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438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron
File:438 ETAH Logo.jpg
438 Squadron badge
Active 1934-present
Country Canada
Branch Royal Canadian Air Force
Role Tactical helicopter
Part of 1 Wing
Home station CFB Montreal
Nickname(s) Wildcats
Motto(s) Going down
Battle honours
  • Fortress Europe 1944
  • France and Germany 1944-1945
  • Normandy 1944
  • Arnhem
  • Rhine
Squadron Badge The head of a wildcat affronte
Aircraft flown
Helicopter CH-146 Griffon

438 "City of Montreal" Tactical Helicopter Squadron is a unit of the Canadian Forces under Royal Canadian Air Force. The squadron operates the CH-146 Griffon tactical helicopter from CFB St. Hubert in Quebec, Canada. Its tasks include transport, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and support to local law enforcement.

The motto Going Down was adopted during the Second World War when operating on Hawker Typhoons over occupied Europe. This was the flight leader's instruction to begin diving attacks with bombs and/or cannons.


Wildcat mascot nose art on CH-146 Griffon

Authorized at Montreal, Quebec, on September 1, 1934 as No.18 Squadron. It was renumbered No.118 Squadron on November 17, 1937. In its pre-war years, the unit flew the de Havilland DH.60 Moth.

A book was written and published on the history of the Squadron: Le 438e Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères 1934-2009 by Jerry Fielden and Michel Pratt was published in August 2010.

Second World War

Still then numbered as No. 118 (Fighter) Squadron, the unit moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in October 1939 as the only operational fighter squadron on the east coast of Canada. On January 16, 1942, two squadron Kittyhawks spotted and attacked a surfaced German U-boat barely 10 miles from Halifax. F/O W.P. Roberts flying Kittyhawk AK851 was able to fire six bursts and obtain a number of hits around the conning tower. Embarking for Europe on November 2, 1943, the unit was renumbered No. 438 Squadron, and was part of 2TAF's 143 Wing RCAF.

Aircraft operated:


Aircraft operated:

Griffon number 438 operated by Tactical Helicopter Squadron of the same number.

External links

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