From Oban to Shearwater:
423 squadron over the years
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423 Squadron was established during the Second World War as a Coastal Command General Reconnaissance squadron whose primary task was contributing to the security of the North Atlantic convoy routes during the Battle of the Atlantic. It was ordered to form in Oban, Scotland on May 18, 1942 and was one of two Canadian Sunderland Squadrons that saw service during the War. 423 Squadron flew Sunderland flying boats from Oban until late 1942, after which the Squadron was relocated to the Castle Archdale seaplane base in Northern Ireland. During the Squadron's time at Castle Archdale, its crews were involved in several notable U-Boat actions. In 1945, the Squadron was reassigned to a transport role and flew Consolidated Liberator aircraft out of Bassingbourn, England for a short period prior to being disbanded in September of 1945.
As the Cold War got underway, 423 Squadron was reactivated in June 1953 in St. Hubert, Quebec as an All-Weather (Fighter) Squadron, flying the CF-100 Canuck (and occasionally training on the CT-133 Silver Star). The Squadron was transferred to 2 (F) Wing Grostenquin, France in 1957, where it remained until the Squadron was disbanded for the second time in December 1962.
In September of 1974, 423 Squadron was again reactivated to fly CH-124 Sea King helicopters in the Squadron's original role, and serve as one of the two ASW squadrons at CFB Shearwater. To this day, 423 (Maritime Helicopter) Squadron continues to operate out of 12 Wing Shearwater, deploying operational CH-124 Sea King Helicopter Air Detachments to sea while preparing for transition to the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.
The Squadron motto is "Quaerimus et petimus" (We search and strike). The Squadron's battle honours include: Atlantic (1942-1945); English Channel and North Sea (1944-1945); Normandy (1944); Biscay (1944); Gulf and Kuwait; and Arabian Sea.