as my dad lost all of kit after being demobbed when the train he was on split with the guards van going off with the tail half while he was on the front.

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RAF 293 Squadron

I made this montage with the information I have gathered about Charles Stanley Horrell and RAF 293 Squadron.

I am still waiting for the person who owns some pictures to contact me on this forum.

Meantime, try finding Charles Horrell on that group picture if you can.

I can’t.


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