No. 444 Squadron

Nickname: Cobra

A Cobra ready to strike. Authority Queen Elizabeth 11, November 1954 This unit adopted the cobra in a position to strike as being indicative of the role of a fighter squadron. A brass likeness of the Cobra was acquired by the Squadron in 1955 and is affectionately named 'Cecil'.

The History

Formed on September 1, 1947. No. 444 Squadron bore the first new number (i.e. which had no war-time predecessor) in the post-war R.C.A.F., however No. 444 Squadron was the direct descent of three Canadian wartime Squadrons, Nos. 664, 665 and 666. 'Triple Four' provided artillery observation for the Royal Canadian Artillery and also trained Army aviators for operational light aircraft tasks. Composed of both RCAF and Army personal, the Squadron flew Austers and the deHavilland Chipmunk until it was disbanded in April 1949.

The Squadron reformed as No. 444 (Fighter) Squadron in March 1953 at St. Hubert Quebec. The unit was equipped with the Canadian built F-86 Sabre aircraft. Six months later the squadron flew its Sabres overseas on "Leapfrog 4". The squadron joined No. 4 (Fighter) Wing at Baden-Soellingen, Germany in September.

Selected as one of eight squadrons of the Air Division to be re-equipped with CF-104 Starfighter aircraft for a nuclear strike role, it was deactivated on 1 March 1963 and reactivated as Strike Attack on 27 May. When the Air Division was reduced to six squadrons, the squadron was once more deactivated on 1 April 1967.

No. 444 Squadron reformed as the air element of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade group stationed in Lahr, West Germany. The unit was equipped with CH-112 Nomad and later CH-136 Kiowa helicopters. The squadron was once again disbanded when the Canadian Forces were withdrawn from Europe.

In 1993, the squadron reformed at No. 5 Wing Goose Bay as No. 444 Combat Support Squadron equipped with the CH-146 Griffon helicopter in the Search and Rescue role.

Representative Aircraft

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